LONELY PLANET – Alan Murphy, Nana Luckham, Nicola Simmonds – Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd. 2010 p.177-178

McBrides’ Camp – Our pick

This is one of the best places to stay in Kafue. It’s designed to give visitors maximum exposure to the bush, so a few nights here is about as genuine as it gets. There’s lots of open space around and animals such as lions, elephants and hippos all wander through the camp. It is cleverly built around wildlife paths, assuring the regular presence of these animals. It’s a real bushcamp, surprisingly comfortable but not luxurious.  The six chalets (called shallots: another three are planned) are spacious and simple built of thatch and wood. The campsite is the budget alternative and is simple, shady and has two clean ablution blocks.

The other side of the river is where is where walking safaris are conducted. This is a wild part of the park and you’ve a good chance of spotting lots of wildlife, but Chris and Charlotte’s passion is lions. Chris has written three books on them (with The White Lions of Timbavati being the only one still easily available and is a fountain of knowledge. These guys have spent many years in the bush and really know what they’re doing; they’re absolutely passionate about wildlife. The whole setup is quite informal so activities take place sporadically, according to what you feel like doing, but it’s the chance to go walking with lions that is really special. If roaring has been heard in the night you’ll be woken early in the morning and carted off for a walk to locate the king of the felines. It may end up being the highlight of your trip to Africa. Alcohol, transfers and Zawa vehicle fees are not included in the tariff.


The Mercury -The Idler’s column, 11 May 2009

Indaba time

IT’S INDABA season again and the city is full of tourism delegates, of whom I am one. It seems I have been made an honorary Zambian. I have been given a name tag and accreditation and I am entitled to sit on the Zambian stand and tell people about Kafue National Park.

How this happened is not quite clear to me but it is probably the work of a bush-happy Michaelhouse old boy from Kafue (Chris….Ed.), who comes to stay with me every year for the Indaba.

He is rather an oddball. For some reason he carries about with him a small bottle of Dettol. When I met him at the airport his cellphone rang, at which he whipped out the Dettol bottle, held it to his ear and started talking to it.

He is not used to the big, bad city and has already disappeared, lost, on two occasions since arrival last Friday. He hails originally from these parts and is a fluent Zulu speaker. This he employs whenever he goes into a supermarket.

He invariably asks the lady at the check-out if she is married. If it turns out she is, he asks if she has a sister who looks just like her. The reason, he explains, is that he needs another wife to take back to Zambia and help at the camp.

They fall about laughing and call their friends to listen. The word “hlekahlathini” crops up. It means a person who laughs in the forest’ a madman. Why they should say this is a complete mystery.

The Mercury -The Idler’s column, 13th May 2009

Indaba capers

FOR THOSE who have been following the adventures of my intrepid Zambian house guest who has been here for the Indaba (Chris again….Ed.),  lost several times now, confusion of a bottle of Dettol with a cellphone here is an add-on.

The house reverberated the other night to a howl, followed by gurgling and the sound of projectile vomiting.

My friend had eaten a mothball, mistaking it for a peppermint.

He says he is looking forward to getting back to the serenity and safety of the bush.

TRAVEL ZAMBIA Edition 4, Making Tracks by Mike Unwin

Making Tracks- Edition 4.pdf

(Geological and historical info from “MUMBWA HERITAGE SITES” by K.Mwamulowe, W.Wiessner,  M.Sinvula)

One of the National Heritage Sites within the Kafue National Park is the Kapiamema Hot Springs, which is situated close to McBrides’ Camp.

It is in a stunningly scenic area rising in a beautiful pool at the base of coarse pink porphyritic granite on the Southern extension of the Lubungu fault zone. It’s an interesting walk or short game drive from the McBrides’Camp, sometimes seeing Leopards on foot!, and where our guests can enjoy a natural swim and game view at the same time, as it is often visited by Elephants and other animals…..and the bird life is impressive, often seeing Ross’s Turacos’s, Martial Eagles, Goliath Herons and lots of LBJ’s!-It’s well worth a visit during your stay at McBrides’ Camp!

CAPE TIMES, INSIGHT, Friday, August 8, 2008 by Tony Weaver

“We were walking with legends of the lion world…. It was an enormous privilege to walk with Chris and Charlotte….” (Man Friday. Article on McBrides’ Camp, “We could watch the wildlife from a boat, or spend the day just lion about.”)

TRAVEL ZAMBIA, Edition 3, May 2008, p. 49. Downstream with the lion man. Philip Dickson

McBrides Boat Safari – Travel Zambia

“Big continent’s little secrets”

Contributed by: Joe McDaniel on 2/15/2008

Cape Argus, Travel section (Good Travel, p. 9, Sept 4, 2004.)

An African Inspiration

Caroline Taylor-Thomas meets a couple who embody hope for the continent’s future…

“Life at McBrides Camp falls into an easy rhythm. Up before dawn to sip down steaming mugs of tea and listen to the symphony of 300 varieties of birds, with the multi-toned grunts of the hippos mixed in with the roar of lions. Then there is the morning walk with Chris, two or three hours across the rolling grasslands, the miombo and the riverine bush…… he is mainlyafter the prides of lions on both sides of the river near the camp. We follow every track, every roar. The sight of the red-gold sun shedding its first warming glow over the landscape touches something so deep it brings a lump to the throat…….”

“the night belongs to the animals at McBrides Camp. The odd elephant snacks its way through the camp and the hippos follow their paths between the cottages to the river. McBrides is not for the timourous…..  Too soon its time to leave.”

GETAWAY Magazine (March 2004 pp. 87-89 by Peter Frost….One Man, His Wife And The Bush)

“Charlotte McBride (is) one half of the McBride team, Chris’s partner and the chief game locator. She’s extraordinary in the field, with a nose for the hidden and an eye for the unusual.”

“McBride’s Bush Camp in the north of Zambia’s Kafue National Park is not the sort of place you visit on the spur of the moment. But if real character, true remoteness and a love of walking with lions are what you’re after, it’s hard to beat”.

Getaway’s Highs in Zambia – Lying in bed listening to the hippos browsing centimetres from your head at night in both McBride’s and Maramba lodge

“It’s truly wild. The night before, tucked up in a soft, cotton-rich bed, slow-roasting through the Kafue night, the reed walls of the bunglow had reverberated with the almost plaintive roar of a lone lion, not far away. An echo of challenging roars quickly followed, further to the north.”

“McBride’s is lion country, plain and simple. The lions are why Charlotte and Chris moved to this untamed stamp of Kafue, and it’s why the world comes to visit.”

GETAWAY Magazine (January 2004, p.59, Part of an article…)

“A couple of days at McBride’s will transport you deep into primeval bush.”