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“Superb Sausage Tree Camp”
Review of Sausage Tree Camp

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Sausage Tree Camp
Certificate of Excellence
England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Superb Sausage Tree Camp”
Reviewed July 22, 2013

We stayed here for the second time in 2 years recently. We upgraded to a suite and it was worth it. A beautiful camp on the banks of the Zambezi, Sausage Tree is well run with excellent guiding, hosting and accommodation. The Game viewing on foot, on the river and by Land Cruiser is top notch and we had another great time. The journey there is a real adventure: flying into the dirt strip at Jeki then a short ride to the river and a 30 minute boat ride up the Zambezi to the camp. From our room we could see across the river shallows watching elephants and bird life as well as the hippos, crocs and buffalos along the river bank.

Room Tip: The suites are great but the "standard" rooms are still terrific.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank SuffolkBert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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109 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2013

Four of us stayed in the Kigelia House tented suite in mid-June 2013 and we definitely felt the WOW factor! Two en-suite rooms, either side of the very large lounge / bar / dining area, with plenty of comfy leather sofa space and a plunge pool right on the river edge. Hippos and crocs right below the balcony. Plenty of great touches, down to the ability to make your own favourite drink before dinner at your own bar, and being woken to a cuppa at 6am by your muchinda.

Alan and Nikki are the perfect hosts as well as running a friendly team with no fuss. Food was excellent and different. Our timescale meant we were pretty active (canoe safari down the Chifungulu channel in the morning; afternoon game drive which turned into an evening one - complete with a leopard and lioness hunting with her cubs) but you could easily spend a lazy day watching the river and its inhabitants go by from the delightful bar or even the sizeable pool.

We self-drove in too - an experience! The trip down from the Mukamba Gate is a fantastic (long) day in itself. The track is just passable with a decent high-clearance 4x4. Just watch out for the surly ZAWA guard if you leave via the Chongwe Gate and make sure you have receipts for your park fees.... Next time I hope to fly in!

Room Tip: Ask for one by the river.... (Oh, they all are!)
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Marcus_Holden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
93 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2012

Wow!
Sausage tree camp is reached by 1 hour flt from Lusaka and then a 30 minute motor boat trip down the Zambezi River! Some start. Much of the camp activity is on the river.
The camp itself is perched right on the river amongst some shallows with resident hippos, frequent elephant and buffalo crossing, watched while you're having coffee or something a little stronger while eating or just relaxing.
Our room was immense for any place, whether it be a castle, a 5* city hotel, but especially for a 'camp'. Writing area and bar, king bed, sitting area, bath (2 sinks), outdoor showers...and a large (very cold) private pool!!!!!! They are just completing building a pool for the full camp.
The best staff in any safari camp ever, managers (Nikki and Alan, Steve and Merrill?), guides (Marshall), everyone, and we've taken a few. They arranged for canoe trip up a beautiful stream with lots of game (hippo, crocs, elephant, great # of bird species; lunch IN the river; we dined in the room one night - a surprise from the staff who had filled the bath as well; dinner in the bush; fishing - my wife caught a 10lb Tigerfish (I only caught a 4).
Our guide was Marshall and what a joy he was - whether fishing, canoe, or game drive - knowledthe last day we finally caught up with a pride of 10 lions. The terrain is so varied - lush to dry, and a large number of animals - not like Tanzania where it's wide open, more in an environment where the animals still rule. We saw NO other cars while on drives except once another from the same camp!!!!
Best surprise: While prepping to take an outdoor shower a good sized elephant decided to walk by 0 it did withing 10' of the shower - walked on by the pool and thru the camp later!
Best Surprise #2 and #3: dinner in the bush; lunch in the river
Worst Moment -leaving (the only bad moment), but at least it was in the boat back to the airstrip!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank DillyScarlet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2012

We visited Sausage Tree camp in July, 2012. It was our third camp and provided some unique experiences along with great food, service and accommodations. Our hosts, Nikki and Alan were very welcoming, friendly and helpful. We really enjoyed getting to know them. No need or want was overlooked. Highlights of our stay included a canoe trip down a stream full of hippos and crocs. Including several hippos who didn't want to let us pass. A canoe was an amazing vantage point to observe the wildlife. One day we had lunch on a sandbank in the Zambezi with the table and chairs in the shallow water. Finally, the fishing for tiger fish was great fun even though the one I hooked got away. We had one guide during our stay and he was great fun and knowledgeable. Overall, this is a great camp in a beautiful spot to add to any itinerary in Zambia.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank NandFConnecticut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2012

We visited Sausage Tree August 31 - September 3, 2012.
It is a beautiful camp with a gorgeous setting on the Zambezi River. It offers both land and water activities and we loved all aspects of the camp.

We experienced wonderful game drives with Chris, our very knowledgeable and experienced guide. We went on a walking safari into the National Park accompanied by a licensed National Park Ranger. We always felt safe and thoroughly enjoyed the freedom of the Safari experience with no fences. The setting is magical, with a gorgeous view of the Zambezi River which was full of crocodiles and hippos. The hippos would put us to sleep with their sounds and when we returned home, we missed the hippos grunting and calling during the night. We had a 3 hour canoe trip on the river with each guest and a professional guide to each canoe. This was very exciting and we were able to see a large amount of game. The guests in the front canoes were able to see the game better, so I suggest that the guests exchange positions of the canoes after they make their first stop. One evening we had a terrific dinner out in the bush by candlelight and lanterns with the armed ranger enjoying dinner with us. The Camp had set up a terrific dinner and full bar under the light of the moon and the stars and it was a wonderful and very memorable experience. One day for lunch we went in the boat to have a sit down lunch in about 1 feet of water in the river with a full scale bar and barbeque set up. It was a highlight of the trip.

