Mchenja Bush Camp

Proudly introducing Mchenja Bush Camp – our newest Zambian gem!

South Luangwa is Zambia’s premier national park and wildlife destination. It is one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, covering 9,050 km2. The park is unfenced and bordered by a steep escarpment to the west and by the Luangwa River to the east. The Luangwa Valley lies at the tail end of the Great African Rift Valley, which extends 4,000 km all the way from the Red Sea down to the Pungwe River mouth in Mozambique. Listen to a lion calling in the distance and feel every sense awaken as you open your eyes in one of the wildest places on the planet.

Mchenja Bush Camp is a luxury safari retreat located in one of Zambia’s most renowned natural sanctuaries. Taking its name from its prime location, Mchenja (ebony) is a seasonal camp (20 May – 7 November) set under a canopy of Ebony trees along the banks of the Luangwa River. This enchanting accommodation provides you with all the modern amenities in an elegant and stylish tented camp overlooking a huge sweeping bend in the river.

Described as one of Zambia’s most luxurious and romantic bush getaways, guests spend sunny afternoons in the beautiful lounge which is built around one of the old, fallen ebony trees before enjoying a scrumptious lunch.

Relax next to the pool which overlooks the river while you wait for the excitement night brings. Watch as herds of elephants approach to drink from the plunge pool or cross the Luangwa River and big cats wander around the nearby ebony grove and lagoon in search of their next hunt.

Once the sun sets and the stars start twinkling, Mchenja kindles the spark with a romantic dinner served on the river bank or an exciting night-drive that will have your heart racing.

Picture-perfect Accommodation

Reconnect with nature and each other in a meaningful way on the ultimate family getaway. Iconic Africa recommends one of four sensational and diverse camps, to suit all travel styles. The camps have different opening times based on their seasonality. Time + Tide’s collection of South Luangwa camps offer an immersive, authentic experience that celebrates the wilderness and allows guests to experience the true Africa in a luxurious way. From opulent settings to natural elegance, the variety of camps suits all types of travellers.

Mchenja boasts four striking one bedroom luxury tented suites and one two bedroom family villa. These innovative octagonal luxury canvas accommodations are built on a raised platform shaded by canopies of ancient trees. Each chalet offers open-air en suit bathrooms with claw-foot baths and outdoor showers all with spectacular views integrating guests’ living spaces with nature. Soak off between game drives and unwind in the tub as you focus on the river meandering past you.

You will have an authentic safari experience in this grand wilderness without compromising on style, comfort and luxury. Rest your tired heads on the softest beds with large picture-windows for uninterrupted views.

The two bedroom, two bathroom family villa is the perfect retreat for couples, families and friends travelling together. Relax elevated high into the trees and the hippos below bellow and the elephants feed right outside your tent.

The minimum age of guests is 8 years old.

Mchenja is renowned for their luxury safari accommodation, excellent service, mouth-watering cuisine and most important, the wildlife sightings!

Sensational Game Viewing

South Luangwa National Park offers guests the opportunity to witness an unspoiled wilderness of soothing rivers, aged forests and open pans. This region promises excellent game viewing with world-class predator action, large herds of elephants, endemic species of fauna and flora, superb leopard sightings, wild dog and lions. Concentrations of game along the meandering Luangwa River and its lagoons are amongst the most intense in Africa. The river teems with hippo and crocodile and provides a lifeline for one of the greatest diversities of habitat and wildlife, supporting more than 60 species of mammals and over 400 species of birds. One of South Luangwa’s most exciting success stories is the resurgence of the African wild dog population. Over the past decade, numbers have strengthened considerably and today, although far from guaranteed, sightings of wild dog are common.

A Perfect Time to Visit

The African bushveld is spectacular all year round, each season bringing with it a special experience which cannot be seen at other times of the year. The ideal time to visit will depend on your interests and which camp you wish to stay at. The dry, winter season runs from May to September when temperatures drop to their lowest – still around 27˚C to 30˚C during the day – with cool mornings and evenings. May is the start of the ‘sleep-out’ season and when animals start to gather at lagoons. It’s also when all the camps in South Luangwa are open. By June you can expect the rare chance to see caracal or serval in and the crowned cranes start to come together in colonies. July is an excellent time for walking safaris as the weather is mild overnight and pleasantly warm during the days. August and September sees an increase in lion sightings and guests start to see the traditional elephant crossings of the Luangwa. The summer rains begin around October with storms building, lightning and thunder later in the month. By March, the rains begin to stop and April introduces the warm humid air again.

