Reviews of Kapani Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Kapani Lodge review
This was a couple of nights stay after Mchenja and prior to leaving for Lake Malawi. The same comments apply as stated previously. If we visited in the wet season again I think we would prefer to spend more time at Mchenja primarily because of the availability of going on boat and foot safari which is a really good combination for close-up bush experience.
Norman Carr Safaris do have a consistent and well tuned 'product' which includes not cramming too many bodies onto the vehicles which we have often observed with other camp safari vehicles in Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi park.
Kapani Lodge review
We specifically visited Luangwa at the end of rainy season on this trip in order to experience and contrast the gorgeous greenery of the bush and the full river with the scorched but open bush of July. It was excellent fun and very worthwhile; plenty of game which kind of strolls out of a clump of bush unexpectedly. Wonderful bird life - whatever you do take a good pair of binoculars. Our guides Abel and Aubrey were of course excellent and amazing at spotting the birds - we can spot a Hammerkop at 10 kilometres now!
We were, through choice, at Kapani for a total of 5 nights which on reflection was perhaps a bit too long for the wet season since many vehicle tracks are impassable thus preventing the Landcruisers to range far and wide as in the dry season. It would make for interesting variety to drive out as far as possible and go walkabout as at Mchenja. Do visit the school.
Even though staff do change over at Kapani there is the same delightful ambience. Rosie was a wonderful hostess to us and everyone else. Thank you to Mr A Banda who expertly runs a very first rate operation.
Enjoyed our stay at Kapani
South Luangwa National Park is a wonder and Kapani Lodge is a good place to stay. The staff here were thoroughly accommodating. Our guide Shaddy had a remarkable knowledge of birds as well as mammals.
The bungalows are huge. We had more insects and "Doom"-defying large spiders here than any of the other 12 or so places we stayed during our holiday. We even had a scorpion. The rooms could use a bit more sweeping out of spider webs and the like. Or, maybe that's just how the bush is!
The food was especially good. The pool was of an ample size--not just a plunge pool.
A sensible choice for the green season
On arrival we had a poblem which the Lodge manager (Steve) sorted quickly efficiently and to our satisfaction without making us feel uncomfortable.Read more about the whole safari
Kapani Lodge review
Rooms, food and all facilities were good. The only minor point that disappointed me slightly was that I was not allowed to go on a walking safari on the first morning as they couldn't get a scout and they were asked at lunchtime the day before.
It was sorted out for the following days but I expected to be able to go walking when I wanted because that is how they market themselves, as experts in walking safaris.
Great setting, but needs improvements
Unfortunately, Kapani was a disappointment.
Yes, the lagoon lodges were more spacious than our previous accommodation, but they weren't very clean, and very much needed sprucing up. We had to ask the staff to clean the bathroom before we used it. The toilet seat was dirty, and parts of the shower hadn't bee cleaned for weeks, and the bath mat clearly hadn't been changed since the last occupants. Also, some of the seat cushions were dirty. Admittedly, they took these away very promptly, but never replaced them!
The food at Kapani was nowhere near as good as the other lodges, and the staff much less attentive. Our guide was not as good either.
To us, it seemed as if no one was in overall effective charge at Kapani. This may have been the case, as we heard from a reliable source (his mother and father!), that, David, the current manager at Flatdogs would soon be taking up the position of general manger at Kapani. Hopefully he can make a difference.
Don't get us wrong, Kapani wasn't bad, but we wouldn't go back there and wouldn't recommend it to anyone - at least not without being assured that it had improved.
A Fascinating School Visit
Returning to Kapani was like meeting old friends again, although we met many new people. Our chalet overlooking the lagoon and adjacent to the swimming pool was splendid.
Besides some game drives we were very pleased to have the opportunity to visit Yosefe School to meet the head and some of his staff and to meet some of he children in their classrooms. The challenges created by large class sizes (an average class size of over 50), the high proportion of pupils who are orphans and the shortage of basic resources were very sobering, but the sense of commitment shown by the staff and the enthusiasm of the pupils was very clear.
We also made an interesting visit to the workshop and showrooms of Tribal Textiles, an enterprise employing many local people, which produces beautiful textiles using traditional designs.
Comfort at Kapani
You have to be ready for a lot more people than at the camps!
It was very comfortable and we liked having a swimming pool.
Abraham went out of his way to ensure that we had a walk in the afternoon on the last whole day of our stay. There was no scout available in the morning so we had to drive but he made up for it by going out early afternoon for a walk with us.
A Superb Introduction to South Luangwa
The drive from Mfuwe Airport to Kapani Lodge made a fascinating start to our holiday with all the colourful sights of a vibrant community all the way along the road. We were given a splendid welcome at Kapani and were soon into the round of activities of the holiday starting with an excellent brunch, followed by a siesta and then a game drive which continued after dark with a spotlight to observe the animals.
The sightings on our first drive were superb: a profusion of hippos and crocodiles, frequent sightings of antelope (mostly impala and puku), a pair of old bull buffaloes, a wealth of bird life, particularly water birds and the ubiquitous African fish eagle, and, after dark, several sightings of hyena close to the road. We had an excellent view of two lionesses with their cubs and, after dark, a fine view of a male lion who sauntered past our vehicle completely unconcerned by our presence. We stopped for sundowners next to the river and were impressed by a group of six bull elephants who came down to drink and then waded across the river.
The next morning we had our first view of the large numbers of carmine bee eaters who nest in holes by the river side as we set off on our long drive into the bush to Luwi.
Kapani Lodge review
Please see first page!Read more about the whole safari
Expert Africa comments
This client commented: "Our next stop over was to the Luangwa Valley. With one night at Kapani where Rosie was a great hostess and then followed by five nights at Mchenja (both with Norman Carr safaris)"