Reviews of Kakuli Bushcamp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Kakuli - exclusively ours
We arrived at Kakuli by boat due to the season, and were glad to learn that we weren't staying in the tent that was now precariously close to the river bank due to erosion during the summer.
We actually had a choice of rooms as we were the only guests, so that made the stay very exclusive. I was amazed at the large overall size of the 'room' which had a thatched roof above the tent walls of the bedroom and the thatch walls of the dressing and bathroom. We were thankful for the thick thatch above when the heavens opened during a thunder storm.
Activities available were either boating or walking, which suited us. I also took the chance to have a lazy day in camp just listening to the sounds from the bush and watching the fantastic birds which were in the trees next to the rooms.
We had some very entertaining conversations with Aubrey and John during our stay, mainly swapping knowledge of our different life styles, which sometimes weren't so different at all.
Kakuli Bushcamp review
Again enhanced by its position beside the river, this camp had the advantage of the close proximity of the Luangwa with both bird and animal activity to observe, but one very amusing sighting of a hippo on its back in the water showing a very pink belly and the soles of four feet in the air !.
There was much to see in the surrounding area during our walks and drives, with close encounters involving lions and elephants on foot and lions from the vehicle.
Kakuli Bushcamp review
To us this was different as it was our first experience of sharing a bush camp with other guests, so was a different feeling for us. We really liked the setting on the river - indeed we would probably rate this camp to have the best location and the position of the bed overlooking the river was great. Having an inside shower was a disappointment but needed we understand as it is used in the rainy season.
Aubrey the guide was great - really entertaining and interesting. He tried so hard to find us leopards but no luck! Surprisingly we saw the least in terms of wildlife on walks and drives - but that is just the luck of the draw we think. However, watching hippos and animals coming to river was really great.
Watching a male lion walk past the frony of our tent at 04.00 in the morning is not something I will forget - could not get back to sleep!
Kakuli Bushcamp to experience walking safari
Kakuli bushcamp was a lovely surprise. Small with 4 tents but this wasn't camping! They were well appointed with very comfortable beds. The food was again of a very high standard and lots of it. Fresh bread daily and the most amazing cakes all in the African bush!! There were only 3 other guests initially and then we were four.
We really enjoyed the walking safaris. Our guide Aubrey was superb. His knowledge of everything in the park was quite amazing. He taught us about safety around the game, tracking, traditional medicines made from plants and various aspects of Zambian village culture. He had many tales all told with great humor and as well poured a mean G and T for our sundowner while watching the elephants cross the river. We both appreciated his immense knowledge and obvious love for South Luangwa National Park as well as his humor.
The camp staff were also cheerful, friendly and efficient. It was lovely to return from a walk to be greeted by Sam with a cold towel and offer of a cold drink. They were very conscious of our safety and comfort in camp which was very reassuring.
When it came time to leave Kakuli Aubrey drove us to the airport stopping on the way at his village where we met his wife and 4 of his children. We also visited Tribal Textiles where the local people make beautiful bedding, purses and wall hangings plus many other items. All the materials are hand painted and sewn on site. Well worth a visit for anyone going to or from the airport at Mfuwe.
I was pleased to see the use of solar power and hope that the capital investment is proving worthwhile. I suggest that glass bottles not be used in the shower and that the sling back chairs be replaced with something more upright for those with bad backs - or that a choice of chairs be offered.
Moses, the ZAWA guide, was good and it seemed like Aubry and he made a good team.
One highlight was meeting Adrian and Katherine Carr on the road back to Mfuwe. I suggest that the approach established by Norman Carr is very compatible with the writings of Aldo Leopold (US forester and game manager) and further suggest that the video ' Green Fire' would be of interest to your staff.
We would definitely return to Kakuli, Aubry and Sam.
I think that the vehicles we experienced at Norman Carr were superior to the ones at Chongwe
Kakuli Bushcamp review
FabulousRead more about the whole safari
Lovely to return after a few years
Again, Aubrey, Enoch and all other staff could not have done any more to ensure my stay was as pleasant as possible, in spite of the paucity of game on some walks.
The surprise brunch in the bush at the end of a morning walk, and the special arrangements they made for my last dinner on the river bank ensured a memorable end to a lovely stay.
Great fun at the bushcamp
A lovely venue overlooking the river.
Wonderful food served in the company of the delightful Katy and the guides. The river was on the low side so it made for difficult viewing over the tributary banks. The birdlife was prolific with Simon our guide getting the boat into position for the best possible photos.
The elephants at lunchtime beneath the viewing platform were so close, that it was fantastic just to sit and watch .
Heaven in the bush
This was such a fun place. The camp manager, Katie went out of her way to make our stay memorable. Nothing was too much trouble and she was a joy to talk to. The staff were brilliant, helpful and so so courteous. When one of our party was ill, Katie arranged a boat transfer to see the local GP at Kapani. No fuss, but extremely efficient organisation. On our last day she organised an English scone and cream tea which was thoroughly appreciated. Our last night was spent having a wonderful dinner with Katie as we were the only people left in the camp. Sad to say goodbye to the staff, but luckily Katie came back with us to Kapani to deal with her office work.
One point would be that when Kakuli is updated, they organise slightly better lighting and also a fan would be greatly appreciately in the very hot weather. The rooms were slightly stifling at night.
The old buffalo at its best...
Kakuli, Aubrey and Batwell(scouting), it does not get any better than this.
My favourite bush camp, boating and walking safari with the river high enough to transverse the channels.
Super sightings, close encounters but always in safe hands. The experiences never cease to amaze me.
Beautiful location, fantastic food, friendly faces and great service. I will never forget the brunch arranged on top of the riverbank, under the shade of the ebony tree over looking the river. Cooked breakfast to order, 'G and T' in hand after a long morning walking safari, the experience does not get better.
Thankyou to my friend Aubrey and all of the team at Kakuli- memorable!
Another great camp with the added attraction of animals coming down to the water, and its own resident elephant!!Read more about the whole safari