Kutandala is Zambia’s smallest owner-managed camp, set on the banks of the Mwaleshi River in the heart of the North Luangwa National Park. The camp offers the ultimate safari for those seeking a pure and remote wilderness experience. Whether you want to track large mammals, from elephant to the endemic Cookson’s wildebeest, or identify some of the 350 bird species recorded, at Kutandala you will be in the company of people who know and love this area.
The North Luangwa National Park is the smaller sister of South Luangwa. Bordered on the east by the Luangwa River and on the west by the Muchinga escarpment, the park stretches for 4,600 km sq, and is criss-crossed by a number of tributary rivers which eventually trickle into the Luangwa. The Mwaleshi river is the lifeblood of the park; streaming down from the escarpment in a number of waterfalls (which can be visited on foot) the river weaves its way through the park. During the dry season, the river recedes, leaving a number of pools along the way which attract large numbers of game. The vegetation in the park is varied, including acacia thickets, open savannah grasslands, mopane woodland and riverine forest. In contrast to South Luangwa, the North Luangwa is wild and untouched, with large herds of elephant, enormous herds of buffalo (sometimes seven hundred or more strong), and a good population of lion.
Rod and Guz, the owners, care passionately about what they do and about the restoration work which has brought the North Luangwa back from the brink. In camp, Guz manages, against incredible logistical odds, to produce meals of the highest quality and variety. Rod is an outstanding guide and holds the record as the youngest person to qualify as a walking guide in Zambia, having passed his exams when he was just eighteen. His depth of knowledge and enthusiasm for all things ecological means that the guiding experience is always informative and fresh.
The three guest rooms are spread out along the river bank, giving ample space and privacy, and each has an en-suite bathroom with a flush loo and hot shower.
All the rooms have an unrestricted view of the Mwaleshi River and its flood plain throughout the day.
Children under the age of 12 are not accepted at Kutandala Camp, as this is the minimum age for walking.
The dining area, bar and library are under the shade of a huge Natal Mahogany, deliberately and delightfully low key. There are iced drinks, but thankfully no generator, and therefore no noise - lighting is provided by rechargeable solar lanterns and hurricane lamps.
With such small groups at any one time, exclusivity and flexibility is the key, with every safari tailored to the interests of the guests. The majority of game-viewing will be done on foot, there are limited game drives as there are not many roads in this remote wilderness area.
When to travel
Zambia has a moderate to sub-tropical climate with three distinct seasons: from November to March is the Emerald, or the rainy season, April to July is Zambia's winter, when the weather is cool and dry, and August to October is summer, when the weather is hot and dry. In terms of game-viewing, the dryer months, meaning a higher concentration of game at the permanent water sources, are a superb time to visit. Alternatively come for some superb bird-watching at the end of the rains.
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Location and directions
North Luangwa, Zambia
Kutandala Camp is set on the banks of the Mwaleshi River in the heart of the North Luangwa National Park.
How to get there
10-hour international flight to Lusaka followed by a 1-hour domestic flight to Mfuwe and a further 45-minute by light aircraft, flying over the park then 1-hour by road (game drive).