Reviews of Tafika
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Tafika main camp
Tafika is perfectly positioned on the bank of the Luangwa and close to the park entrance, not that it matters much, as there is a lot of wildlife outside the park, too, as there are no fences around the South Luangwa park. Guiding here is truly excellent and the food is fantastic, with fresh salads from the garden. The atmosphere is relaxed and unpretentious, and a lot is done to make mealtimes an intimate experience in smaller groups of guests instead of the traditional long table. A tour in the microlight aircraft is not to be missed, this is what flying is all about and the views are stunning.
One small downside for me personally is the rooms; I found them to be a little dark and enclosed, with only a small breeze and almost no light coming in at night. With all the wildlife moving around in the camp at night, some separation is of course nice to have, but I would have liked a little less. I guess this is a hard balance to strike!
We love this camp. On a broad site overlooking the Luangwa river, with large reed chalets and plenty of space to unpack and organise items. Heather and the team were extremely welcoming and the relaxed atmosphere just helped us immediately to feel at home. Bryan, Alex, Amon and Mukupa were great guides, and tried really hard to find the elusive leopards. However, too many lions around this time.
Experienced our second kill on a night drive with Alex - a small and unfortunate puku caught by a couple of lions in a ditch right next to our vehicle was quickly followed by the appearance of eight more inlcuding several young ones - the adults allowed the latter to commit the "coup-de-grace" and a rather grizzly scene ensued. Hyena, elephants, hippo, giraffe, impala, baboons, monkeys, zebra plus a great night sighting of a very relaxed porcupine.
The microlight flight with John is an absolute must - experience an African sunrise watching elephant cross the Luangwa river while two hundred feet high, and add in the bonus of the Hollywood pride of 17 lions relaxing a couple of hundred feet away from an empty Crocodile Camp, and you know why you will keep coming back.
Thank you John and Carol, and all the staff at Tafika - we'll be back. Highly recommended.
Tafika - our first experience of Zambia
Tafika is a wonderful place and all the staff worked hard to make us feel at home. The meals were varied and of very high quality. We appreciated the use of fresh ingredients from their garden. Our chalet had a superb view of the river. The bedroom is spacious, and the bed very comfortable.
Thank goodness we had been warned about a possible night visit from their cat - otherwise it would have been very scary!
The wildlife experience was magical. The hippos sounded so close to our chalet because they were - grazing just inches behind our bedhead during the night!!
We chose Tafika because of the possibility of microlight flights over the bush - a thrilling experience not to be missed.
The game drives were very productive - every one brought something new and each drive was well interpreted for us by the various guides. Tafika's policy is to rotate the guides. The downside of this is that explanations and descriptions are repeated, but the plus side is getting their range of expertise. A highlight was an excellent daytime sighting of a leopard which Stephen spotted from an amazing distance then got us close enough for photography. On one night drive we were lucky to get a good sighting of a Pel's Fishing Owl. On other nights we saw a lion kill at close quarters and found serval - a real treat.
The new carmine bee eater hide was well worth a visit, though they agreed that a little more screening would allow access with less disturbance to the birds (it might have been done by now!)
We must repeat our thanks to Heather, who sorted out a little hiccup with our travel arrangements!
Lovely owner run camp
We had first visited Tafika back in 2003 and having been back again, I wondered why it took us so long to return.
This remains one of my favourite camps; charming, well run with great personal service led by John and Carol who were excellent hosts. Guiding (Brian and Greg for us) was excellent and the fact that we had the same guides as we had in 2003 speaks volumes for the loyalty this camp generates.
It's also nice to mix the guides up a bit and hand the tip to Carol for everyone rather than person by person. As to game, we saw some lovely leopard, serval and lion as well as some huge herds of buffalo and all the “usual” stuff.
The rooms were very spacious and comfy with hot water on tap and the food (thanks to Rhona) was good too. And the microlighting was a lot of fun too!
Hello again Tafika
Tafika felt like a metropolis after just 3 nights away! [Ed: Relative to Tafika's bushcamps!]
Interesting to have a different experience, albeit as wonderful, as the guests were different - interesting! A second night would have been good.
As safari novices we were bowled over by the welcome and patience at our ignorance. We were definitely slow learners at remembering what we had seen and identifying it next time!.
We were astonished at the level of comfort and attention to detail which surpassed any expectation we may have had.
Superb surroundings, excellent company and outstanding food were the icing on the cake.
Tafika is lovely - it has a great open setting on the river bank, with daybeds to chill out on and watch the hippos. and sip a cold beer. The rooms are also open and you wake to the smell of the breakfast fire and shower under the stars. Be prepared to find that the cat has sneaked between the mosquito nets to curl up on your bed for the night.!
Great safaris with masses of wildlife and birds, spectacular sundowner spots and night drives . The trip to the village school was fascinating. Be prepared to dance! The microlight flight is well worth doing, and you can also go on bike rides . Dinner has a slightly more formal feel than in other camps, but the food is delicious, and there's a fire under the table to keep your legs warm!
NP shared with one camp is a great advantage
We had all the top guides, hence excellent guiding. The guides were very persistent during the drives, they never gave up. No lions but 3 leopard spotting, one cat chasing after pukus.
Tafika retained the feeling of Bush Camp, by being straight forward and unpretentious. A very relaxed atmosphere.
The staff was very accommodating.
We also enjoyed the "close" contacts with the hippos.
A Tafika meal is always a real treat : very fresh , abundant, great variety of dishes. Wonderful.
Tafika camp is even on a second visit largely living up to our (high) exspectations .
It became our bench-mark for safari lodges.
And off course the microlight flights ... !
Outstanding. The location, food, guides, rooms and overall atmosphere are superb. It is difficult to imagine a better game lodge.
Considering it is in the remote bush, the meals were truly inspired.