Pioneer Camp is privately owned and run by Paul and Sophie, pleasant hosts who will be happy to help you throughout your stay. The camp is clean, comfortable, good value for money… in short, a superb stopover before and after your Zambia safari! Accommodation is booked on a B&B basis, and the camp is open all year round.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The camp is accessed via 30 minutes’ road transfer from Lusaka’s Kenneth Kaunda International Airport. It has a lovely location within over ten hectares of miombo woodlands!
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT PIONEER CAMP:
Guest accommodation consists of a range of cottages, chalets, and budget tents, all positioned in the woods. The Pioneer Tent is the entry-level option, with twin beds and shared washing facilities. These are really geared towards budget travellers and are too simple for ours. Next up is the Safari Chalet – this too is fairly simple, but it does come with a private en-suite washroom and a veranda with woodland views. The Miombo Chalet is our top tip for travellers looking for something more spacious. The Triple subcategory has three single beds, en-suite full bathroom, and private veranda, while the Family option has king-size bed plus single bed, in addition to en-suite bathroom and private deck. Additional chalet features include a fan, charging points, and a small seating area, and access for wheelchair users is available on request. Finally, there’s the Family Cottage, which offers two bedrooms, living and dining areas, kitchen, and large veranda. Sleeping up to six people, it’s perfect for a family or group who enjoy their own space.
Pioneer’s communal areas are centred on the camp’s mess, a traditional timber, stone, and thatch build. Inside, it’s mostly open plan and reminiscent of a travellers’ hub, with flags on the walls, an often lively atmosphere, and a simple menu. You don’t get fine dining here, but if you’re able to go without that and a few other luxuries you’ll likely appreciate the informal vibe! The bar is well stocked, and the hosts make everyone feel at home. The camp’s boma provides an adventurous setting for al fresco meals, and guests can also gather around the fire-pit and share safari stories. In keeping with the safari style of the property, there’s a curio shop, where you can browse an assortment of locally produced arts-and-crafts. And there’s a generously proportioned swimming pool!
ACTIVITIES AT PIONEER CAMP:
The main activity at Pioneer is going for a woodland wander, ambling through the trees and doing a little birding on the way. The camp provides a map and the entire site is safe. However, if you’re interested in heading into Lusaka, here are a few things to see and do in and around the city:
City and township tours- If you only have time for one outing during your stay, please ask us about a highlights tour of the bustling city. From visiting a traditional healer to admiring the city’s political buildings to looking around one of its breweries, Lusaka has something for everyone!
Kabwata Cultural Village- This is an open-air market, full of thatch-roofed huts and stalls from which you can purchase a range of arts-and-crafts items from local sellers. At the weekends, usually from 2pm, you can watch a cultural performance too!
Art galleries- We recommend the Henry Tayali Visual Arts Centre for visitors who favour modern art, while the Nomwande Art Gallery is our top tip if you’d prefer to see the works of well-established painters and sculptors.
Shops- Lusaka’s development has included the construction of a lot of shopping malls, such as Cosmopolitan, Embassy, and East Park. If you have time to spare, you could certainly spend an afternoon browsing in any of these retail centres, taking an occasional break to refuel in any of their sit-down eateries.
Munda Wanga Environmental Park- This park is situated approximately 16 kilometres south of the city. It’s a rescue centre for the likes of owls and pangolins, alongside botanical gardens containing almost 500 plant species! If you’re here at 2pm on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, you can watch the animals’ feeding time.
Kalimba Reptile Park- Located in Ngwerere, a suburb of Lusaka, Kalimba is perfect for fans of all things scaly. Showcasing crocs, snakes, tortoises, and more, the park also offers fishing, farming, and general fun for all the family.
Lusaka National Museum- This museum provides a wealth of information about Zambia’s history and culture. On the upper gallery, you’ll find an interesting account of the country’s development, as well as a children’s corner. The lower gallery boasts an exciting assortment of contemporary art.