Mpala Jena River Camp


Mpala Jena offers the perfect Victoria Falls Accommodation and is an intimate Safari Camp positioned along the beautiful tree-laden banks of the mighty Zambezi River. 

The architect team of Craig Hayman and Hannah Charlton and interior designer Tracy Kelly have created a haven that epitomizes “Barefoot Luxury” at its best. Mpala Jena, located on the white sandy edges of Zimbabwe’s Zambezi River and in the Zambezi National Park. They sought to combine the elements of both by using thatched roofs in the main areas and flowing canvas luxury tents for the bedrooms. The sand floor in the bar area, and the adjacent swimming pool, set the scene for guests to kick their shoes off and relax after their morning game drive or river cruise. The pool lounge makes you feel that you are right on the river and is the ideal place to hang out with a book during the heat of the day. Mpala Jena is highly sought after for those wanting Victoria Falls accommodation.

‘Mpala Jena’ means “White Impala”. According to the local National Park rangers, when the Zambezi National Park was separated from the Victoria Falls National Park and declared as a National Park in 1979. Sightings of an albino impala were reported during that time.

About Mpala Jena Camp

The area under conservation within the Zambezi National Park is 56,000 hectares (138,000 acres) and has a healthy and ever-increasing number of wildlife species, with higher concentrations of buffalo and elephants from June through to October. It has become an absolute gem of a reserve with some of the highest lions per square km concentrations than any other Zimbabwean park. The river is a magnet for wildlife and ensures consistent sightings of massive crocodiles and hippos who make their presence seen and heard throughout the day and night.

This area is perfect for bird watching throughout the year, but with a higher diversity of species from November through April.

Mpala Jena is by design sensitive to the environment of the Zambezi National Park. This is achieved by using canvas and local thatch in its construction and ensuring all the camp’s electricity needs come from its solar farm.

The three double or twin bed configuration Suites, plus two 2-bedroom Family Suites, are under sand coloured, flowing canvas, with canopy ceilings and open (yet netted) views of the river frontage and are beautifully decorated by Tracy Kelly. Each suite has a shaded veranda area and en-suite bathroom facilities, including an indoor shower, separate loo, and double basins. The highlight of the suites is the outdoor bathrooms with a beautiful bathtub and outdoor shower. Decking in front of the tent leads to views of the Zambezi River’s calming and peaceful flowing waters.

The Victoria Falls accommodation is conveniently located 16 kilometres inside the Zambezi National Park, making for easy access to Victoria Falls town. Still, it is far enough away from the hustle and bustle, allowing guests to relax and unwind whilst enjoying an incredible setting amidst the wild habitat of the Zambezi National Park.

Mpala Jena Camp offers professionally guided wildlife viewing in open game drive vehicles, walks and morning or afternoon boat cruises (water level dependent / seasonally). The camp has custom-built Land cruisers, and the vehicles are fully stocked with reference books, drinks and snacks. In addition, guests should take the opportunity to enjoy an excursion into Victoria Falls town, including a visit to the thunderous and impressive mass of falling water of the actual Victoria Falls during their stay. This excursion is not included in the nightly Victoria Falls accommodation rates but can easily be arranged for guests.

Additional cost activities are available for those who wish to participate in the varied adrenalin and more relaxing activities that Victoria Falls is renowned for. Encounter the excitement of a day navigating one of the world’s most intense white-water rafting or partake in the numerous high-wire activities at the Gorge and Lookout Café. Conduct a cultural village tour, a historical guided high tea tour, or enjoy wandering the streets of this bustling tourist town.

The Zambezi National Park is located upstream from Victoria Falls, on the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe, separated from the Victoria Falls National Park in 1979 and is 56,000 hectares in its entirety. The Park essentially has two main habitats – riverine and Chamabonda vlei. Most of the Park is within the eco-region of Zambezian and Mopani woodlands, whilst a small portion in the south is within the Zambezian Baikiaea Woodlands.

The Park has a vast diversity of indigenous tree species. Its terrain varies between riverine woodland, dry riverbeds, rocky outcrops and spring-lines with a gradual escarpment leading towards the Kazungula road split. Soil types vary from alluvial and Kalahari sand, riverine sand and pockets of black cotton soil.

The Zambezi National Park is host to a wide variety of larger mammals, including the African elephant, lion, Cape buffalo, hyena and rare leopard sightings. Antelope and other grassland species include sable antelope, common eland, common zebra, southern giraffe, greater kudu, waterbuck, wildebeest and impala. An estimated 400 bird species can be viewed within the Zambezi National Park, including the Pel’s fishing owl, African skimmer, collared palm thrush, Lanner falcon, goliath heron, African finfoot, rock pratincole and long-toed lapwing as specialities.

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