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“A Bit of Luxury in Luangwa” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kafunta River Lodge

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Kafunta River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Greenwich, CT
Level Contributor
63 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“A Bit of Luxury in Luangwa”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2014

After almost 2 weeks on safari, it was quite welcome to arrive at Kafunta. The accommodations are quite luxurious compared to the other camps and lodges we stayed at. It was very nice to be able to lounge by the pool and hot tub between game drives. My wife even enjoyed a massage and manicure at the spa. Both the pool and dining are overlook a large meadow with spring fed water areas which attract a constant stream of game.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JoelGreenwich
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, 24 June 2014
Thank you for your review of the Kafunta River Lodge. After a long safari, relaxing at the lodge in the pool or the hot tub on a cool winter's day is a nice way to spend your time, especially when you can enjoy the wildlife in front of the lodge.
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195 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 June 2014

Kafunta lodge was a Stunning lodge in paradise park if theres any national park you need to see its South Luangwa National park.Kafuna lodge is absolutely amazing and staff were so friendly staff you feel so genuinely welcomed I must say for such a remote part of Africa we were so pleasantly surprised with Kafunta lodge and only positive comments and food was excellent and plenty of it and one has to be prepared to put on few kgs ( WE DID ) ,, Rooms are very well appointed over looking animal rich water hole which kept us well entertained as animals moving past the whole ... some 14 Giraffe drinking in front of our room was a highlight ... for day relaxing also theres a fantastic pool overlooking the plains very tempting for swim but to cold for us as we had some chilly days but we did enjoy the natural hot spring was a real treat ( try nighttime dip ) Guides were great and see so many animals still wild in africa was really amazing … yes will defiantly be back and thank you all for a truly memorable stay .

Room Tip: Internet is available at office area - do not walk around at night without watchmen as animals were...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Joan M
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, 24 June 2014
Thank you so much for your review of Kafunta River Lodge and it's great to hear you had a memorable stay.

The South Luangwa is one of the premier game parks of Africa, with one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Africa but without the numbers of tourists you get in some of the more well known parks.

We do hope to see you again soon.
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Grantham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2014

What a fantastic place! the lodge was just perfect with an amazing vista. We have tried three safaris so far and this came out tops! To eat your evening meal listening to lions roaring and hippos grunting with the usual beautiful sounds of the bush was just perfect, as was the food, the accommodation and all of the staff who couldn't do enough for you and all with a perfect smile, just added to our enjoyment and would certainly recommend this place to anyone wishing to experience a true safari

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Angie J
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, 17 June 2014
It's lovely to hear we topped your list of safari experiences - thank you. Listening to the sounds of the African bush is an amazing experience, especially at night under the stars. Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review and your recommendation.
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Earth
Level Contributor
214 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2014

During our visit to South Luangwa National Park, we stayed at many different camps to sample what each had to offer and refine our choices for upcoming visits. Kafunta River Lodge was one of our least favorite camps for a lot of reasons.

First, and foremost, was the inexperienced, laid back management who were inept at handling various problems that arose during our stay. Apparently there are rolling black outs at this camp when there is no electricity available from morning till night. Of course, no one mentions this until you are there and have no way to recharge your batteries. And on two of the nights we were there those rolling blackouts extended into the evening. Fine, you're in Africa ... we get this. However, when you arrive back at camp after a game drive and no one is there to explain what is going on or what the status of the generator is there is a problem. No compensation was offered to guests which is customary when things are not up to standard -- like how about a free drink while the problem is worked out -- maybe a cost of $3?

Another area of real disappointment was the game ranger assigned to us. Josephat was a real know it all who freely shared his opinions with us about game, Kafunta management and local politics. We were in Zambia to see animals, not to hear Josephat's soliloquies on his personal opinions and complaints. We felt like a captive audience with no escape, particularly since we did not agree with most of the ramblings. The entire experience was unpleasant. Add to this the long rides to the game areas and it made for a very long day.

