Reviews of Kapani Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Afternoon tea with baboons!
Great little lodge with baboons, monkeys and elephants around! We had a lot of fun when a baboon managed to reach and touch the afternoon cake before being chased away by staff members....he looked very offended and simply moved a few meters away. He then sat there licking his fingers with a sulky look. It was hilarious for us (little less for the staff as they had to throw the cake away...).
As you walk around the grounds you meet monitor lizards and monkeys as well, which is great.
One night we were woken by a loud noise of branches being broken. We looked out of our window and at first we saw just darkness. I kept thinking this noise must have been from an elephant. We looked harder and realised that the whole "darkness" was in fact the elephant standing less than a meter away from the window. We watched until he finished his dinner and he then turn around and we were almost face-to-face with him (he was so close that he gently brushed the wall turning around). This was amazing, even at 3 am!
Our guide Brian was great and friendly and he took us around by car and on foot (at our request) even if this was not the best time for walks. I wanted to see "babies" and I did! Baby zebra, giraffe, puku, elephant, monkeys, baboon....endless list!
In a drive we stopped to watch an elephant trying to protect her baby from an unseen (by us) threat; it was really interesting as she was backing into the thick bushes pushing the baby behind her. We watched for a while but we could not see whom she was so scared of. Later on the same drive we (ehm... the guides of course) spotted a leopard on a tree quite near to the car. We watched as he slowly climbed down, stopped for a moment looking directly at us between two branches (wonderful picture!) and then gently moved away. We were quite excited as this was our best leopard sight. Unfortunately that was also the evening when a surprise champagne sundowner had been set up for us on the river and....we were late! By the time we got to the spot the sun was gone and the poor member of the staff had been waiting for us for a long time. Brian agreed with us that a sundowner can be organized at any time and you cannot ignore a leopard....
These are just a couple of details as it is impossible to describe every day in details.
Another very good idea is that at NCS they keep your group with the same guide. When we came back from Kakuli Brian was with us again, welcoming us as old friends. They also send out one car for each group (on our last day they had 3 cars out, despite there were only 7 people).
Staff and service were great. Our room , the bar/restaurant and the pool were all good. Food was plenty and very good. We liked the buffet brunch so you can have as little or as much as you like. They catered for my vegetarian menus really well.
This is a lodge and not very remote, but we knew how it was in advance. Being outside the main gate I can imagine how busy it can become in the dry season. On the other hand being close to the local village allows members of the staff to go home when off duty and probably enriches the local community as well.
A warm welcome and good game drives at Kapani
On our first night we had close views of lion and leopard as well as elephant, giraffe, zebra, impala and more. This surprised us because we thought that game would be scarce in the rainy season. It didn't rain much either! There was excellent bird watching as expected.
Our knowledgeable guide, Brian, maintained an enthusiasm on each game drive which belied the fact that he has been doing the job for years! Staff at the lodge were friendly and welcoming and the food was good. We felt comfortable, safe and looked after during our stay.
It was encouraging to see that local people were employed at all levels in the organisation. This is a refreshing change compared with many companies who seem only to employ local people in the more menial roles.
Peaceful riverside camp
This is the busy main camp of Norman Carr, positioned near the main Mfuwe entrance to the Park, not too long a drive from the airport. Judy, the receptionist, was welcoming and helpful, and the staff were friendly and efficient, particularly Collins from the office who sorted out our return flight booking to the UK. Our semi-detached room was spacious and comfortable and the view from the main elevated deck overlooking the lagoon was most attractive. The food was very always good and plentiful.
Levy was our excellent guide, always smiling and cheerful and imparting knowledge about the animals, birds, flora and fauna in a professional way. There was plenty of game to watch and we enjoyed our trip across the pontoon to explore further into the park, particularly as there were fewer vehicles in that area. Levy was always courteous, keen to care for us and show us everything.
It was gratifying to meet David Wilson, the managing director of Norman Carr and also Abraham Banda who was shortly to undergo a trip to the UK to compete in the Wanderlust World Guide competition.
Lovely to visit Kapani again
Great as always. We had an afternoon of minor disasters and everyone did their very best to put things right. A great team! There was a large party of elderly guests staying at the lodge and we very much appreciated our separate table on a raised part of the deck.
Abraham guided us and was fantastic. We had great fun with him and we also enjoyed our visit to Yosefe school.
Great introduction to South Luangwa
Staying at Kapani Lodge was an ideal start to our holiday in Zambia. As it is quite close to Mfuwe airport it was a good base for our first two nights. There was knowledgeable guiding on both birds and animals and as the amimals are quite habituated you are able to get really close views and photos.
The team were welcoming and attentive and as a vegetarian I was very well catered for with a variety of dishes from vegetable kebabs on barbeque night to risotto, salads and wonderful cakes!
The suites are very comfortable and well equipped. Clean, spacious and cool.
Nice start at Kapani for a great trip
At the Mfuwe airport we have been met by our guide, Andrew, who brought us directly to a night drive, where we started with sights of lions and leopards, of course after a sundowner close to impala, baboons, birds, etc.
Arrived for dinner at Kapani, also people there (Enoch) took care about the problem I had with my luggage (that did not arrive in Lusaka with me....), and that was very reassuring.
Even if I had in my hand luggage all what I needed, at least for a few days (underwear, shirt, trousers, socks, etc.), the opportunity to use the laundry service is very useful in these cases.
We spent the two nights in Kapani having a great time and great food, as it will be for the rest of the trip in all the camps, where the food was always fantastic.
Kapani Lodge review
Very impressed, the drives were great and the guide and staff couldn't do enough for us.Read more about the whole safari
Return to Kapani for our last night
Nothing to add here; see previous comments [Ed: See the review below!]Read more about the whole safari
A lovely start to our trip at Kapani Lodge
This was our second visit to Kapani, and we loved it as much as the first time. It's location seems even finer after the rains, when the lagoon is full, than later in the year.
Our guides - Brian and Innocent - made the most of all the opportunities for game and bird viewing, and we were very pleasantly surprised that we saw so much game at this time of the year. Of course, the birds, mostly in their breeding plummage, were fantastic
The food was excellent - we were again astonished by the range and quality - and the service generally very good (although there were a couple of slips, one when requests we made weren't followed up and one when heavy rain denuded the restaurant area of management!).
Kapani lodge 4 nights, 1 night at Kakuli.
It took me 19 years to get back to my favourite place in the world- the South Luangwa Valley, once again at a rejuvenated Kapani lodge and having the same guide, the infamous Abraham Banda. Nothing let me down! This was just how I wanted to experience, the best of Africa's game reserves/parks and at my favourite time of the year- the emerald season. Amazing sightings, harder work for the tracker/guide, Abraham, but this is part of the challenge.
The season brings better light and photographic opportunity in general and no dust to test my lenses and camera. This is the place to see leopard and the newly crowned king with a pride of 17 lions in tow. The kill during the famous spotlight safari, with 18 lions in a scrum trying to get their share of the kill was amazing to see and hear. Great birding opportunity, genet, serval and the regular cast.
Had the opportunity for a 'free' upgrade to KAKULI bush camp, and 2 wonderful walking safari's- part of what is the Norman Carr concept. Thank you to all concerned and it will not be another 19 years before I get back to South Luangwa!