Frequently Asked Questions (last updated May 2013)
1. When can I stay at Lion Camp?
Lion Camp is open between 1st June and 31st October which is Zambia’s dry season. (Access during the rainy season is impossible by road, due to Lion Camps remote location).
2. When is the best time to visit?
There is no one answer to this question, as each month has its own merits. If you come between June & Aug, expect exceptional game viewing, at a comfortable temperature. From Sept to Oct, you can expect even higher concentrations of game, with more action, however it is extremely hot (up to 40 C) and dry.
3. How many days should I stay at Lion Camp?
The minimum stay is 3 nights, giving 2 full days to get the best out of a visit to the camp. That said we recommend 4-5 nights to cover all the different game viewing areas in the vicinity and have the best chance of seeing what you are most interested in. Lion Camp works well in combination with another camp, in either a different area of South Luangwa or in another national park such as Lower Zambezi or Kafue. Whilst in Zambia we also recommend a couple of nights in Livingstone to see Victoria Falls. Please contact us at email@example.com for more information.
4. What should I expect on a typical day on safari?
There is no ‘typical day on safari’ as every day on safari is different, but we suggest an early morning walk or drive, this (and late afternoon) is when the animals are most active. Then return to Lion Camp for lunch and a quiet / rest period in order to catch up on your journal or take a swim in the infinity pool. After a siesta and afternoon tea you will head out on an afternoon game viewing activity with a ‘sundowner’ stop in a picturesque spot to watch the setting sun. The game drive will continue into a night drive – game viewing by spotlight which focuses on nocturnal animals. You will return to the lodge around 20h00 followed by dinner.
5. Will I be fit enough to try a walking safari?
Yes, if you are of average fitness. Walks normally cover 4 - 6 km with plenty of informative stops along the way. However, each walk is tailored to the participants involved.
6. How much will it cost to stay at Lion camp?
We offer fully inclusive packages and are able to organise your local flights to/from Mfuwe. Please click here for an up-to-date rate sheet.
7. Is Lion Camp suitable for a first time safari goer, or if I have specific interests?
Definitely Yes. Our experienced and expert guides will be on hand to help you discover the best of South Luangwa and tailor your safari to your interests. With 4 guides in camp we are flexible enough to ensure you are well-looked after, and should it be necessary to share a vehicle we do our utmost to ensure it is with people of similar interests.
The top wildlife photographer Patrick Bentley runs specialist photographic safari weeks at Lion Camp. Click here for more info.
8. Is Lion Camp suitable for children?
Lion Camp is more suitable for accompanied children aged 7+. However please contact us to discuss your specific requirements.
9. Is Lion Camp suitable if I have mobility problems?
There are no ramps at Lion Camp for wheelchairs, and while there are steps at the main entrance, once in the lodge it is mainly on one level. All of our game viewing vehicles have steps on the side. Please contact us if you have any questions.
10. What else is there to do at Lion Camp, other than game viewing?
Lion Camp is a relaxed and friendly place to stay. In addition to the normal guided safari activities the lodge has a swimming pool, snooker /pool table and well-stocked library for your use.
11. How long is the transfer to Lion Camp from Mfuwe Airport?
As most of the transfer is inside the national park it is more of game drive than a ‘transfer’. Depending on what you encounter en-route it takes between 2-3 hours.
12. I want to have my own vehicle & guide – Is that possible?
Yes, it is normally possible for an additional fee, it should be booked ahead of time to avoid disappointment – Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
13. Will I be able to charge my electrical equipment?
We have a 220V inverter system, meaning you can charge equipment at your convenience in your room. The lodge has South African round pin sockets, but we provide adaptors for UK & US plugs.
14. What type of plane is used for the flights between the capital Lusaka and Mfuwe?
An 18 seater Jetstream is normally used by Proflight on the Mfuwe route. Flight time is 70 minutes. The baggage allowance on these planes is 15kg. Information on excess baggage charges can be found here. Please be aware that the airline exercises the right to refuse excess baggage if there is not enough space onboard the aircraft. If you are allowed more baggage on your international flight, have you considered helping ‘Pack for a Purpose’? Click here for further information. It’s an effective and easy way of helping local communities and conservation projects.
