(6 two-person tents) Tel (South Africa): +27 11 234 1747; fax: +27 11 234 1748; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.mutemwa.com
On the Upper Zambezi, a little over 50km north of Sesheke, the turn-off to Mutemwa is neatly signposted (GPS:TUMUTE), from where the lodge itself
(GPS:MUTEMW) is only about 1.6km away. Mutemwa started in 1996 and is well known in South African sporting circles as it is owned and run by Gavin Johnson, the former Springbok rugby player, and his wife, Penny.
Built on the riverbank, this is the smartest lodge in the area. Its clientele is mainly upmarket groups (up to 12 people, and usually of South African origin) coming on fishing trips. Although it's possible to drive here, most groups charter 14-seater planes from Livingstone to Mutemwa's own landing strip, near the lodge. Its remote location makes transfers like this relatively cheap for a large group, but sadly rather more expensive for smaller numbers of people thinking of flying in themselves.
All of Mutemwa's smart, Meru-style tents are spread out on individual teak decks, along the water's edge. They are shaded by the remaining tall trees in the riverine forest, and surrounded on the banks by clipped lawns. Each tent has a flush toilet and (gas-heated) shower in its en-suite bathroom, and a small sitting area at the front overlooking the Zambezi.
Under a large central thatched roof, Mutemwa shelters a bar, lounge, dining area and small curio shop; nearby is a swimming pool. Dinner is served in the boma area, where individual guest tables are set around the fire; breakfast and lunch are served on the lower deck overlooking the river. Expect a good standard of food.
Activities centre on guided fishing trips, though birding trips and sundowner cruises are also on the menu as the camp has six good motor boats and guides available – as are canoeing excursions.
About 60km out of Sesheke, and just after Mutemwa Island Lodge, you pass through Kalabolelwa, where a track leads off left into Sioma Ngwezi National Park – although I couldn't find this when I last passed this way. Two further camps lie off the road north of here: