Shaded under a grove of evergreen mahogany trees, and overlooking the Manzi River, a sand-river tributary of the Luangwa, there is a truly wonderful sense of simplicity about Kuyenda Camp.
Rustic, charming, a small and very traditional camp, Kuyenda consists of 4 basic rondavels (round bush chalets) made from thatch and reed. Kuyenda Camp ideally accommodates a total of 6 guests, but private groups of 8 are also welcome. A main thatched area houses the bar, sitting area, a small library of books and a dining table.
food and service
One of the real delights at Kuyenda are the couple who run the camp with great hospitality and are often in residence – Babette Alfieri and Phil Berry. A renowned expert on the endemic Thornicroft’s giraffe, Phil is one of Zambia’s most respected guides, with over 40 years experience. While he no longer leads all the walking safaris, Phil and his wife Babette are often at Kuyenda, and are happy to share their stories and knowledge over drinks or dinner, adding depth to what is already an authentic experience. The food is fresh, and delicious.
Three of the chalets have views of the river bed, while the fourth is set away from the others looking out over a plain, where herds of impala and puku can often be spotted. Three come with twin beds, one with a double, and all feature en-suite toilets and showers open to the skies (hot water on request) as well as a simple hanging rail and chairs set outside in the bush.
Kuyenda is the quintessential bush camp – rebuilt every season and open June-late October – and provides great wildlife viewing opportunities; wildlife frequently wanders through camp, so you don’t have to go far! Night drives and walking safaris are also especially popular among guests at Kuyenda.
Kuyenda Camp works both with the South Luangwa Conservation Society (SLCS) & North Luangwa Conservation Project (NLCP) to ensure that conservation efforts continue in the area. Individual educational and conservation programmes in the community are also run as part of a more sustained push for the preservation of the South Luangwa National Park.
To ensure the long term future of these essential projects the camp has introduced to their rates a donation of $10 per person per night to the ‘Luangwa Conservation & Community Fund’. The funds from this are then split evenly between conservation and community projects.
The camp provides help to two local schools; Chiwawatala Basic School in Mfuwe and Chilongozi School in a remote area close to the camp. Since support began, the progress of the schools has been remarkable. With generous donations it has allowed for the sponsorship of pupils, teachers’ salaries to be covered, the construction of classrooms and staff houses, and provided the necessary means for the school children to have outings into the park on wildlife drives.