Mwaleshi Camp, located 10km from the Mwaleshi and Luangwa River confluence, is the only camp in Zambia’s North Luangwa Park and one of the world’s most remote safari offerings. Accessible only by a 50-minute air transfer from Mfuwe Airport, this rustic camp defines ‘getting away from it all’ and is totally off the grid, with only radio-communication linking it to the outside world. Only 8 guests are accommodated at a time, in 4 open-fronted reed and thatch chalets, which are reconstructed every year. Mwaleshi is closed during the rainy season every year, from 1 November to 14 June.
As a walking safari destination par excellence, 4×4’s transfer eager guests to a new starting point every day, where you head off into the wilderness under the care of an expert guide as well as an armed National Park scout. Managed by John Coppinger, one of Africa’s most experienced walking safari experts, these chaperons are among the best in the business.
All the guides employed at Mwaleshi are avid birders but you can request the services of visiting guide, and renowned guru of Zambian birding, Rory Mc Dougal, if preferred. Likewise, you can book a private vehicle and a personal or specialist guide for the duration of your stay.
These gentle walks generally last about 4 hours with frequent breaks, including a stop for tea and cakes halfway, and even a dip in the Mwaleshi River from time to time. Although fewer animals are typically sighted on foot than on a game drive, walking through the bush is infinitely rewarding allowing total immersion in the wilderness. Lion encounters are a regular occurrence at Mwaleshi while you can also expect to see the endemic Cookson’s wildebeest, puku, leopard, hyenas, eland, hartebeest, large herds of buffalo and even black rhino. Birdlife is prolific with over 400 resident species including bat hawks, Pel’s fishing owls and crowned cranes.
The accommodation is comfortable, unobtrusive and environmentally friendly, with solar powered lighting, open-air bathrooms and enclosed flush toilets. Hot water is delivered to your accommodation daily.
An open-sided thatched ‘chitenje’, doubles up as a dining and relaxation area where you can spot game around the river from comfortable armchairs or relaxing on the hammock and sun loungers. Meals are delicious and sophisticated and the adjacent fire pit offers opportunities for fireside dining and after-dinner drinks.