Friday, October 9, 2015

Nselweni Bush Camp – Jeremy Williamson



Deep in the Umfolozi Game Reserve, on the banks of the Black uMfolozi River, a 'community' Bush Lodge has been constructed, the Nselweni Bush Camp, part of the various accommodation options found in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park.


Nselweni Bush Camp is a 10 X 2 bed rather unique styled self-catering chalet option. The rooms have the kitchen and private bathrooms in brick, with the bedroom between these two solid structures.


This bedroom has a tented backdrop and roof, with  large folding multi glazed doors leading out onto the partially covered veranda.


All this covered in a large tent shade awning, which keeps the rooms pleasantly cool. This then leads to the braai area where guests may barbecue.

Ramp access, veranda and braai stand


Our view of the braai from the bathroom, love the large sliding windows

All the rooms at the Nselweni Bush Camp have ramps for easy wheelchair access, the bathrooms have extra grab-handles making this camp very suitable for the mobility impaired.


There are smooth concrete pathways leading from the car park, to the rooms and to the central lounge / dining / view deck area, accessed by all guests. With the camp trolley, this makes taking up ones accommodation and leaving with all ones goods and chattels easy.

The projecting spur affording best river views from the central area


Lounge area with limited channel DSTV, fireplace in the annexe


This center may be booked for conferences or group gatherings. Guests booking five or more chalets are entitled to utilise this facility with its central kitchen.

Central kitchen for groups and conferences

A chef could then be arranged to assit with meal preparation.
Nselweni Bush Camp is administered by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, with proceeds from guest occupancy going to the local communities outside the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park.
The Nselweni Bush Camp is electrified, 220V limited amperage power. This is from solar panels and an array of batteries, then through an inverter to your rooms. So no toasters, electric kettles, heaters or air-conditioners.

The solar panels providing the electricity

The battery banks with solar panels above, hidden in seating which leads onto the boma


What the Nselweni Bush Lodge does have is 24 hour power for an electric fan and good lighting. To keep warm in winter there is ample warm bedding, there is also a boma for a fire, as well as a fireplace in the main central venue. Some rooms have gas heaters.

Bedroom with door into the bathroom




The kettles in the rooms are heated on the gas stoves with the shower and basin hot water also heated by gas. An unusual kitchen appliance and so welcome, there is a coffee percolator, much appreciated, my Bodum remained in the box.
Guests may plug in their own hair dryer, shaver, as well as charging devices for cameras and mobile phones etc. RSA three pin, so bring 2 prong etc adaptors as needed.

Some of the units have river views

The camp is protected from elephant egress with a well maintained high level electric fence. This however only stops elephant entering the camp environs. We had a rather persistent hyena gain access to our room through the open door whilst we were inside. Non aggressive it was, but take care.

Lana photographing the departure of the hyena

Baboon and monkeys can also be a problem and the windows and doors do not have screens / guards to prevent them entering, so keep all doors and windows closed on leaving the room. Take care at night when walking between buildings. The paths are lit, but I suggest taking a torch in order to check the surrounds. Not good walking up on buffalo! Children are allowed at Nselweni but this environment is not conducive for children playing in such an unprotected environment, take special care.



The screening of the elephant from the camp is a necessary precaution as these massive animals can and do wreak havoc with water pipes and the vegetation in such bushveld camps. Take particular care when approaching elephant when driving in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park, of late, there have been a number of incidences of bulls – completely unprovoked, charging vehicles with intent. Keep a good 50 meters from elephant and be aware, one could approach from a different direction to the ones you are observing.



The rooms are serviced daily, cleaned and beds made. Dish washing fluid and cleaning cloths are supplied as well as matches for lighting the gas oven.  Check in, is at Mpila Camp and guests are allowed to take up occupancy from 14h00 and must depart by 10h00 on their last day. One may enter the Park from early morning gate opening time. For guests wanting to go on a guided walk or game drive,

Mpila Camp game drive vehicle

these must be arranged at the Mpila camp office and departures will be from there. Special permission to return to Nselweni Bush camp after the evening game drive can be made.

The entrance gate closure times are strictly enforced. The camps in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park run at high occupancies, secure your accommodation reservations before arrival through farwild@africasafari.co.za  We welcome any queries with regards to a proposed visit.

All photographs by Jeremy, Tony and Lana Williamson

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