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.

“Wildlife in Front of Lodge”

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
Kafunta River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Wildlife in Front of Lodge”
Reviewed 23 November 2013

We stayed for 5 nights at Kafunta River Lodge in October. Our room was a luxury 2 storey chalet which had an upstairs outside balcony, with a day bed for relaxing on during the hot afternoons. The inside was spacious and comfortable, with a fridge and a fan, which was really welcome, as October is the hottest time of the year.

The food was very good and plentiful: a light breakfast before the early morning game drive, an early 2 course lunch and 3 course dinner after the evening game drive. Twice we were surprised and delighted to have lunch in different places, in a tree house and by the side of the river, with our guide.

From your own balcony and the public areas you could see all types of animals and birds coming to drink from the pools in front of the lodge: elephants, warthogs, giraffes, impala, puku, baboons, fish eagles, melba finches, a great painted snipe, Abdim’s storks which had just migrated in, Pel’s fishing owl, as well as many others.

The guides were very knowledgeable and we saw plenty of lions and leopards. The end of the dry season is a desperate time of the year for prey animals and we saw life in the raw several times but also new life, including an impala which had just been born.

The staff were very friendly and helpful and the guards who escorted you to and from your room in the dark looked after you well, and always told you what animals had been outside your room during the night. One evening, upon our return from the game drive, we were ushered straight into the bar area as a hyena was hunting a puku in front of the lodge.

We did miss a couple of good opportunities to get good photos and video footage because the guides always endeavoured to get as near as possible to animals and birds in order to give their guests the best possible sightings.

I hate to criticise, but on the night drives we had a trainee with us who held the spotlight and he and our guide spent a lot of time talking (it wasn’t all training: they seemed to be just chatting).

Although I have made a couple of negative comments, our guides were both really nice people and they did provide good close up sightings.

We really enjoyed our stay at Kafunta and it was a lovely way to end our trip to Zambia. Thank you to all the staff and the managers who helped to make our stay so memorable

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sheila-TA72
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 review, 4 December 2013
Thank you for your review of the lodge. It sounds like you had some excellent wildlife sightings. As you pointed out, one of the features of Kafunta is that there's often plenty of wildlife action right in front of the lodge.

The luxury suites are highly recommended as they are very comfortable and both the deck an balcony provide great views over the flood plain.

It's certainly great to hear that you have an enjoyable Zambia safari with us and we look forward to seeing you again one day.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

207 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    185
    15
    4
    2
    1
See reviews for
44
91
16
3
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (60)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southampton, UK
Level Contributor
32 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
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...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scottsdale, Arizona
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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.
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
5.7 mi away
Croc Valley Camp
Croc Valley Camp
#17 of 43 in South Luangwa National Park
4.5 of 5 bubbles 201 reviews
4.3 mi away
Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge
Sanctuary Chichele Presidential ...
#10 of 43 in South Luangwa National Park
5.0 of 5 bubbles 106 reviews
14.1 mi away
Zikomo Safari Camp
Zikomo Safari Camp
#19 of 43 in South Luangwa National Park
5.0 of 5 bubbles 66 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.6 mi away
Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp
Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp
#18 of 43 in South Luangwa National Park
5.0 of 5 bubbles 88 reviews
0.0 mi away
Mushroom Lodge
Mushroom Lodge
#33 of 43 in South Luangwa National Park
4.5 of 5 bubbles 62 reviews
0.0 mi away
Anabezi Luxury Tented Camp
Anabezi Luxury Tented Camp
#7 of 13 in Lower Zambezi National Park
5.0 of 5 bubbles 42 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Kafunta River Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Kafunta River Lodge

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): £££
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

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