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Kafunta River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 November 2013

Just returned from Kafunta Lodge. We had a great time, Martin our guide pulled out all the stops and made sure we saw nearly everything on our list! He could spot things that none of us could see until he showed us, we think he has a sixth sense! Martin was so knowledgeable. As for the lodge it was a lovely place to stay with fantastic views and helpful staff. Chef cooked wonderful food . Loved using the pool after a hot safari drive. Would highly recommend this place.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank AnnetteParkinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David B, Public Relations Manager at Kafunta River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 November 2013

Thank you for your review of Kafunta River Lodge and it's good to hear you had a great safari. The skill of the guides and their ability to spot wildlife never ceases to amaze. The pool is a great place to relax and refresh. You can even see the wildlife from the pool so you don't even have to be out on safari for a great wildlife experience. Thank you very much for the recommendation.

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135 - 141 of 230 reviews

Reviewed 20 October 2013

We spent two nights at Kafunta's Island Bush Camp followed by 3 nights at the main lodge. Very contrasting camps with Island Camp a true bush camp of paraffin lamps and bucket showers and Kafunta the lux follow up with a hot spring, pool and stunning two storey room. Both equally wonderful in diverse ways. Excellent walks from Island camp. Hippos right outside which made sleep a bit hit and miss, but hey, that's what we expect in the bush! The best leopard sighting we've ever had (from Kafunta) down to the knowledge and skill of our guide and all the staff went out of their way to make our stay really comfortable and enjoyable. Food, particularly lunch was excellent. The only downside is the transfer logistics between Island Camp and Kafunta (a long, dusty drive). We had to leave Island Camp very early but rooms not ready for 3 hours after we arrived back at Kafunta - down partly to the previous guests not vacating the room on time - a bit of hanging around when all you want to do is settle into your own room. A very minor niggle in a otherwise idyllic stay.

Room Tip: Room 1 is furthest from the main central area and therefore is wonderfully secluded. It has a fabulo...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank vestysoffagain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David B, Public Relations Manager at Kafunta River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 October 2013

Combining the real bush camping of Island Bush Camp with the luxury of Kafunta River Lodge is a great way to experience a South Luangwa safari. It is a long drive to Island Bush Camp but getting out into the real African wilderness that few others have seen makes the trip worthwhile. Thank you for writing a review and we're pleased to hear that you had a great safari with us.

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Reviewed 26 September 2013

Kafunta formed the 'safari' part of our honeymoon this year, and more than lived up to expectations. Situated apart form most of the other lodges in the South Luangwa, you frequently got the experience of being in a private game reserve. We had leopard sitings a-plenty, more antelope than we really knew what to do with, excellent birding...and quite frequently on your doorstep (sometimes even literally) with the fabulous deck on the river and the hot-tub. The service was great, the guides/rangers knowledgable and the staff were extremely friendly.

The trip into the park through the main gate particularly opened our eyes to the lap of luxury we were in, especially the preponderance of other companies' game drives vehicles, but that is what you get in a public park. Back in the 'bosom' of Kafunta's 'own' part of the park we rarely came across cars the lodge, and rarer still cars from other lodges.

The room was beautifully kept and appointed, although the lack of a bath was a minor quibble, the food was delicious at each meal, and everyone was all-round wonderful.

If you get a chance, make sure and include a stay at the Island Bush Camp; I could stay there forever, but my wife was quite happy with a couple of nights... It is 'rough and ready' (think bucket showers, thatch-building-on-stilts), and a pretty gruelling 2-hour drive away, but it was more than worth it. And 'rough' is only relative to the main camp: it is neat, tidy, the showers/loos are private (and the loos FLUSH, not your average bush camp this!!), the water warm and the food astonishingly good, given the remoteness - the "kitchen safari" is well worth asking for! The game here is different - more skitish, and you are generally on foot, but it is a fascinating new perspective, and you see much more of some things that you miss from the vehicles. Our guide was good, but perhaps a bit too quiet in terms of tellings us about tracks/plants/etc. That said everyone enjoyed themselves.

Also, make sure and stop off at Tribal Textiles on your way home. It is a bit pricey, but it is a) interesting to see all the hard work that goes in to the beautiful products and b) so impressive to see the lodges giving back to the local communities, employing them and giving them skills - as well as utilising the existing local talents!

All-in-all if you are staying in the South Luangwa and not doing one of the full-on walking safaris, I cannot recommend Kafunta more highly.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Alex H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David B, Public Relations Manager at Kafunta River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 1 October 2013

What a great way to enjoy your honeymoon - having a real safari experience in the South Luangwa National Park. It sounds like you had some fantastic wildlife sightings. The more remote location of Kafunta River Lodge (and Island Bush Camp) does mean you can have a private safari away from other travellers and with our pontoon you have direct access into the park, away from the other lodges. Thank you very much for your review.

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Reviewed 16 September 2013

My family just arrived home from our safari with Kafunta. Quite simply, we were blown away by the time we spent with this outstanding outfit. Our guide Andrew was amazing. In my travels over 15 years across Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, SA, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya I have never had a guide as knowledgeable and genuinely kind as Andrew. We started as clients and left as friends. Back at the camp Leandi went above and beyond the call to meet our every need, and Keith runs a very tight ship! The food was tremendous, the location is beautiful, the wildlife was spectacular and the entire staff exceeded our expectations. Finally, the spa offered an oasis of comfort in the middle of Africa (request Mahvaise for massage and facials). It sounds cliché', but at the end of our week we really felt like we were leaving our family! Overall, we loved every minute of our stay and hope to return to Kafunta. Like the reviewer below also noted, it was the people at Kafunta that made the difference. Thank you from Brent, Paige, Nick and Betsy.

