Reviews of Tafika
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
The camp that has that extra something
Our third camp on this holiday, and (without taking anything away from the excellent time we had at the other two) the one that we put top of our list for a return visit if we can manage one in future. Partly that is to do with the additional activities on offer. The microlight flight at dawn costs extra, but boy was it worth it for both of us: words can't really capture it.
A short bike ride through the elephant zone near the camp costs nothing, but certainly adds spice. Back in Zambia for the third time, having worked there long ago, we would have reservations about a local village visit being a tourist show, were it not for the big support and involvement which John & Carol Coppinger have put into the school and the village: it was a lovely visit with a genuine response both ways.
The food was superb, and the direct contact with the family owning and running Tafika, and their employees who live in the village, the sense of continuity and the atmosphere it added, all gave something extra to our holiday that we valued and enjoyed, and we had a great five days.
Great family, private camp.
We last visited Tafika in 2007 and have also visited the three walking camps. Pleased to say the standards are still very high, particularly the catering which is second to none!
It was great to see wild dogs on three occasions and spend time observing behaviour amongst the pack.
since our last visit a number of guides have moved on or been re-assigned to the walking camps and it was good to see new faces and share their perspectives on flora and fauna although we missed the experience of the other guides.
Tafika Camp Review
Tafika camp is an institution in the valley. Hosts John and Carol have made this valley and their camp operations part of the pulse of the region.
I loved going to the local village and school, the walking safaris with guide Brent were the best I had ever done anywhere in Africa. Tafika is for serious safari goers. The rooms are more rustic and basic and the overall feel of the camp is not about luxury but rather functionality.
The game sights were awesome, the guiding phenomenal. All in all a truly wonderful experience.
Another most enjoyable stay at Tafika. Very welcoming, good guiding and excellent food.
Thanks again to the Coppingers (all three of you!), Bryan, Heather, Rhona and all the staff.
Tafika 6th visit and as good as ever
they continue to make small improvements without changing the bushcamp atmosphereRead more about the whole safari
Our second wonderful stay at Tafika
It was great to be welcomed back like old friends, and soon settled into the routine of the camp. The meals are superb with such a rich variety of dishes. There is no way you can remain hungry at Tafika! We had excellent game viewing, though just missed out on seeing wild dogs and lions - just the luck of the draw as they had been around both before and after our stay. The highlight for us was to sit and watch the hundreds of crowned cranes arriving at the salt springs area from their overnight roost.
This time we had asked to visit the local village and school which is supported by the Tafika Fund. We were guests of honour at the school, where we were entertained by children of all ages singing, dancing and reciting poems they had written. Wherever we went in the village we were surrounded by crowds of young children, all wanting to have their photo taken - and then to see the results on our cameras. A really worthwhile experience, and highly recommended.
Great start of our safari
Absolutely wonderful - a really stylish, friendly, well-run camp. The staff were all great and the Coppingers were extremely hospitable. Everything felt very relaxed. Fantastic food and lots of close encounters with elephants!
The microlight flight was an amazing experience!
Tafika - Extraordinary
Located on the high bank of the Luangwa, with our open sided grass hut built around a living tree.
Elephants and hippos who wandered in and out of the camp. Walking safaris which begin with a canoe crossing of the river. Evening game drives had sunsets along the banks of the river amongst large flocks of Red-billed Quelea.
On our first night drive here we witnessed a face-off between two Leopards and a Hyena over the remains of an old kill. On one morning walking trip our guide (the long suffering [we did ask lots of questions!] but always courteous Brent Harris), along with scout Levy and tea-bearer Justin found the recent tracks of a Lion. We (they!) tracked her for two hours to a successful sighting along with two males. An amazing Birthday present for Mary, which the camp staff continued when she was treated to an african chorus of Happy Birthday and a specially decorated cake. I hadn't even mentioned this to anyone, which illustrates the care they take of their guests at Tafika.
Good camp but it was not what we expected
We thought because it was on a river that there would be water activities eg canoeing. But in reality the river is largely dried up at this time of the year, Also because there are now no bridges/pontoons across the river the vehicle activities were restricted to the teensy bit of NP that is on the south side of the river and that became a bit repetitive as we constantly revisited the same ground.
The 'walking' activities were on the north side o fthe river (canoes to get across) and we enjoyed those trips.
In hindsight we should have chosen a camp on a 'full' river eg: Lower Zambezi NP.
There was a microlite flight available and you had to pay extra which we thought was a bit rich given the nightly tariff.
Rooms were nice but had no power and therefore no fan, & therefore in the middle of the day between drives/walks you just had to lie on your bed with a wet towel over you and suffer! (since there was rarely any breeze and at that time of the year it was very hot ay midday.
They own/lease there own light aircraft which proved handy as at the end of our stay they flew us over the NP to Mpika (organised via Expert Afrika .. thanks great suggestion)
Staff were excellent.
We only had one night here and would have loved to stay longer. It's a little bit of luxury in the wild.
The setting is beautiful on the banks of the river and the chalets are spaced out, very large and comfortable. The guests were treated like part of the extended family and it was easy to see why many guests return. The food was excellent, plentiful and varied; the service, personal, and the game drives a very high standard.
It's imposssible to say anything other than brilliant all round. Thank you for a wonderful experience.