The Elite Safari Experience

It is the combination of viewing Africa’s raw power from the comfort and luxury of your open topped 4×4 game vehicle and then the return to your 5 Star luxury camp which has hurtled South Luangwa into the acclaimed status they now enjoy. Mchenja Camp, Nsolo Camp, Luwi Camp and Kakuli Camp all offer boutique luxury safari experiences which will leave you astonished that you are in Africa’s untamed wilderness.

Family Fun

Together, you can explore the beautiful African bush, come face-to-face with some of Africa’s most loved wildlife and spend quality time with family and friends. South Luangwa has activities to suit every guest’s wants and needs – from adrenaline rushes to blissful R&R time. To inspire Norman Carr’s love for Africa, nature and wildlife in the next generation, Time + Tide has tasked award-winning all-Zambian guiding teams with leading some of the most exciting bucket-list activities:

Day & Night Drives

There’s nothing to compare an encounter with African wildlife during both day and night drives to. South Luangwa’s excellent guides provide plenty of knowledge to enrich the experience and the escarpment and river bank ensures incomparable sightings.

Walking Safaris

Explore the untamed beauty of South Luangwa with our experienced guides at your side, sharing their knowledge of flora and fauna. Our world-class guides make every step thrilling, allowing you to become part of the landscape rather than a mere spectator.


Feel the thrill of early explorers while camping out on the Luwi Riverbed with only wildlife and stars for company.

Why Mchenja?

  • A wide variety of activities to keep children engaged
  • Combine land and water experiences for the ultimate family getaway
  • Situated on the banks of the Luangwa river with amazing views from all tented suites
  • Extremely intimate with only 5 rooms
  • The most luxurious bush camp and the only one to boast a pool
  • Superb game-viewing, with leopards and lions sometimes wandering through the camp’s ebony grove in search of prey.

Getting There

There are a number of travel options getting to South Luangwa. We recommend a short 1 hour flight from O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Lusaka. Alternatively, there are a number of other international flights from Windhoek, Dubai, Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Lilongwe and Kigali – all landing at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport. From there it’s a short distance to Mfuwe domestic airport.  •   2.5 hour game drive transfer from Mfuwe Airport.

The magic of the African bushveld touches all that visit it. To share this experience with your loved ones away from the distraction of “life” strengthens your bond and will forge unforgettable memories for life.

For further information and to plan your tailor-made Zambian safari, contact one of our safari experts.


Introducing Chongwe

Located in Zambia’s Lower Zambezi Valley, Chongwe River House and Camp is one of the most established accommodations. This spectacular region draws travellers in with its world-famous composite of abundant wildlife, natural beauty and bucket-list-worthy activities such as fishing, canoeing safaris and sleep-outs. Here you can come face-to-face with African giants such as the captivating elephant and ancient baobabs.

Experience the Lower Zambezi region at its finest

Set up by a father and son duo in 1992, Chris and his father were captivated by the raw beauty and wilderness of the Lower Zambezi. They set up a camp on the banks of the Chongwe River and in time this overnight campsite has grown into an award-winning luxury collection. Today Chris shares his love of the great outdoors through the remarkable Chongwe safari experience.

Chongwe River House

Stay at your very own safari home, the Chongwe River House. With four spacious en-suit bathrooms, this home-away-from-home sleeps eight. Mirroring the natural landscape laid out before it, River House follows the lines of the termite hills and blends in with its surroundings. With an undisturbed flow of nature, the landscape has been brought into the house with tree trunks, lianas and branches incorporated into the main guest areas and softly coloured pebbles from the Chongwe River set into the ceilings. The rooms open up to the river and the bathrooms feature magnificent waterfall or rain-showers that perfectly incorporate nature into the living spaces making guests feel a dramatic bond with the Lower Zambezi’s environment. Relax at your private pool on the shady deck and take in the breath-taking panoramic view. Chongwe House comes with a private guide, house manager and chef. A private vehicle, canoe, boat and armed guide for walking safaris offers guests a number of ways to explore the beautiful surroundings.

