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Remote Africa - Tafika and Mwaleshi Camps

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This is a reply to cooncat3 (Sharon) who asked about North Luangwa but hopefully it will be of use \ interest to others considering planning a visit.

We’ve been to Zambia once before where we stayed at Chiawa Camp in the Lower Zambezi for 5 nights and Nkwali in the South Luangwa for 4 nights and realised then how important it was to choose camps carefully with regard to what you wanted to experience. Chiawa was superb – a great range of activities, excellent guides and exquisite cuisine which put Nkwali in the shade. Plus the use of steel window bars over the ‘windows’ at Nkwali really detracted from the experience of being in the African bush. So after much reading we decided on Remote Africa – www.remoteafrica.com – they aren’t for everyone but they were certainly what we were looking for. We stayed 5 nights at Tafika and 4 nights at Mwaleshi.

First we stayed at Tafika which was excellent - the hosts (everyone in camp), the chalets, the game drives, the walks, the food and of course the microlighting. It was a really relaxing place and everyone made us very welcome. A great place to start our stay. The microlighting is $90 for about 15-20 minutes and gives a great new perspective on the Luangwa – highly recommended. The guides are superb and we spotted leopard and lion (2 separate occasions) while walking as well as elephant, giraffe, zebra and impala. One lion spot was 7 lionesses just outside of camp who stayed there most of the day (about 50 metres from our chalet and in clear view from the Tafika hide). We also spotted plenty of game on drives – lions, leopard, civets, genets, impala, elephant, giraffe, hippo, buffalo and a wide diversity of birdlife (take a trip to the stork colony if you are in the area). The chalets are very clean and comfortable, made from reed poles with an open air shower and wash area (hot water on tap) and flush toilets. It isn’t 5 star luxury but there are plenty of lodges in the South Luangwa if you really can’t do without your tiled bathroom, plunge pool and other trappings from home. The temperature at this time of year is cool, the Luangwa still has some green and although wildlife is more difficult to spot, it is there and the conditions for photography in the early morning and evenings is superb.

If we thought things couldn't get any better then we were wrong. The 4 nights at Mwaleshi were truly outstanding - an unbelievable place which really stole our hearts. The hosts (everyone in camp), the chalets and the walks were excellent and the food somehow managed to even surpass that of Tafika. The wildlife was also always close by - we had a herd of a few hundred buffalo pass through camp one night and cross the river in front of our chalet, then 2 prides of lions close by roaring through the night on another while hyena danced in the river outside the chalet on another. And we bumped into a puff adder on the track to our chalet one night as well. Add to that a sighting of 12 lions while on foot (the sight of them getting up in unison just a few hundred meters from us across open plain was heart stopping) and a great splash at Mwaleshi Falls (where we were fortunate enough to see an otter). We have to say that Mwaleshi was a really special stay - I couldn't recommend Mwaleshi to everyone as it is perhaps a little raw for some tastes but for us it was a little piece of paradise.

Happy Travelling

Graham

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