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“Tafika is just great!”
Review of Tafika Camp

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Tafika Camp
Pretoria, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Tafika is just great!”
Reviewed 15 August 2012

Spent one night in Tafika after a 4.5 day walk though the Nsefu Sector of the South Luangwa National Park (SLNP).

Real Africa, grass-roots rustic yet very, very comfortable accommodation was perfectly rounded by excellent cuisine and great hospitality shown by the whole team under guidance of John and Carol.

The night drive was most eventful with scores to tick-off on the available SLNP sighting checklist.

Our micro-light experience the next morning got rained-out - and that in August! Next time for sure...

Thank you for a great stay - will be back.

Room Tip: The rooms closer to the in-camp hide are probably in best location for all applications.
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sybievds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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81 reviews from our community

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English first
St Albans, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
47 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2012

A fantastic camp, in an enviable position, on an ox bow in the river. The accommodation in superior straw buildings, is spacious & has everything needed. The bathroom facilities are good. The team that work here are all very friendly & knowledgeable. The lunches are very varied & tasty. Add to that viewing animals, by vehicle, bike, walking & microlight, this camp is excellent.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank sajackie54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2012

We loved this camp, its staff and the welcome. It is beautifully situated on the banks of the Luangwa river.

The rooms are essentially straw huts but much more comfortable than that sounds (or the photos look). Inside is a large bed, enclosed at night, with bedside tables, in a large mosquito net. There are outside showers with constant piping hot water and covered loo. The rooms are well spaced out for privacy in a grassy encampment. There is in-room power for charging batteries, etc.

Dinners are served under the stars with staff members, including the charming owners, John and Carol. Game drives were very good.

A must is the micro-light flights first thing in the morning, an optional extra not to be passed up.
All in all this was our favourite Zambian camp.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank alisfred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nairobi, Kenya
Level 6 Contributor
238 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2012

My four days spent at Tafika couldn't have been better. I visited in July of 2011. The microlight flight with John flying was breathtaking,and I saw I female leopard and her cub from the air. The guiding by Stephen and Bryan was superb. One one night drive I saw a pride of 14 lions. The birding was also excellent,and I saw crowned cranes. The tents were very comfortable,tastefully decorated,and I loved the open air shower. The food was superb,and I've never had better cakes in my life. John and Carol Coppinger couldn't have been warmer,friendlier,and more accomodating. Bryan Jackson is a true expert on Africa. I rarely return
to places I've visited,but Tafika is one of those well worth returning to. My real name is Owen.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank africanman_840
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Horsham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
305 reviews
120 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 373 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2012

My wife and I decided that we so liked this place in August 2010, we would make an exception and go again - many places don't work second time round, so we rarely (correction - almost never) revisit. This time it was early October 2011 (so later into the dry season), and after a few days in the Lower Zambezi NP. We chose 2 nights in Tafika, 3 at Chikoko Bush Camp, 1 at Crocodile River Camp and a last night at Tafika to round it off (7 in all).

We enjoyed it even more, although we are struggling to work out why (sorry). We did brilliantly on all our Game Drives - Big 4 (No Rhinos, obviously), plus specials as we denote them, including a herd of 800+ Buffaloes, Honey Badger, plus Lions, Hyenas and Vultures on a fresh kill, Leopard stalking and succeeding (Cane Rat we gathered), Elephant in Camp, a baby Eli of estimated 3-5 days old (cute and gorgeous does not get close), thousands of Carmine Beeaters nesting (from their new Hide), which was fabulous, so we took thousands of photos. I'll add some, when I've worked out How.

Weather was not as severe as we had expected (apparently we were quite lucky as the heat eased a good bit), but we did have a hail storm and a heck of an impressive lightning storm (slightly unnerving we admit). Service and Food was brilliant at Tafika and 'in the Bush Camps'. Same levels of attention to personal service (Isaac was our Guide for the Bush Camp days, so bless him, he had us 2 for 5 whole days, with George and Tim, the ZAWA Ranger. All founts of knowledge and expertise, sharp eyes and the patience off a large bunch of Saints.

