We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Tafika is Terrific!”
Review of Tafika Camp

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in South Luangwa National Park
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Tafika Camp
Orono, Maine
Level Contributor
89 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Tafika is Terrific!”
Reviewed 18 September 2008

Tafika Camp is the main lodge run by Carol and John Coppinger. They also run Mwaleshi, Chicoko, and Crocodile Camps, which are more remote. The accomodations are excellent, with small reed-made "chalets', which have flush toilets and hot water. Mosquito netting is provided. There is laundry service. The food is excellent, with fresh garden vegetables grown on the premises. Game drives are provided at Tafika, and walking safaris at the bush camps. John also provides microlight flights over the valley. Hippos serenade you to sleep, and elephants and crocs are visible as you rest in the swing. It is possible to recharge batteries at Tafika. Overall an incredible experience, and a well run organization.

  • Liked — unique
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kathylena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

77 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    74
    2
    0
    1
    0
See reviews for
17
41
7
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 September 2008

We spent 3 terrific days at Tafika, a small camp near the banks of a large river, and were quite sad to leave. The camp is run by it's owners, John and Carol Coppinger, who make you feel welcomed the moment you arrive. The accommodations are great.... "chalets" re-built each year from natural materials, with enclosed bathrooms and open air showers . The food was the best we've had in Africa. Many of the vegetables and lettuces are grown on the property and all dishes were simply, yet carefully, prepared.

Then there's the reason you come to this part of the world in the first place, the wildlife. Tafika is in a remote location and the safari experience here feels like it should....wild. Our guide and tracker were quite experienced and clearly love what they do. We saw amazing things and were able to go out when we wanted and return when we wanted.... day or night.

If you go, don't miss the the microlight flight. John takes it out each morning and it's thrilling to see the hippos, herd animals, bird nests, etc, from the air. John narrates as you go along and looks for interesting things to show you. It was awesome.

One final note.... the Coppingers are deeply involved in their community. In the nearby village, they're doing incredible work with educational programs, hiring teachers, and providing scholarships for worthy kids.

In summary, if you're going to South Luangwa, this is the place to stay.

  • Liked — everything
  • Disliked — no problems
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SharonO_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Bay, near San Francisco
Level Contributor
127 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2008

Tafika Camp is absolutely perfect if you want excellent wildlife, very comfortable lodging, delicious meals, a beautiful setting, no crowds whatsoever, and fantastic guiding. We have just returned from our 4th trip to sub-Saharan Africa. We chose Zambia because it is more remote than our previous destinations were. There is something absolutely special about having a lion kill or a leopard sighting totally to yourself. Tafika is located in the northern part of South Luangwa National Park, in an area with no other lodges. So while on game drives you are not likely to see any other vehicles (except for those from Tafika). The area is prime leopard country, but also has a full spectrum of other game.

Unfortunately Grandma was not visiting (referencing another review), but John and Carol, the owners, freely mingled with all of the guests. We were impressed by their involvement with the local village, both with financial support and by hiring local people as camp staff. They also sponsor, hire, and train promising young people as guides.

The one small down-side to Tafika is the wandering cats. There are two, and they are beautiful and friendly. In fact, they are so friendly that guests often find them scooting through the mosquito net and into their beds at night. If you are very allergic to cats you might want to check with the staff to see if the cats are still about.

We absolutely loved Tafika, and hope to return with our entire family.

  • Liked — The wonderful staff
  • Disliked — Not there long enough
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MusicMajor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
30 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 October 2007

If you're going to Tafika then you're going to see game around the Luangwa River. On that score its a winner. Expert guides ensured that both driving safaris and walking safaris (based from the two satellite camps, Chikoko and Crocodile) were immensely rewarding, and we saw more wildlife than we could ever have hoped. Whether your thing is getting among the lions, watching a leopard devour a kill, waking a hyena, or watching huge nesting flocks of carmine bee-eaters then you'll be delighted. Also, if you're a photographer, so are most of the guides, so they'll understand your needs first time.

Accomodation for the walking safaris is comfortable but basic (straw huts with flushing loos, most peculiar) but you'd better have a decent tolerance for spiders and bugs, because there are plenty. However, there's nothing quite like a beer at sunset in the camp after a full day walking, the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly and the food is surprisingly good (go and meet the chef, and be amazed at how he cooks so well with equipment that won't be familiar).

From Tafika itself you can do driving or walking safaris, and you must go up in the microlight with John Coppinger, the camp's owner - a great experience.

The accomodation here is a higher class of straw hut, but this is not luxury living. And here's our main reservation about Tafika - it feels a bit like Christmas with the in-laws. When we stayed, the guests were all much older than us and actually were mostly the parents, siblings and friends of the Coppingers and the guides. Although there is some choice of meal for the buffet lunches, dinner is what you get served, and I felt a bit like I had to eat my greens to avoid a telling off. You kind of have to just fit in, because this is their home and they're not going to put themselves out for you.

We had a great time and this would be a splendid destination on anybody's holiday or honeymoon. I'd recommend it but, if pushed, I'd admit that if I was going back to the South Luangwa National Park I'd check out one of the other lodges next time around.

  • Liked — Fantastic game viewing with expert guides
  • Disliked — Felt a bit like Christmas with the in-laws
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NMMJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tafika_Owner, Owner/Manager at Tafika Camp, responded to this review, 11 January 2008
I am pleased that this reviewer enjoyed his stay but would like to make a few clarifications for the benefit of prospective guests:
1. Tafika Camp is the base camp for our Walking Safari operation and by virtue of this fact many of our guests are quite young. We also offer mountain biking which attracts younger, energetic people.
2. It is very rare that my Mother in Law visits, but Tafika is our home and so she is always welcome! On this ocassion my brother and his wife were co-incidentally also visiting. All other guests were paying clients.
3. Although Tafika is our home we do not expect our guests just to 'fit in'. They are always offered all the options (microlighting, game driving, visit to the local village/school, cycling, game walking).

As Owner/operators it is of utmost importance to us that all our guests enjoy every aspect of their stay with us.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near South Luangwa National Park
0.0 mi away
Zikomo Safari Camp
Zikomo Safari Camp
#18 of 46 in South Luangwa National Park
67 reviews
0.0 mi away
Croc Valley Camp
Croc Valley Camp
#14 of 46 in South Luangwa National Park
207 reviews
0.0 mi away
Mushroom Lodge
Mushroom Lodge
#33 of 46 in South Luangwa National Park
62 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
Chundukwa River Lodge
Chundukwa River Lodge
#9 of 84 in Livingstone
172 reviews
0.0 mi away
Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp
Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp
#17 of 46 in South Luangwa National Park
92 reviews
0.0 mi away
Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge
Sanctuary Chichele Presidential ...
#13 of 46 in South Luangwa National Park
107 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Tafika Camp? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Tafika Camp

Property: Tafika Camp
Address: Mfuwe, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Region: Zambia > South Luangwa National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #29 of 46 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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing