Nsefu Camp

South Luangwa, Zambia

Nsefu Camp

South Luangwa's very first safari camp, Nsefu Camp can trace its origins back to the early 1950s, when it was opened by reputed safari operator Robin Pope.

Located on the meandering banks of the Luangwa River, a short drive north of Tena Tena, lies Nsefu, the oldest camp in South Luangwa National Park. Owned and managed by Robin Pope Safaris, Nsefu Camp dates from the early 1950s, giving it something of an historic quality. It's been through many changes since it opened, of course, even closing for a number of years before reopening in the late 1990s, but the current lodge is still faithful to the original design. Today Nsefu remains one of the standout camps in the Robin Pope portfolio, though it is no longer the flagship.

Nsefu Camp has a great location in the less-crowded Nsefu sector of the South Luangwa National Park. Here it enjoys an enviable position on the edge of the Luangwa River, overlooking a well-frequented watering hole, which attracts elephant and hippo during the day and, at night, the occasional leopard! Game drives and guided walking safaris provide an opportunity to further explore the park, accompanied by superb guides (Robin Pope Safaris have built their reputation as much on their excellent guiding as on the quality of their camps).

Nsefu Camp features rondavel huts rather than the tents that one might expect from a classic bush camp. They're very comfortable, well-appointed rooms—stylish but not too fussy, in keeping with the Robin Pope ethos. The fixed nature of the accommodation – Nsefu is one of the few permanent camps in the South Luangwa – does mean that Nsefu doesn't quite capture the remote bush camp feel of some of the park's more remote temporary camps. However, the option to enjoy extended fly camping expeditions from Nsefu should appeal to the adventurous traveller wanting more than just a comfortable, lodge-based safari.


Nsefu Camp features just six stone and thatch rondavels, each with a shady verandah overlooking the river in front of the camp. Inside the rondavels are very cosy, and furnished in an understated style. The bedrooms are admittedly quite small compared to those in newer lodges; however the bathroom extensions, which have been added to the rondavels in more recent years, are more generous in size, featuring large showers, wash basins and flush loos.

One disappointing aspect of Nsefu is how close together the rondavels are, which seems unnecessary given the small number of rooms at the camp. The quiet atmosphere at Nsefu (it does not accept young children) goes some way to compensate for this, however.

If taking part in the fly camping (we recommend it!), you'll enjoy simple light mobile camping facilities—a small canvas tent, bucket shower, and long drop toilet. You will be accompanied by a guide, chef and camp assistant. Note that the fly camping must be booked in advance.


A light breakfast is usually enjoyed early around the campfire, followed by a generous buffet brunch on return from the morning's game activity. Dinner is a fixed menu, and from our experience, always delicious!

Dietary requirements will need to be mentioned in advance of your arrival.

The dining area is partially open and enjoys views of the river, as does the well-stocked bar.


- Dining area
- Bar
- Library
- Solar power with batteries


- Day and night game drives
- Fly-camping
- Guided walking safaris

Child Policy

Children over the age of 12 can be accommodated at Nsefu Camp.