South Luangwa - Norman Carr or Bushcamp?

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We are planning a safari for late August 2018 and am deciding between the Bushcamp locations in southern South Luangwa and Norman Carr in the north of the park. We are targeting either Chindeni/Bilimungwe/Zunguilia or Luwi/Nsolo/Kakuli/Mchenja. We don't have time (or $$) to do both.


Our preferences are for a mix of walking and game drives. Have been on numerous safaris before to Bots/Zim/Zambia and are looking for a rustic feel, isolated, smaller camps. My indecision stems from the fact that the Bushcamp lodges look very nice, however I have read in a few places that the location of the Norman Carr camps is better, as in more open and better suited for game viewing. The south apparently is more woodland? 



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I stayed at 3 Bushcamp properties in September 2014.

Bilimungwe  was excellent. A lot of elephants around. The guide Manda Chisanga was outstanding. Walking was pretty good.

Kapamba was ok. Much more solidly built with stone cottages. Fanuel Banda was the guide. He was ok, but upto the standards of Manda.

Location excellent on the banks of Kapamba river.

The best was Kuyenda. Hosted by Phil and Babette, it was great fun. Phil didn't lead safaris thanks to his age and Parkinson's. But the guide Suzyo was very good. 

On this weeklong trip, barring 2 nights at Kapamba, I saw leopard on every night drive. A mating pair of leopards with Manda in Bilimungwe. Kapamba however delivered on Lion front with sighting of 2 dominant males on both days.

Wild dogs made a kill (a bushbuck) about 100 metres from my tent at Kuyenda. They were denning nearby. So saw them everyday, including my last morning when they treed a leopard.

All sightings had precisely 1 vehicle at the sighting. No sharing of sightings in this very quiet area of the park.

I would recommend Bushcamp company without hesitation. The only downside is only one guide at each camp. So all guests have to agree on the activity (walking vs driving).  Hope this helps.


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