Current Update on Chief's and Stanleys

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Apr 13th, 2004, 05:15 PM
  #1
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Current Update on Chief's and Stanleys

Roy and Madeline are no longer at Chief's which for me colored my whole experience there. I'll try to see where this terrific team are - if anyone here knows, please post. The new ones though, Justin and Tracey Lindsay have had good reports so far. The website isn't very good, it's www.sanctuarylodges.com and needs updating. I want to say that the magic of photography can make a room look dramatic. Chief's is very simple, the room is a tent not much different from Stanley's simple tent with ensuite bathrooms. The photos make it look more glamourous than it really is. I say this because Rocco and others got that impression from the photo and I've been there, it's basic but comfortable, clean and had no bugs. You don't spend a lot of time inside your tent/room in Africa anyway (unless you get ill) so it's not that important overall, as long as the charges fall in line. It was dry when I was there and we never saw animals from our porch. The dining area is like most, pleasant with a view of a watering hole in the near distance.

Stanley's update - the remodel is finished and I hear it looks quite nice. A new camp by the same company nearby is called Baines and opens Aug 1. At both Stanley's and Baines you can do night drive, mekoro when water is there, hot air ballooning, bush walks with a pro ranger, and the highlight, the ele walk. Baines is going to be 6 tents, sounds like high-endish. Chief's will be the best of these for cats but the other two have had improved game sitings recorded (and in my mind, you go there mostly for the eles).
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Apr 13th, 2004, 06:03 PM
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hi clematis, could you expand on what wildlife you saw when you were at chiefs camp and what month you visited. i am very interested, bc like rocco am contemplating visiting there next yr. i had a fantastic time at mombo but at the rates i been quoted for next yr, i cant justify a return visit. chiefs is the closest comparison so curious for feedback.
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Apr 13th, 2004, 07:31 PM
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Hi Bigcountry, please take a look back to a thread called "Chief's Camp (Moremi, Botswana)..." where I go into detail there about what I saw. If it were me, I would definitely spend much less and go to Chief's. If you have any other questions, I'll be happy to help.
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Apr 14th, 2004, 03:24 AM
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clemantis, for some reason i cant find your previous post. if possible could you just copy and paste it below. thx in advance
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Apr 14th, 2004, 03:32 AM
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It's only about 25 threads below this one but here is the link:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...4&tid=34490654
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Apr 14th, 2004, 07:54 PM
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ttt for Rocco
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Apr 14th, 2004, 10:25 PM
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Thanks Clematis. I am very flexible about accomodations. As I have said before, my second best experience in lodges was at Kafunta Island Bush Camp and that had like thatched walls only up to about waist high, a thatched roof over the bedroom, no roof over the bathroom, and a non-existent floor that consisted of the dirt & sand.

I mean just take a look at this camp and you will laugh and wonder how anybody could like this camp, but it was a really great place, right on the banks of the Luangwa River and a 3+ hour drive south of the much busier Mfuwe area of South Luangwa:

http://www.luangwa.com/island.htm
http://www.luangwa.com/photo2.htm
http://www.luangwa.com/camps.htm

Those are the most telling pictures that I have seen of Kafunta Island Bush Camp, and I can assure you that the Luangwa River is 500 times as wide as it appears in one of those pictures, and it was very full in early June of last year.

It is just so peaceful out there to sit out in the African bush by the campfire after a day of bushwalks and gamedrives. There is not even any power in the camp and all cooking is done only by fire, yet this was the only time when Kafunta offered good food, making up a braii with all kinds of good stuff.

While the pomp & circumstance of Singita is nice, it is the magic of a little place like Kafunta Island Bush Camp, or any of the other many bush camps in the South Luangwa, that really touch your soul and bring back some incredible memories.

I mean talk about an awakening of the senses. Just take a look at those thatched chalets and tell me that you would not get an adrenalin rush when you hear a lion roar in the distance or the hippos walking arounnd right outside your chalet in the middle of the night, not even wanting to stand up to possibly be seen!

Sorry for deviating from the subject of Chief's Camp and Stanley, but I just wanted to try to further demonstrate that staying at a place like Singita of Mombo may give you an immediate and short lived high like cocaine is reputed to give, but it is other more authentic places in magical places that will give you a long lasting high, even if it does take some time to absorb just how very special a place that you are or were in, despite not being anything more than a thatched hut in the middle of nowhere.

36 days and counting before I am out of here. 46 days until I blow the Gelato stand in Italy and head to Zambia. Excuse me if I cannot stop talking about Zambia!
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Apr 14th, 2004, 11:24 PM
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Oh that looks wonderful. I can smell the fires cooking. I know exactly what you mean about the charm of a place like this.

I don't understand your comment about this being the only time Kafunta offered good food - do you mean that breakfast was awful?
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Apr 14th, 2004, 11:33 PM
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Clematis,

I stayed at two different camps...Kafunta River Lodge and Kafunta Island Bush Camp. The food at Kafuna River Lodge was not very good, although some of the other guests liked it.

The Kafunta River Lodge is their main camp and the Kafunta Island Bush Camp is their seasonal bush camp, only open from about June - November.

I am staying at another bush camp this year for two nights, Mwamba (the bush camp of Kaingo). I do hope that the experience is similar, although the Kafunta Island Bush Camp is probably 100 kilometers away from most of the other bushcamps, while Mwamba is probably no more than 10 kilometers away from Kaingo, and close enough to walk in a leisurely 3 hour walk. (Sorry about the metrics, just psyching myself out and getting ready!)
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