Scroll Top

Mpala Jena

Mpala Jena is an exclusive, intimate camp located in the Zambezi National Park, in the Victoria Falls area.

Mpala Jena offers a high end, laidback and stylish camp experience, in a national park setting, but still within easy reach (around 16 kilometres) of Victoria Falls. With only five suites, the camp is very intimate and while it has a natural, barefoot luxury design, the accommodation is very smart with spacious tented suites built on to wooden decks, looking over the Zambezi River. The camp is built on the white shores of the Zambezi River and has distinct beach feel to it. The main bar and pool area are on the sand making it an ideal place to relax at the beginning or end of a holiday.

Rooms

Accommodation is provided for up to 14 guests in five luxurious tented suites (two of which are two bedroom family suites) shaded by giant trees and all with views over the Zambezi river. The tents are accessed by raised wooden pathways and inside is a very comfortable sleeping area, with twin or double beds draped with a mosquito net and a ceiling fan, a small lounge/seating area and a writing desk. The en suite bathroom is found to the rear of the tent and comprises a separate toilet, indoor shower, double vanity unit and an outdoor area with freestanding bathtub and outdoor shower. To the front of each tent is a wooden deck with a comfortable seating area. The family suites consist of two suites connected by a shared lounge and deck.

Central Areas

The central areas are simple but elegant with comfortable sofas, beautiful contemporary decor, and a bar with rope swing chairs and sandy floors to match the ‘barefoot beach’ feel. To the fore of the lounge and bar area is a sandy beach where evening drinks are enjoyed around the camp fire in the evening and to the side of the bar and dining area is a swimming pool with sun loungers.

Facilities

Wi-Fi – Yes
Power for Charging – Yes
Swimming Pool – Yes

Habitat & Wildlife

Victoria Falls, known by the local Kololo tribe as ‘Mosi au Tunya’ (the smoke that thunders), is one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World” heritage sites and one of the largest and most spectacular waterfalls on earth.

Victoria Falls National Park is a small park that encompasses the falls themselves and the immediate surrounding countryside, including the town of Victoria Falls.

Spanning a width of some 1,700 metres, the waters of the mighty Zambezi actually plunge down five distinct waterfalls, separated by islands which account for just over 300 metres of the total span. Four of these falls are in Zimbabwe: The Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls, Rainbow Falls and Horseshoe Falls, and one, The Eastern Cataract, is in the bordering country of Zambia. The average height is just less than 100 metres.

During the peak flood season (April and May), the flow increases to some 625 million litres per minute. At this time, the spray makes viewing of the falls from the ground almost impossible and it is advisable to take an aerial view on what is commonly referred to as a ‘flight of angels’. By September, the waters of the Zambezi have dropped significantly to allow views of the individual falls. This remains until March when the river starts to rise again.

David Livingstone was the first European to ‘discover’ the falls when he visited them in November 1855. He later wrote, “no one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” He named them after his Queen, for the first and only time deviating from his practise of naming places and features after their local native names, in this instance “Mo ku sa tunya mosi” (nowadays shortened to mosi-au-tunya). The David Livingstone statue can be found near the spectacular Devil’s Cataract viewpoint.

The rainforest area is filled with many species of fig, mahogany and date palm groves, as well as an impressive list of birds and smaller mammals such as vervet monkeys, baboons and bushbuck.

From the centre of Victoria Falls town, the Falls are a leisurely 10 minute walk away.

The Zambezi National Park stretches along the banks of the Zambezi River from Victoria Falls town in the east (where it borders Victoria Falls National Park) to the Matetsi Safari Area in the west, close to the border with Botswana. The park suffered from poaching during the early 2000s but the emergence of several camps from 2012 onwards has re-established the park as a wonderful Zambezi River destination offering varied game viewing opportunities. Along the river, elephants, hippo, crocodiles and a wide range of water birds are common. In the dry season elephant numbers swell and large herds of buffalo are also attracted to the permanent waters of the Zambezi. General game includes kudu, impala, warthogs, bushbuck, baboons, waterbuck and giraffe, whilst predators such as leopard, lion, wild dog and hyaena are spotted with increasing regularity. The birdlife is spectacular too.

Activities

Activities in the Zambezi National Park include twice daily game drives, boat cruises and bush walks (minimum 16 years old). Catch and release fishing is also available. Guests staying two nights or more have a half day guided tour of the Victoria Falls included in their stay, and some of the many optional activities which can be undertaken during your visit to the Victoria Falls include:
‘Flights of Angels’ helicopter tours over the Falls. The shorter flights concentrate on the Falls themselves, while the longer flights include flying over the Batoka Gorge below Victoria Falls.

Trips to Livingstone Island on the Zambia side of the Falls – you can plan for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea on the island and can also take your swimming costume and include a swim in Devil’s Pool – a natural rock pool on the edge of the falls!

White water rafting – experience some of the finest white water the world has to offer (dependant on water levels).

For those that like to be active, other excursions include a full day canoeing on the upper Zambezi, horse-riding and an array of adrenaline-fuelled activities such as a bungee jump, gorge swing and zip line.

Most excursions can easily be booked direct at the property, but some do require advance booking to secure availability.

Seasons

Mpala Jena is open from April to November.

Children from the age of six years are accepted and the two family suites cater perfectly for families wanting to be under one roof with plenty of space. The camp is unfenced and set on a riverbank, and the general feel of camp is more suited to those travelling with older children.

Mpala Jena has a strong sustainability ethos, being powered entirely by a solar plant and battery. Building materials and design elements were specified and sourced with the aim of minimizing transportation miles.

In staying at Mpala Jena, all guests contribute to the conservation of the Zambezi National Park through paying park fees.

ALTERNATIVE CAMPS IN VICTORIA FALLS AND THE ZAMBEZI NATIONAL PARK