Room Tip: All the rooms were equally good - between our family we enjoyed 4 different chalets.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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Thank BrentMekosh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David B, Public Relations Manager at Kafunta River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 23 September 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your safari with us. The staff at Kafunta price themselves on their warm welcome and do their utmost to ensure our guests have an excellent safari experience so it's good to hear we exceeded your expectations. We too hope to see you again soon.

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Reviewed 4 September 2013

The excellent team at Kafunta River Lodge was key in providing a safari experience of a lifetime. The cabins are spacious and comfortable, the food tasty and plentiful, but it's the people that really make a difference. Lodge manager Leandi is an absolute gem, and I simply cannot say enough about our guide Andrew. He is a walking, talking encyclopedia of the African bush. He asked about our interests and tailored our game drives to give us the best experience possible.

We arrived at Kafunta after 40 hours of travel, and were blown away with the wildlife we saw in the first 15 minutes out in front of our cabin. We took a game drive into the park that first afternoon and realized our safari was going to be like living in an issue of National Geographic.

We simply cannot fully express just how wonderful our trip to the South Luangwa and our stay with Kafunta was....it was everything we dreamed of and more. Thanks you Kafunta!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Antediluvian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David B, Public Relations Manager at Kafunta River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 September 2013

Thank you so much for your review of Kafunta River Lodge and it's great to hear that the lodge, staff and wildlife made the long flight well worthwhile. The staff at Kafunta always strive to ensure that our guests have their dream African safari and they will be happy to hear your feedback.

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Reviewed 29 August 2013

Kafunta is a series of 2-3 person lodges with a central dining /bar area all overlooking a wide plain constantly populated by game. The rooms are beautiful - spacious and cool with excellent views from individual balconies and decks. Very effective mosquito netting is in place over the beds, sprayed inside by staff before bedtime. THe meals and teatime snacks are so delicious you will need to take loose clothing! Staff are all extremely friendly and helpful without being intrusive and nothing is too much bother. The best bit however is the wildlife. As mentioned you can view alot just from your room/bed including impala, puku, giraffe, hippo, baboons, warthog and many birds (there is also a bird hide below the dining deck). The game drives however are amazing. Our guide(Abel) seemed to be able to find whatever we wanted to see including (in only four days) 3 leopard (the first in a tree with game, one sleeping and an amazing expereiance following one through the bush at night-how he spotted it is still a mystery) a lone male lion, lioness with young cubs and a full pride of about 20 with cubs of all ages; we even saw lion chasing giraffe; hyena, many, many elephant including a mudbath which was lovely! We spent 1 of our days out at their island bush camp. You are so deep in the park the elephant come and eat from the trees around you at night and you can hear leopard and lion roaring. All the rooms here are put up only during the dry season as it is on the banks of the river. As with the main lodge it is built in to and around the trees with local materials so it really blends in, the effect is lovely. Worth taking earplugs if you don't want to kept awake by the hippos all night! Don't worry about seeing hippo anywhere else as here there will be about fifty of all ages right outside you room. All the rooms here have no wall on the river side you can watch the hippo while you shower in the open air! Here again, despite the very basic facilities in the kitchen, the food is of top quality. The overall experience is just perfect, not just living up to, but massively exceeding my dreams. I can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: They are all equally wonderful, don't miss a trip to the island bush camp.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Hayley P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David B, Public Relations Manager at Kafunta River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 2 September 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your safari experience and it's so good to hear you had some amazing wildlife sightings. As you say, Island Bush Camp is something not to be missed. Being in the heart of the park, surrounded by wildlife is a real African bush safari that you just have to experience.

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Reviewed 21 August 2013

Kafunta Lodge offered us a great wildlife experience , and there is no better destination for our group ithe lodge its tremendous location the amount of wildlife around the camp truely surprised us and our host managers and staff ensured we enjoy our stay its very personal, rustic and is real African safari experience. The lodge consists of chalets build of natural rustic well appointed rooms overlooking a big game rich plain backing onto the Luangwa River in camp were we regularly seeing elephants,Giraffe and hippos grazing at night in camp and antelope baboons all day on plains and waterbirds wading around the camp lagoon in front lodge location is to die for and don't have to go far to have great wildlife experience as was good for my older group mebers to take it all in from comfort of lodge . Additional facilities include a swimming pool and a natural spring pool that was constantly a warm 40 % ( very romantic on moonlight night with bottle of bubbly :-) ) ,large open lounge, bar and dining area under a very large shady tree a monkey heaven , delicious meals and great hosts – we cannot fault the lodge fantastic game guides Martin and Joseph ensured that our safari experience is truly memorable – to much to list on what seen but all and more . Each day begins with an early morning safari game drive. In the late afternoon we head out on another game drive that was combination of day night drive with big spotlights so return after dark ( great for nocturnal animals ) The South Luangwa park is home to great wildlife experience and Kafunta Lodge toped it of and ticks all boxes we loved it all thanks Kafunta

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Jimbelly2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David B, Public Relations Manager at Kafunta River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2013

Thanks for your review and it's good to hear that you had a great wildlife experience. That's the beauty of the South Luangwa, it's one of the premier wildlife destinations in Africa and you can see a wide variety of game in the park and around the lodge.

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Additional Information about Kafunta River Lodge

Address: Box 83, Mfuwe, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Region: Zambia > South Luangwa National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 43 Speciality Lodging in South Luangwa National Park
Price Range: £197 - £325 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Kafunta River Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kafunta River Lodge is set in the riverside forest on the banks of the Luangwa River overlooking the South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. This classic safari lodge offers our guests all the comforts, while being situated in unspoilt wilderness. There are 8 private chalets and 2 luxury suites, all overlooking a game rich flood plain. We offer game drives, night drives and walking safaris. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kafunta River Lodge Zambia/South Luangwa National Park

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