We thoroughly enjoyed our dinners with Allen and Nicki, the Managers, and Steve and Merrill the assistant Managers. They were all wonderful and run a superb operation.

My wife and I had Arthur as our butler and he was a terrific individual who was so polite and happy. The entire staff was a joy and I really enjoyed the humor of the staff. Arthur, Chris and Clever were 3 of my favorites.

I would highly recommend Sausage Tree to anyone who wants an exciting Safari adventure that combines great land and water activities in an unbelievable setting. From wherever you were positioned, whether it was your tent or the outdoor lounge, there was constant game activity with crocodiles, elephants and hippos crossing the river.

We booked our trip with Explore Africa, who recommended Sausage Tree as a Combination Camp. We could not have been more pleased and we highly recommend Explore Africa. They were conscientious, experienced, professional and a delight to work with.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Honeymoon Suite and it was terrific. We had a large tent with a great view over the...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank KennyAlameda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milan, Italy
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2012

I have been in many luxury safari lodges in my life, mainly run by Wilderness. Now it's the 4th time I return to Sausage Tree and believe that the whole athmosphere, in any aspect, is much better than enything else I saw. This stems perhaps from the fact that they offer water activities on the stunning Zambezi (canoe, fishing, cruising), but my wife and I think that there's more than that to it. First, the vast spacious areas between the tents, scattered in a pristine forest along the river which leaves you all the privacy you want and need; then the whole staff, which we found very professional and attentive to anybody's needs - and full of humour, too!; and then, of course, the exceptional Park, where you never see another vehicle. We had Charles and Chris, but also James as outstanding guides, I mean you could clearly feel their passion for wildlife and instinct to find the Big Ones. During the days we were there, we had great sightings of leopard, lion, hyena. Tents are spacious and clean, if you happen to be in of o the 2 a Suite Tents you'll have the pleasure of showering outside AND inside, when it's cold. Food is excellent, with a varied menu à la carte, wine selection has improved since last time, the brunch is a self-service healthy one vs. the seated and served mode. We also enjoyed a lot the extra activities like the Bush Breakfast, the Waterlunch and the Bush dinner. Jason and his crew are doing magic. I heard that a 25 mter pool for workouts will be built, as well as a new adjacent camp, called, as far as I recall, Potato Bush. We were there with friends of ours, a couple from Geneva, and they were speechless about so much Heaven on Earth. Definitely a place to return, next year!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Pietro L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prescott, Arizona
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2012

First, the Lower Zambezi National Park is phenomenal! You go from forest to plains to sand dunes in a matter of moments - all with their different flora and fauna. Then there is the river itself! Sausage Tree Camp sits on an inlet so you don't have the traffic of the main river and the water sports are plentiful. The game drives are so exhilarating, you never know what you might come upon next - or what might chase you! There are few vehicles in the park so they are allowed to go off road which is a true African bush experience.
Sausage Tree Camp is a gem. The hosts, Alan and Nicci Bonella and George and Merle Bell were delightful and attempted to make my visit a remarkable experience - I would say they exceeded beyond my expectations!
The rooms are individual huts with decks that look out over the river. The bathrooms are outdoors but connected. You shower under a tree with the hippos and elephants playing near by. Careful you don't leave your toothpaste in the bathroom - baboons love toothpaste! The bed was very comfortable with a down duvet and hot water bottle to ward off the chill of the cool winter night. My room was a standard room but was large and comfy with a great couch looking out on the river and the hippos at play. The access to the rooms is ground level so there are times when you need to be picked up by vehicle because an elephant is on the path. No worries, there is a radio in each room and someone is always listening out for you. Having elephants, hippos, and a honey badger in camp always ready to get in the way of where we wanted to go was part of the magic of this camp.
Merle oversees the kitchen and the chef is world class. You couldn't get better food anywhere, and there was plenty of it. Guests gather around the fire before dinner (sundowners were always in the bush) and talk about their day. I was traveling alone so the campfire pow wows in the evening were especially welcome.
My muchinda (butler) was always around in the shadows somewhere. If I needed anything - there he was! Of course you get escorted to your room in the evening and at night but also during the day if there is any danger nearby. I felt so cared for at every moment.
he combination of drives in this huge and varied park and the water sports made this experience always exciting. I stayed 6 days but will stay longer when I come back.
Alan Bonella is the head guide and my private guide for the time I was there. He is so knowledgeable and interesting. I learned so much while I was there but next time will take a tape recorder so I can record all his knowledge. Heading off road with Alan in pursuit of whatever we fancied at the moment was an amazing experience.
Two of the rooms have private pools and the are in the process of building a lap pool off the lodge deck for exersize and cooling off. It wasn't done when I was there but it was winter and I doubt the water would ever have been warm enough for a dip.
There are several surprises that I don't want to elaborate on because don't want to spoil the experience. The surprises are well worth it though!
Overall this was the most delightful experience and I will go back. I would never hesitate to recommend this camp to anyone.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Jean L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sausage Tree Camp

Property: Sausage Tree Camp
Address: Main Park Road, Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
Location: Zambia > Lusaka Province > Lower Zambezi National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Lower Zambezi National Park
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Sausage Tree Camp 4.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sausage Tree camp is the epitome of bush chic offering a civilized approach to a true bush experience with lavish attention to detail. This exclusive safari camp, voted number one on the BBC Holiday Programme's 'Ten Best Luxury Destinations', specializes in the very best game viewing with the highest international standards in luxury and service. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sausage Tree Camp Hotel Lower Zambezi National Park

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