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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr Firefinch from UK

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

7

Excursions taken

0

A Fantastic and Truly Memorable Holiday

Zambia between 22 Oct 2007 and 3 Nov 2007

Trip rating: Excellent
"We had a fantastic and truly memorable holiday and we would like to thank everybody who made it possible. All the arrangements for the trip went very smoothly throughout. We found the standard of the accommodation excellent and greatly enjoyed the well presented and tasty food – particularly the freshly made bread every day.

All the staff at each place we stayed were very welcoming and went out of their way to be very helpful at all times. The activities were well organised and we were very impressed with the depth of knowledge of the guides who gave us a wealth of information about the mammals, reptiles, birds and trees.

The most rewarding feature of the holiday for us was the opportunity to walk in the bush as well as going on game drives by day and after dark. The walks gave us a different perspective from the game drives and we welcomed the chance they gave us to observe and learn about the smaller things as well as to see some big game at close quarters.

We would have welcomed more opportunities to walk (for example, as an alternative to the game drive before sundowners) and we could have walked further and at a greater pace, with the morning walk continuing for longer on some days, which would have been quite practicable, since to our pleasant surprise we did not find the heat to be a problem at any time.

We appreciate the need to balance the wishes of a variety of guests, but we were the only two guests on many of our walks. The balance of time between walking and stopping to observe and to hear about things was fine, but we felt we could have done more. Perhaps we should have been more assertive about this, but that was not necessarily easy with people who were new to us, given that we went out with many different guides (which, of course, had many advantages).

We were a little surprised that there were no restrictions on smoking both at Kapani and the bush camps. We felt that this was a significant fire risk in the bush camps and unpleasant for non-smokers like us at meal times and when sharing vehicles.

Although we have made a number of critical comments, these must be taken in the context of a superb and well organised holiday which we enjoyed immensely and which we will continue to enjoy as we look back at our photographs and the journals we wrote up during siesta time each day."

Kapani Lodge

Kapani Lodge

"A Superb Introduction to South Luangwa"

1 night Arrived 23 Oct 2007
"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."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Luwi Bushcamp

Luwi Bushcamp

"Four Outstanding Wildlife Sightings at Luwi"

3 nights Arrived 24 Oct 2007
"Our comfortable reed and thatch chalet built round a large mahogany tree looked out across an open area with the dried up Lubi River in the distance. Four highlights stand out from our stay at Luwi:

• observing on our morning walks the profusion of hippos and crocodiles in the nearby lagoon with the wide variety of water birds;

• seeing a pair of lionesses who climbed into a tree to feast on an impala which had been caught earlier by a leopard (we felt very sorry for the leopard whose hard-earned dinner had been stolen);

• finding a pennant winged nightjar, sitting on the sand at the roadside which was then ably spotlighted by our scout as it flew up displaying the spectacular streamers attached to its wings;

• observing a pack of twelve wild dogs eating a young bushbuck that they had just killed – they were spotted as we were eating breakfast so everybody jumped into two vehicles to drive off, so that we could see these rare mammals at very close quarters.

On our final morning at Luwi we set out early to walk to Nsolo. The great virtue about walking in the bush is that it gives a new perspective on the wildlife, particularly the small details that cannot be seen so readily from a vehicle – particularly tracks and droppings and the trees with their flowers and fruits."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Nsolo Bushcamp

Nsolo Bushcamp

"A Rain Storm and Conversation at Dinner"

1 night Arrived 27 Oct 2007
"We only had one night in the beautiful new chalets at Nsolo and a substantial storm meant we missed our evening drive. However, that was more than compensated for by seeing the storm, by the way our chalet was cleaned up so promptly and, since we were the only guests, we had an exclusive dinner with Shaddy, the guide and camp manager, and greatly enjoyed the diverse and thought-provoking conversation.

We walked part of the way to Kakuli in the morning and then, during the final part of the journey, were excited to see a very large herd of buffalo on the move."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kakuli Bushcamp

Kakuli Bushcamp

"Impressive River Landscapes and Water Birds"

2 nights Arrived 28 Oct 2007
"Our reed and thatch chalet at Kakuli was at the edge of the low cliff fronting on to the Luangwa River. This gave us lots of opportunities to watch the birds in the nearby trees and on the water and sand banks, as well as the hippos and crocodiles in the river. There were many spoonbills and yellow billed storks and we were fascinated to watch a pied kingfisher as it hovered over the water and dived vertically to catch its prey.

Our walks and drives at Kakuli provided many varied sightings of wildlife, including following a track which led us to a snake marooned on a sandbank and in danger from the heat of the sun. Aubrey, our guide, carried it on his stick to safety. We liked the impressive river landscapes – there was always so much to see and to learn. The night drives were very rewarding too with a lot of lion and two hyenas removing a leg from a buffalo killed earlier by lions.

Unfortunately the toilet broke down in our chalet on the first evening. We were impressed by the way in which a temporary arrangement was made for the night and that we were then transferred with no fuss to another chalet the following morning without any such request on our part."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mchenja Bushcamp

Mchenja Bushcamp

"The Joys of Walking in the Bush"

2 nights Arrived 30 Oct 2007
"Our walk to Mchenja and subsequent walks and drives while staying there provided much more to interest us. We particularly enjoyed the walks – following fresh giraffe tracks and droppings and eventually sighting the giraffe and observing elephants at close quarters in the bush, particularly a mother suckling its three year old infant, were memorable experiences.

Mchenja is delightfully situated in a grove of large ebony trees next to the Luangwa River. The chalets were very attractive and luxurious and the hospitality was great, almost too much so as we were almost joined for brunch in the bar area by an elephant keen to share our meal!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kapani Lodge

Kapani Lodge

"A Fascinating School Visit"

1 night Arrived 1 Nov 2007
"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."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Taj Pamodzi Hotel

Taj Pamodzi Hotel

"Taj Pamodzi"

1 night Arrived 2 Nov 2007
"The hotel provided a luxurious night to end our holiday before our long flight to London in the morning.

Arrangements to transport us to and from Lusaka airport all went very smoothly and it was interesting to get a brief glimpse of the city as we drove to and from the hotel."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent

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