Tena Tena means ‘temporary home’. Owned and run by Robin Pope Safaris, this is certainly a homely little camp with a very friendly atmosphere. Robin Pope Safaris operates a number of authentic camps across Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, and the company is passionate about responsible tourism, making it a bit of a favourite at YZ! The price of your stay includes accommodation, all meals, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, and a laundry service. The camp is open from 22nd May to 31st October.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The camp is accessed via about an hour’s road transfer from Mfuwe Airport. It has a fabulous location amidst trees on a bank of the River Luangwa, in the South Luangwa’s Nsefu sector.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT TENA TENA:
Guest accommodation consists of five twin-bed tents and one double/honeymoon tent. All are spaced well apart on either side of the camp’s communal structure, and each boasts a private veranda with a couple of comfy chairs, a table, and lovely vistas across the river! Entering your tent through a zippered canvas door, you’ll find a nicely made double bed or twin beds, bedside lighting, an easy chair, and some storage furniture. Every tent feels spacious, due in no small part to light concrete flooring and cream-coloured canvas. En-suite facilities are accessed through another zippered door to the side of the bedroom space. Occupying a walled space under netting, they’re very outdoorsy and comprise flush toilet with a view, twin washbasins, and open-air shower. A few toiletries are provided for you.
Many of Tena Tena’s communal areas are found in the camp’s double-storey mess structure, which is approached from the guest tents along sandy pathways. It’s set out around a majestic mahogany tree and a vast termite mound, both bestowing plenty of character! Shaded by a tented roof as well as other indigenous trees, there’s a pleasant lounge featuring well-cushioned wood-framed seating around coffee tables and an assortment of reading material. In the dining area, one long table is flanked by classic safari chairs – this is where everyone eats together, tucking in to delicious meals! Towards the back of the building, there’s the well-stocked bar, with a few inviting barstools. All these spaces are on the upper level. On the lower level, there’s the campfire, another convivial venue for relaxing and enjoying good food and drink. A fire is often lit closer to the river, and you can while away an evening getting to know your fellow travellers and sharing stories of your time in the bush!
ACTIVITIES AT TENA TENA:
The camp offers a great range of activities, as follows:
Expertly guided game drives- Drives from camp take place in open-top Toyota Landcruisers, which have a side seat for everyone on board. Covering 9,500 square kilometres, the South Luangwa National Park contains two eco-regions, each with wildlife-rich woodland savanna. Additionally, the park has sprawling plains and a number of water sources, not least the Luangwa river and its beautiful lagoons. Wildlife highlights include four of the Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, and buffalo! You can also look out for sizeable populations of Thornicroft’s giraffe, Cookson’s wildebeest, Crawshay’s zebra, spotted hyena, wild dog, and lots of other predators and herbivores.
Walking safaris- Walks are also accompanied by an expert guide, as well as an armed scout for your protection. The activity is perfect for safarists who want to get to know the smaller lives of the South Luangwa, such as the park’s plants, insects, and hundreds of types of bird! You can track big game too.
Village tours- Anyone with a keen interest in culture will happily take up opportunities to visit Kazawa Village and schools, to gain fascinating insights into how people live and work in the Luangwa region. Moreover, you can stroll around the Mfuwe area, to experience the town’s colourful market, shops, bars, and local artisans.
Wildlife Education Centre visits- Highly recommended for young safarists, the centre teaches the Luangwa Valley’s schoolchildren about the national park’s wildlife and ongoing conservation endeavours. There’s a lot to interest adults here as well!
Tribal Textiles experience- Guests can browse a fine selection of locally produced textiles, depicting the wondrous wildlife of the South Luangwa. These make excellent souvenir items!