Lion Camp is the most remote lodge in the heart of the South Luanga National Park and is accessible only during the peak game viewing months of June to October. Blending African design with luxurious comfort, 9 chalets are spread along the banks of a perennial oxbow lagoon, looking out across grassy plains where mammals graze by day and lions hunt at night.
Lion Camp offers all the luxuries of a 5 star retreat, yet still retains a feeling of intimacy. This stylish lodge offers abundant and uncongested game viewing on its doorstep. Distinguished by its friendly staff, personalised service and excellent food, Lion Camp was situated and named for the high density of lions in the immediate area, and is known for excellent leopard sightings. It is suitable for accompanied children older than 7 years.
South Luangwa National Park is one of Africa's great wildlife sanctuaries, hosting 60 different animal species and over 400 different bird species in its vast 9 050km2 expanse. The Luangwa river winding through the Luangwa valley at the edge of the Great Rift Valley, has created numerous oxbow lagoons and open plains. Alluvial deposits have resulted in rich soils capable of supporting high quality grasslands, woodlands and forests. These, in turn, are capable of sustaining huge concentrations of game, including lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and arguably Africa's largest populations of hippo and Nile crocodile, as well as the endemic Thornicroft’s giraffe and Cookson’s wildebeest.
In the absence of fences, game moves freely through the lodge grounds. Elephant, hippo, bushbuck and other antelope are regularly seen within the camp and there are healthy populations of lion, leopard, buffalo and giraffe in the immediate area. Keen birders are likely to see Pel’s fishing owl, western banded snake eagle, and Lilian’s lovebirds among other species, while from mid-August, the banks of the Luangwa river house bustle with colonies of carmine bee-eaters.
The canvas and thatch chalets combine gleaming wood with richly colourful décor, creating a stylish ambience. Redolent of a luxury hotel room, each features a four-poster King bed or Twin beds, comfortable seating, and a private deck overlooking the open plains. Raised on wooden platforms, the chalets are linked to each other and to the main area by a 2 metre high boardwalk, allowing even the largest animals unrestricted access through the camp. It is perfectly safe to move around on the raised walkways, but if you prefer, staff will escort you.
Mealtimes at Lion Camp are social occasions. Served under the trees in the beautiful ebony grove or in the lower dining area, they are highly convivial with fabulous food and plenty of stories from your Lion Camp hosts.
All food is prepared on site from fresh ingredients by a team of talented Zambian chefs. Breakfast is enjoyed around the central fire pit area, lunch is buffet style, afternoon tea has sweet and savoury options, and the evening meal is plated, with a set menu that is varied and healthy. End the evening sitting around the log fire under a starlit sky, listening to the evocative sounds of the African bush.
Lion Camp is a relaxed and friendly place, the luxurious interiors invitingly vibrant, with a choice of seating in the spacious main lounge and bar area offering views across the infinity swimming pool and deck to the plains beyond. A well-stocked library and a snooker/pool table are at your disposal, and the shop has a great selection of collectibles.
Your safety is of paramount concern to all at Lion Camp. All vehicles are fitted with VHF radios and walking guides carry handheld radios, allowing full communication with the main lodge at all times. The best time for game viewing is in the early morning and late afternoon when animals are their most active. There is no ‘typical day on safari’ since every day on safari is different, so you can decide on a day by day basis whether you feel like walking or driving.
For a real wildlife adventure, daily 4-hour game drives accompanied by a qualified and experienced guide are conducted in open Land Rovers that will take you to the heart of the action. In general you will cover more ground on a game drive, and, due to the fact you can get much closer to game in a vehicle, there are better opportunities for photography.
Afternoon game drives include a stop at a picturesque spot for a sundowner. As the sun sets over the bushveld, see the dark side of nature come to life as you experience the wonder of a spotlit night drive with nocturnal animal viewing.
A guided game walk through the valley, escorted by an experienced and armed scout, focuses more on the minutiae of the park and the eco-system, and offers an unforgettable experience. Walks normally cover 4 - 6km with plenty of informative stops along the way, with each walk tailored to the participants involved.