Mchenja Bush Camp
South Luangwa National Park, Luangwa Valley, Zambia
At a Glance
Take an exhilarating game drive up onto Lion Plain - which lives up to its name
Explore further afield with an exciting game drive to Fish Eagle Lagoon, amazing for wildlife
Relax in Mchenja's bar, cleverly designed and built around a fallen sausage tree
Dip your toe into Mchenja's plunge pool, lovely and refreshing on hot safari days
Keep your eyes open for Mchenja's resident Pel's fishing owl - the calls echo through the camp at night
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Mchenja Bush Camp is open from May to October .
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 drier 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.
Call us on to start planning your vacation to Mchenja Bush Camp or take a look at our itineraries to Luangwa Valley
Mchenja is set beneath a magnificent grove of towering ebony trees on the banks of the Luangwa River. The camp comprises five stylishly designed tents each under its own thatched roof and each with private en-suite shower and bathroom facility.
Mchenja Bush Camp is Norman Carr Safaris' most luxurious bush camp. Set in a towering grove of ebony trees, and overlooking a vast stretch of the Luangwa River, the camp has just five tented and thatched rooms. The tents are octagonally shaped, with a claw-foot bath in the dressing area and each has an open-air bathroom. Set far enough apart for privacy, the tents have mosquito screen windows, with curtains which can be pulled across, and wrought iron storage. Three of the tents are on one side of the main area, and two are on the other side.
The camp's main area is creatively designed around a fallen ebony tree, utilising the trunk as the main support for the thatched roof. Inside, on highly polished floors, you will find a dining area, a small but well stocked bar, comfortable seating and a plunge pool which is gloriously refreshing during the hotter months. In front of the main area is a fire pit surrounded by chairs and there is a separate guest loo off to the side.
The game viewing in this area is spectacular with superb areas such as Lion Plain and Fish Eagle Lagoon very close by. There is a high population of both lion and leopard (the latter in particular use the ebony groves to hunt quietly) in the area, and wild dog are sometimes spotted. Guests can choose to walk or drive - we recommend walking in the mornings when the temperature is cool and the animals are more active, and driving in the afternoons so you can extend through to a night drive and find the nocturnal animals.
Mchenja combines perfectly with its sister camps - Luwi, the most remote of the Norman Carr Camps, Nsolo, which is also on the Luwi sand river and Kakuli, which is on the confluence of the Luwi and the main Luangwa River.
The camp comprises five stylishly designed tents each under its own thatched roof. They all have superb decks out front overlooking the beautiful Luangwa river. The tents have inside Victorian style baths with views of the river and an refreshing outside shower room. All of the safari tents will be brand new for the 2016 safari season and two of the tents are linked to create a two bedroom family room.
Children under the age of 12 years are not accepted at Mchenja Bush 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.
There is a small pool alongside the bar within the thatched main chitenje, allowing guests to seek cool refuge after their morning's safari activities.
Activities at Mchenja all revolve mostly around game viewing and guests can choose whether they want to view wildlife on foot or from an open specially adapted vehicle. The game viewing in this area is superb and night drives are usually very worthwhile.
Meg Shepro (Staff)
Mchenja is a cozy camp with kind and welcoming staff. My stay here was both relaxing with time spent cooling off in the pool and exciting as I woke to the sound of lions calling before heading out for a morning walking Safari. The service is accommodating without being over the top. This camp is ideal for those looking for a luxury bush camp experience!
Louisa Verney (Staff)
Mchenja is a bush camp with a few extra luxuries, but without loosing the Zambian bush camp charm. The five tented rooms are spacious and I loved that they are lined in cream so they feel light and airy. The tents have a lovely outside stone bathroom perfect to wash of the dust of the day under the stars and there is even a bath in the tent for those who want to have a longer soak.
Mchenja is a lovely camp for those who want to be able to combine seeing the quantity of game from a game drive, including getting up close to the lions which the area is known for, and for walking safaris, to learn about the smaller things from the birds to tracking.
Game Drives in the South Luangwa
Game drives are the most common way of exploring the African bush. A vehicle allows you to cover distance quickly and comfortably and offers visitors the best opportunity of getting very close to wildlife in a safe and controlled way.
Green Season Game Drives
The Green Season, Rainy Season, Emerald Season, Secret Season - what ever you decide to call it, this is a beautiful time of year to be on safari. Activities are rarely disrupted by weather and the bush is full of life.
Mulberry Mongoose workshop
Take a trip to the workshop of Mulberry Mongoose, a local company which employs local women to create fantastic hand-made jewelry and accessories, while giving back to the community and the environment.
If you get the opportunity to head out after sunset you should take it. The bush transforms under the cover of darkness as the nocturnal wildlife gets going. Using a spotlight your guide will scan the bush for eye-shine picking out some great action.
Private photographic guide South Luangwa
Spend a day (or more) in the company of a professional wildlife photographer to hone your skills and make sure you take back some fantastic photos of your safari in the South Luangwa.
Location & directions
South Luangwa National Park, Luangwa Valley, Zambia
Mchenja Bush camp is set within an ebony grove, on a bend of the Luangwa River, South Luangwa National Park, Eastern Province, Zambia.
How to get there
10-hour international flight to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Lusaka. After a 70-minute flight from Lusaka, you arrive at Mfuwe Airport where you are met for a game drive transfer to camp, through South Luangwa National Park which takes approximately 2 hours.