Mchenja Luxury Bush Camp - Rates from USD 350

Luxury on the banks of the Luangwa. 
Set in a grove of magnificent ebony trees Mchenja Bush Camp is a luxurious, elegant and stylish tented camp overlooking a huge sweeping bend in the Luangwa.

Each of the four specially designed octagonal tents has their own private en-suite open air bathroom plus Victorian style baths with river view.

The beautiful central chitenje (lounge) is built around one of the old fallen Mchenja (ebony) trees and guests can cool off there in the camp’s plunge pool. Brunch is taken in the shady lounge but dinner is more often served on the river bank under the stars.

● Exclusive riverside camp with 4 tents
● Extra tent for parties of 10
● Open may 20th to Nov 7th
● Small plunge pool
● Walking , game drives and night drives
● En-suite bathrooms, open to the skies
● Roll top baths with river view
● Luxurious, elegant interiors
● Excellent game viewing area
● Hundreds of hippo visible from camp
● Solar powered, batteries can be charged
● Camp to camp walking with Luwi, Nsolo and Kakuli

 Levi Banda is the guide/manager at Mchenja and listening to his stories around the camp fire is a highlight of any Luangwa safari.


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Price Range and Payments PRICE RANGE: USD 350 - 650
By making an enquiry, the final rate will be offered.

Each Enquiry will be responded to with an offer or a decline message. An offer which has been accepted by the traveler will be printable, together with the payment instruction. Please, make sure a booking confirmation is always received after payments are fully made.
Services Included in the Price INCLUDED
The rates includes airport and camp transfers, all meals and drinks, all game viewing activities and guiding, national park fees, laundry and taxes.

The only things not included are specialist wines, airport departure taxes of $8 pp per flight leg and visa fees.
How to get to us. We can arrange flights from Lusaka International Airport and Lilongwe International Airport and Mfuwe International Airport. If needs be including " a meet and greet and fast track through Immigration and Customs ".

We are 45 minutes from Mfuwe International Airport - tranfers are included in our rates.

GPS-Coordinates Mchenja Bush Camp
S 12 degrees 56 minutes 511 seconds
E 031 degrees 54 minutes 317 seconds
Recommendations Small Aircrafts has a restriction on maximum weight onboard, max 15 kg in a soft bag. Hard plastic or metallic suitcases must be avoided.

JANUARY - MARCH ( the Emerald Season )

Max temp 31°c min temp 20°c
Av rainfall 200mm per month

Kapani is open throughout, Mchenja opens for Rivers & Rainbows safaris in the middle of January.
These are usually the wettest months of the year but it is important to know that gameviewing activities, although they may be interrupted or delayed, are very rarely cancelled. Storms can be very dramatic with huge, impressive cloud formations but clear skies in between. The air tends to be very clear in these months and the bush at its most lush and verdant, photographic opportunities are excellent.

The Luangwa River itself becomes a central feature, usually running close to the top of its banks it can rise or fall by up to a metre in just a few hours. Mchenja is the only remote bushcamp in the region which is open at this time of year and boating safaris from this camp offer guests a very special treat.

With the rain comes a time of plenty in the bush. Many of the herbivores are tending young and there are noticeably more young elephant in the breeding herds. Migrant birds have swelled the resident populations and many of them are in full breeding plumage and song.


Max temp 32°c, min temp 19°c
Average rainfall 100 mm in April, 0 mm in May

Kapani open throughout, Mchenja closes in early April when the river becomes too low to guarantee easy access but then opens again along with Kakuli in the middle of May.

Rain in April is usually restricted to a few isolated showers. The roads start to dry out extending our access through the Park. Sandbanks start to emerge from the river attracting wading birds and the lagoons which are still full become gathering points for the animals.

Temperatures start to fall in May with the onset of the Southern Hemisphere winter.


Max temp 30°c min temp 10°c
Average rainfall 0 mm

All of our camps are now open and the walking season starts in earnest at the beginning of June. We can no longer boat on the river but all roads in the park are open.

As some of the lagoons start to dry out large feeding parties of storks and fish eating birds congregate offering a dramatic addition to the wildlife viewing which is starting to pick up pace. Crowned cranes also come together in large colonies displaying noisily to each other

These early months are traditionally the best for wild dog sightings and Luwi has proved a very good camp from which to view these exciting creatures.

Early mornings and night drives are really quite chilly, the camp fire comes into its own not only for its aesthetic value but also for it's heat. A fleece is an excellent addition to your safari bag in these months.


