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Mwaleshi River, North Luangwa National Park Zambia
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#3 of 8 in North Luangwa National Park
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Mwaleshi Camp, located in the vast wilderness of North Luangwa National Park, is a 45 minute flight from Mfuwe Airport. Hidden within a scenic bend of the Mwaleshi River 10km upstream of the confluence with the Luangwa River, the camp is a truly special and remarkable place, unlike any other. There are few roads in this remote area and the majority of activities are done on foot, following existing animal trails. All senses become attuned to the surrounding bush as guests experience the variations in the magical diversity of the area.
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Free parking
Free breakfast
Bar / lounge
Babysitting
Free airport transportation
Airport transportation
Non-smoking hotel
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Breakfast available
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Mwaleshi River, North Luangwa National Park Zambia
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Kasama Airport236 kmSee all flights
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MalawiMike2014 wrote a review Aug 2019
Lilongwe, Malawi328 contributions16 helpful votes
+1
I loved the scenic flight over the Luangwa Valley and the wild and remoteness of Mwaleshi. Mwaleshi is a old school basic bush camp focusing on exceptional food, incredible guiding and a wild location in a beautiful setting, overloooking the Mwaleshi River. A very cool walk from Mwaleshi to Takwela with a lot if interesting wildlife. Takwela was also Amazing. I suggest combing both and doing the beautiful walk between them
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Date of stay: July 2019
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Safariholic wrote a review Jul 2019
Horsham, United Kingdom1938 contributions526 helpful votes
Up front declaration – we are fully paid-up Members of the ‘Remote Africa Fan Club’, having been to Tafika, Chikoko & Crocodile River Camps three separate times, incl this year. But we had never been to Mwaleshi Camp, nor the North Luangwa National Park before, so this was something new and exciting, yet, as we found ourselves admitting a while later, we did not really know what to expect. We had heard differing views - most commentary seemed to focus on its remoteness, rusticness, lack of refinements and there being a limit to what one could do. However, confident in the Remote Approach, we decided to try it. How pleased were we ! It is quite remote – correction ‘very remote’. In fact, I believe, North Luangwa National Park, is now officially recognised, and classed as one of the only two remaining Wildernesses in Africa. We thought we had been to some fairly far flung places on Africa already, but this was something else. Getting there is not easy, except for those starting their journey from Tafika, like us – a delightful low-level (I won’t say just how low, in case I get it wrong) flight ex-Lukuzi (dirtstrip nearest Tafika) up the Luangwa river direct to the Mwaleshi airstrip, where we were met and transferred to Camp (30/40 mins). Just the Pilot and you – a real delight that added to the Visit (same treat on the Return, of course). Mwaleshi Camp is situated right beside the Mwaleshi River – in fact, any closer, and it would be in it. Four Chalets nicely spaced, in a line abreast along the river bank & all facing it too. Easy bench style chair in front (it is less than 1 meter to the river, so don’t fall in), a bedroom with double bed, hanging rail for clothes, couple of shelves, and of course, an en-suite with flush loo and hot water, first thing in the morning and when one returns from the afternoon game drive – otherwise on demand. Mosquito nets – Yes. Windows and Doors – No. Parafin Lamps – No Electric. So no in-room charging nor AC nor WiFi nor Fans. The Kikois were well used, during our after lunch siesta. Food was excellent & all meals were taken together – Dinner ‘a deux’ would, in a bush camp, where there are only 6 Guests (policy), be a bit anti-social and unteamy. The approach here is very much a shared experience. For instance, one couple had a significant Anniversary one night, so we all dined away from camp on the banks of the River, by candlelight – driven there, of course. Delightful touch. Service throughout – excellent. Drives – we only used the vehicle to get to the startpoint of our walk(s). There was No Game Drive, per se. Therein lies one Issue. 6 x Guests, 1 x Guide, 1 ZAWA Ranger (armed escort), and 1 x Towel Bearer (Yep – Towel Bearer) is a bit of a gaggle and too many on a walk – IMHO. One spends a lot of time in each other’s company, so one has to get along – lousy place to have an attitude. There is ONLY one Activity here – walk – or stay behind in Camp, as we did one afternoon, and most enjoyable & restful it was too. Where we went and why was pre-determined and only shared, once on-board the vehicle (a negative). Game is NOT habituated (at all) so sightings were fewer in number, variety and proximity, as compared to Sth Luangwa NP for instance. That actually makes this the more ‘real and true to life’ bush experience. One walk saw us return to the vehicle a good 40 minutes late, due to repeated Elephant encounters, where we had to change course – that is ‘real Walking in the Bush’. Night drives en-route back from our walks proved very quiet. However, the soundtrack from the bush during the night, told a very different story. The Remoteness and Wilderness is important to understand & cannot be understated. Neither are because of, or refer to distance from, or lack of civilisation. They refer to the peace, quiet, solitude & tranquility. Mind you some of the Guiding Commentary was positively Buddhist in feel, as I was urged to listen to my inner self, listen to the trees talking to each other, hear the roots that could sing, learning about herbal medicine, considered meditation and was urged to just allow myself to reconnect. I had not packed my Yoga matt, so skipped the next session, and, by now, my Ying & Yang had got knotted and I had lost my Feng-Shui completely. Interesting and alternative views to anything we have encountered previously, but this was a bit “far out man” for us. Leaving this aspect aside, we were as happy as a warthog in a muddy puddle. If you have a back-up charger or solar-powered version – take it. You’ll be pleased. Charging points and opportunity were at a premium. NB - There is NO WiFi or Mobile signal here, whatsoever. Question – Would we and Will we go again ? Definitely. It’s very different and we enjoyed. Not certain it would be right for 1st Timers and or inexperienced Safari’ists. We will try to link it with a visit to their New Camp in Nth Luangwa - Takwela.
