Robin Pope Safaris
About Robin Pope SafarisRobin Pope Safaris launched in 1986, and have always believed in offering exceptional customer care and bespoke holidays. We offer architecturally-stunning safari homes, rustic, yet sophisticated safari properties, and none of our exclusive bush camps sleep more than twelve. Robin Pope Safaris is a large family that you will be welcomed into. We all love where we live and what we do. The camps are our homes and we welcome you as guests and hope you leave as friends. The guide on any holiday is critical - he needs to be informed, knowledgeable, sensitive, with a good sense of humour and fun. And this is especially true on safari where you spend many hours with your guide. We therefore choose our guides very carefully and believe we have a wonderful team that will give the best safari possible. Our guest to guide/vehicle ratio is 4:1 (not 6:1 as in most camps, especially bush camps).
With the help of my agent Sue at Tracks Safaris, I chose to travel to South Luangwa National Park in Zambia, hosted by Robin Pope Safaris. As a solo traveller safariing for the first time as a 70-year-old widow, I had some fairly specific requirements of my safari. I wished to dine with other people and to have help climbing into the safari trucks.I also wanted to experience night-drives when the nocturnal life is up-and-about, plus predators.
My first lodge was Luangwa River Camp, a luxurious introduction to my stay. As it was the end of the dry season, we could ford the river by truck to get into the main park area. The wildlife was simply spectacular; duelling giraffes; elephants of all sizes in herds of all sizes; lions - devouring mainly buffalo; leopards with impala kills; huge throngs of thirsty buffaloes; a hyena stealing the kill from two leopards; water-birds gathering at the drying rivers to catch the concentrated fish; carmine bee-eaters flocking round the holes in the sandy river-banks to feed their young; to mention just some of the amazing life.
The second lodge was Nsefu, the oldest of the Robin Pope Lodges but very comfortable having been upgraded. Our accommodation was in rondavels here.
Finally, I stayed at Tena Tena, a wholly tented camp, but extremely comfortable too. Both Nsefu and Tena Tena are in the more remote Nsefu Sector, where there are few if any other camps. This makes for few visitor numbers and very few safari trucks driving round, giving a brilliantly quiet wildlife-watching experience.
At all the lodges, which held a maximum of 12 guests, everyone ate together which made for a wonderful atmosphere comparing our daily safari experiences. Some went on walking safaris; I stayed in the trucks! There was always help to climb in, my own milk-crate to begin with, but gradually I got fitter and discarded steps. How proud of me my guides were!!
The people running the lodges were a joy, all taking such a pride in their work, from the chef producing superb meals, to the night watchmen who took us to and from our tents after dark and were always there in case of excitement. But, my main praise has to go to my three guides at the three camps, Daudi, Pious and Chris, all of whom found the most amazing wildlife sights for us to experience, taught us about the Zambian flora and fauna, and kept us topped up with a morning coffee-break and an evening sundowner of G+T overlooking the Luangwa River at dusk. My best ever times were when I had the pleasure of going out alone with my guide and the truck - we saw the most amazing wildlife action on those occasions, two people and not another truck to be seen. Real remote wild Africa - just what a safari should be. Thank you to all at Robin Pope Safaris.