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Why we love Island Bush Camp
Key Features
When to Visit
Island Bush Camp Tours

Island Bush Camp is one of Kafunta’s bush camps in the south of South Luangwa. Island Bush Camp is a rustic bush camp set on the banks of the Luangwa River where you can get back to nature and experience unspoilt African wilderness with stunning views of the river and the Luangwa Valley.

With just 5 chalets, this remote camp offers complete seclusion and specialises in walking safaris. Each thatched chalet is open to the elements so you can see into the bush both by day and by moonlight.

“What a special spot. An absolute digital detox, your mind just takes a huge breath of fresh air and all your worries from back home slink away. Normally glued to my phone I packed it away in my suitcase and forgot to even think about it. The camp here really is back to basics but it’s such a fun and adventurous experience – I had an elephant grumbling next to my head on the other side of the thatched walls of my room during the night! Martin the guide here was an absolute legend, an amazing sense of humour and the wisdom and passion that comes with 21 years of guiding experience in Luangwa. Great activities, great staff (shout out to Maybin, their awesome waiter), great location (no other vehicles to be seen, it’s just you and the wild), and a great experience – I can’t wait to bring my husband, he’ll love it.”

Last visited by Gabi, Marketing & Sales, October 2019

“Love the back to basics rustic bush camp in a stunning location, especially no wifi perfect for a digital detox. Amazing sunsets often with an elephant crossing… Tasty Food/ friendly staff and all round love the wild ambience of Islands Bush Camp.”

Mike Varndell, Managing Founder

Walking safaris

The main activity at Island Bush Camp is walking safaris and it’s easy to see why. The camp is ideally positioned, deep in the South Luangwa National Park, to sight amazing wildlife. You walk in small groups, escorted by an armed official wildlife scout and an experienced guide, who are on hand to educate you on your bush encounters; from Carmine bee eaters to elephants and from paw prints to dung!


The camp is three hours south of Kafunta River Lodge, it is well off the beaten path! There is no power at the camp, therefore if you are wanting to unwind and get away from everything this is the place to be. Here you can enjoy the bush in complete solitude and listen to the sounds of the animals and wind in the trees. The remoteness continues in the camp itself. There are just 5 bush chalets, each built out of natural materials with a bathroom open to the sky.

Game viewing

The views from camp are extraordinary, stretching from the Chindeni hills in the Eastern corners of the Luangwa Valley to the Muchinga escarpment in the West. Thanks to this natural boundary, there’s an abundance of wildlife to sight. Around the camp there are many great spots from where you can grab your binoculars and comfortably observe the passing birdlife and the hippos in the river. Whilst on walking safaris you’ll see elephants, lions, leopards, various antelopes, giraffes, monkeys and more.

LOW Season: 25 May – 30 Jun

HIGH Season: 1 Jul – 31 Oct

CLOSED: 1 Jan – 24 May & 1 Nov – 31 Dec



  • Lush green scenery and best sunsets
  • Flowers, birds and baby animals galore
  • Few tourists
  • Cheaper rates


  • Beautiful green scenery after rains
  • Fantastic photography opportunities
  • Dry weather
  • Mild temperatures


  • Dry scenery, best for spotting game
  • Abundant wildlife – fewer water sources
  • Warm/hot temperatures
  • Prime time for walking safaris

Category Ranges:
$: USD 0 – USD250/pppn
$$: USD 251 – USD600/pppn
$$$: USD 601 – USD1,000/pppn
$$$$: USD1,001+/pppn

The price categories give you an idea of the nightly cost per person for this accommodation.

  • Bush heaven

    Travelled here after Kafunta Lodge. It’s a bit wilder and you certainly feel closer to the wildlife but, if anything, the accomodation is even better than Kafunta. Our ‘tent’ was fabulous and came with a sleeping platform to spend a night our under the stars. The staff were excellent and I particularly enyed the communal dining, which gave us a great opportunity to get to know the other guests and swap safari stories. The camp manager, TJ, was a wonderful host who really seemed to care about his guests and his staff. Highly recommended.

  • A real bush experience

    Great place for a quiet couple of nights appreciating the african bush. Not the density of game seen at other parts of South Luangwa but a wonderful different experience. Whilst we were there an elephant wandered through camp to eat the palm nuts that he shook down – amazing!

    Julie S
  • Kafunta overall is fantastic and a must to do all three locations

    Everything was unreal. The guides Andrew and Chapuma had so much knowledge and patience and made sure we saw everything and we did. Food , wines, sundownders, walks, night noises, views, people WOW all top. These places were recommended to us and we will make sure we recommend to others. A MUST to do.

  • Hippo orchestra

    We stayed here in conjunction with a stay at Kafunte Lodge and it is a perfect combination. Island Bush Camp is small, quiet (apart from the ever present hippo orchestra but who can complain about being woken up by hippos) and beautifully simple. I loved the experience of the open-fronted huts, the paraffin lamps, and the bush showers. But don’t worry it is very comfortable. The food is great. The walking was good and put the safari experience into a different perspective that was both more relaxed and more exciting. Klaus is a wonderful host.

    Sue W

Fast Facts

  • Location: South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
  • Internet connection:No cell reception or WiFi
  • Fans/Air ConNone
  • Number of rooms:5 chalets
  • Child policy:12+ years
  • Swimming poolNo

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