Zuka Private Game Reserve


Nov 18th, 2004, 10:14 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 326
Zuka Private Game Reserve

Has anyone been to Zuka? I noticed a couple of past posts from Roccco & KimWhits that mentioned Zuka as possibilities.... I'm hoping that someone has been there and might comment on the reserve - and any comparisons to the adjoining Phinda.

The poor status of the US$ makes Phinda prices particularly painful! I'm looking for other options.
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Nov 19th, 2004, 05:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 149
I was there in July and loved it. Espcially being gored by the "tame" bufallo baby. anyway, we were the last guests and then they were going to remodel and pull down the fences between them and Phinda.Their prices will of course change. I would write them and find out new pricing and availability.

Great management and ecologist.
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Nov 19th, 2004, 06:43 AM
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Zuka looks okay, but you must take into consideration that there is, or was up until the last month or two, hunting going on in Zuka, and the animals may be more skittish as a result.

It is my understanding that the fences between Phinda and Zuka have come down, and Phinda may have even acquired Zuka, as they will definitely be opening a new lodge in Zuka, Phinda Zuka, if I am not mistaken. I don't know if that means the existing Zuka lodges will continue to operate or if everything will be under the Phinda banner now.

In any event, expect prices to rise now that Phinda is involved.

Instead of limiting your scope to South Africa, you should really consider Zambian and even Zimbabwean lodges right now, both of which price their lodges out in U.S. Dollars. There are some great places available in Zambia and Zimbabwe for no more than about $350 per person per night sharing. Such places include Makalolo Plains in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe (a Wilderness Safaris lodge), Chikwenya, in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe (another WS lodge), and Matusadona Water Wilderness in Lake Kariba (another WS lodge).

Personally, I thought so highly of a lodge in Lower Zambezi NP, Zambia, just while passing through and touring the lodge for 15 minutes, that it will be my first stop in Zambia next year. The lodge is named Kasaka River Lodge (www.kasakariverlodge.com) and has a fabulous location, perched high atop the Zambezi River in a prime gameviewing area. Their rates are only $285 per person per night in high season.

South Luangwa National Park is also an incredible park, and the most celebrated park in Zambia. For about $250 per person per night, you may stay at Kafunta River Lodge (www.luangwa.com), and for a mere $200 per person per night you would be able to combine your stay to include Kafunta Island Bush Camp. I stayed at each place last year and really enjoyed myself. Kafunta is a tremendous value.

If you really want to splurge in South Luangwa, Star Of Africa, (www.star-of-africa.com) has a couple incredible lodges in Puku Ridge and Chichele Presidential Lodge. Puku Ridge will set you back about $375 pppns, while Chichele Presidential Lodge will set you back $425 pppns, and these are both also incredible values considering the quality of each place. If these places were in South Africa, each would easily be $625 pppns or more.

While it is a little more expensive to fly to Zambian lodges than it is to South African lodges, the savings on the first night alone may be enough to reimburse you for the extra costs.

Personally, I find Zambia a much more enriching experience than staying in South Africa, although the Sabi Sand Game Reserve is admittedly an excellent destination with excellent gameviewing (just more commercialized and expensive than Zambia).

Good luck.
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