Max temp 35°c min temp 14°c
Rainfall 0 mm

Traditionally the most popular months for safaris in the Luangwa, temperatures start to warm up through August leaving the chilly mornings and evenings behind. The climate is very pleasant - not too cool and not too warm.

These are very interesting months in the bush, many of the trees and bushes are in flower and the grass has been grazed or trampled out of sight. Bush fires are common and the smoke and dust hang in the air providing some spectacular sunsets.

Elephants find the habitual river crossings that much easier and seeing a herd gathering in the early evening and crossing the Luangwa with the sun setting behind is a truly "Luangwa sight".

Carmine bee-eaters start to gather and nest in the river's banks which are now high and dry.


Max temp 44°c min temp 22°c
Av rainfall 0mm

The last month of the "dry season" and hence the last month that we operate our walking safaris from bushcamp to bushcamp. Temperatures continue to rise but with the days lengthening we are able to get up nice and early and try to avoid being out in the mid-day heat.

Game viewing is excellent with all the animals becoming increasingly dependent upon what surface water remains. The river is low and many of the lagoons have dried up. Hippos start to fight for the rights to occupy the few pools of water deep enough to submerge under and the buffalo group together in herds of over a thousand.

The first warthog babies emerge from their burrows and the bare Mopane trees come out in fresh green leaf heralding the onset of the rains to come. The first rain storm often provides relief at some stage in October but predicting that is never easy.


Max temp 38°c min temp 22°c
Av rainfall 100 - 150 mm

The bushcamps all close in the first week of November leaving Kapani as our only operational camp. The first heavy rain showers mean that the remote bush tracks become impassable.

These are the first months of proper rain and the feeling that the bush is coming alive around you is hard to avoid. The baby impala all drop within two weeks of each other, usually at the start of November and various other species experience a birthing peak at this time of impending plenty. The ground is covered with a stunning carpet of verdant green.

The dust is driven out of the air leaving crystal clear skies and some of the cloud formations during the early green months are breathtaking. Gameviewing is rarely affected by the weather, storms are very localized and usually brief, this is a wonderful time to be in the bush.
Facilities Available Mosquito Net is available.
Member Organisations African Travel and Tourist Association Association for the Promotion of Tourism in Africa South Luangwa Conservation Society
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About Us


We are proud to announce that 2010 marks the 60th anniversary of Norman Carr Safaris.

Way back in 1950, a young game ranger called Norman Carr initiated a far-reaching and visionary conservation concept which was to pave the way for modern conservation and tourism. He encouraged Senior Chief Nsefu – the paramount Chief of the Kunda people in the South Luangwa to set aside a portion of his tribal land as a Game Reserve and built the first game viewing camp open to the public in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). Revenue from the camp was paid directly to the Kunda Native Authority.

His dream was to share his passion for this unique wilderness and to secure its future by ensuring that the local population would benefit by conserving the wildlife and infinitely varied habitat of the Luangwa valley.

Sixty years on at Norman Carr Safaris, we are still walking. We are still passionate about sharing the thrill of tracking lions on foot through the early morning mists, the delight in learning something new on every walk or game drive and the chance to meet local people and share experiences about life in the valley.

Still family run with very long serving staff members – some over 25 years on the team! 

Dave Wilson – MD
Christina Carr (GID) – Marketing Director
Abraham Banda – Kapani Manager
William Banda – Reservation Manager
Rosie Pilcher – Food & Beverage Manager
Willie Shuma – Safari Manager
Shaddy Nkhoma, Aubrey Njobvu, Levi Banda and Brian Mukumbutu – Bush Camp Managers

Dave Wilson - MD
A relatively new member of the Norman Carr family, I work alongside Gid keeping an eye on all aspects of our operation. I was born and bred in Zimbabwe and have always had a strong affinity for the bush, spending many hours immersed in the boyhood pursuits of hunting and fishing.After finishing my schooling and a gap year in Central America, I then completed a BSc in Wildlife and Agribusiness from the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. After a good deal of international travel and having served as an officer in the British Army for six years, Africa called and it was time to return home and into the industry about which I am passionate.

Christina Carr (GID) – Marketing Director
I arrived in Zambia in 2000 for what was supposed to be a six-month spell in the bush before returning to "real life" in the UK.
I never went back and am still at Kapani with Adrian (Norman Carr's son). I have spent many years managing our reservations department but am now the company Marketing Director working alongside Dave Wilson. Although I like to maintain contact with guests and agents at the bookings stage, my time is mostly taken up in other areas these days. I remain heavily involved in many local community projects including the Kapani School Project, the Kakumbi Clinic Project, another local school charity and raising HIV/AIDS awareness.

