Zambia accommodation query


Oct 19th, 2006, 01:06 PM
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Zambia accommodation query

I'm arranging a week long trip to Zambia for June next year. Unfortunately we only have 6 days.
Having trouble deciding on the best places to stay. Thinking about Kaingo, Puku, Luangwa River Lodge or Tafike but not sure which.
Would like to do 2 x 3 nights and would appreciate advice on best option for game viewing in June.
Also, how do we get between the lodges if they are not part of the same group?
Help please!
many thanks
Lynneb is offline  
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Oct 19th, 2006, 01:32 PM
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I've stayed at Kaingo and Tafika in June and the game viewing at both locations was great. Kaingo has a hippo hide on the bank of the river from which you can get great photos. Both are in the northern part of the Valley and would be a good combination. We were transported by Kaingo's vehicles upriver to Tafika, where we took canoes across the river to their camp. They drove us to Mfuwe at the end of our stay. I suppose you'd set up the transportation with the camps in advance, as the initial camp would have to pick you up at Mfuwe.

Rocco could better address the River Lodge and Puku Ridge, as those are two of his favorites.
ShayTay is offline  
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Oct 19th, 2006, 06:11 PM
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***I am not a travel agent - but I often play one in my dreams. ***

Hi Lynneb - It is too bad you only have 6 nights, but if that is the case, consider 3 nights at Luangwa River Lodge (in the middle of the park) and 3 at Tafika or Kaingo. I've not been to Kaingo but would love to and it's certainly on my list. I loved Tafika, and they do have a microlight there that is really something. At Kaingo you get the great hides.

Anyway, this way you'll see two areas of the park.

I love Luangwa River Lodge. I know that much is made on this forum about its "luxuriousness" but frankly it doesn't have a "high-end" vibe to me. I think I felt more relaxed here than any place else on my trip. This is just an aside; it is a lovely lodge, and the rooms ARE more modern in terms of amenities, but the guides and managers are just wonderful and it is located in (OK across from) a very game-rich area of the park.

I also loved the Bushcamp Company camp (I was at Chamilandu) and would highly recommend that, too, but you don't have enough time.

Another option would be to spend the entire 6 nights at LRL - you would get a long-stay discount, and be in the thick of things. The lodge will arrange for all-day drives if it's feasible at the time, and you can see other areas of the park that way.

These are just my two-cents, having spent the end of May and first half of June there this year. Any other questions, feel free to ask. Better get on it though, reservations are getting tougher to come by!

Good luck!

cooncat3 is offline  
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Oct 19th, 2006, 06:27 PM
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Lynneb - I forgot to add that the lodges/camps will work with one another to get your from one to another.
cooncat3 is offline  
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Oct 19th, 2006, 07:40 PM
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I can give a strong endorsement to what Sharon said about Luangwa River Lodge just having returned from there on a six night stay less than two weeks ago.

Sean and MaryAnn, co-owners, are also the host and hostess, Victor was our guide the whole time--a wonderful guide, story teller and a most wonderful man in all respects. We went on every single outing and were never, ever bored Lots and lots of game. You will see other vehicles from other camps from time to time, though.

Just to confuse you more, also consider the Lower Zambezi, splitting your time between Chiawa and Old MOndoro Bush Camp. Being on the river adds a whole additional dimension and additional activity opportunities. Both first class operations, owner-run and easy to get to from Lusaka. One hour flight then a short Land Cruiser ride into camp. Both camps are run by the same people so logistics are a snap. Do consider going from one to the other by canoe. And, only once can I remember seeing a vehicle from another camp.

I am just about done with culling/ortanizing pics and writing up the first part of my trip report which I'll add to the "Zambia--what an amazing journey!" thread.

Too bad you do not have more time. We spent a total of two weeks in Zambia and it was not nearly enough.

steeliejim is offline  
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Oct 20th, 2006, 01:15 AM
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Thanks for your helpful responses.
We can possibly push our trip to July or even August - do you think it's worth doing this?
It's my friends first safari so I want to get it right.
Lynneb is offline  
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Oct 20th, 2006, 03:11 AM
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Lynneb - July or August would be better for game viewing. I would also second what Jim said above as an option. I did the Chiawa/Old Mondoro combo before heading to S. Luangwa and it was fantastic in every regard. Decisions, decisions!
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Oct 20th, 2006, 11:40 AM
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I like your ideas of combining Lower Zambezi.
I can get a good deal using the other Star of Africa property in Lower Zambezi, Kulefu along with Puku. It looks from their website that a lot of work has recently been done on this camp.
Anyone had experience recently of Kulefu?
Lynneb is offline  
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Oct 20th, 2006, 12:08 PM
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if you only have 6 days total, I would stick to one area, either South Luangwa or Lower Zambezi. there's just not enough time and you would lose at least 1/2 a day traveling (lodge-mfuwe airport-lower zambezi airport etc) now if you had 9-10 days, i'd split it up, both areas are great! I've been to LRL, Tafika and Puku Ridge, I would either do Tafika and one of the others (LRL is my favorite).
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