Mpala Jena Camp, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

The architect team of Craig Hayman and Hannah Charlton and interior designer Tracy Kelly have created a haven that epitomizes “Barefoot Luxury” at its best. Mpala Jena is located on the white sandy edges of Zimbabwe’s Zambezi River and in the Zambezi National Park. The team sought to combine natural elements using thatched roofs in the main areas and flowing canvas luxury tents for the bedrooms. The sand floor in the bar area, and adjacent swimming pool, set the scene for guests to kick their shoes off and relax after their morning game drive or river cruise.

‘Mpala Jena’ means “White Impala”. According to the local National Park rangers, in 1979, albino impala sightings were reported when the Zambezi National Park was separated from the Victoria Falls National Park and declared a National Park.

The area under conservation within the Zambezi National Park is 56,000 hectares (138,000 acres) and has a healthy and ever-increasing number of wildlife species, with higher concentrations of buffalo and elephants from June through to October. It has become an absolute gem of a reserve with some of the highest lions per square km concentrations than any other Zimbabwean park. The river is a magnet for wildlife and ensures consistent sightings of massive crocodiles and hippos who make their presence seen and heard throughout the day and night.

This area is perfect for bird watching throughout the year, but with a higher diversity of species from November through April. Mpala Jena is by design sensitive to the environment of the Zambezi National Park. This is achieved by using canvas and local thatch in its construction and ensuring all the camp’s electricity needs come from its solar farm.

Each suite has a shaded, private veranda area and en-suite bathroom facilities, including an indoor shower, separate loo, and double basins. The highlight of the suites is the outdoor bathrooms with a beautiful bathtub and outdoor shower. Decking in front of the tent leads onto views of the Zambezi River’s calming and peaceful flowing waters.

Mpala Jena Camp offers professionally guided wildlife viewing in open game drive vehicles, walks and morning or afternoon boat cruises (water level dependent / seasonally). The camp has custom-built Land cruisers, and the vehicles are fully stocked with reference books, drinks and snacks. In addition, guests should take the opportunity to enjoy an excursion into Victoria Falls town, including a visit to the thunderous and impressive mass of falling water of the actual Victoria Falls during their stay. A guided tour of the Falls can be arranged for guests.

Additional cost activities are available for those who wish to participate in the varied adrenalin and more relaxing activities that this tourist hub has become renowned for. A range of activities exists, including navigating one of the world’s most intense white-water rafting, partaking in the numerous high-wire activities located at the Gorge / Lookout Cafe, conducting a cultural village tour, a historical guided high tea tour, or simply enjoying wandering the streets of this bustling tourist town.


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