Puku Ridge-avoid

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Jun 29th, 2005, 12:08 AM
  #41
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 68
Roccco, we found little wallet sized plastic or leather cases at inanycase.com that hold 4 to 6 CF cards. They were perfect for keeping the cards together in our pockets. Alternatively, I noticed that Newegg (my favorite computer mail order place)is selling 8 gig CFs. That is a fairly substantial amount of memory on one card!

BTW, I used a Tokina 80-400 on my Canon Digital rebel in Tanzania and South Africa last year and loved it! It wasn't stabilized, but I used beanbags and did fine. I also used a 1.4x multiplier which worked great, apart from its appetite for light.

We hope to go to Zambia sometime in the next year, and will be picking your brains.
Scout52 is offline  
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Jun 29th, 2005, 08:54 AM
  #42
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 814
I'd really advise anyone AGAINST buying those huge CF cards-- if they go corrupt, you will lose everything, vs. just part of your photos. And they do get corrupted--dont' let anyone tell you otherwise. It happened to me with a 2 gig card on on Africa trip...and when I went back to my good local photoshop (which lots of pros use) I started hearing everyone elses stories about losing things like wedding photos, graduations, vacations, etc. to corrupt cards. (And don't expect that software that comes with Lexar cards to help...it (nearly) worthless.

The technology to squeeze all those extra gigs may be to blame-- but in any case, you'll be better off if you diversify your photos across many cards.
Also there is a "sweet spot" in terms of cost per gig, and those big cards are usually sold at a premium.'
I like 512 cards, because you can transfer a whole card to a CD, but I no longer buy anything bigger than 1 gig. A handful of smaller cards fits in a vest pocket or backpack pocket very easily anyway...
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Jun 29th, 2005, 12:15 PM
  #43
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,153
It's pure chance as to whether it's the CF card that gets corrupted or the porable storage device.

The answer is to back up ALL images using different devices.

I personally don't use CF cards as backups as I hear more about data corruption on CF cards than anything else.

If I have the laptop with me (generally not on safaris) I'll copy the CF card to both the laptop AND also an X Drive. Only once I have verified both copies do I reformat the CF card. On a longer trip I'll also burn DVDs using the laptop.

If I don't have the laptop then I have two separate X Drives with me and copy all images onto BOTH of them before reformatting the CF card.
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Jun 29th, 2005, 12:21 PM
  #44
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,153
porable = portable
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Oct 6th, 2005, 05:16 PM
  #45
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
I just wanted to write a few final thoughts on this matter, now that I have stayed at Puku Ridge and have been home for a couple weeks with time to digest everything.

While Puku Ridge is far from perfect, I do think it definitely is deserving of consideration.

Its strongest points remain:

1. Its location within the park--possibly the best location of any South Luangwa lodge.

2. Its beautiful rooms that include a sunken bath with a great view of the game filled plain, outdoor shower and huge balcony. Also, the winds feel great at night, at least in September, and I would imagine in October - April.

The weakest points was:

1. Food & Wine. It just was not on par with other camps/lodges that were less expensive than Puku Ridge. It was not inedible but it was very average.

I did feel that the guiding was more than adequate, although I did feel that they could have made the guests feel more in charge of their game activities, as I was made to feel at each Kasaka River Lodge, Chongwe River Camp and Luangwa River Lodge.

Bottom line...Puku Ridge is a beautiful camp in an incredible location yet with quite a bit of unrealized potential. Sleep is a heavenly experience with the wind blowing through the tent and the mosquito net blowing all around, with sounds of wildlife all around. I would not "avoid" Puku Ridge, but I would not make it my first choice in South Luangwa, either. It is a great complement to other camps/lodges and for its location, alone, I will definitely return to Puku Ridge, even if I do smuggle in some food and wine!
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Oct 7th, 2005, 12:15 PM
  #46
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 343
Rocco, do you have any suite number recommendation at all the lodges? At puku did you have 1 king or two twins? I can only find pictures of the suites with 2 beds. I wonder what to chose. BArry said at Lrl he will put me in either suite 3 or 4. Any help for Puku and Chiawa? Do you have a picture of your puku room?
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Oct 7th, 2005, 03:02 PM
  #47
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Alejandra,

At Puku Ridge you will want to request the "Leopard" room. It is considered their honeymoon suite and has a king bed.