For the pedants, Room 1 in Crocodile (1st Room to the left of Centre Dining/Bar as one faces the Camp and as it looks over a tiny watering hole, with a regular series of local visitors - eg a Genet with gin-trap hind foot injury, in broad daylight); the only Double bedded room at Chikoko Bush Camp (complete with resident Tree Squirrel) and Room 3, then on last night 5 ( fabulous Room for a Family as it comprised two bedrooms and sits right on the edge of the Luangwa River).

This time, we both took a spin with John in his Microlight and absolutely loved it - my wife with not inconsiderable trepidation to be entirely truthful, so the "loved it" comment is especially complimentary to the Pilot's expertise and calm, reassuring authority. Quite fabulous experience, and we have some great shots and footage.

Folks seeking the Safari experience with AC, CNN, Silver Service and Silks and Muchindas at their beck and call, should pass. Those seeking the real Safari experience, immersion in Zambia's rich countryside, peace and quite and real escapism, lots to see, do and experience, fabulous game and bird life, etc - then, this has to be very high on that list, if not right at the top.

Will we go again? - if at all possible, YES. We will add Mwaleshi Bush Camp (in North Luangwa NP) next visit though?

Room Tip: There isn't bad Room to be had, so don't worry about it - honest ! They only have 6 at Tafi...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
4 Thank Safariholic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2011

I have put it was July 2011 that we stayed here put it was much longer ago than that. In fact it was a very long time ago but in those days I didn't use TripAdvisor.

My sister, brother in law, husband and I stayed at Tafika for 7 nights on a 4 week trip to Malawi and Zambia. I can honestly say that it was the best holidays we have ever had and Tafika was heaven. We have been all over the world on holiday and as a couple never want to go back to the same place twice as we want to see all we can while we can. Tafika has to be the exception to this rule.

The setting, the accommodation, the wonderful, wonderful staff, the walking safaris, the food (oh the food!!!!!!), the animals, Johns microlite (remember me John?? I'm the one that gripped you very tightly with my thighs while up in the microlite!!! I was terrified!!!) everything about this place was perfect. Right down to the "arranged" lions at our sundowner on the beach!! Priceless!!!!

We are in the process of planning another trip to the area and we are finding it very difficult NOT to put Tafika into the itinerary.

How anyone can say that this place is "poor" I don't know. If there were 10 stars I would give it to them.

Thanks Tafika.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Nannydad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Horsham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
305 reviews
120 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 373 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2011

My wife & I stayed at Tafika (2 nights), then their Bush Camp (Chikoko - 2 nights - see separate Review), then our last night at Tafika. Room (6) was super, very comfortable, clean, "open & airy", ultra quiet & close to the Hide & the Bush - doors & windows were kind of absent too. Felt totally safe though even at night (Watchmen sit outside all night & escort one to / from Dinner etc) and we slept like logs. Camp itself is in lovely Location right on Luangwa river edge & very open to the sights, sounds and smells of Africa. Plenty of space between Rooms so one felt that you had privacy & were not overlooked by ANO. Guiding was great with best night drives we've had for years. Food excellent - good, fresh (their garden is astonishing), hearty, unpretentious & loads, Staff were all charming, helpful, efficient and prompt (almost too much so !). Microlight (for someone who has a major fear of heights) was incredible & I felt really safe, if bleep cold at 06.05 as sun began to rise. Fabulous experience to buzz buffalo, elees, crocs & hippos & lastly the Lodge itself. Criticism - we underestimated how cold it could get, & did, and did not allow for the worst storm they have had for many years to hit, so our own fault actually. Placing hot water bottles in our beds was a nice touch & much appreciated. Thoroughly recommended to all and sundry, but perhaps mostly to those that want to see and feel the real Bush, in some comfort and style, but without chintz, rose tinteds etc. Ultimate proof of our Views - we are Booked for October 2011

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Safariholic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tafika Camp

Property: Tafika Camp
Address: Mfuwe, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Region: Zambia > South Luangwa National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 44 Speciality Lodging in South Luangwa National Park
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Home to John and Carol Coppinger, the founders of Remote Africa Safaris, Tafika is a small, first-class camp standing on the banks of the Luangwa, on the remote north side of the beautiful Nsefu Sector of South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. Tafika's guides are amongst the most experienced in the Luangwa valley. 4X4 safaris (day and night drives), walking safaris, unique cycling safaris and cultural visits to a nearby village are on offer. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tafika Camp Hotel South Luangwa National Park
Tafika Camp Zambia/South Luangwa National Park

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