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In the western half of the Kasanka National Park, Luwombwa Lodge is located beside the permanent Luwombwa River, which is ideal for gentle guided canoe trips. It's a delightful place to stay, but very simple by the standards of many more modern safari camps. Luwombwa has three simple but spacious en-suite chalets with polished stone floors. Two are split level, with a double bed and a single downstairs and two single metal-framed camp beds on a mezzanine level. The upstairs area is located in the apex of the roof.
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There are two main areas at Luwombwa. One, an open-sided thatched structure on the banks of the river, is where breakfast and lunch are generally served. A long wooden table, flanked by benches, is laid with an ethnic-print tablecloth and dishes are laid out in a buffet style. There are also a few deck chairs here where you can enjoy the views.

There are also a few deck chairs here where you can enjoy the views over the river and indulge in a bit of birdwatching before or after meals.

The second main area is set slightly back from the river under a large mabula plum tree. It is open at the front but closed in at the sides and back to create a sheltered spot for dinner and when the weather isn’t so good. In the evening, camp chairs are arranged around a campfire in front: a good spot to enjoy a cold beer whilst catching up on the day’s activities with other guests.

Luwombwa has three simple but spacious en-suite chalets with polished stone floors. Two are split level, with a double bed and a single downstairs and two single metal-framed camp beds on a mezzanine level. The upstairs area is located in the apex of the roof and is very small, so suitable only for children. The third chalet has a double bed and a single downstairs. A mosquito net is hung above each of the beds. The only other furniture is a small cloth-covered table with a solar light, a candle and some matches, a mosquito coil and a couple of bottles of drinking water.

Wooden doors lead out onto a wooden veranda with views directly over the river. The chalets are very basic but clean and functional, with mismatched linen and curtains and threadbare towels, all of which could do with a bit of updating.

The bathroom, too, is functional with a flush toilet, single basin and large shower cubicle. Cold water is available all day. On request, a member of staff will fill the water container outside the bathroom with hot water boiled over a fire; the camp has no electricity.

Activities at Luwombwa concentrate on boating and canoeing as this is the best way to explore the Luwombwa River and enjoy the area’s amazing birdlife. Night boat trips can be arranged in search of nocturnal birds such as Pels fishing owl and white-backed night heron. It is also possible to do walking from Luwombwa as well as fishing, and basic fishing gear is provided.

On land, guests on 4WD game drives may spot puku, sitatunga, reedbuck, duiker and Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, as well as the magnificent sable.

Yes, the accommodation is a bit rustic and the dining shelter needs rebuilding soon, but the lodge’s location on a bend in the river – each thatched chalet is right on the river with own verandah, with nothing but the sound of water and birds, and occasional elephant, is stunning and so very good for the soul.

Good fishing to be had and a canoe trip with one of the guides, or a walk with one of the scouts, should not be missed.

Luwombwa Lodge · Safari camps

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