(7 chalets, cottage, camping) Palabana Rd, PO Box 310029, Lusaka 15301; cell: 096 432700; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.pioneercampzambia.com
Owned by Chris and Beatrice Wienand (who also run a game ranch in the Luangwa and have started Chamafumba Camp on the Kafue), Pioneer is about 20 minutes' drive from the centre of Lusaka or 15 from the airport. To get there, drive east on the Great East Rd, then turn right 3km after the turn-off to the airport. It's a further 5km from there on a gravel road, and is clearly signposted. Rumours that the president is buying a property nearby have a lot to do with the fact that the first section of Palabana Rd has been tarred. If you don't have transport, take a minibus from Manda Hill to Chelston, by the water tower (approx US$0.30/Kw1,500), from where you can get a taxi for about US$6/Kw30,000. Taxi transfers to/from town or the airport cost US$14/Kw70,000 for up to 4 people. If you want to get into town, Pioneer offers free lifts every morning, Mon–Fri.
Pioneer has two simple 3-bed thatched chalets which share a toilet and separate shower, a family chalet of a similar standard with its own facilities, two 'safari' chalets with en-suite facilities, and a self-contained 2-bedroom cottage. There is also a large grassy camping site with plenty of shade and a clean ablution block – all in about 30 acres of woodland surrounded by a discreet electric fence, beyond which is a 6km walking trail. The grounds are great for children, with play equipment, a trampoline and a small, fenced pool, but it's not just families that come here. Pioneer attracts a real mix of travellers, which makes for plenty of interesting conversation around the bar, and its rural location means that you'll wake to the sound of Heugelin's robin rather than the blare of a horn.
Barbecue packs are available, as are fridge/freezer space, ice, and laundry facilities, if you need them. The large, thatched, 'clubhouse' bar has comfy chairs, a dartboard and satellite TV. It serves snacks, and meals can also be provided on request. Expect a full breakfast to be about US$4, a light lunch around US$2, and dinner US$7.