Reviews of Kapani Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Kapani in the mist
We were booked for 4 nights at Kapani near the end of their green season, but we actually had 4 +1 nights due to the required early departure on our last day. This was our fourth stay at Kapani so we knew what to expect, but it was still very pleasant to be greeted with a welcoming committee and to meet all the current camp hosts.
Our chalet was No.5 which was very comfortable and convenient for access to the bar and deck, especially during the occassional rain shower. Initially the bed was made with a thick duvet, but a simple request to Irene had this removed pronto (way to warm for us coming from a British winter). As with all camps that I have stayed at the only thing missing was somewhere to dry hand washing that I had done myself in the chalet rather than putting it in the laundry basket.
Our guide was Charles who had a lovely slow and measured approach to finding things for us to see. On some game drives we took a good hour to reach the park gate as we stopped to view birds and giraffes near to home. We joked with him that the animals were listening to what he told us. This was because he would give us an explanation of certain behaviour, and within 30mins we would come across an animal doing exactly as he had said.
There is only one aspect of life at Kapani that I would change, and that is the seating arrangements for meals. Personally I like the opportunity to meet and talk with other guests over meals, but I understand that Kapani being larger than the bush camps etc. needs to organise their tables in advance.
Kapani Lodge review
A lovely comfortable lodge, everyone very helpful, food great and I much appreciated the effort made for me as a non-meat eater.
Our only concern was that there were 2 maybe 3 times when there were 3 of us abreast in the game viewing vehicle; fortunately it did not cause us a problem but for some people it might. We were expecting there would be 3 rows of 2 people if 6 were in the vehicle.
The guide, Charles, was brilliant and was endlessly patient with our repeated questions 'which bird is that?' and located several leopard sightings, elephant drama and all the rest. Everything seemed to run very smoothly from Kapani and a very good place to stay at the start. We enjoyed meeting Mario and also Christina Carr. Judy too had a big hand in the smooth running of things.
The view from our chalet (no.2) was fantastic across the 'river',being able to see elephants virtually from your bed! 3 nights here worked well for us.
Kapani Lodge review
Warm reception on arrival, good briefing of routine and facilities. This applies to all the camps we visited.
Accommodation very good indeed, swimming pool clean and cool and a very good way to relax after the journey and look forward to what was to come.
An interesting, amusing and professional play about human, animal and natural inter-relationships with dancers mimicking wild creatures and birds to make their points, before setting off for the visit to the reserve to see the situation for ourselves.
Our first drive was an excellent experience. We encountered 17 species of mammal including elephant, lion and leopard and very good bird sightings too. Our companions had not been to Africa before, so a red letter day for them, but also for us it was a very special day.
Kapani Lodge - a good place to start
This was a good place for us to start on our first safari as it was driving only and got us into the swing of things. Facilities were good and the staff supportive. It, however, to us did not come close to the other camps we visited and we would not return to this camp (unless we did a rainy season trip, which we are tempted to do, which has much more limited options.
In the end the distance from the park and the presence of so many other vehicles on game drives would put us off - but that is because we had so many wonderful experiences in remote locations later in our trip.
Views from the terrace where meals were taken were good - unusually lights enabled a good view at night. We had Room 2 at Kapani which in retrospect I think was a larger than average room.
Kapani Lodge 1st safari
We arrived in Lusaka in a sleepy state following an overnight flight from London. (Having the direct BA flight from London to Lusaka was great and we were disappointed to hear that BA was cancelling this service.) We were met by Lawrence who helped us navigate the airport and obtain visas before proceeding to the flight to Mfuwe. A great service after an over night flight.
Once in Mfuwe we were met by Abraham and driven in a safari vehicle to Kapani Lodge. Along the way he pointed out villages, birds and trees all very new to us. At Kapani we were greeted by friendly faces and taken to our room and advised when lunch was ready and where it was served. It was wonderful not to be wondering what do we do next.
At 4pm after 'tea and cake' (this seems to be an African tradition!) we met John who was our guide for all the game drives during our stay at Kapani Lodge. His knowledge of the game, birds, trees and flora was excellent and he imparted his knowledge to us in a very pleasant and cheerful manner. On our first game drive we saw an amazing number of animals including a leopard. In fact we saw 4 leopards in 2 days! Our stay at Kapani was the perfect introduction to safari life. Not too big and impersonal. Very comfortable with helpful and cheerful staff.
One disappointment was trying to buy a Norman Carr safari golf shirt. My size was not available and I was told that it could be made available but it never arrived. While this is a very minor item, it was a disappointment.
The pool was appreciated and I expect that it would be used more when the weather became hotter.
Felt like coming home
The highlight of the sightings were the wild dogs , some good leopard. Many thanks to Brian, Patience and Crispin for their spottings throughout our stay.
Message to Christina, Keep up the good work
Another brilliant 3 days
As I said before [Ed: see below], this camp is just perfect. Everyone went out of their way to make our stay just wonderful. Christina, the camp director was such fun and made all of our stay hilarious.
This is the best holiday that the four of us have had and I couldn't recommend Norman Carr Safaris highly enough. Their attention to detail was brilliant.
A few tears were shed in the truck after saying goodbye to Christina, Katie & Mario. Hopefully we will return in the dry season and give Brian & Simon some more incredibly difficult targets to find! They were both so patient with our endless questions on why they couldn't find Aardvarks & Pangolins!!! Brian did find us wild dogs which was a great credit to him.
Norman Carr Safaris is highly recommend by all four of us.
Service at its best
A Camp with a fantastic family feeling. Nothing seemed too much trouble in ensuring that all our expectations were met. The lunchtime buffet was wonderful, just what was needed after the morning game drive.
Our thanks to guide Brian who answered every question with great knowledge and humour.
Absolutely wonderful staff & drives
I can not praise Norman Carr Safaris enough. The staff were absolutely brilliant and could not do enough to make our stay so enjoyable. The new manager, Mario was extremely kind and attentive, and the front of house staff member, Enoch was a joy. The two trackers,, Brian & Simon were great fun and went to enormous lengths to find wildlife. Every day was filled with jokes and laughter. We felt we'd known them for years. Very sad to say goodbye. We might return in the dry season, health permitting.
One thought was that maybe the evening meal could be buffet style, instead of a fixed menu. The lunches were buffet style so we could choose what to eat. They were beautifully prepared and a joy to eat. This is of course, a very personal opinion.
Kapani still of the highest order.
This spell I had the privilege of being guided by the best- Mr Abraham Banda. Thankyou once again and also thanks to Enoch (a wonderful ambassador for NCS), Mario, Ian (Kakuli), Priya, Katie, Judy and Patience (good luck with those guide exams).
Reliving old times, sharing old and new stories/experiences this was a wonderful way to finish in the valley.
David and Christina, what a fantastic team you have. Thankyou.