PUKU RIDGE - LEOPARD SUITE

http://www.kodakgallery.com/PhotoVie...d=258662118205

And another view:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/PhotoVie...d=226572118205

The bathroom:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/PhotoVie...d=107182118205

The outdoor shower:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/PhotoVie...d=139873118205

The balcony:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/PhotoVie...d=549873118205

The view:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/PhotoVie...d=607983118205

For Luangwa River Lodge, I would request Suite #3 which has a nice walkway to the river embankment.

For Chiawa, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the rooms. They all enjoy excellent shade and are amongst the best smelling trees. It is like you are walking through a perfume shop! Mahogany, wild jasmine and others. They do have a honeymoon suite but I don't know if there is an extra charge.

Here are the photos of the honeymoon suite:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/PhotoVie...d=870292018205

One more:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/PhotoVie...d=641003018205

Let me know if you have any more questions and I will try my best to help. You have an awesome itinerary and should have the best time!
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Oct 8th, 2005, 09:04 AM
  #48
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 343
Thanks Rocco, if only i was allowed more weight i'd bring my own wine to Puku..
At the lodges do you normally drink the wine that comes within the price or is it recommendable to ask for other wines that one must pay extra for?
Also, as hot as it will be now in october, do i need to bring any kind of sweater for the evenings? A thin one perhaps?
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Oct 8th, 2005, 05:59 PM
  #49
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Alejandra,

I would not even bother bringing a light sweater. I don't recall being cold once in early September, and it stayed warm at night while in South Luangwa (while Lower Zambezi was very comfortable at night).

As far as the wine goes, I just drink whatever is offered. It never occurred to me to ask Puku Ridge if there was any better wine available. I would be surprised if there was better wine available. It is just surprising that for $800 per night for a couple sharing, that there was not better wine at Puku Ridge.

I found the wine at each Kasaka, Chongwe and Luangwa River Lodge to be excellent. If you do not care for the wine at Puku RIdge, I do think it would be worthwhile to ask if there is any better wine. I will say that I had great wine while at Chichele Presidential Lodge last year, and this is within a couple kilometers distance from Puku. Tell Angie at Puku Ridge to get you a bottle of real wine from Chichele!
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Oct 8th, 2005, 06:10 PM
  #50
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Alejandra,

I would not even bother bringing a light sweater. I don't recall being cold once in early September, and it stayed warm at night while in South Luangwa (while Lower Zambezi was very comfortable at night).

As far as the wine goes, I just drink whatever is offered. It never occurred to me to ask Puku Ridge if there was any better wine available. I would be surprised if there was better wine available. It is just surprising that for $800 per night for a couple sharing, that there was not better wine at Puku Ridge.

I found the wine at each Kasaka, Chongwe and Luangwa River Lodge to be excellent. If you do not care for the wine at Puku RIdge, I do think it would be worthwhile to ask if there is any better wine. I will say that I had great wine while at Chichele Presidential Lodge last year, and this is within a couple kilometers distance from Puku. Puku Ridge and Chichele are each Star Of Africa properties. Tell Angie at Puku Ridge to get you a bottle of real wine from Chichele!
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Oct 11th, 2005, 08:19 PM
  #51
Lin
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 330
Alejandra, I stayed at Puku Ridge last July. There is 'better' wine for the asking and for an extra charge. They will often obtain it from Chichele Lodge and will be glad to drive over there to get it. We had some of our best wine experiences in Zambia at Puku Ridge.
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Oct 16th, 2005, 04:32 AM
  #52
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 343
Going to Puku today, thanks for wine information.....definately will ask...cheers
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