The base of operations for Robin Pope Safaris is the small, riverside camp of Nkwali, which is close to the central Mfuwe area of South Luangwa National Park. Nkwali is one of Luangwa ‘s few camps that is accessible all year round. Further north, Robin Pope’s two substantial, luxurious seasonal bush camps are the much lauded Tena Tena (tented) and Nsefu. Like Nkwali, they offer 4×4 game drives and walking safaris.
For small groups and families, RPS runs two stylish safari houses, both close to Nkwali: the two-bedroom Robin’s House and the four-bedroom Luangwa Safari House and both come equipped with their own staff (chef, guides, and 4WD vehicles) so you may set your own schedules.
Perhaps the most famous holidays from Robin Pope Safaris are their walking safaris, which utilize small camps, walk-in tents, mattresses on the ground (with fine linens), shared bucket shower, bush loos). These ‘mobiles’ are organized about 18-24 months in advance, and often sell out swiftly; they run on fixed dates through the year. The properties offer game drives, walking, and boating, all with excellent guides.
BACK TO THE LAND
The Kawaza School Fund focuses on education in the Nsefu Chiefdom (an area in the South Luangwa section of Zambia). Efforts are aimed at building schools, paying for teachers in order to improve the children-to-teacher ratio. The government does not provide adequate teachers for schools, and there is a shortage generally in the country. Also, it is hard to get teachers to come to the rural areas.
They prefer towns, where there is electricity and water. The fund also provides educational equipment and sponsors 50 children to do their secondary and tertiary education. Only basic education is free. There are no secondary schools in the area, and no colleges, so anyone going to either has to find boarding, which is very expensive. Many poor rural families and the increasing number of AIDS orphans cannot afford to go beyond basic schooling. The fund also has a volunteer program, where qualified people from abroad come and stay at one of the schools and teach.
Robin Pope Safaris was the founding member of the Luangwa Safari Association Medical Fund. The lodges in the area pool money and organize for a volunteer doctor to live there and work at the local clinic. Over the last ten years the scheme has raised money to renovate the clinic, build new staff houses, and, whenever there is a need, buy or provide medication for epidemics. Do they also pay for other medicines? Not unless a situation gets desperate. The government provides monthly drug allowance to the clinic.