Abraham Banda – Kapani Manager
It is an honour and a great privilege to be able to work in one of Africa's best Parks. Trained by the legendary Norman Carr I have over 15 years bush experience. Many a time, guests will ask if I still enjoy guiding. I still do! For one, the book of nature is so vast. There is always something new to see if one is observant enough. Meeting people from all walks of life, sharing with them what the bush can offer and catering to their varied interest is a lot of fun. One of the things guests love about me is my genuine enthusiasm about nature. The love I have for the bush goes way beyond just doing a job. It is like a busman's holiday. In my spare I take my wife and kids into the park.
I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel overseas, once to California USA and 3 times to England. My travel experience has tremendously enhanced the love of what I do. Though I love everything nature has to offer, I have an intense passion for birdlife. Besides guiding I am also co-director for the Kapani School Project and the Abraham Banda Student Scholarship Fund, Board Chairperson at Mfuwe Day Secondary School and Chairperson for the Guides Association.

William Banda – Reservation Manager
I joined Norman Carr Safaris in 1996 straight from school. I had three career aspirations: to study Journalism because of my passion for writing; Law; and Management because of my leadership roles in school. Amongst the three, I am happy to say I am practicing Journalism every day by corresponding with agents on email, and I went on to read management with UNISA - school of Business Leadership.
I have performed numerous managerial and administrative duties for Norman Carr Safaris over the years. My affinity for writing and interacting with people has kept me going and currently I am working with Christina and Maggie in the reservations team but I also enjoy involving myself with the marketing of the company.Since writing is one of my passions I have compiled a few pieces for our regular company newsletters.

Judy Chirwa - Kapani Reception
I started with Norman Carr Safaris in April 2008. I just got married recently to Zebron who is a safari guide for another company. I try always to make sure our guests are being treated well and are feeling at home.

Image below is  Christina Carr (GID) – Marketing Director

Terms & Conditions

Between Mchenja Luxury Bush Camp ( Kapani Ltd ) and the booking Client.

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Message Box
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The Cancellation Fee for a paid or partly paid booking, can be quite high. Clients are therefore encouraged to get a travel insurance, which covers the Cancellations Fees.

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2.1 Reservation Time
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- 7 days of reservation, when the service is accepted 60 days or less, before the service date.

Please Note.
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Within the Reservation Time, a Confirmation Payment must be done. Once the confirmation payment is done the Payment Plan will apply together with the Cancellation Policy.

- 20 % of the total booking value, is payable within 7 days. This payment will be a confirmation of the reservation.
- 50 % of the total booking value, is payable before 120 days
- 100 % of the total booking value, is payable by latest 90 days remains to the Service Date.
Payments made within the time limit above, will be confirmed by mail. And after a full payment is made an invoice will be raised.

Date of Payment
Date of payment is the same date as the Client instruct the Bank to make a transfer, or the date for faxing the Authorization Form with all attached copies of Passports and Credit Card.
As it may take a few days before the Service Provider will be able to confirm the Clients bank Transfer, the Client is advised to use the Message Box and give all the payments details to the Service Provider.

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It is a common standard in the Safari industry, that full payments has to be made before the Final Confirmation of the booking can be made. Bank transfer of payments normally carries bank charges. The Client has to make sure, these charges does not reduce the full payments.

To be on the safe side, it is recommendable that full payment is made to the Service Provider from the start.

Remember the Cancellation Policy will be in force from that moment when the Client has confirmed the booking with a confirmation payment ( or deposit ).
All cancellations has to be made in writing ( use the Message Box , as you will have it on record later on ).

Insurance Coverage
The Cancellation Fee for a paid or partly paid booking, can be quite high. Clients are therefore encouraged to get a travel insurance, which covers the Cancellations Fees.

3.1 Cancellations Fees
Written cancellations made;
- 61 days or more before the Service Date, carries a cancellation fee of 20 % of the booking value ( the confirmation payment ).
- 31 – 60 days before Service date, carries a cancellation fee of 50 % of the booking value.
- 30 days or less before Service date, carries a cancellation fee of 100 % of the booking value.

Bank charges
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Terms and Conditions may change over time. Make sure you get the latest up date version of the Terms and Conditions, before making any payment of deposit.

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