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“Not up to expectations” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Pioneer Lodge & Camp

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Pioneer Lodge & Camp
PO Box 282 | Private Bag E10, Lusaka, Zambia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 45 Specialty Lodging in Lusaka
Certificate of Excellence 2014
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Not up to expectations”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2012

I would echo everything the previous reviewer said. It is a 25 minute drive from the airport, much of it on very unpleasant extremely bumpy road. The chalets described as luxury are anything but. Granted they are large, but are they are very run down, and depressing. They seem expensive for what they are. The idea that this place is out in the country sounded nice, but in fact there is nothing attractive about the grounds.

The included food consisted of a choice of four dishes, no starter or dessert, and was not very appetising.

We would recommend trying somewhere else, even it's just for an overnight stay on the way home.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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71 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    24
    32
    10
    3
    2
See reviews for
12
31
5
5
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Amman, Jordan
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2012

I know Lusaka isn't cheap, and this is no exception - particularly for what you get. "Luxury" chalets are cement floored rooms/bathrooms with no doors to private areas. Everything very old. Quite a drive in/out and charges for this very high considering the type of transport provided and where you are. Try in Lusaka proper where you will get regular hot water and a choice of (decent) food.

Room Tip: There are no 'good' rooms
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

Stayed 1 night in June 2012 after a safari holiday in Zambia - used it as an overnight stay prior to flight home early the next day.
Variety of accommodation on offer from camping pitches to luxury chalets - we stayed in the latter which was very comfortable. Friendly and helpful owner. Pickups to & from airport worked seamlessly. The advantage is that you don't have to brave the chaotic Lusaka city centre traffic to get to the airport since Pioneer camp is a short distance out of town. Food limited but cheap and edible. Nice relaxed bar area and the whole camp is secure and fenced.
Would definitely use it again for the same reasons stated above.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2012

We camped at Pioneer Camp a few days ago, the second time we have done so. It's a good place to spend the night, although there is not much reason to linger. Camping is pretty cheap (although not as cheap as advertised on the website!), while rooms are not. Food is excellent, but pricey (roughly USD9 for spaghetti and USD16 for a large steak). Wifi is available, but was so slow when we were there that it was hardly worth the effort. Showers are very warm if not quite hot, and the pressure is good, but as other reviewers have noted the bathrooms are very dark. All in all it is a solid, decent place to stay, although it could use a bit of freshness and sprucing up. We also had more mosquitoes around the bar/lounge area (starting as early as 2:30pm) than anywhere else we have been in Africa in the past year and a half. They were literally swarming around the place! But we don't regret staying there, and the food was very tasty indeed.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Doncaster, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2012

Stayed one night for $5usd per person camping. The showers are good (and hot) although painted dark so its pretty hard to see what you are doing. The grounds have limited flat areas for overlanders and camping but we found a level pitch quite easily. The bar area is OK for a drink but lacks many power points for recharging your laptop while sitting taking a drink. You can recharge it on the bar.

There are no power points in the camp grounds but it does have the odd light which are switched on at dusk. There are no Braai/BBQ facilities at the pitches.

3G/3.5G signal on MTM is limited and we had trouble getting a good signal in most of the camp. There is enough signal for a call but for 3G/3.5G Internet you struggle. They seemed to have WiFi in the bar area but we didn't try it out or know if its for public use.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Norfolk
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2012

We stayed in a luxury cabin at Pioneer camp in September 2011 in order to catch the early morning BA flight back to London the next morning after our safari in South Luangwa Park.
The service was very efficient. We were picked up from the airport on time and taken back the next morning in good time to catch our flight home and this was included in our package.
We arrived in the evening and left early the next morning so did not spend much time here and it does not look like a place we would want to use as anything other than an essential overnight stop, but for this purpose we much prefered it to a hotel option.
The room was large and clean and decorated very well. The bed was large and very firm but we both slept well ready for our flight home.
We had an evening meal and breakfast pre-bboked as part of the package. The meal was very good and the Pioneer steak was huge and tasty (it had been recommended to us). Breakfast was served just before we left for the airport.
We were not sure what to expect there and the drive up to it, partly along a dusty track and then into a obviously poor area made us anxious, but once inside the camp everthing was good. After being on safari for a week the drive along the track was not an issue at all !!
Overall a good option if you have to do an overnight in Lusaka.

Room Tip: The Luxury cabin was a good option and was receommended to us by our tour operator.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Africa
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2011

Certainly the best place in/near Lusaka if you are headed east, or coming back from Chipata , Mfuwe, South Luangwa etc.

Its quite close to the airport.

I camped there last year, and this year tried out the basic bungalows and also the more upmarket bungalows.

All fine. The upmarket bungalows were quite nice.

I have also stayed at Eureka camp on the other side of Lusaka, and Pioneer is MUCH better.

The only drawback is the 6 or 7 km on the bad gravel road to get there, from the main road.. but its certainly better than the noisy and/or more expensive places in Lusaka.

For the recors : I have stayed at Chachacha backpackers ..now Lusaka backpackers, Eureka camp and Pioneer camp. I prefer Pioneer.

Friendly bar. Free wifi .... but very slow.

Breakfast was just normal, but slow. If you plan to leave early rather just skip breakfast.. otherwise you will get away an hour later than you thought you would.

Our group was consisted of 8 people, so for dinner and breakfast we got the wooden benches.. uncomfortable. Dinner was very average. We preferred Mikes kitchen at the Arcades shopping centre.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pioneer Lodge & Camp

Address: PO Box 282 | Private Bag E10, Lusaka, Zambia
Location: Zambia > Lusaka Province > Lusaka
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 45 Specialty Lodging in Lusaka
Number of rooms: 15
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