F.A.Q. - Frequently Asked Questions
Can I camp in the campsite and eat in the Lodge?
Yes! But please give us at least 4 hours notice - and let us know of your dietary requirements - before you join us for:
- Breakfast: $15.00
- Lunch: $15.00
- Dinner: $25.00
Do you have a bar?
Yes! You'll find Harry's Bar on lodge rock. It is an honesty bar, so there is no barman - you take what you want, and note it down on the bar-sheet provided.
Is there Wifi available?
Yes! We have free WiFi available in the reception area, based on a V-Sat connection.
Can I get Mobile Signal at the Campsite?
We are quite a way outside of normal coverage, but there is limited Airtel coverage within the main lodge. Good coverage for Airtel and MTN can be picked up from several of the inselbergs, including Campers Rock.
Can you pick me up for my stay and drop me off when I leave?
We can collect and drop-off guests in nearby Kalonje, but we are not insured or licensed for pick-ups from further afield, so guests must arrange their own transport.
Can I book a self-catering Chalet?
Aside from the Campsite Room, all chalets are full board, and not equipped for self-catering visitors. Guests staying in chalets but wishing to cook for themselves can book at additional cost a campsite, which includes use of a braai, picnic bench and firewood for cooking.
Is Tap Water safe to Drink?
Tap water is pumped from the Musamfushi River. Most management and staff drink this water unboiled, but we are obliged to tell you that it has not, to date, been tested. Boiled water is available from the lodge kitchen, free of charge, and limited bottled water can be purchased from the bar.
Is the track to the main camp passable without a 4x4?
Yes - the road is re-worked annually at the end of the rainy season, but provided you stick to a reasonable speed, the road is easy to traverse in a saloon car. It is sandy, so in wet weather we recommend staying below 30km/h on most stretches, and during the rains, slopes should
Is the nearby Route 5 into the South Luangwa Park passable to a 4x4?
Sorry, but we really can't answer this one! The state of this road changes rapidly and dramatically, especially during the rainy season, so we encourage you to contact the specific lodge in the park that you wish to travel to, as they will be able to give you a more up-to-date answer.
Is there a map to the walking routes in the area?
Yes! Please ask in reception, and we will give you a copy of our map. More extensive (and artistic) maps can be found on the walls the lodge dining room, the campsite nsaka, and the Kankonde Nsaka.
Is it safe to walk without a guide?
Yes! One of the benefits of a history of over-exploitation of wild mammals in the region is that our resident wildlife is very shy of humans, and the wilderness area is safe for walkers. We do recommend that where possible, you either take a friend or inform us of your intended route, in case of accidents.
Is it possible to arrange a guide?
Yes! If you feel unsafe walking alone, or simply want to learn more about the area as you go, a member of staff will be happy to accompany you. For one day, use of a guide is US$25.00; this fee is waived on the very rare occasions when lions enter the wilderness area.
Can we arrange longer, overnight hikes?
Yes. A popular guided hike takes visitors out of the wilderness area, into the Luangwa valley and close to the National Park, and alternatives routes can be arranged - but please contact us in advance if you wish to arrange this or any other longer hike, so that we can calculate costs and work out camp-sites with water access along your route. Please also note that we do not provide food for longer hikes.
Is it safe to swim in the rivers?
In most places - at some times of year, the currents can be dangerous, especially close to the waterfalls. For more information, see our swimming page.
Is the Mutinondo Wilderness Area open to researchers?
Of course! The inselbergs and the surrounding area have an incredible natural history - as you can see from our Things to See at Mutinondo page - and we have hosted notable researchers from a wide range of fields. In order to encourage much-needed study within the region, we offer reduced rates for researchers who need access to the wilderness area for prolonged periods of time (usually upwards of 14 days), with the requirement that the Mutinondo Wilderness Area is mentioned in any resulting publications, and is notified of the results of such research. Please contact us in advance and let us know of your research proposals and requirements, so that we can inform you of any specific rates and requirements.
What are the origins of the names of the landmarks around the wilderness area?
It's complicated! Some pre-date the founding of the wilderness area (read more about that here):
Mutinondo is the name of one of the two rivers flowing through the area (which flows past Kankonde camp), said to be after an early settler near the headwaters; in the Bemba language, mutinondo roughly translates to a wooden-handled hammer.
Musamfushi is the existing name of the other river - which runs by the main lodge, any further meaning is unknown;
Mayense (and Little Mayense) began the tradition of naming the inselbergs after people before our arrival: the original 'Mayense' was a man whose car broke down at the base of these rocks - and the remains of the engine may still be found in a gully close to the base.
Kabasano Dambo was the favourite gathering spot of the wives of a local chief, over a century ago; Kabasano is the collective name for the wives of a chief.
Mafoni road, the original road past the wilderness area, was named for a mines surveyor who spent time in the area; mafoni being a pidgin for the headphones which he was rarely without; Mafoni Dambo and Mafoni Hills honour the same unknown surveyor.
Biobo Dambo, Kabulu Dambo, Peter (Kabanshi)'s Dambo and Nyandela Dambo are named after individual local hunters who favoured these particular sites; many of these individuals have since passed away.
