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“Our 4th camp did not disappoint.”

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Kakuli Bush Camp - Norman Carr Safaris
Reviewed 16 November 2012

We spent 3 nights and just like the other 3 camps it did not let us down. Aubrey, Amy, Batwell and the rest of the team made our stay memorable. Aubrey went out of his way to to make sure we saw as much as we could on the drives. We also learnt so much on a walk, it was a shame it was so hot as we couldn't walk for long. The view from the rooms and bar area was superb and so relaxing just sitting and watching Lions,Giraffe's, Wart Hogs, Impala and not forgetting Hippo's all within feet of each other. Also with the Elephants walking and feeding in the camp everything was fantastic. Thanks all at Kakuli.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Tina L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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47 - 53 of 63 reviews

Reviewed 21 October 2012

We spent 4 nights at Kakuli early October and can highly recommend it. Everything about this place is spot on: location, service, food, staff, accommodation... we loved it all. Dixon (mentioned by some of the reviews in 2011) still visits the camp and can be naughty at times. But this actually makes the camp even nicer. Our guiding tours (walking and driving) were beautiful. Our incredibly knowledgeable guide/camp manager Aubrey and scout Batwell worked so well together. Their enthusiasm for the wild life after spending decades already in South Luangwa is contagious. Ian was hosting the camp in absence of Amy, we met both of them. Their friendliness and professionalism made us feel truly at home.
One of the reviewers below describes Kakuli a little like camping; I would disagree. The chalet offers all necessary conveniences and a 5 star bed. It is genuine bush camp luxury.
Before Kakuli we also stayed 3 nights at Nsolo. We will definitely travel with Norman Carr again and hope to be back for the green season.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank AmsterdamMarianne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2012

spent two nights and it was fantastic. Amy and her team were friendly and helpful. All our needs were catered for. Game drives - again fantastic - saw the "big game" - lions, leopards, elephants, elands, hyenas ..... Food was great... rooms were superb. animal sounds at night was awesome. view from the rooms and bar was fantastic. would go there again and again and again

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank IsmailLusaka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2012

Spent 2 nights here last year and just want to say it was worth it. Every need catered for including vegetarian menu specially made for us. Whatever we wanted was never a problem. Everyone serving with a smile and everyone friendly. All the animals seen whilst on the drives. Would recommend it over and over again, keep up the great service guys.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Anand S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2012

We stayed at this camp for 2 nights at the end of the emerald season. We are fans of the small, rustic bushcamps so this was exactly what we love. All the staff at the camp were brilliant, the guiding was excellent & we had some of the best food that we have eaten in Africa. Camp drives by boat were different and we saw far more than we had expected to. We also enjoyed some good walking. This is a camp that we hope to return to in the dry season.

Room Tip: We had the room furthest from the main area. It was cooler but all 4 rooms looked great.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Jill S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2011

Kakuli had a bush camp feel to it, though it was certainly a more substantial lodging than other bush camps in S. Luangwa. The chalets/tents were very large with a quite spacious bathroom/dressing area. The hot water was provided by on-demand water heaters (powered by firewood), but required about 15 minutes to heat up for the shower. There were flush toilets, complete with resident tree frogs, and plenty of room for luggage. Tap water was completely potable.

The beds were comfortable. The chalets were a combination of reed and thatch with canvas walls. There were also two chairs out on the front porch with a nice view overlooking the river. There are quite a number of hippo and crocs in the river to watch from the tents, and you can hear the hippos calling all the time.

The chitenge was nice with a bar and a verandah that looked out on a marshy area near the river. We saw plenty of hippos, and a pride of lions in this area one morning.

As with the other camps the food was good and plentiful. Hosting was good. The host was very nice – she was attentive, personable, and looked after whatever needs we may have had.

The guiding here was very good. I was guided by Aubrey, and he is very knowledgeable and has plenty of good stories about his years of guiding. Easily one of the most personable guides I had during my safari. Kakuli is a walking camp – they do walks as the morning activity and drives as the afternoon activity.

I had 3 walks during my stay – one morning we stalked a herd of buffalo and spent some time sitting with them. On another walk, we had the previously mentioned group of lions walk by during breakfast, and we left immediately to follow them. Aubrey and the scout did fairly well tracking the lions and we sped along fairly quickly to keep up with them before falling behind. The last morning, I walked to the transfer point across the river, and along the way we visited a hyena den where we were able to get within 15 feet of a hyena pup.