The food was the worst of any camp we were at. Of course, one does not choose safari camps based on food, however, we do expect not to be starved. Not only was the quality of the food poor but the portions were miniscule. We ran into some people who were visiting Malawi orphanages at the Llilongwe airport. These folks had taken a side trip to safari at Kafunte. To a person (and there were 15 of them), each complained about how hungry they were during their entire stay. It became quite the joke as we waited patiently for the airport to reopen as marching bands were diligently honoring the many heads of state in town for a big Pan African meeting.

Perhaps the issues we encountered were "growing pains" as the camp transitioned from Owner Management to employee management, but the overall experience was not good.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank boudecca
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, 18 June 2014
Thank you for your review of last years’ stay at Kafunta River Lodge and we’re very sorry that your safari experience was not up to our usual standard. Please accept our sincere apologies and be assured that as your stay was last year these issues have well and truly been addressed.

We recognise last year's management team had shortcomings and we have made changes including a new Operations Manager to oversee the operation. Rolling blackouts to the valley are not a regular occurrence and it’s unfortunate that there was a technical problem with our backup generator. Whilst the lodge manager did sit with you whilst our maintenance staff worked on the problem we can only apologise that you were without power for one evening.

With morning tea, brunch, afternoon tea, game drive snacks and a 3-course dinner, guests sometime joke that they’ll have to diet after going on safari so it is surprising that you thought there was insufficient food. In any event, an international chef has recently joined us and will be ensuring that the dining experience is world class.

Thank you again and we appreciate your feedback as it is important to us that every guest has a great safari experience.
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Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2014

Location can be everything and these guys have that and so much more. On arriving you will experience THE DECK that looks over a flood plain towards the national park. There were so many animals a few metres from where we were standing so we decided to abandon our afternoon game drive and opted for a G&T in the hot tub with the flood plains in full view. It's a very rewarding place to stay. Our guide Martin was amazing and enjoyed telling a good few African stories. Martin found some amazing game for us including Leopard and wild dogs and the drives were an experience on their own with the variety if terrain the Park covers.

The spacious room was in top condition, very comfortable and had a loft type patio allowing you to get an even better view of the flood plains.

F&B, we had a brief chat with the lodge manager mentioning our preferences and tips for minor improvements. They certainly did their best at accommodating us in every way and we still think its a top effort considering the tough operating environment. The meals were wholesome, and tasty so thanks to all the staff for looking after us so well!

Kafunta is an amazing spot! A great way to experience South Luangwa national park.

All our tx Lester and Amy

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank SlyJok
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, 17 June 2014
Thank you for your review of Kafunta River Lodge.

One of beauty's of the lodge is that you can have great wildlife viewing without even leaving the lodge. Lunch on the deck with wildlife right in front of you is hard to beat but a G&T in the newly renovated hot tub would do it!

The team are happy to accommodate our guests preferences to ensure you have a great stay. An international chef has recently started with us and will be lifting the lodge's food to a whole new level.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2014

Fabulous accommodation and food at Kafunta Lodge. The staff were so helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. The Lodge has a gorgeous outlook across the floodplain and having the hippos talking to you at night is out of this world. The food was really delicious - incredibly impressive and nothing seemed too much trouble for the staff. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lodge123
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, 10 June 2014
Thank your for your review of Kafunta River Lodge and we're happy you had a fabulous stay. They staff take great pride in the service they provide and ensuring you have the best safari possible. A new international chef has just started at the lodge to enhance the dining experience under the African stars.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scunthorpe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2014

We stayed here for 4 nights last month, what a great place. The setting of the lodge is perfect overlooking the river plain and a river crossing into the park. They also have an infinity pool and hot tub which is great. Meals under the stars and a great camp fire made for some great evenings under the beautiful African stars. We stayed in one the new suites, which has a second floor with great views. We did have a slight problem with the water in our room and the safe but they were slight problems that could soon be resolved. The staff are all great and very freindly, are guide for the 3 days was Abel who was the best. We witnessed some amazing sights that will stay with me forever. Thank you

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank angela141250
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, 6 June 2014
Thank you for your review of Kafunta River Lodge and it's rewarding to know you had a memorable safari. The suites are certainly a great place to relax and take in the view, with the deck on the ground floor and the balcony offering a great panorama. The infinity pool and hut tub have just been completely refurbished so it's good to hear that you enjoyed them. Thanks again.
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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 42 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

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