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Island Bush Camp

Luangwa Valley

Rating: Mid-range    

Island Bush Camp overview

Island Bush Camp is a small, personalised camp to the far south of the park in a little visited area. It used to be ON the island but river erosion over recent years means that the camp has retreated to the 'mainland' side but is still opposite the island hence still known as 'Island' Bush Camp! It sits on the side of the Luangwa River inside the park and is the only camp for a huge distance, therefore offering a remote experience with plenty of wildlife. 

The camp offers rustic accommodation in 5 double grass and reed huts. The huts are raised and each one has a private verandah overlooking the Luangwa River. All are en-suite and have open-air bathrooms with bucket showers, running cold water and flush toilets. 

The camp's remote location, far away from any other camps, means that guests have exclusive access to this game-rich area. The camp offers walking safaris, led by a qualified guide and accompanied by an armed National Park scout. During the walking safaris the guide will explain the little details of the bush, spoor, vegetation and the ecology, giving you a true insight into the wildlife of this region. Access by boat to other areas of the park is also enjoyed here. 

Back in camp you can put your feet up in the lounge and enjoy a cold beer. Dinner is a hearty three course meal, cooked over a wood-burning stove, eaten in the cosy dining area or out under the stars by candlelight.  


Open:  Island Bush Camp is open from 20 May to 1 November.

Location:  Island Bush Camp  is on the banks of the Luangwa River in South Luangwa National Park. Originally the camp was on an island, hence the name, but due to river erosion it is now sited on the mainland. It is about a 3 hour drive from its sister lodge, Kafunta River Lodge.

Rooms:  There are 5 chalets, simply decorated and retaining a rustic feel, in keeping with their remote bush setting. They are built on elevated platforms. Beds have mosquito nets. The en-suite bathrooms are open to the sky and have bucket showers which are supplied with hot water once a day. There is running cold water for hand basins and toilets. All chalets have verandas facing the river. There is no power and each tent has paraffin lights.  

Activities:  Walking safaris are Island Camp’s speciality. Your group is led by a professional guide and accompanied by an armed wildlife scout. Walks are taken at a leisurely pace, allowing you time to pause and examine the bush and watch for wildlife large and small. There are usually two walks a day, one after breakfast and the other following afternoon tea. The camp has a 4x4 vehicle to gain access to areas further afield and for night drives.   

Facilities:   There’s a lounge with plenty of comfy chairs where you can relax with other guests and watch the scenery and wildlife on your doorstep. The bar supplies a range of soft and alcoholic drinks. In the morning tea and coffee is served around the campfire, while the day’s bread is baking, ready for breakfast. Meals are served in the dining area or out in the open air, beneath the stars at night. You’re welcome to take a tour of the kitchen. All meals are cooked over a basic wood burning stove, which is testament to the skill of the chef. The camp offers a laundry service.

Dining:   Meals can be eaten together or at separate tables.

Children:  Children aged 12 years and older are welcome.  

Health:  This is a malarial area.

Communication:  There is no internet access.

Map for Island Bush Camp

Lodge IconLodge Yacht IconVessel Tented Camp IconCamp Hotel IconHotel National Park IconNational Park Historic site IconHistoric site Place of Interest IconPlace of Interest UNESCO world heritage site IconUNESCO heritage site

Tracy Edwards
Christine MacDougall
Dave Lock
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customer rating

96% from
8 reviews











client reviews

Keith Jones

"The food and hosts were brilliant. The walking was less challenging than we had hoped but that was because of the mixed group we were staying with. We had an elephant outside our tent one day and the hippos will keep you awake. The remote beauty is awesome"

Suzanne Higginbotham
"Quite remote but still provided immaculate bedding and comfortable beds, flushing toilets and a canvas bag shower. Delicious food, produced amazingly on a wood burning stove! The best view from a toilet I've ever seen. We were really well looked after!"
Kathryn Hudson
"Very friendly, great stories around the campfire while watching bush tv! Wonderful place to stay. The food was fantastic and all cooked on such a small wood burning stove!"
Tracy Edwards, Tribes
"WOW! I loved this camp. Everything about it was fantastic - the manager, the guides and staff were brilliant. I felt part of the family and they couldn’t make my stay any better. The rooms are not for the faint hearted though, and I may have kept one eye open all night as the rooms are very open, but somehow I wanted to stay here forever! I had a sneak-peek into the kitchen can honestly say the chef is incredible! He cooked a steak for me which was divine and even more impressive when you see how it’s cooked! "
David Kennedy
"Good standard for a bush camp. Staff extremely helpful and cook took Michael (our grandson) fishing!"

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