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“Fantastic Property”
Review of Tena Tena Camp

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Tena Tena Camp
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 6 Contributor
62 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Fantastic Property”
Reviewed June 4, 2012

We stayed here for 2 nights, and what a gem it was. Staff, guides, chef,cleaners EVERYONE - so very helpful and friendly.

Our guide was Bertram, who was patient and done his best to find me lions (as this was the last leg of our trip and still hadn't seen any!). On our last game drive, he received a call over the radio telling him the lions were near to camp - so with a quick turn around we managed to see them ;o)

The 'tent' was spacious and we had been allocated the honeymoon suite, which was lovely and had an additional seating area. All tents are open during the day, and zipped up at night. Elephants and hippo's regularly visit. We had an elephant one night, munching the branches outside our tent - far from being daunting this made our visit to the valley more special, as you ARE in the wild with the animals. The food is excellent - a great variety considering you are in the middle of the bush. A great selection of complimentary drinks, which are always available.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this place - and I do feel we will return - as many others do. So many other guests are returning clients, and I can see why.

Room Tip: Honeymoon suite ;o)
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank paula f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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58 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Bend, Oregon via Anchorage, AK
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2010

The attention to detail, depth of knowledge (Bertram, our guide, rocks) and setting on the South Luangwa make this such a fabulous camp. Next year the camp will be at a new stunning location with a view of the river, under mahogany trees. We have confidence it will be great, too. The variety of wildlife here is staggering. Night drives with a canopy of stars, an escort of bats overhead hunting and the guides using white lights made these our most memorable photographic opportunities. Food was great, Lucy a pure delight and service outstanding. Tena Tena is the perfect blend of bush and comfort.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank AKDogartist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rheinberg, Germany
Level 5 Contributor
36 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2010

My wife and I stayed at Tena Tena Camp for three nights june 06th – 09th 2010.

The camp is located at a beautiful spot along the Luangwa River. It offers perfect accomodation in maybe the best - because most authentic – tents we’ve ever seen. Big tents with zippers instead of door frames like most other tents have with an extra dressing room and an outdoor bathroom with separated areas for flush-toilet, sink and shower.

The tents offer king-size beds and a big terrace with very comfortable chairs and a view over a water covered area that gives some good entertainement at night. We had a Hippo right before our tent eating there night for night. Loud but we loved it.

You can’t see the river from the tents because they are built with the back to it. But from the bar you have perfect river views and they have very comfortable and lots of chairs there. A good place with very friendly staff.

At all the service at Tena Tena was perfect and all the staff was absolute fantastic people. Let me name just two of them here: Our guide Nyambe who has such a great knowledge and Lucy who just started working there to take care for the guests. She would make the sun shine on a rainy day.

Food comes four times a day and was always very good. Early breakfast started at 06.00 am with toast, cereals and porridge as a starter for the morning game drive. At noon they served lunch with 2 courses warm/cold and salads/vegetables, fresh bread … High tea came with tasty cakes. Dinner was served in different styles. One night we had a so called Mongolian Barbecue (very tasty) sitting around the fire place and on the other days dinner was served at the plate on the platform at the lagoon. Always good with starters and something sweet for desert. At the day we arrived they had a late arrival lunch prepared for us.

But what counts for a safari holiday is not only the accomodation but game driving.

We where lucky ones right from the start. On the transfer from Mfuwe airport to Tena Tena we had our first leopard sighting close to the camp even before we arrived there. That was great. And we saw that leopard three times that day. Unfortunately we did not see any big cat and no lions during the next days. But we had lots of Hippos (of course), Giraffes, Buffalos, Elephants Jackals, Hyenas and many other animals with good interacting.
The only thing that really disappointed us was the fact that there is hunting just across the river and that you can hear the gunshots during the game drives. Sad feelings coming up in moments like that. And as Nyambe our guide told us that the gunshots are the reason that the lions walk more and more out of this area. They walk away from the danger that they feel instinctively. But Robin Pope Safari as the owner of the camp is not to blame for the hunting.

Tena Tena is a great camp for a perfect stay in a fantastic landscape with lots of game around.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank ralfcho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2010

I had just turned 18 when my parents took me and my brother on safari with them. It was a once in a lifetime treat for my mum's 50th and I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to go with them to such a brilliant place. It is so well hidden within the trees, it is a fantastic setting which I'll never forget. First we went to nsefu camp, which was also exceptional, then onto Tena Tena. I've never seen anything like it. I loved the tents and the night drives were especially good! Seeing a hyaena consume a puku, and a group of lions eat a warthog was amazing. and I had been hoping to see a leopard all week, and on the very last night we found one!
The best aspect about this safari was how quiet it was, it was literally maybe our truck and one other truck in the same vicinity at any time, not 10 trucks following one lion as is often found in Kenya. The guides are also lovely people. One name will always stick in my head - Kiki. Such a funny guy, scared my dad half to death taking us within 5 or so metres of elephants and lions. I love the open air bathrooms at Tena Tena too. You can stand showering as well as pop your head over the wall to watch the impala/elephants/warthogs pass by. The visit to a school is also of valuable experience. We then flew to Club Makokola in Malawi afterwards, but in all honesty, it was nothing compared to Tena Tena. I will certainly be returning here in future, on a honeymoon would be perfect.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Jess H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2009

We had an extremely enjoyable stay at Tena Tena and were looked after very well by Emma and the rest of the staff. Lovely tents with nice views over the lagoon. We watched warthogs, baboons and water birds from our porch between game drives. Enjoyable game drives with Nyambe, our excellent guide, although very quiet on the preditor front (but that's the ups & downs of safari). We had a very pleasant & informative walking safari one morning. Other highlights were the visit by boat to see the Carmine bee eater colony, a brilliant night view of a honey badger catching an eel and finally getting to see a Pel's fishing owl!

Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Cilla101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2009

Tena Tena is one of the best experiences ever!! If you love the bush and would like to have a fantastic safari, this place is a must. The tents are great, food is incredible (it can compete with any restaurant in Cape Town) and the park is as safari should be, as unspoiled as possible.

I was born in Malawi and my parents always talked about Zambia and Malawi and esspecially Luangwa. For my honeymoon this was a must.

I would go to Tena Tena (and the other Robin Pope facilities) anytime if I could afford it!!!

  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Dutchman1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pensacola, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
478 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 244 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2009

We had heard about the Robin Pope Camps as we toured Botswana one year, and then Namibia the next . . . people would pause, and then say "Ahh, then there is Tena Tena . . . " We could hardly wait, seeing their faces when they said 'Tena Tena'. The first time we booked with RPS, we went to Nkwali, then Nsefu, and then Tena Tena - and Tena Tena, indeed, made my little heart sing.

First, I love the tents - stand up and walk around bungalows, but still tents, with tent flap windows, and an entire front area that is cinched up during the day to watch the elephants as they come through. I love the kelim bed coverings, and the hardwood night stands, and the hand-crafted ladders for the towels in the open air bath suite we shared with tiny little frogs and occasional other critters. I loved having our own deck area where we could sit during the down time between lunch and tea and the afternoon drive, hubby snoozing a little, maybe watching elephant, maybe birds . . . You are surrounded by loving attention to detail when you are staying at Tena Tena.

I love the waking to the smell of the woodfire heating up the water, and the cool morning air as we down our porriage and fruit and head out on a hike or game drive.

For some reason, the night sky, out watching the lions massing for a hunt always seems clearer and more sparkly than anywhere else. One night, sleeping soundly from the adventure packed days, my husband heard a crunching sound and opened the tent window flap quietly to see - and just 3 feet away was a hippo! We watched, spellbound. The next night, yes, there he was back again, and we watched a few minutes, but headed back to bed. The third night it was "oh! The hippo is back!" and we rolled over and went right back to sleep.

We visited Tena Tena again, after a walking safari with Robin Pope, (which, if you ever have the opportunity, is a trip of a lifetime, walking with a living legend, he doesn't even know how much he knows. I had asked about how the Zambian cheese-makers were doing; we had a selection of Zambian cheeses our first trip, and to my delight, the Zambian cheeses showed up on the walking-safari menu the very next day. WOW.) Again, it was one thrill after another; this time a mother cheetah and her sweet baby. The cooing of the emerald spotted dove, and the thrill of mating leopards.

This last trip, our third trip to the RPS camps, we had our son and his wife with us. We had just arrived in camp, when we heard the sound of elephant coming - the breaking branches, the swish swish swish as they brush by the leaves . . . the four of us gathered in our tent, silently watching the magic of the elephant family crossing the meadow in front of us, oblivious to our wonder. It was a moment I will never forget, my daughter-n-law smiling and saying "we've caught the RPS virus, too!"

Tena Tena is a kaleidoscopic experience, glimpses of cheetah here, elephant there, the plunging kingfisher and the Pel's owl, and the delightful evening conversations at table, a cold beer, a surprise cook out, a special event at sunset - Tena Tena weaves a magic spell, compelling you to return, again and again, for another taste of the magic.

  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Intlxpatr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tena Tena Camp

Property: Tena Tena Camp
Address: | Near Nsefu, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Location: Zambia > South Luangwa National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 44 Specialty Lodging in South Luangwa National Park
Hotel Class:4 star — Tena Tena Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The South Luangwa National Park marks the end of the Great Rift Valley, one of the last remaining unspoilt wilderness areas and possibly the finest wildlife sanctuary in Africa - a claim which is not an overstatement. It is through this 9050sq kilometer National Park that the great meandering Luangwa River runs, with its ox bow lagoons, tributaries, riverine supported woodlands and large plains, all of which play host to huge concentrations of game including elephant, buffalo, leopard, lion, giraffe, hippo and over 450 species of birds. Situated in the exclusive Nsefu Sector Tena Tena sits nestled under a magnificent and thick grove of mahogany trees. On a double tiered river bank each room enjoys its own private view onto a long stretch of the Luangwa River. Tena Tena is synonymous with Robin Pope Safaris as it was the first camp which Robin opened and ran and has become a favourite amongst many safari lovers over the years. Tena Tena when translated means “temporary home” and this is the feeling that we have tried to emulate throughout the camp but with a twist of luxury and comfort. The six tents are very private with plenty of space between them and each with its own window onto a magnificent stretch of the Luangwa River where the hippos wallow and the lions roam. The en-suite bathrooms are spacious and open to the elements, designed to copy nature with curved walls around the trees and simple subtle colours and a view from every facility. Each tent is specifically located to maximize privacy both in the rooms, bathrooms and on the verandahs with comfortable sitting areas and excellent views onto the river. The main area moulded around a large termite mound and mahogany tree with an old hippo run adapted into our path between the different levels is shaded by an enormous tent strung up between leadwood poles. With plenty of different seating areas there is space to relax and unwind whilst reflecting on the day's safari, before sitting down to a beautiful dinner on the banks of the Luangwa, under the stars and enjoying the sounds of the African night. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tena Tena Camp Zambia/South Luangwa National Park

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