Mukambi Safari Lodge
(10 two-person chalets) P Bag E523, Lusaka; tel: 01 292693; fax: 292696. www.mukambi.com (GPS: MUKAMB)
The turn-off to Mukambi is signposted on the main Lusaka–Mongu tar road, about 9km east of the main Hook Bridge over the Kafue. The camp is 2km from the main road; so it's easily accessed with a normal 2WD vehicle. The thatch-on-brick chalets (five twin and four double, plus a family villa) are solidly built using beautifully carved wooden doors. Inside, the windows are mosquito-netted, and the décor is consciously ethnic with the odd carving or object d'art, and murals on the walls. The clean tiled bathrooms have showers heated by solar power.
The central dining/bar area is also well designed and quite smart, like a hotel. It overlooks the Kafue River and the national park from the GMA, a view shared by the accommodation, the swimming pool, and the large sundeck. A range of walking, boating and 4WD game-viewing trips are available – as is a conference room for work trips! Fishing is also possible, with rods and tackle for hire and a large, stable pontoon-type boat for use as a moving platform.
Mukambi is run by Edjan and Robyn van der Heide, who have built it up considerably in the past few years, and are working hard to raise its standards still further. It's a well-built lodge that appears to have concentrated its efforts, successfully, on being comfortable. They claim the food is the best for 270km – which may be an exaggeration, but shows what they're striving for. There is reasonable wildlife around the Chunga area (where they drive), usually including some lovely herds of elephant, although I don't think that the overall game densities here quite match those found in the north of the park. That said, it is a lot more accessible, and Mukambi certainly makes a good stopover as you pass through on the Great West Road. They have plans to start a small tented camp on the Busanga Plains.
Edjan and Robyn are also involved with starting and running operations in Blue Lagoon National Park – although these are taking sometime to really get off the ground.Mukambi Bushcamp
(5 two-person tents) Contact Mukambi Safari Lodge
Mukambi also has a bushcamp on the Kafue River, a short wander upstream from the main lodge. This can accommodate ten people in five large dome-like tents with sewn-in groundsheets. Each tent has two proper beds, mosquito-mesh windows, bedside tables and mats on the floor – and is shaded by a large thatch sun-shade. All of these share an ablution block. There are full braai facilities and camp staff are on hand if required. Mukambi Campsite
Contact Mukambi Safari Lodge
A short wander downstream from the lodge there is a pleasant campsite, with clean ablutions. Campers are welcome to eat at the lodge if they make an arrangement in advance.Mukambi Houseboat
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Normally moored by the lodge, the Houseboat Eva has bunks to sleep four people comfortably (two double bedrooms and a compact toilet/shower area). It normally comes with a cook and a captain, who will look after the boat and cook for you. The pace is up to you, but it can be used as far north as the Kafwala rapids, and south to the rapids beside Kaingu lodge, mooring beside the east bank at night. (The staff normally camp on the bank!)