This morning you are transferred by light aircraft to Mwaleshi Camp’s airstrip where a vehicle collects your luggage and you take a guided 45-minute walk into the camp.
Located in the remote North Luangwa National Park, Mwaleshi Camp is set 10km from the confluence of the Mwaleshi and Luangwa rivers. It accommodates up to eight guests in rustic thatched chalets, incorporating the twisted branches of the mopane trees into their innovative design. Safaris here are conducted exclusively on foot in the form of twice-daily walking safaris accompanied by a guide, armed reservist and caterer. Walks take place on the opposite side of the river or behind the camp, and sometimes involve easy paddling across the shallow water.
The immense natural beauty of the Luangwa’s northern region combined with its exceptional wildlife and the intimate setting of Mwaleshi Camp makes for a life-changing wilderness experience in the most unspoilt section of Zambia’s favourite national park. While on foot, stay on the lookout for Cookson’s wildebeest, which is more commonly found in the north, where where buffalo and lion are also more numerous. Catch a glimpse of a stealthy hyena hunting puku antelope in the shallows of the Mwaleshi River or a reintroduced black rhino resting under the shade of some acacia trees. Use your binoculars to spot white-winged starling and chestnut-mantled sparrow, which are endemic to this region.
If you thought you had the splendid wilderness all to yourself in the southern region of the park, wait until you experience the untainted north. Here you are almost guaranteed not to see another soul apart from your walking crew and the convivial staff who work together to make your stay at Mwaleshi Camp an unforgettable one. Thanks to the availability of a vehicle you can explore further afield – your guide able to drive the crew to a particular place to begin walking. A day trip by 4x4 to the Mwaleshi Falls located upstream of the camp is also possible and, away from the teeming plains and woodlands, you can swim in the clear, safe waters of the river.
Two loungers under a thatched shelter are ideal for daytime relaxation along a safe section of the river, which is usually deep enough for a refreshing swim in the heat of the day. Enjoy lunch prepared with fresh produce sourced from sister Camp Tafika’s kitchen garden, or the true romance of a candlelit dinner on the banks of the Mwaleshi River. Walk some stairs along the riverbank to a campfire on the edge of the water – a dramatic finale to a long day’s walking and a cosy meeting place to share bush tales. Retire to your rustic chalet built in open-plan with nothing but reed bars over the windows at night, and the flush toilet the only part of your en suite bathroom covered by a roof. Lie in bed at night looking up through the trees at the starlit sky and listen to the stirs of leopard, lion and hyena. Each morning confirm the activity of animals in the camp and search the opposite bank to see if any you heard the night before are still around.