Mpala Jena Camp
Visiting Victoria Falls doesn’t mean forsaking a wilderness safari camp for a lodge in town. Tucked 10 miles into Zambezi National Park and situated within a private concession, Mpala Jena lies on a natural spring line that attracts wildlife year-round. A day trip to the falls is an easy 40-minute vehicle or downstream boat transfer—with luck, spotting crocs and hippos along the way.
This camp’s laid-back ethos invites you to literally kick off your sandals and embrace barefoot luxury. Swings, boho hammocks, plush bean bag seats, and fringed patio umbrellas are playful and stylish designer accents.
There are just five large, tented suites at Mpala Jena (two are family suites), sheltered by the shade of sausage and Jackalberry trees. Each looks upon a scenic stretch of white sandy Zambezi Riverbank—a view that can be enjoyed from the suite’s private veranda or lounge. (Roll-down netting is a much-appreciated convenience.) However, the standout feature of Mpala Jena’s flowing canvas tents is the outdoor bathroom, complete with a freestanding tub and shower.
Once you’ve stood in awe of the thunderous Victoria Falls, there’s plenty to see and do closer to camp. Enjoy guided bush walks, birdwatching, and game drives in custom-built, open Land Cruisers. Adding variety to a traditional safari camp are the opportunities for wildlife viewing on the Zambezi River. Set out on a morning or afternoon boat cruise, cast a line to go catch-and-release fishing, or float the waters silently by canoe (seasonally dependent.) Wilderness picnics or sundowners on the riverbank, toes dug into the sand, are a memorable highlight.
Mpala Jena is a Great Plains Conservation camp, a host reputed for its dedication to conservation, community, and sustainable, regenerative tourism. Service is highly attentive and personalized but not overbearing, and the caliber of guiding is top-notch.