New Luxury Lodge In South Luangwa, Zambia...

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Dec 20th, 2003, 11:44 AM
  #1
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New Luxury Lodge In South Luangwa, Zambia...

http://www.star-of-africa.com/circ3b.htm

Just came across the nicest lodge I have ever seen in South Luangwa and although it looks like a $1,000 USD+ per night room, that is not the case. Even in high season, this lodge is only $330 per person per night, all inclusive.

I saw this lodge being built while I was at Kafunta last June and it looks like Star Of Africa did an amazing job with this lodge. It is in a great location within the boundaries of the national park while many camps are outside the national park, taking valuable time to get into the park each day.

Anybody that is going to Victoria Falls AND on safari, would be well served to consider South Luangwa. It is possible to fly directly from Livingstone (Vic Falls, Zambia) right into Mfuwe. Although it is $360 per person each day, this will easily be made up in economically priced accomodations.

For a little variety, you could always mix this up with a couple nights at a place like Kafunta Island Bush Camp about 3.5 hours away in a different part of the park on an island river island.

If going to South Luangwa, I would strongly suggest going anyway but through Lusaka, a really depressing airport.
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Dec 20th, 2003, 12:23 PM
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Roccco - The Puku Lodge looks really nice, small, and with those 3/4-beds, and the price is certainly good.

But on the following
>>It is possible to fly directly from Livingstone (Vic Falls, Zambia) right into Mfuwe. Although it is $360 per person each day, this will easily be made up in economically priced accomodations<<

Did you actually mean to say the flights are $360 pp "each day" or "each way" ? I know I'm always making typos, but "day" and "way" are two different issues.
 
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Dec 21st, 2003, 12:49 AM
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Sandi,

Actually this is a special charter flight that charges per the day rather than per the way!

Yes, it was a mistake. $360 per person each way is how it should have read. While that sounds very expensive, one has to keep in mind that there will likely not be more than five other people on the plane and that this option will allow you to bypass Luangwa if you are basing your trip in South Africa.

Otherwise, the only direct flight into Zambia that I am aware of is British Airways from London to Lusaka a couple times a week. I would only consider this option if I was not going to be visiting Cape Town. This would probably shave 4+ hours of flying off each way and I certainly do believe that Zambia is deserving of an exclusive trip, the same way that I think that Tanzania is worth it. I probably would have never imagined such a thing just a couple months ago, as I previously questioned how others could go strictly on safari without being also enjoying Cape Town.

But, in my thoughts and my dreams, it is not Cape Town that fills my mind, but, instead, it is thoughts of being in the bush, far away from the rest of civilization.

Granted, I may not have such pleasant thoughts of the bush if not for staying at great game lodges, but that is besides the point. There are great game lodges everywhere from Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. The big difference is that South Africa and Botswana lodges, in my opinion, have prices that are out of control while it is still possible to get great rates in at least Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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Dec 21st, 2003, 04:09 PM
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Roccco -

The $720 r/t is not unlike the $5,000 Virgin Air fare - I'd rather spend the money on the land portion. But it's nice to know there is an option.

As the high rate of accommodations in SA and Botswana - well with SA alot has to do with the poor exchange of the USD against foreign currencies these day. Eventually, the USD will gain, and prices will be back in line, hopefully.

As to Botswana, there are very strict regulations on what can be built, especially in the Delta area - as to size, type of camps, as natural as possible - all to protect the environment. Though the prices are relatively high in the Delta, more reasonable prices can be found in the Chobe area, though the 5* places such as Chilwera do carry a high price.

Thanks for the info on the new lodge.
 
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Dec 22nd, 2003, 07:54 AM
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Wow, that looks like a great lodge. When I stayed at Kafunta I recall driving by Chichele, one of Star of Africa's other lodges in South Luangwa, and it looked great.

One other bit of info about visiting South Luangwa -- the national park is much closer to Lilongwe, Malawi, than it is to Lusaka, Zambia, so I'm sure the flight from Lilongwe is much less. In fact, its only a five-hour or so overland journey from Lilongwe to South Luangwa and while likely a bumpy, dusty trip, its probably pretty interesting and can save money. I flew from Lilongwe and it was only 30 minutes or so to South Luangwa.

Star of Africa looks like an excellent group with which to visit Zambia, and I hope they open a camp in Kafue, which is supposed to be another great park in Zambia.

Thanks for the tip.
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Feb 19th, 2004, 12:31 AM
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topping, just to show that I have an expressed an interest in Puku Ridge for equally long as I had for Tanzania.

One thing I am not is rigid, and if I change my mind 50 times before booking, so be it.

Puku Ridge, here I come.
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Feb 19th, 2004, 06:29 AM
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So what's your final itinerary? Are you going to South Luangwas? how about Kafue (that's next on my Zambia list). Thanks
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Feb 19th, 2004, 08:30 AM
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TC,

Yes...I will be spending four nights in the Lower Zambezi at Kulefu Tented Camp (Star of Africa lodge), followed by four nights at Kaingo's lodges in the northers sector of South Luangwa (split evenly between Kaingo and their bush camp, Mwamba, right on the banks of the Mwamba River) and then spend my final three nights in the area of the park that is closer to Kafunta, but at Star of Africa's lodges...two nights at the very chique Puku Ridge and my final night in the amazing Chichele Presidential Lodge.

To answer an earlier question by you, unfortunately Star Of Africa does not yet offer a lodge in Kafue, although it is probably not far behind.
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Feb 19th, 2004, 08:38 AM
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Sounds great. I saw Chichele when I stayed at Kafunta. We had the car to ourselves and went on a fairly long drive, and that was the only time I have seen a dead lion (it was being feasted on by vultures). The guide told us that the lions were hunting buffalo the prior night, and this one must have been fatally kicked or gored by a buffalo. I have an interesting photo of my guide opening the lions mouth -- interestingly, the head was the only part that hadn't yet been eaten (maybe its the least tasty part of the lion). We ended our trip to Luangwa with a couple of nights at Livingstonia, supposedly the nicest lakeside resort in Malawi (my vote = 2 stars), but snorkeling in the lake was great, and Lilongwe (the capital of Malawi) is much closer to Luangwa than is Lusaka. Our charter to Lilongwe was only 30 minutes or so. Just some additional info. I'm still planning this Summer's safari, but my new hurdle is planning a birthday trip (only 4 days from NY) for this March (too short to go to Africa so maybe Caribbean or Europe, although I was in Paris last weekend). Oh, too many choices!
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Feb 19th, 2004, 08:43 AM
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Thit Cho,

Check out Luxury Link and I am sure that you can find an amazing four night package somewhere, whether it be Europe, Latin America or the Caribbean. Four night packages seem to be the most popular and often include airport transfers and plenty of other amenities.

Sometimes four night trips can be the most fun! Good luck.

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Feb 19th, 2004, 09:06 AM
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Thit Cho,

THIS is what I would do if I had four nights and could get a flight from JFK without much hassle. The weather should be perfect in March and it is supposed to be a fascinating city:

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Feb 19th, 2004, 09:42 AM
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Thanks, I will DEFINITELY check that out. We had planned to visit Morocco last December, but we planned late and couldn't get into La Mamounia or Gazelle d'Or, so we went to the Galapagos instead. I'm glad I made the change, but we still want to visit Morocco, and this may be a great way to do it. Thanks for the tip.

Michael
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