Shoebill Island Camp, situated on an island in the Bangweulu Wetlands, offers accommodation in safari tents under thatch roofs and reed cottages. Each of the 5 tents has 2 beds, an ensuite shower and flush toilet. The island has panoramic views over the swamps and gets its name from the Shoebill, which are in reach of the camp between May and July. Boating can be arranged in banana boats or dugout canoes. Guests can also be taken on guided walks over the reedbeds and game drives are also available. Later in the year when the waters dry and recede, day and night drives and bush walks area enjoyed.
Bangweulu is a great place for birdwatchers as it attracts a profusion of waterfowl. The papyrus swamps along the Lukulu river are also the breeding ground of the Shoebill, a massive grey, do-do like bird found nowhere else in the sub-region. Bangweulu is probably the best place remaining in the world to see Shoebill storks in the wild. As well as birdlife, guests here can also hope to see elephant, buffalo, tsessebe, reedbuck, oribi and sitatunga in this wetland environment.
Open: Shoebill Camp (also known as Shoebill Island Camp) is open all year. It is owned by the Kasanka Trust.
Location: The camp is at the edge of the Bangweulu Wetlands, an area of lagoons, waterways and low lying islands. It has its own airstrip at Chimbwe.
Rooms: There are 6 guest tents and 3 reed cottages providing basic but comfortable accommodation. Each accommodates up to 2 people with beds that can be configured as 1 double or 2 twins, and has an en-suite bathroom with a bucket shower, basin and flush toilet. There is also a campsite nearby for those on a more restricted budget.
Activities: You can venture into the Bangweulu Wetlands by banana boat or dugout canoe, for sightings of shoebills and other birds such as flamingos, spoonbills, herons, kingfishers, wattled cranes and pelicans. From May to October you can take game drives in the area near the camp for views of sitatunga, reedbuck, tsessebe, elephant and buffalo, and can also go walking to see shoebills, though the going can be very muddy in places.
Facilities: At the heart of the camp thereâ€™s an open plan lounge and dining area with a reference library and a bar. There is a separate room overlooking the lagoon where breakfast is usually served. There is a free laundry service.
Dining: Meals are eaten communally. The food tends to be simple but is flavourful.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome, though there are no special activities or provisions for them.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is no Wi-Fi internet access or mobile coverage. The camp is in radio contact with the main office in Kasanka.
Notes: The camp accepts cash only, in Zambian Kwacha and US$ Dollars.
"The tents and facilities were getting old and basic but not unexpected. Again people were great. "