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Date of stay: September 2018
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Trip type: Travelled
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chloemcck wrote a review Nov 2018
48 contributions11 helpful votes
Mwaleshi was the perfect place to escape all other tourists and discover the beautiful wild and unique North luangwa. The lodge itself was beautiful with the chalets having great views over the river, the food was tasty and the staff were great. Our guides were great and although walking safaris can be a little quieter they were knowledgeable enough to get us looking at some smaller animals which was fascinating. We also spent a long time watching some fighting hippos which was thrilling! Massive thanks to Alex. Moffat for making it so special. Loved it will definitely be back!
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Date of stay: October 2018
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Trip type: Travelled
Room Tip: Pick chalet 4 to be away from the rest of the group
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Fisibee wrote a review Sep 2018
Seattle, Washington160 contributions73 helpful votes
Just WOW! My husband and I, and our two sons, aged 18 and 16 stayed here for 4 nights and loved every second. We flew in from Mfuwi airport, in the Remote Africa Safari's Sesna. A 15 minute drive later, which included fording a river, we were at camp, where we discovered we were the only guests! We stayed in two of the camp's four chalets, which are built new at the begining of every season. The chalets are amazingly luxurious considering how remote they are, and include en-suite bathrooms with flush toilets, sinks with running water, and a bush shower that has hot water provided every evening. Hot water is brought to the bathroom each morning in a jug. The chalets are open sided, giving us uninterrupted views of the river and wildlife on the opposite bank. Our guide, Brent, was very knowledgeable and made us feel really welcome. He led us on two walking safaris a day, along with a Tea Bearer and a Scout (with a rifle). All three were great trackers, and were able to interpret animal calls, tracks and habits to provide us with wonderful memories. Each hike was about 5 miles, and the terrain included sand, dirt, and tall grass, but it was very doable. The highlight was getting roared at by a male lion. Having also been on driving safaris I found the walking safaris so much more rewarding. Without the noise and protection of a truck, the animals seem much more real. There is something breathtaking about walking along an animal path, seeing fresh tracks, and knowing that you might come upon an elephant or a lion. We ate a LOT at Mwaleshi! The food was outstanding. Breakfast was served, very early, by the fire, and included toast made over the campfire, eggs, cold meat, preserves etc. Lunch and dinner were both served in the open sided dining room, and included three courses, with fresh baked bread daily. Our morning hike always included tea and cake, and the afternoon/evening hike included sundowners. Brent was the perfect host, eating meals with us, sharing his knowledge and engaging the entire family, making our teenage sons forget to miss their electronics. Mwalashi is a very special place. The remote location, and limited number of cabins mean that not many people get to experience it's beauty and great service. I am so glad we were able to spend time there, and highly recommend it.
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Date of stay: August 2018
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Austrav55 wrote a review Jul 2018
Sydney, Australia176 contributions77 helpful votes
If you like remote I doubt it could get more so. You feel like you are in “Out of Africa” the movie as you wander the terrain of the North Luangwa NP. Remote Africa flies you here in their own tiny 6 seater Cessna from Tafika with their own pilot on a 23 minute very scenic flight over the Luangwa river at low height enabling views of hippos and elephants below in the river. Mwaleshi camp is situated on the Mwaleshi river which you have to cross in the jeep to get to camp. There are 4 thatched chalets right on the banks of the river with outdoor lounges to enjoy the view. The river here is shallow and fast flowing and no crocodiles or hippos inhabit this stretch. In fact you can swim just in this stretch but we didn’t venture in as was too cold. There is only 1 vehicle up here so this camp is designed as a walking camp but you often drive to a point and walk from there. Walks are conducted morning (about 4 ½-5 hours with approx. 45 minute tea break where a campfire is built) and afternoon (about 2 ½ hours) sometimes with a bit of a night drive back to camp. Walking isn’t difficult terrain to manage except if doing the beach walk in soft sand which I avoided. As we were lucky enough to be the only couple in camp for 2 days we had flexibility to choose activities so we mixed it up with further afield drives and walks. The chalets still have ensuites with bush showers where very hot water is delivered upon returning from your afternoon walk. Meals are incredible considering the remote kitchen they navigate. Always freshly baked breads, fresh salads (plane delivers supplies from Tafika’s garden) and scrumptious desserts. Same day laundry service is still accomplished. Alex is the manager and guide up here and very experienced. Walking the terrain you don’t often see as many animals but feel very in touch with nature. On driving to walking points you often see a lot. There are tsetse fly spots up here which I did not like as I react to the bites but Alex tries to avoid them or go through these areas in the vehicle quickly however I still did get quite a few bites. A camp of great solitude and closeness to the African bush.