Game drive vehicles were standard Landcruisers with 3 rows of seats. There were pockets in front to hold belongings – big enough for a pair of mid-size binoculars, but not much else.

The ground in South Luangwa is rather broken in areas, so I recommend a sturdy pair of hiking shoes/boots and perhaps a walking stick.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled solo
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2  Thank escog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2011

We walked and jeeped to Kakuli from Nsolo, another Norman Carr camp, and on arrival were greeted by Sarah, the manager and taken to our room. Kakuli has a large open deck area that faces the river and a wet marsh area. On arrival we immediately saw hippo, elephant, giraffe and other animals, so the deck became a favorite place of ours.

The camp has four guest accommodations. Our room was a tent, surrounded by a reed structure and roof. The room had a very large comfortable bed and there was an attached open air bathroom, basic but with everything we needed. There was no sitting area in the tent however we had a deck in front, with two chairs, and also another attached covered area, with two chairs, so that was where we spent our free time. The rooms are rustic, but comfortable. Our room was right by the river and we were serenaded each night by the sound of the hippos and frogs, which we actually missed when we got home.

The food at Kakuli is excellent, and after we toured the very basic bush kitchen, I was even more impressed. Breakfast is at 6:00 AM around the fire and you can order what you want. Brunch is at 11:00 and served buffet style, and a great variety. Tea is at 3:45 with drinks and cake and then dinner is at 8:00 PM. Most nights we ate dinner out in the open, by candle light, and it was so enjoyable hearing the animals and seeing all the stars in the sky. Guests and staff take meals together, so there is a very intimate atmosphere.

On our first night we were introduced to Dixon, the camp elephant. Dixon is not tame, he is a wild elephant, however he enjoys visiting Kakuli several times a day and when Dixon arrives, all activity stops until Dixon decides to leave. On the first day we had no fruit, because Dixon had eaten it, and there were a number of times where we had to be escorted to our rooms to avoid Dixon. Just part of the fun of an open camp in the bush. The honey badgers kept breaking into the kitchen and on our last night the hyenas stole the very heavy leather guest book.

Our game drives were with Aubrey, the guide, and Lincoln, the armed guard and we had some truly great animal sightings. Saw a pride of 13 lions on the hunt, plenty of elephant, buffalo and two leopard sightings. The night drivers are a lot of fun and that is where we had the best lion and leopard sightings.

We preferred Kakuli to Nsolo because we liked the accommodations at Kakuli a little better and we had much better animal sightings at Kakuli. One of the nicest parts of Kakuli is the atmosphere. There is such a sense of truly being in Africa and being part of the bush and knowing that the animals run the show. There is also a great sense of peace, listening to the sound of the hippos and looking at a million stars in the sky. Sarah sets the tone for a very relaxed laid back camp and you feel like you are visiting friends who just happen to own a safari camp. Like Nsolo, there is an intimacy and friendliness at Kakuli that you just do not get at the larger more deluxe camps.

Our safari company (aardvarksafaris.com), had recommended Nsolo and Kakuli because I really wanted to experience the bush, not just be a guest at a 5 star hotel, and both Nsolo and Kauli gave me exactly what I was looking for. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Kakuli. However Kakuli may not be for everyone. My husband had never been camping and is more used to high end accommodations, so Kakuli was not his favorite place.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Kathleen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kakuli Bush Camp - Norman Carr Safaris

Address: Luangwa River, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Region: Zambia > South Luangwa National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 43 Speciality Lodging in South Luangwa National Park
Price Range: £438 - £491 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Kakuli Bush Camp - Norman Carr Safaris 3*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
‘Kakuli’ means old buffalo bull – this beautiful camp has four traditional walk-in safari tents each with outdoor en-suite bathrooms made from natural materials. The bar and dining Chitenje forms the centre point of camp and, along with the rooms, is on an elevated stretch of river bank overlooking a wide grazing lawn/lagoon that follows the Luangwa River. The views from Kakuli are spectacular with the camp having regular visits from elephants, leopard and antelope. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kakuli Bush Camp - Norman Carr Safaris Zambia/South Luangwa National Park

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