Visiting one of Southern Africa’s few remaining pristine wildlife sanctuaries should definitely be on your bucket list. Located in Zambia’s Eastern Province, South Luangwa National Park boasts over 9000Km2 of pure wilderness, high concentration of game and diverse birdlife.
In the heart of the South Luangwa National Park is Kafunta River Lodge, a piece of heaven offering the best views of the Luangwa Valley.
Kafunta offers very spacious wooden chalets, all featuring an extensive private viewing terrace and a well-appointed en-suite bathroom. When all your bags are put away, you are welcome to take a dip in the infinity pool and sip a cocktail while watching the elephants move away towards the river.
After sufficiently cooling off, a delicious afternoon tea and pastries awaits you where you can meet fellow safari-goers from around the world right before you take an afternoon game drive.
Drive across the flood plains down to the pontoon, which Kafunta Safaris operates to legally access the national park without having to queue at the main gate; a privilege reserved to only a few neighboring lodges.
Accompanied by expert guides, expect to see an abundance of wildlife on the 4-hour game drive such as impalas, hippos, crocodiles, giraffes, elephants, buffaloes. You might be lucky to catch a glimpse of a couple of mating lions. One can also spot the star of the South Luangwa, the leopard, as well as the rare wild dog, zebras, kudus, warthogs, waterbucks, hyenas and more. Not counting the birds, monkeys and other smaller critters on the night portion of the drive. The highlight of the safari will undoubtedly be observing the 3-months old lion cubs of the strong pride lead by Ginger and his brother Garlic. True to their reputation, the Luangwa safari guides are always bursting with enthusiasm and are always eager to share their incredible knowledge.
At Kafunta River Lodge you will have no time to waste. Over the course of your stay, you can spend the midday hours either soaking in the only natural hot tub in the valley, swimming in the pool, unwinding under the skillful hands of Maria, the massage therapist or secretly spotting water-monitor lizards and African jacanas from the wildlife hide or take a siesta in the swing chair. If you prefer to keep fit, the lodge is equipped with a gym house where you can huff and pant away to your heart’s content.
Each and every one of your meals will be a stellar affair, with continental breakfasts served at dawn under the watchful eyes of the African Fish Eagle, lunch buffets hosted on top of the tree deck and private candle-lit dinners overlooking the plains. Enjoy all this while being waited on by the expert and friendly lodge staff.
Each member of the Kafunta Safaris family thoroughly enjoys being there to serve you. First time visitors will definitely feel like a part of the lodge family.
After you leave the lodge, be sure to stop by Project Luangwa*. Project Luangwa is a charitable organization founded by five safari companies including Kafunta Safaris. There you will meet a handful of local ladies who will happily explain to you how the tourism in Mfuwe benefits the entire community. The organization has helped with providing education to children and empowering girls and women in the area.
Having experienced the tranquility of Kafunta, you are sure to leave Mfuwe with wild memories of leopards and lions, and your bags heavier with locally made crafts. You will not be gone for long though, but surely be back for a lengthier stay to experience Kafunta’s more remote camps, Island Bush Camp and Three Rivers Camp and to continue exploring the majesty of the Luangwa Valley.
*For more info on Project Luangwa visit www.projectluangwa.org
Kafunta Safaris can be booked by emailing [email protected] or via www.luangwa.com