Our family of five spent eight extraordinary days at Kafunta in April 2014 and we can't wait to go back.
As a wild life experience it was outstanding. During our stay, we saw 6 individual leopards, including a mother with cubs. The local pride of lions, which numbered around 20 individuals including 4 cubs, was seen several times in various groupings, We had the privilege to watch the lions after they killed a buffalo and the female leopard and her cubs twice after she had caught a baboon, including a breathtaking event at night when she took her kill into a tree for safety, with her pouncing cubs behind, just a few minutes before two hyenas arrived at the bush she'd spent the day in.
But these beautiful cats were only one aspect of the rich experience we had.
Our excellent guide Martin took every opportunity to teach us about creatures great and small, from tiny ants and termites to eagles, antelope and hippos and we had plenty of opportunity to sit still and watch the animals getting on with their lives whilst he explained what the behaviour meant. Martin was also a great story teller and we heard many entertaining folk tales about the animals and plants as well as the way that plants and trees are still being used today.
We also saw two families of that rarest of animals, African wild dogs ;the first at night after hyenas had stolen their meal and the second group a few days later, loping through the bush.
Each morning, the safari experience started at breakfast when we might see elephants swimming across the river near the lodge, giraffes walking from the woodland in the other direction, and baboons and a variety of antelope moving across the flood plain below the lodge, in our field of view.
The early safari starts at 6:30 and the second finishes in the dark, so there is opportunity to see nocturnal creatures as well.
The staff were, without exception, warm, kind and welcoming and we always felt that nothing was too much trouble. My aunt of 80 [who has mobility problems] came with us and had all the help, support and encouragement she needed to be included in everything and fully enjoy the holiday.
Also of significance, our 18 year old son, who is not known for being up much before midday given the chance, was first out of bed everymorning at 5:30, and berated us for our lateness when we emerged for breakfast at 6am.
We stayed in very comfortable, stylish and beautifully thatched chalets with cooled drinks in the fridge and decking with a stunning view over the flood plain towards the river. In the evening, supper was eaten under the African sky which was often a miriad of stars, to the sounds of hyppos in the water nearby.
The infinity pool overlooking the plain and the fabulous hot tub next to it provided additional luxury during the afternoon rest time.
The food was delicious; simple and beautifully prepared and made with local produce.
Lastly - the magical sound of crickets and tiny frogs at night, under a starlit sky with the milky way in all its glory - beyond words.
- 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