This is a little gem of a camp in the Busanga Plains. It only has four tents and a very neat main area. The dining room is under a tree that they decorate with a chandelier-like arrangement of lanterns in the evening. It is basic but it is very comfortable. You certainly feel like you are far, far away from civilization and yet you are so safe and free in the loving care of the staff who run this gorgeous camp.
The rooms are very basic but comfortable. The bathrooms or rather shower area is en-suite set behind the bedroom area. The roof over the bathroom is just shade net so you shower under the stars or under the sunny skies, depending. There is a little deck in front of the tent which is great for a bit of yoga or sitting out and reading during the mid-day break.
It is wonderful to be able to spend time in all the different areas that Wilderness operates in so that we get to see and feel what the different types of camps are like. Busanga Bush Camp is like being in ‘real’ Africa but yet you still eat great food, drink great wine, have hot showers, flush loos and sleep in comfortable beds at night. At this time of year the weather is really very hot during the day so owing to the fact that power is solar or generator supplied, the freezers sometimes can’t keep up with the high temperatures and you might not always get ice in your gin and tonic. But when you are in ‘real’ Africa that is a small price to pay.
One thing is for sure though – you will eat very well…too well actually. The spread of food for brunch and dinner is colourful, varied and delicious. Each meal is a treat, but what is jaw-dropping is to know exactly how the beautifully baked butternut, spinach and sweet potato pie gets to the table. The oven that Chrispin the chef works with is a hole in the ground into which he places some coals and then places his dish carefully on a metal tripod stand above the coals. He then covers the oven hole with a metal sheet and places more coals on top. How he knows what the exact temperature is in the oven and when to take out the pie so that the pastry is perfectly cooked through, is a miracle to me. It makes it all that much tastier when you understand how it was cooked. I guess this technique is not new at all, but it is novel for most of us who just flick on a switch like second nature.
When we made our trek down to the woodland area beyond Musanza Camp to look for wild dogs and cheetah, we came around the corner and there was one of our great friends, Brett, on the game drive vehicle from Musanza Camp. When you are in the most remote areas you don’t expect to see anyone really and definitely not someone that you know. It was the most wonderful unexpected surprise. We decided that Brett and his party should come and have dinner with us that evening at Busanga Bush Camp which they did and it was fabulous. After dinner they drove back to Musanza Camp as they were planning to leave for Lusaka the next day to make the trip home.
One actually doesn’t really realize that all the Wilderness camps in Busanga are reachable by vehicle, especially during the drier months. Although we drove up to Shumba Camp to drop some guests who were travelling around with us for one of the mornings, we didn’t actually go in. So next time I will have a look and tell more about what Shumba looks like – as well as Musanza and Lufupa. A very good reason to have to make another expedition to Busanga Plains.