Nsolo Bush Camp was re-sited a few years ago, and now occupies a superb position on a large bend of the Luwi sand river, in a prime location for game. Lion and buffalo interaction is often seen, with the various prides in the area using the river bed as a thoroughfare. There is a small waterhole in front of camp where the buffalo come to drink and there are frequent clashes as the lion attempt to ambush the herds. It can be an exciting camp to visit!
The four rooms at Nsolo are all built up on wooden decks, built from reed and with high pitched, thatched roofs and large, open-air bathrooms. In front of each room is a separate viewing deck with comfortable chairs, and shaded by mahogany or sausage trees. The rooms are large and spacious, either with a king size bed or twin beds, and the bathrooms are creatively designed - each shower has a view of the riverbed!
The main area at Nsolo contains the bar, dining area and a small seating area along with a small library of reference books which also contains the famous Nsolo Diaries - written by Craig and Janelle Doria, who ran the camp at its inception. They are fascinating accounts of the daily life of camp and its visitors, and well worth a read when you have an afternoon to while away. In front of camp there is a fire pit and of course the sand river, where occasionally evening meals are set up - a dining table surrounded by lanterns and open to the skies.
The guide at Nsolo is the superb Shadrack Nkhoma (Shaddy) who has been walking and studying the Luwi river system for more than ten years. He has a wealth of experience and is a wonderful raconteur. Together with the scout, he leads the walking safaris from camp. As well as a large population of lion and buffalo, leopard can be spotted, sometimes during the day, and there is a hyena den fairly near the camp. Rare antelope such as Lichtenstein's hartebeest and eland can also be spotted, along with good numbers of elephant and the occasional giraffe, which don't generally venture further into the park than Nsolo. The birding is superb, with many raptors present (the camp has a resident lizard buzzard) and large numbers of owls, including the giant eagle owl and the tiny scops owl, being heard at night.
The activities at Nsolo focus mainly on walking safaris, there is an option to drive occasionally, but the roads in this area are few, and the area lends itself perfectly to walking and exploration. Guests will head out early in the morning when the temperature is cool and the animals are more active. Halfway through the walk there will be a stop for tea, coffee and cake, and then guests will return to camp for a hearty brunch at around eleven. After an afternoon at leisure, the afternoon walk departs at around 4pm, returning to camp in time for sundowners.
Nsolo combines perfectly with its sister camps - Luwi, the deepest into the park, and also on the Luwi sand river, Kakuli, which is on the confluence of the Luwi and the main Luangwa River, and Mchenja, which is on a sweeping bend of the Luangwa, sheltered in a towering grove of ebony trees.
There are four thatched chalets at Nsolo, each built on raised wooden platforms. The chalets are individually designed, and blend in beautifully with their surroundings. Inside there is plenty of space and areas for storage, and there is a large reed door leading through to the open air bathroom. In the front of each room is a large wooden deck with comfortable chairs, perfect for relaxing in the afternoons.
Children under the age of 12 years are not accepted at Nsolo Camp, as this is the minimum age for walking. Children aged 12 to 16 are able to walk if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. As the camp is in a wildlife-dense area, children are asked to be with an adult at all times.
The central chitenje (sitting area) has plenty of space to relax in. There is a small camp library with reference books to enhance your knowledge of the local area. and the bar. There is a water hole in front of camp providing endless game watching opportunities.
Nsolo Bush Camp is situated in one of the South Luangwa's more remote areas and hence there is only a limited network of roads in this area. As a result most of the game viewing activities revolve around walking safaris although short night drives are usually offered as well.
When to travel
Nsolo Bush Camp is open from May to November.
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
Luangwa Valley, Zambia
Nsolo Bush Camp is located on a sweeping bend of the Luwi sand river in the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia.
How to get there
10-hour international flight from London to Lusaka followed by a flight of 1-hour in a light aircraft to Mfuwe Airport. Mfuwe Airport is the gateway to South Luangwa National Park. From there it's an easy game drive lasting about 3 hours through the park to Nsolo camp.