Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Nselweni Bush Camp 2017

Nselweni Bush Camp
Some updated imaged April 2023

Nselweni Bush Camp chalets with wheelchair friendly concrete pathways. Note the canvas mosquito screened vent flap at the rear of the unit above.

Read our older blog Nselweni Bush Camp 2015
An interesting design of chalet here, all units are brick under canvas and all suitable for wheelchair access including the necessary hand rails, the shower has a rather invasive built in seat, rather more suitable for paraplegics sitting than one standing.
One needs to check in at Mpila camp where you sign the Park indemnity, collect your Exit permit and the number of the chalet at Nselweni that has been allocated to you. It is almost an half hour drive to the Bush Camp from Mpila on a tar then, a private to the camp residents’, dirt road, which presently may be accessed relatively safely by ordinary saloon car with moderate care. This can deteriorate due to storm damage and lack of maintenance.  No very low slung cars on any of the dirt roads in the Park would be my recommendation. Should you be concerned, contact our offices and we will endeavour to get an update on that road's condition.

The 24 hour solar / battery lighting system is no longer operational and there is now only limited low amperage generator power from 05h30 to 08h00 and again from 17h30 through to 20h00, check these timings on arrival. Additional Lights, chargers and hairdryers only (Not supplied). No heaters, toasters or electric kettles. The fridge / freezer, hot shower water and stove are gas. Should the gas run out as has done on this and our previous visit, then the hot water burner and fridge will require restarting. The camp staff are not always available for this, you might have to effect this restart oneself.
There are three categories of accommodation priced according to the view enjoyed from the unit. I personally do not rate the difference in view quality that much. There are two River View units, numbers 9 and 10, these are at either extremity of the camp and probably 450 meters apart on the camp path system. These have or had limited but reasonably good views of the Black Umfolozi River reed bed and slight views of the actual water. The reeds and vegetation have grown up considerably in the past years restricting one being able to look down onto the full length of the river.  This is a dynamic system and changes annually, images taken 2017 with updated 2023. It is not recommended to walk between these two units after dark.

No 9 winter
No 9 April 2023

No 9 April 2023

No 10 Winter

The very best river views are from the central communal deck area, which has a promontory extending out over the river bank, thus affording excellent views both up and down stream. 
Viewing deck winter

Deck April 2023

Viewing deck winter

April 2023 from the central viewing deck, no sandbanks visible

Viewing deck winter low water level in the Black Umfolozi Rover

Then there are two semi-river view chalets, numbers 4 and 5. These are each on either side of the central communal deck / lounging area and have angled views over the river’s reed bed with direct views through partial bush, very semi. No 4 then 5 below. Note these images taken in 2017 and the bush could have grown up a bit since as depicted in the April 2023 images now included..

No 4 Semi view

No 4 Semi view April 2023

No 5 Semi view winter
The balance of the 6 units have views into the surrounding riparian forest. This has been cleared in front of each unit’s veranda, which affords an expanded view of the bush and possible wildlife, the birdlife in particular. This and the central camp area are the only areas where the bush is cleared.

Bush or no view unit

Nos 7 and 8 No view units with thier braais in close proximity to one another, good for a party of 4.

All units have two single beds, recently upgraded to wider than normal standard singles.

Each unit is relatively well appointed with two chairs and a table on the veranda, a barbecue stand and then a fully kitted out kitchen with an assortment of pots, and basic utensils, cutlery and crockery. Twin beds, with side tables and lamps, an arm chair, stand fan and an open hanging clothes rail complete the furnishings. The only mosquito screen is the canvas flap behind and above the bed head.

At the parking lot there should be a trolley to help with your moving your food and luggage. This is often not returned. Please return it to the car park after moving all your food, drink and clothing.

Take care of wild animals in camp. There is an “elephant” wire around the camp but no protection against any animal lower in height. Take care, especially with respect to hyena – on a previous visit we had a rather brazen one enter our chalet whilst we were inside. I guess monkeys and baboons should also be looked out for, although we have not as yet personally encountered them at this camp.
There are camp staff resident on the property who are in radio contact with Mpila Camp and there is also an open game drive vehicle bases at this camp. One needs however to book the guided drive and pay for it at Mpila Camp. Subject to availability and minimum charges. No guided game walks are offered from this venue.

For those that have reserved 6 or more of the units, the central kitchen and dining room may be used, book by prior arrangement. There is also the possibility of one of the staff members assisting with meal preparation in this case. Subject to availability. Communal kitchen adjoining the central lounge dining area, image here below. Serving hatch to the dining room. Extra freezer and larger stove. April 2023 

There is an open boma area too, this suitable for larger groups. In the lounge area there is a fireplace section but firewood would needs be supplied by yourselves.
The communal central area may be used by visitors. when a group who have taken 6 or more of the 10 chalets, they may enjoy sole use of the lounge / dining room and kitchen. The deck remains for all to enjoy.

Lounge dining area April 2023