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Date of stay: July 2018
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Trip type: Travelled
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Neil T wrote a review Sep 2017
Salcombe, United Kingdom124 contributions64 helpful votes
This is a predominantly walking safari camp, guided by Brent Harris who is very experienced and knowledgeable. It is the only camp in the area, so remote is the operative word. Total tranquillity, great food and very comfortable lodges a unique experience.
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Date of stay: August 2017
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maschmid wrote a review Sep 2017
Zurich, Switzerland96 contributions49 helpful votes
Mwaleshi is top in terms of bush atmosphere, accomodation, food, game and walks. It is run by a small but very experienced team and you feel at home from the very beginning. It was one of our best safari experiences as we never had such tremendous walks so far. Many thanks to Brent Harris, Tatty, Kennedy, Jack, Cisomo and the whole staff. You made our stay unforgettable!
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Date of stay: September 2017
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Brian T wrote a review Sep 2015
Stockbridge, United Kingdom11 contributions3 helpful votes
This is the most remote camp we have been to, and is quite different from the several (excellent) camps in South Luangwa, where the emphasis is on driving safaris. Here, you mainly walk, morning and evening. As a result, you may not see quite as much game, but the experience when you do see animals is much more exciting. We were about 25 m from a male lion, eyeballing each other before it decided to amble off; and even closer to a single male elephant which really didn't seem to like us. But the guide (Brent) is first class, and between him and the armed guard, we never felt unsafe. The camp has 4 very comfortable chalets, and a central area with bar and dining area - and the food was superb! We would love to go back.
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Date of stay: September 2015
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Trip type: Travelled
Room Tip: Any one of the four chalets
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LondonCarla69 wrote a review Sep 2015
london86 contributions46 helpful votes
+1
We had a marvellous 3days at this rustic camp. It is as remote as you can safely get in Africa and with only 4 rooms-maximum 6 walkers- very peaceful. You fly in- mostly from the owners sister camp, Tafika. If you were to drive, it would take 9 hours. The flight is a half hour and a great chance to get a feel for the terrain. Chris, our pilot, was great and as I am a keen aviator too we had 2very special flights. The staff are very friendly and welcoming. Our hostess, Tatiana, couldn't do enough for us and Brent was an excellent guide, very experienced and knowledgeable but also very approachable and helpful You walk for about 4 hours in the morning but it is easy, flat terrains. I suppose it is no more demanding than a round of golf. At this time of year, the early morning temperature is very comfortable and as you start walking at dawn, there are about 3 hours before you really notice the heat. There is a coffee stop towards the end of the walk but there is some flexibility according to what you see. If you have not done a walking safari before, it is very different to driving and you generally see less game. This is about experiencing the remote bush& enjoying the peace. That said we did have close encounters with lion and buffalo and more distance, beautiful sittings of elephants. Other plains game are easily seen but there are no giraffe and-as in all of Zambia except Mosi-oh-Tunya- no rhino. One tip-take slippers. I forgot to mention to the staff that some of the reed mats in the hits were breaking and treading on the edge is a bit like standing on a plug!
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Date of stay: September 2015Trip type: Travelled
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africanman_840 wrote a review Sep 2015
Nairobi, Kenya4006 contributions234 helpful votes
I stayed here for three days in August this year. I really enjoyed it and found Brent to be a great guide. The food was superb, the service excellent and the reed huts were really comfortable. The walking was very educational and I learned a lot. However, I don't recommend North Luangwa National Park for the inexperienced safari goer who wants to tick off the big five.
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Date of stay: August 2015
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Trip type: Travelled
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LOCATION
ZambiaNorthern ProvinceNorth Luangwa National Park
NUMBER OF ROOMS
4
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Frequently Asked Questions about Mwaleshi Camp
What are some of the property amenities at Mwaleshi Camp?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
What food & drink options are available at Mwaleshi Camp?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Mwaleshi Camp?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Does Mwaleshi Camp have airport transportation?
Yes, Mwaleshi Camp offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.