Kakuli Bushcamp: Information from the owner
All the information on this page is supplied to us directly from the lodge owner and reflects their view, not ours.
For Expert Africa's view, see our own report, which contains our own observations and views.
Main description of Kakuli Bushcamp
Kakuli Bushcamp: Facilities
|Room facilities||Deck, En-Suite, Fireplace, Lounge Area, Outside Shower, Pure Cotton Linen, Shower, Verandah|
|Available services||Airport Shuttles, Credit Card, Laundry Service|
|Activities on site||(some activities may be seasonal) Big 5, Bird Watching, Boating, Fine Dining, Game Drives, Game Viewing, Game Walks, Safaris, Walks|
Room types at Kakuli Bushcamp
This beautiful camp has four traditional walk-in safari tents each with en-suite bathrooms made with natural materials. The bar and dining chitenje (lounge) is constructed of reed and thatch forming the centre point of camp. The entire camp is on an elevated stretch of river bank overlooking a permanent lagoon in front of camp, and a wide grazing lawn which follows the Luangwa River until it meets the confluence of the Luwi and Luangwa; the views from Kakuli are spectacular.
Activities at Kakuli Bushcamp
Once regarded as the time in the safari calendar to be avoided by less adventurous operators, the 'Secret' Season months of January through March are now heralded by those lucky enough to experience them, as the highlight of the year.
Norman Carr Safaris has always been open all year round and is the only Zambian safari operator to open a true Bush Camp in the Luangwa at this time of year. Kakuli opens around the 20th January and closes again in early April. We gain access to camp by boat and activities are either on foot or by boat. A few days at Kakuli combines very well with the game drives and prolific wildlife on offer in the areas around Kapani Lodge and Chinzombo.
During these Secret Season safaris the bush is in its fullest flush of growth, rivers and lagoons are brimming and boating safaris take you eye to eye with hippos and crocs. The air is clear and excellent for photography; you will find magnificent skyscapes and sunsets with the occasional dramatic tropical downpour.
A wealth of migratory birds in breeding song and plumage make the bush a wonderful place to explore at this time of year. It is a time of plenty so there is no shortage of wildlife; the Secret Season months are usually the best for seeing wild dogs in the South Luangwa.
Driving safaris are all conducted in open 4X4 vehicles (Land Cruiser or Land Rover) with either two or three 'rows' of seats. At Chinzombo, Luwi, Nsolo, Kakuli and Mchenja we generally have 4, with no more than 6, people on a vehicle ensuring everyone has a 'window' seat.
Night drives are generally an extension of your afternoon game drive or walking safari. As the sun begins to set we stop to watch the day come to a close and as dusk falls set off to explore as the nocturnal animals start to emerge.
The best chance of seeing genets, civets, elephant shrew, porcupine and the fierce honey-badger is after sunset and the large predators, with the exception of wild dog, are most active at night. Night time birding can be very rewarding with nightjars, owls great and small, dikkop, bat hawk and coursers are all abundant.
The Africa night sky is simply magnificent and it’s worth coming all this way just to experience its vastness and splendour. The Milky Way seems 100 times brighter in the Luangwa Valley where there is no light pollution. We’re watched over by the Southern Cross, Orion and Scorpio amongst an infinite number of others and memories of sitting in awed silence listening to the distant call of lions, cicadas and a million tree frogs under the crescent of an African moon will live with you forever.
Back in the 1950’s Norman Carr pioneered walking safaris in Zambia. His aim was to track big game on foot in Zambia’s Luangwa Valley, one of Africa’s last havens of un-spoilt wilderness and home to some of the continent’s greatest concentrations of game. Norman like to say "to view the bush from a vehicle is simply to be an observer, but to get out on foot was to become a part of your surroundings." Over 60 years on, at Norman Carr Safaris we are still walking....we are still passionate about sharing the thrill of tracking lions on foot through early morning mists, the delight in learning something new on every activity and the adventure of walking from camp to camp the original safari way. Walking safaris are immersive, sensual and peaceful. In Zambia, an armed wildlife ranger or "scout" leads each walking group, followed by the trained walking guide. In other countries, the walking guide is armed and leads the group alone. Having a walk led by two wildlife experts was conceived by Norman and our 60 year track record of safety speaks to the effectiveness of this approach.
While certainly vehicle safaris allow one to cover more ground and see a greater volume of game in a 3-4 hour safari, it is only on a walking safari where all your senses are heightened and you can see, hear, smell and feel the bush. You begin to understand the interconnectedness of the flora and the fauna, how each small part plays an important role in the greater ecosystem. Small mysteries of the bush are unlocked and explored; tracks are investigated; and the wide variety of animal poo becomes an unexpected and fascinated learning experience! And while generally speaking, walks are more focused on the little things in the bush, tracking big game on foot is not uncommon and always thrilling.