Mfuwe is a very small town but there are several gems that can make any visit worthwhile! Here are my picks:
- Morning and Evening Game Drives in the South Luangwa National Park
The South Luangwa National Park offers a plethora of wildlife that will satisfy most wildlife sighting bucket lists. I especially like that you can see four of Africa’s big five in the park. I was thrilled to have sightings of leopards, lions and elephants on my last visit but I barely got a glimpse of the buffalo, perhaps I’ll see the herd on my next visit. The park has other notable animals that are normally highlighted in most Afro-centric wildlife documentaries; wild dogs, warthog, zebra, hyenas, crocodiles, hippo and the Thornicroft giraffe which are unique to this park.
With over 300 species of birds and 39 of these being birds of prey, the South Luangwa National Park is a paradise for bird enthusiasts. You would likely see a wake of vultures gorging on spoils from a recent hunt plus, there are several species of storks around the lagoons dotted around the park. The park also has numerous colonies of carmine bee-eaters that provide a splash of colour to the sun-scorched river banks.
2. Grab a bite and souvenir as you get involved in local empowerment initiatives at Project Luangwa
Project Luangwa is an NGO that is focused on empowering the local communities through tourism and it operates from the heart of Mfuwe. The project has a craft shop that contains various merchandise that is mostly made by locals on site, through skills that have been passed from generation to generation and also from trades that have been learned from individuals who have also volunteered at the project. The project has built infrastructure around the town, they are running a menstrual hygiene program and they have sponsored the formal education over 1200 students in the community schools and at tertiary institutions around the country. They also run a café that has some light bites and beverages which are so ideal for brunch after you return from a morning game drive.
3. Lounge around or work out at Croc Valley
Croc Valley Camp is a watering hole of sorts for most people in the valley. It is a hip and happening spot where people come to grab a drink and take a dip in a friendly and airy environment. The spot may not have the widest foodie options but the facility provides guests the option to have a workout at the gym or unwind and relax by the large pool and wooden deck area, which provides a good view of the Luangwa river. Plus, they normally have Pizza Fridays which have been a crowd pleaser.
4. Have Sundowners at Wildlife Camp
Wildlife Camp is home to the warthogs wallow, which is the swimming pool and campsite bar area, situated right on the banks of the meandering Luangwa river. I think it is one of the best sundowner spots in the valley. I love how calm and serene the place is, plus the simple pool has a great view of the river and sunset in the horizon. You will possibly spot a few antelope in the distance as they wind down and chew their last veggies for the day; which all works together to give the right sundowner vibe.
5. Visit to Tribal Textiles
Tribal Textiles is a home décor company based in Mfuwe which creates sustainable impact through creative craftsmanship and design. Founded in 1991, Tribal Textiles has grown its reach and brand plus it is now running social impact projects that use traditional techniques to create beautiful home décor for inspired interiors. All their niche products are designed and made by hand at the textile factory as you drive into Mfuwe. I was so glad to see that they normally provide a hands-on experience of the production process. As you go through the process you will observe that it is plastic-free and they intentionally use methods of production that reduce the wastage and allow recycling.
Bonus: Grab a cuppa homemade ice cream at Tribe Café
If you are looking for a trendy spot while you are in the valley, look no further than Tribe Café. This café is a subsidiary of tribal textiles and offers a retail experience to the production line mentioned above. Tribe offers some pretty good bites and it has the right zen and backdrops for those social media reels.