Other sides are named after wild plants or animals found there:
Kankonde is the local name for banana, as an inedible wild banana has been found growing at the foot of the inselberg;
Big Chipundu Dambo is named for a tree that grows there in particular abundance;
Paradise Pools is a good spot for seeing the colourful migratory paradise flycatcher;
Ndubaluba Waterfall takes the name ndubaluba for the onomatopoeic local name for the colourful Ross' Lourie/Turaco that can often be seen in the riparian thicket around the site.
Klipspringer Rock is named for the rock-dwelling antelope that can commonly be seen on this rock.
Choso Waterfall is given the local name choso after a type of waterfowl sometimes seen in the river there.
Leopard Rock is one of the sites where leopards can occasionally be seen; the owner Mike first saw a leopard here in the 1990's.
Hyrax Hill is named for the rabbit-sized, rock-dwelling mammals, also called dassies, who are particularly common amongst the crags and crevices of the site.
Kansansala Rock and Kaloko Rock take local name for Sable antelope, which are reasonably common in the area, especially around Kansansala; Kansansala being the general term, and Kaloko referring specifically to the black males.
Other names are after people and events that have been associated with them since the founding of the Wilderness Area:
Charlie's Rock and Vicky's Rock are named for the son and daughter of owner Mike, who were the first people to climb the rocks with Mike and Lari;
Quentin's Rock is named for renowned Zambian artist Quentin Allen, who not only climbed the rock with owners Mike and Lari, but took it upon himself to decorate it with some "rock art" of his own; Locally, Quentin's Rock and Vicky's rock are collectived known as Tuponya Mbo'o, the falling of the buffalo, after poachers drove an entire herd of buffalo (now extinct in the area) over these rocks to their deaths.
Kapinda's Rock is named after a local hunter who unfortunately drowned when trying to cross the Musamfushi close to the base of the rock;
Julian's Rock is named for a former manager of the site, and a friend of owners Mike and Lari, with whom they first climbed the inselberg.
Kite Rock is named for the kites which owners Mike and Lari flew with their nephews from the rock the first time they cllimbed it.
Mbeya Rock takes the local name for Grandmother, named for the mother of owner Lari, who climbed the rock accompanied by her husband and the parents of Quentin Allen, all of whom where in their late 70's at the time.
Diwell's Rock is named in honour of long-time, now retired employee of the wilderness area, Diwell Bwale.
Sally's Rock is named in memory of botanist Sally Bidgood, who along with her partner Kaj Vollesen, contributed greatly to our understanding of the plant life of the area.
Other inselbergs have been named for their unique features, including:
The Caterpillar is named for its elongate, rolling form - resembling (with some artistic license) a massive, granite caterpillars;
Confluence Rock is situated at the confluence between the Musamfushi and Mutinondo Rivers.
Early morning tea and coffee
Early morning tea and coffee - Tea or coffee is served at your chalet in the morning. Please inform the kitchen team in the evening what time you prefer it. Could you bring your baskets back up when you come for breakfast in the morning?
Meals - Breakfast is usually served at a time of your convience ,just let us know the evening before.
To ensure you don't have to rush back from hiking/bird watching, lunch is served when your require.
If you would prefer a packed lunch please order one at breakfast.
Dinner is usually served at a time as required by you.
Ther menu is set but, please tell us if you have any dietary reuirements or particular likes, dislikes, allergies etc.
Drinks - Harry`s bar is an honesty and self-service,bar please help yourself and record your drinks in the book provided. The bottle opener is in the beak of the ground hornbill, hook the bottle top onto the bottom jaw and tilt the bottle upwards
Water from the taps and river is safe to drink (and delicious).
Chalets - We hope you enjoy our lovely chalets. Each is named after the specific local timber used in it for making the beams, fitings and furniture. All the woodwork (including the window and door catches and toilet seats) is hand crafted from a variety of local timbers including Musase (Albezia antunusiana), Kaimbi (Erythrophieum africana), Mubanga (Pericopsis angolensis) and Mulombwa (Pterocrpus angolensis). Youu will find a drawing of the tree in your chalet.
Hot water - Water is solar heated and is hottest in the early evening. Each chalet also has a backup boiler that can be heated with firewood. If the water in the solar boiler is not hot enough, or if you have used hot water in the evening and would like hot water again in the morning, please inform the team at what time to start the wood boiller. These typically take 45 minutes to heat up.
Lights - Each chalet should have a mobile solar light in addition to the fixed lights. Please bring the mobile solar lights to reception when you come up in the morning so that we can charge them for you. Unfortunately the lights are proving fragile, please handle with care.
Protection of the environment
Protection of the environment - Please leave flora intact and discourage children from picking plants especially the Ceswa which looks dead but is in fact alive and takes a very long time to grow. Please don't leave any rubbish in the bush.
Rubbish - Please note that Mutinondo has adopted a no rubbish policy which requires guest to take their rubbish home with them. Please bring bin liners and rubbish bags with you. If you don't have please ask us and we will find you something to use. Thank you for appreciating the importance of protecting Mutinondo's environment.
Internet and cell phones
Internet and cell phones
There is wifi access for checking emails.available at receptin only.
Cell phone reception, we are on the edge of the recepetion area and the phne cell signal is best at campers' rock.
Other information about Mutinondo including birdlists, newsletters etc and can be found in the yellow chalet files and in the bar. You are welcome to look at reference books in the office.