Robin Pope Safaris Zambia

Robin Pope Safaris “Flashback to Zambia in the early 1960s… a small boy named Robin, playing in the bush, running free with a fishing rod and binoculars. From small acorns, mighty oaks grow… from those carefree days an award-winning company rooted in responsible, sustainable tourism, has flourished. Robin began work in 1975 with Zambia Safaris, and set to developing his bush knowledge and guiding skills. Keen to create his own company, his dream came true in 1985 with the creation of Robin Pope Safaris – Tena Tena Camp opened for business the following year. In 1988, Robin’s life changed forever with the arrival of Jo Holmes (whom he later married in 1991) who came to cater at Tena Tena for the season. The next three years saw a huge growth for Robin’s safari operation; creating the now hugely-successful Mobile Walking Safaris, and opening of Nkwali Camp.

The next decade built on that early success with a new camp at Nsefu, then Luangwa Bush Camping (combining comfort with camping out in the heart of the bush) and finally the Luangwa Safari House.  At Robin Pope Safaris we have one goal: to give our guests an unforgettable safari holiday to tick off their bucket list. To experience the wonders of Africa’s secluded wilderness, rich culture, beautiful beaches and – our primary focus – the outstanding wildlife, including leopard, lion, elephant, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, wild dog, hippo, to name a few; more than 450 species of birds and an amazing array of tropical fish found only in Lake Malawi.

Founded in 1986, this family run business offers a comprehensive range of locations in Zambia (The Victoria Falls and South Luangwa National Park), Malawi (Lake Malawi, Majete Wildlife Reserve and most recently Liwonde National Park) and Zimbabwe with John’s Camp in Mana Pools National Park. Our exquisite bush venues offer rustic luxury, each small and intimate ensuring an exclusive and personal guest experience.”

Click on a camp or lodge name for more!

Nkwali “is located on the banks of the Luangwa on a magnificent meander in the river overlooking the National Park where leopards roam along the bank and can often be spotted from camp. Situated on Robin Pope Safaris’ private land outside the park there is a private game viewing area behind camp as well as exclusive access into the park either by boat or across the pontoon.  The six chalets with bamboo woven walls and thatch roofs offer a rustic luxury opening up to magnificent views of the river as well as open air en-suite bathrooms.  Nkwali offers understated elegance, seclusion and superb service.”

Tena Tena “Situated in the exclusive Nsefu Sector Tena Tena sits nestled under a magnificent and thick grove of mahogany trees. On a double tiered river bank each room enjoys its own private view onto a long stretch of the Luangwa River.  Tena Tena is synonymous with Robin Pope Safaris as it was the first camp which Robin opened and ran and has become a favorite among many safari lovers over the years.”

Nsefu “Situated in the exclusive Nsefu Sector on a magnificent meander on the Luangwa River across which elephants often cross lies the historic camp Nsefu. Nsefu is one steeped in history and was built in 1951 and barring some upgrades the camp and rooms are still in the same place in the original style. The Nsefu sector was first pronounced a game reserve in 1966 some five years before the South Luangwa was even declared and has always been recognized as an outstanding game-viewing area. Robin Pope Safaris took over Nsefu in 1998, spent a year upgrading it and opened it the following July.  The camp welcomes just twelve guests in six original brick and thatch rondavels with en-suite facilities, each room opening up to what can simply be described as the best view in the South Luangwa.”

Luangwa River Camp “Luangwa River Camp sits nestled under an ancient ebony grove on the banks of the Luangwa River overlooking the game rich area known as the Luangwa Wafwa.  This small and intimate camp with just five bush suites, along with its setting and location creates a real “wow” factor and a romantic feeling simply flows through the camp.”

Luangwa Safari House “Designed by Neil Rocher this impressive private house sits gracefully on the edge of a lagoon system frequented by large herds of elephants, impalas, giraffes and countless other species which use the lagoon as a source of water and food throughout the year. All of which is magnificently set off by the back drop of the Chindeni Hills. During the dry season lunch can be had on the raised deck surrounded by up to 80 elephants splashing around and enjoying the cool water.

Luangwa House has been designed to assault the senses from the minute you arrive, a strong castle like structure looms up in front of you, then and as you enter through the enormous pivoting door, light and grace as the entire front of the house is open to wilderness. The four double rooms each subtly but differently decorated to mimic the elements – water, earth, wind and fire encompass the feeling of bringing nature into the house.  This magnificent private house is the ultimate in luxury and the perfect getaway for families (children over seven) or groups of friends seeking an indulgent and private break.”

Robin’s House “Robin’s House is a small, private and exclusive house on the banks of the Luangwa River, ideal for young families or friends seeking a more indulgent type of safari. This two bedroom house with main living area provides a shady and cool retreat from the African midday heat and if that is not enough there is a stunning plunge pool to soak in whilst looking over the Luangwa River.  With its own team of staff dedicated to looking after you Robin’s House offers a home away from home but with added luxuries.”

Bush Camping “Name one of the most exclusive experiences on offer in Africa? Bush Camping with Robin Pope Safaris!   What is “bush camping”? …walking with the best of guides, dipping deeper into the bush from the fixed camps by camping out for a couple of nights, dinner and stories around the fire, simple but delicious food…

When staying at Tena Tena and Nsefu you can walk between the two for two or three days, camping on the way. This is simple camping but with that extra touch of comfort. There are stand up tents, mattresses on the ground, sheets and blankets, wash basin, shared 60L bucket shower, bush loo, full bar and food service, fully serviced camp (except laundry). The walking is in one of the most lagoon rich areas of the Luangwa and hence the game is superb.

Mobile Walking SafarisThe Robin Pope Safaris’ Mobile Walking Safaris have long been known as the best wilderness experience of the South Luangwa. After a night at Nkwali, the party drives to the north of the park where they will walk for five days covering approximately 10km a day, following the Mupamadzi River. This clear river is a major tributary of the Luangwa.

The area is remote and wild, the terrain and habitats varied and the game shy and unused to man. From ants to buffalo, a bird’s nest to tracking a lion, you will learn the many facets of the bush. The fully serviced mobile camp is extremely comfortable and well-equipped with walk-in tents and full bedding. The shower is under a tree and the toilet is a bush loo with a wooden throne. Meals of a high standard are served under the open sky. A final night at Tena Tena or Nsefu completes the safari.”

Stanley Safari Lodge “Set on a hill bordering the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and overlooking unspoilt bush, Stanley Safari Lodge is only three kilometer from the Victoria Falls. The views are splendid: the spray of the Falls in the distance, the mighty Zambezi River and on top of that yet another beautiful African sunset. From either our main garden, our infinity pool or from the privacy of your room, views are unmatched.

The ten uniquely designed chalets are constructed of teak and local stone and are open fronted or more colonial style brick and tiled rooms which are closed.  Stanley Safari Lodge is an elegant and luxurious getaway.”