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“Robin's house - great family option” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Nkwali Camp

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Nkwali Camp
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3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Robin's private land, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia   |  
Hotel amenities
Mkushi, Zambia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Robin's house - great family option”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

The Luangwa Valley is not necessarily the easiest place to take 3 young children (6-10 years) - but Robin's House at Nkwali is a great option. It is separate from the main lodge and you have your own dedicated guide/driver and vehicle so your timetable is at your own discretion. There is a small plunge pool as well far enough away from the main camp not to worry about disturbing other guests.

Service is attentive but not intrusive. The house is plenty spacious and well designed for the heat in September - both indoors and outdoors were good seating areas. As expected so far from a supermarket, the food was simple, but it was always freshly prepared and very edible.

The guide was well trained and professional, good with the kids but the game was a bit shy on our visit. This was partly made up for by meeting a family of lion as we left the lodge for the airport.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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62 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Cape Town, South Africa
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

My husband and I just returned from 4 nights at the breathtakingly beautiful Nkwali Camp and I highly recommend this camp, and the overall experience - it was spectacular.

We travel often in Africa and have stayed at numerous camps, but there is something incredibly magical about Nkwali. The Camp is so restful and comfortable and the staff there are so friendly and accommodating. We met Daudi, Nyambe, Jeff, Amos, Jonathan, Thomas and our hysterically funny guide, Fred. He made each game drive a treat and we laughed our heads off at his antics and his sense of humour.

The camp is beautifully appointed and has wonderful open spaces, with a gorgeous swimming pool. Whilst we lay there a herd of elephants came down to the lagoon to drink in front of us and this was just one of the very special sightings we had whilst staying there.

The food is incredible and I love that they time their lunches early (11h30), so you have plenty siesta or resting time before the game drives at 16h00.

I really loved our stay and was very sad to leave. We had the most amazing experience there, with memories to treasure forever.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

Loved this place. Great setting on the river -- really loud with hippos and bugs and baboons but that's what you go there for, right? Staff was top notch and safari guides were excellent. Food was really really good -- especially the baked goods. Really enjoyed the experience. Must report that we did have a burglar during our visit. Supposedly "never happens". This was handled very professionally but still made us look at the open air cabanas a bit differently after it happened. Even so, was a wonderful experience and I would recommend this place. Just sleep with your valuables INSIDE your mosquito net. Also of note, there are night watchmen who guard the grounds...no doubt working harder now after our incident.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andorra la Vella, Andorra
Top Contributor
456 reviews 456 reviews
88 hotel reviews
Reviews in 130 cities Reviews in 130 cities
249 helpful votes 249 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

We stayed in Robins House which is amazing and very very smart. We ate in the camp with everyone as we wanted to slum it.....only joking with some americans we met at Nsefu before

This part of the park is busier than Nsefui but you will see all the main animals , we even saw one leopard dead after the alpha male killed it. We also say a huge antelope it had dragged up a tree.

The camp is great, the service is wonderful and I particularly enjoyed the guide Obi who did a wonderful job who was very well informed on the political history of the region

Well do RPS a great place......but can I say I preferred the solitude of Nsefu

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Logtown, CA USA
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

What a wonderful experience. The accomodations were excellent, the food beyond that. The staff however are what makes this visit so memorable. Everyone took such care that we were satisfied with our experience. An elephant adds so much to one's dining experience. Terrific place. Steve and Charlee Gumbiner

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

We stayed here for a couple of nights before doing a walking safari and it was a delight. At night the elephants wonder around eating the fruit that have fallen off the trees while hippos come in to graze on the grass. Kiki the Camp Manager was our guide and could not have been more helpful and even met us when we on the way into the camp and took us off for sundowner...

They wake you at 5:30 (with drums) for a game drive....

They did excellent food and it was a great scene setter for the walking safaris up in the north of the park.

Room Tip: There are only a few and all have great views so I would not worry. Beds are great but there plenty...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norfolk, UK
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
126 hotel reviews
Reviews in 114 cities Reviews in 114 cities
511 helpful votes 511 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2012

Nkwali is often the first stop on a Robin Pope Safari as it’s an easy and interesting drive from Mfuwe International Airport. The only drawback to the camp is that it isn’t actually within the National Park which adds probably an hour to the length of game drives and, for some bizarre reason, animals seem to know when the NP begins and ends. Apart from this minor oxpeckering observation, Nkwali is a wonderful place to spend a day or two, a sort of paradigm for an upscale safari lodge which eschews all the rather vulgar luxuries that many Kenyan and South African camps go in for. It’s smart, rustic and simple, all you need in the bush, really.

The setting is lovely - on a wide sweep of the Luangwa river that glitters all day long and is honking, snorting and splashingful of hippos and crocodiles. All sorts of life can be seen on the far shore while the camp itself teems with exotic birds and opportunistic monkeys. At night, elephant and hippo can wander around looking for the bar so you are tightly zipped up in your room.

You get lots of space here but nowhere to put anything. Storage space is minimal though I guess people bring minimal stuff with them on trips like this - most of our luggage was camera equipment and binoculars. The rooms looks beautiful with their soaring thatched roofs, cool white and wood plus bold splashes of fabric color. The ablutionary zone is spectacular - wash basins, shower and lavatory in separate sections with good water pressure and hot, hot, hot water. Electricity is 24 hours. Bear in mind that all parts of your living space are open-air which means, in June, it can get ABSOLUTELY FREEZING at night, so be prepared. At the same time, we didn’t notice any annoying flying things and didn’t hear a single mosquito. In fact, we didn’t hear mozzies anywhere across the three RPS camps we stayed at.

There is a pretty covered dining area near the small swimming pool and a BBQ area near the bar. Food was plentiful and well-executed considering the remoteness of the place, though the slice of toast and/or thin porridge for breakfast was a bit of a shock. Minor quibbles aside, we loved this place - the location, the style and the wonderful staff made for a great start to our trip.

Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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 Nkwali Camp

Address: Robin's private land, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Location: Zambia > South Luangwa National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #27 of 41 Specialty Lodging in South Luangwa National Park
Hotel Class:3 star — Nkwali Camp 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nkwali Camp is small, taking only 12 guests, with a great atmosphere. The rooms on the banks of the Luangwa River have ensuite bathrooms with showers open to the skies. The hippos will serenade the dinner on the deck during moonlit dinners and elephant will feed outside the rooms at night. Open all year we boat directly into the park. Robin Pope Safaris has highly trained guides, new vehicles and a ratio of one guide/vehicle per 4 guests. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Nkwali Camp Hotel South Luangwa National Park
Nkwali Camp Zambia/South Luangwa National Park

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