Chongwe River Camp

Experience a technology-detox in one of nine luxury tents at Chongwe Camp, scattered along the woody riverbanks. Chongwe Camp is surrounded by unspeakable beauty with the bellowing hippo disrupting the often silent air. Set at the convergence of the Chongwe and Zambezi Rivers against a beautiful mountainous backdrop, the camp has the best views from the outdoor seating areas. Relax outside your tent near the Winterthorn trees, and try spotting the playful Vervet monkeys you will hear overhead or marvel at the elephant before you as it splashes across the river.

Unrivalled wildlife sightings

The Lower Zambezi is nestled between a notable mountain to the north and the mighty Zambezi River to the south – a noteworthy area for wildlife and bird lovers. With 60 mammal species and 378 bird species, guests are guaranteed quality sightings. Game viewing in the Lower Zambezi is recommended during the dry season between April to November, when the river levels are lower. Plains game is in abundance throughout the park such as elephants, hippos, lions, leopards, buffalo, and plenty of crocodiles. Wild dogs are also regularly spotted and considered a nice bonus since they cover long distances. With fewer crowds in the park at any given time, the region remains a pristine wilderness, free from overcrowding and has limited vehicles in the traversing area. Have you ever been awakened by an elephant outside your room? Or slowly canoed passed a large herd of buffalo on a beautiful afternoon? Add Chongwe to the top of your bucket-list and experience all your safari firsts in one place.

Experience the true essence of African adventure

The unrivalled marriage of land and water not only makes for exceptional game viewing and photography, but allows for perhaps the most exciting aspect of safari – the sheer variety of activities on offer. The Zambezi River allows for a variety of river based activities and experiences that few other destinations can offer. This wistful region is famous for its canoeing safaris, boating trips and catch-and-release fishing.

Day & Night Drives

There’s nothing to compare an encounter with African wildlife during both day and night drives to. Chongwe’s excellent guides provide a plenty of knowledge to enrich the experience and the escarpment and river bank ensures incomparable sightings.


When it comes to tiger-fishing, the Lower Zambezi is the place to visit! As Chris implements his conservation efforts, Chongwe is strictly catch-and-release to preserve this and other fish. All equipment is provided, and fishing is suitable for beginners and serious fly fisherman. Fishing is good year round, but peaks in October and November during the tiger fish breeding season.


A river safari offers a fresh perspective on the breath-taking scenery and wildlife, from predators along the river bank to the diverse birdlife. Chongwe offers boating safari all season due to the Zambezi River’s constant high water level.

Walking Safaris

Become part of the landscape rather than a mere spectator and explore the untamed beauty of the region with our experienced guides at your side. Peak season for walking safari is July to October.

Canoeing Safaris

Book a canoeing safari during the dry months when the wildlife congregates along the river for a peaceful yet exhilarating experience. Enjoy the abundant wilderness and game viewing while quietly passing through the reeds on Africa’s fourth largest river. Float metres away from elephants or buffalo on the river’s edge – a memory you won’t be able to forget!


Between July and October you can rest under the stars with only the night-sky and roaming wildlife for company. Experience the thrill of early explorers felt while camping out high in the mountain overlooking the sparkling water of the Lower Zambezi region.

Getting there:

Guests can fly into Lusaka or Livingstone Airport and then connect with an air transfer to Royal airstrip. You will be transferred by 4×4 to Chongwe River House or Camp, a short 20 minute drive away.

Why Chongwe?

Beautiful sunsets while on boat cruises.

Excellent for lion and leopard sightings.

Great photograph opportunities.

There are plenty of elephant and predator action right in front of the camp.

There are limited vehicles in the traversing area.

When To Go?

Chongwe River House and Chongwe River Camp are operational from April to November, but the best time to visit this spectacular region is between July and August.

The mornings and evenings are cool and the days are warm and mostly dry. Temperatures range between 27˚C and 30 ˚C with little to no rain.

Clear skies make way for beautiful sunsets and the dry bush improves visibility making lion and leopard sightings more frequent.

July and August is also the beginning of the carmine bee eater season and the Flame creepers are seen in flower.

For more on our other exquisite Zambia destinations contact us now.