Reviews of Tafika
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Flying over the park and river
We greatly enjoyed our stay at Tafika, the highlight was the flight in the microlight which gave a wonderful view of the camp and Park.
The staff were knowledgeable and fun with excellent food and sundowners.
This camp had more people staying so we were on 2 seperate tables for meals which meant you could get stuck and not so easily meet everyone. Breakfasts by the river went some way to remedy this though
Of the animals we saw, the Crowned Cranes flying in large numbers were stunning, we spent a good half hour watching and taking pictures, lovely to just be
Then the next day we saw wild dogs just as the sun was setting. They had very recently killed and eaten so were larking around and playing with each other, again we just sat and watched, lovely.
My only mild critisism would be that because you had a variety of guides you tended to get simillar stories and occasionally repeated information which was a bit of a shame. Also the walking from the camp tended to be in roughly the same area and we didn't see much game. I believe if we had been walking between camps we would have seen more.
Tafika is a very nice camp with very good guides. John, Carol and Hesther were excellent hosts. The micro-light flight with John was a highlight as well as the walking safari with Brian and the view of a leopard with a young and a group of lions who had killed a hippo. The kitchen staff, managed by Rona, did an excellent job preparing delicious dishes and making special dishes for diabetics. The salads came from the fenced vegetable garden at the camp.Read more about the whole safari
Outstanding: Exactly what we had hoped for.
Outstanding: Exactly what we had hoped for and more.
Quiet, scenic, rustic, remote location. Just six very comfortable and spacious reed and thatch bungalows with outdoor facilities, along with a comfortable shaded central lodge with bar, sitting and dining areas, BBQ and food service area as well as indoor and outdoor seating.
The food was excellent. High quality home-style cooking, all very fresh and tasty with vegetables coming from their own gardens, and all in good supply. Unusually in our experience we were served the full breakfast, lunch and dinner which was far preferred to the usual and more limited brunch and dinner.
The game drives were excellent, if a little too long, on comfortable un-crowded open vehicles with a maximum of four guests. Although having suffered two drives with the self-centred selfish guest from hell we will seek exclusive use of the vehicle in future! Some of the game viewing was outstanding, the best leopard sightings ever (and that includes visits to the Sabi Sand renowned for its leopards!).
From the owners, through the managers, the drivers to the barman and porters all the staff were tremendous; personable, friendly, willing, efficient, all so obviously wanting you to enjoy your stay at Tafika. A model of organisation and quiet professional management.
My only little niggle: yesterdays left over cake and more particularly peanuts or popcorn just doesn't hack it for me as refreshments at the morning coffee break and evening sundowners. But hardly crime of the century.
We hope to return to Tafika in the future and next time plan to see what else Zambia has to offer the holidaying wildlife enthusiast in addition to the South Luangwa.
Great stay at Tafika!
I had an absolutely wonderful stay at Tafika. The camp was recommended to me by Expert Africa as an alternative to the camp of my choosing and I am very happy I followed their recommendation.
I really enjoyed the diversity of activities available at Tafika: doing a safari on foot was really enjoyable and I loved the different perspective I was able to gain from being in foot. The game viewing was pretty great; loved seeing the lionesses start their hunt at night and watching the small leopard follow two giant hippos. The microlight flight is a must for anyone staying at Tafika. It was another great and different perspective of the bush. The guides were pretty great as well. It was fantastic safari experience.
Great Guides & Night Drives in Remote Area
Tafika was a great place to begin to develop an in-depth understanding of the bush.
The quality of guiding at Tafika was very high. The guides were good about letting us in on their thought process and explaining why we were driving a certain way (e.g., because we were following tracks on the road) or why we were leaving a sighting (e.g., because the leopard seemed very nervous & it was better to come back at night). I think that previous reviews have commented on Tafika's limited driving area. That wasn't an issue for me, as I enjoyed going back to check on earlier sightings to see how things had progressed (e.g., leopard in grass with impala kill in bush, the same leopard in tree with impala kill in tree, impala kill pulled even further up the tree, etc.).
I did two walking safaris while I was there. Both were excellent.
Lloyd the driver did a great job of making the drive to and from Mfuwe enjoyable by pointing out wildlife when present and telling me more about village life such as how difficult transportation was in the rainy season.
One thing that would be nice is if the staff wore name tags. It was hard to keep track of everyone and it felt awkward to not know their names.
Excellent camp with great wildlife.
We were awoken by hippos and elephants outside our bungalow on the first night! Elephants frequented the camp and were great entertainment one afternoon at lunch. We went on a fantastic walking safari at this camp and were able to see two leopards in the distance. Great food too.
Tafika was the second camp we stayed at and again we had the most amazing time. The food was some of the best I have ever eaten anywhere let alone in the middle of nowhere. I feel we learnt so much about all the animals and plants that we saw and Armand's knowledge was extraordinary. I am frightened of heights but felt I had to go up in the microlight and am so glad i did, swooping over the country was an experience I will never forget.
We also went on two walking safaris with Brian which were brilliant, although I was a little disconcerted to discover we would be better in the river with crocodiles and hippos rather than facing an angry elephant!
John and Carol and their team were very welcoming hosts and we can not thank them enough for everything.
Tafika Camp Review
Exceptional accommodations and staff.
Meeting the owners, John and Carol, and going up in the Micro-Lite were highlights of our stay.
Our favourite Zambian camp
We loved this camp, its staff and the welcome. It is beautifully situated on the banks of the Luangwa river.
The rooms are essentially straw huts but much more comfortable than that sounds (or the photos look). Inside is a large bed, enclosed at night, with bedside tables, in a large mosquito net. There are outside showers with constant piping hot water and covered loo. The rooms are well spaced out for privacy in a grassy encampment. There is in-room power for charging batteries, etc.
Dinners are served under the stars with staff members, including the charming owners, John and Carol. Game drives were very good although Tafika doesn't believe in using radios between vehicles for game spotting; we feel this is a disadvantage as it can mean not seeing as much as one might.
A must is the micro-light flights first thing in the morning, an optional extra not to be passed up.
All in all this was our favourite Zambian camp.
From the moment we all arrived at Tafika, we were made to feel at home and part of the family. We were lucky to see leopard the first night, and the excellent game and bird viewing continued from there. All the staff were very friendly and helpful, and John and Heather looked after us extremely well. Rhoda's food was delicious every day and we were impressed with the amount of vegetables and salad grown in their own garden.
We all gained knowledge from Brian's excellent guiding and expertise and never felt hurried when we wanted to stop and look at birds or watch animals. The evening drives with the sundowners beside the river listening and watching the hippos, and then the spotting in the dark meant that we saw a huge number of nocturnal animals.
That part of the South Luanga Park is slightly restricted, so after four days, we became familiar with the drives. However, it was not a problem as we continued to see new animals and birds. Our walk with Brian was interesting and informative and it was impressive to watch Brighton make a fire with a stick. The three of us who went up in the micro-light with John found the experience exhilarating and very worthwhile. Crossing the South Luangwa by canoe to go to our next camp was part of the fun.
In all, a superior camp where we all felt very relaxed and saw a lot of game and birds.