Simplicity is the name of the game at Luambe and with scenery like that to look at, you don’t need much else. Wherever you are – settled into a sofa under the thatch in the lounge area, perched by the bar or down by the water’s edge with a pair of binos – the view is utterly spectacular. On the practical side, meals are all served either under the thatch or by moonlight on the riverbank and there’s a delightful campfire to retire to with a whisky after dinner.
Clinging to the side of the riverbank are four spacious safari tents with private veranda and the same fabulous views across the river. Polished stone floors and high ceilings are light and airy whilst a clever double-layer tent over the roof keeps things perfectly cool. Each room is ensuite with a small and totally functional bathroom at the back. Roll up the canvas windows during the day for maximum view gazing straight from the bed and zip them up at night to keep things cosy.
The Lodge is currently in the process of extensively re-furbishing and upgrading facilities to include dining areas, showering facilities and photography locations. The lodge will offer full-board at a nightly rate with drinks included. Meals and snacks made with fresh, locally-sourced produce will be provided daily by the friendly, well-trained staff.
The dining area which is designed in the form of the main lapa and bar is the heart of the camp. Sundowners can be enjoyed around a campfire in front of the dining area and overlooking the Luangwa River while enjoying the antics of the large pods of hippo in the pinky waters.
Like any good Zambian camp, walking is a feature at Luambe – head out in the early morning as the mist rises from the river for an enchanting adventure on foot with your guide and armed guard. The afternoons bring game drives, sundowners and night drives, and if you’re a keen photographer, don’t skimp on your equipment – the park with its varied habitats provides a stunning backdrop for photos. Other specialties include guided birding walks and visits to the community projects sponsored by the camp.
Most of the guidebooks will tell you about Zambia’s South Luangwa, maybe even make a mention of North Luangwa, but not many will tell you about Luambe. A distinct lack of accommodation in the park’s tiny 254 sq km wilderness may have been a factor, but now there’s Luambe Lodge and its ready to start shaking things up. Beautiful in its simplicity, the lodge is an echo of the early days of Zambian safari, but what really makes it stand out is the owner’s commitment to the conservation of the entire Luangwa Valley ecosystem. And alongside some brilliant wildlife sightings and smiling Zambian hospitality, that’s what makes this place truly special.
Zambia is home to some of Africa’s most untouched wilderness spaces. The fertile volcanic soils of its rift valleys provides the perfect basis for vegetation and wildlife to thrive. The South Luangwa National Park produces incredible game viewing and famous leopard sightings. Enjoy quiet boating safaris in the Lower Zambezi National Park, showcasing herds of elephant, buffalo, hippo and crocodiles from a unique perspective. For total bush emersion, the North Luangwa National Park just can’t be beat: seek out the large prides of lion hunting herds of buffalo over one thousand strong.
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