15. Are you able to cater for special dietary requirements?
Yes, but please inform us ahead of time of any specific dietary needs. We offer a set menu as is usual in most remote safari camps. For vegetarian/vegans, please just mention this to your hosts on arrival.
16. I want to get married under the African sky – Can you help me?
We’d love to help you plan your special day – please contact us for more information.
17. What should I pack for my safari?
Binoculars (one pair per person is essential), high factor sunscreen & a hat are the most important things to bring. Insect repellent is also a good idea, though we spray the lodge and provide mosquito repellent spray in the rooms. For walking safaris bring khaki or neutral coloured clothing (white / light colours are not suitable) and comfortable closed toe shoes/ trainers. There is a daily laundry service in camp, so this should help to limit your packing. Click here for typical daily temperatures at Lion Camp.
18. Do I need a visa to enter Zambia?
Entry visas are needed for most passports and are available on arrival in Lusaka. The current cost for most passport holders is US$50 for a single entry visa. Multiple entry visas are also available at a higher fee of US$80. We are happy to advise you on the latest charges / requirements - please enquire when booking.
19. Do I need to bring cash with me?
Your stay at Lion Camp is on an all-inclusive basis. Zambian Kwacha must be used for any purchase or payment in country. On arrival in Zambia, you can change USD Cash in any bank or foreign exchange bureau. Alternatively kwacha cash can be withdrawn from an ATM. Lion Camp staff and guides appreciate that tipping varies greatly between cultures and countries.
20. What medical precautions should I take?
Malaria is present in the Luangwa Valley so we recommend you take malaria prophylactics – please consult your doctor and at the same time check whether you need any additional vaccinations. If you are connecting through in South Africa from Zambia a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination is essential.
Please ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance for your trip, including medical cover. Lion Camp though taking every care to ensure your health & safety will not be held responsible for any loss or delays, injury, illness, death, cancellation of flights, change of itinerary.
Zambia, South Luangwa & Lion Camp
22. Why Zambia?
English speaking Zambia is a peaceful, friendly and welcoming country. Independent since 1964 it is a country of rich culture and vibrant contrasts, where it is possible to experience both an exclusive safari, and the thrill of Victoria Falls.
23. What will I see that is unusual / special to South Luangwa?
Particularly of note are the endemic Cooksons wildebeest and Thornicrofts Giraffe, however the Luangwa river has possibly the largest concentration of hippos & crocodiles in southern Africa and the valley is known for its excellent leopard viewing. For keen birders it is possible to see: Pels fishing owl, Western banded snake eagle, Lilians lovebirds and from mid August the Luangwa river banks house extensive carmine bee-eater colonies. The area around Lion Camp is also uncongested and allows game-viewing where you are most likely to be the only vehicle on a sighting.
24. Will I see Lions during my stay at Lion Camp?
We cannot guarantee it, but it is highly likely. Lion Camp was situated and named for the high density of lions in the immediate area.
25. How long has Lion Camp been in existence?
Lion Camp opened in its current guise in June 2007 and there have been relatively few changes in the management and staff since then. It is an independent lodge free of protocol with staff who are all passionate about the lodge, South Luangwa and Zambia. The Lion Camp site was first identified in the 1980’s, a testament to its ideal location in the heart of a superb game viewing area, away from the busy Mfuwe area.
26. How many people can you accommodate, are there twin or double beds?
We have 9 chalets meaning we can accommodate up to 18 guests. This enables us to offer all the luxuries of a 5 star retreat, yet still retain a feeling of intimacy.
5 rooms have king-size double-beds, and 4 are twin-bedded rooms. All have luxuriously draped mosquito nets, stand fans and comfortable day beds.
27. Is it safe to be on safari at Lion Camp?
- Your safety is of paramount concern to all at Lion Camp. At all times on game viewing activities you will be accompanied by a qualified and experienced guide.
- All vehicles are fitted with VHF radios and walking guides carry handheld radios, both allowing communication with the main lodge at all times.
- In camp it is safe to move around on the raised walkways, however Lion Camp staff are happy to escort you between your room and the main area should you wish.
28. Where does the drinking water come from?
All water comes from a borehole in camp. The drinking water is treated and filtered but bottled mineral water is available from the bar if you prefer.