Kanyemba Island is a place of legend and treasure at the confluence of the Zambezi and Kafue rivers. Through the centuries it has seen the first Portuguese explorers and traders, the transit of slaving caravans, the passage of David Livingstone during his historical journey from the West to the East coast of Africa. It, more recently, has seen the passage of other explorers and hunters who have described the abundance and quality of wildlife of the Lower Zambezi and the harshness of the slave trade that had one of its strongholds on Kanyemba Island. Amongst the first of them was Frederick Courteney Selous.
In more recent years Kanyemba Island was utilised for covert cross-border incursions by specialised Rhodesian forces during the Rhodesian war. In the eighties and nineties, it was an area notorious for its poaching activities.
In 1999, Kanyemba Lodge started taking care of the island, by providing the much needed protection and law enforcement, through snare removals, anti-poaching patrols, and the provision of jobs to those members of the community that unsustainably utilised the island for their survival. Kanyemba Lodge also employed the few members of the community that had utilised part of the island to cultivate maize, and brought to an end the huge human-wildlife conflicts that this caused.
In 2006 Kanyemba formalised its protection of the island, by acquiring a 99 year lease, with approval from the local community.
It is our intention to preserve the island’s heritage, history, habitat, flora and fauna for future generations to enjoy, and to do so in a sustainable manner for the benefit of the people of Zambia.
In the years the Island has been safe from illegal activities, it has seen its wildlife flourish. Birdlife is attracted in abundance and variety by the different habitats and the prolific dambos it hosts. We are also reintroducing animal species that have been thinned out on the island during the years of heavy poaching.
In July 2007 the construction of Kanyemba Island Bushcamp commenced.
Built of Natural materials, the four chalets and restaurant/lounge area follow an innovative style and concept in their simplicity.
Extremely respectful of its surroundings and its inhabitants, the camp is set in a mahogany forest often utilised by elephants to cool off in the heat of the day. Not for the faint hearted, and designed to give guests a real wilderness experience, it overlooks a large dambo on the southern side of the Island, prolific in birdlife, and that provides drinking water to a number of animal species.
The Bushcamp is for the more adventurous guests who want to experience the proximity of the African bush and its inhabitants, whilst still maintaining the luxurious standards that you would expect at Kanyemba Lodge.
The Chalets are very private and secluded, built on stilts; they afford a spectacular view of the surroundings, in all safety. They each have a veranda for outdoor lounging in the shade of the trees.
Comfortable beds, solid furniture, and all modern comforts, including state of the art LED lighting and 220V access, ensure your wellbeing is of the highest of standards.
All Chalets are connected to our UHF radio network for your safety and for calling your escort to the main area.
The bathrooms are an experience of their own. Connected to the verandas by an open walkway, they are “open top”, and offer spectacular views while you shower in hot water, in a perfectly private environment.
Meals at the Bushcamp, in Kanyemba style, are of the highest of standards and are served on a deck suspended above the lagoon, with a 180 degree view into the Zambezi landscape to complement the pleasures of the palate.