Ila Safari Lodge

Ila Safari Lodge: Our full report

Rooms
10 Safari Tents
Open
March - January (closed February)

Ila Safari Lodge sits in an idyllic location on the banks of the Kafue River in the centre of Zambia's largest national park. Just off the main road from Lusaka, this modern lodge is more easily accessed than the majority of the camps in Kafue National Park, and works well as a springboard for reaching some of the parks more isolated areas.

Ila Safari Lodge sits on the eastern bank of the Kafue River, a short distance from the tarmac M9 road from Lusaka, so can by reached by a three hour drive from Zambia's capital city. Access to the national park from the camp is via the M9 and over Hook Bridge, and while there are several game viewing loops available in the central section of the park, game sightings are normally best from the tar road. The downside of Ila's convenient access is that this section of Kafue doesn't feel particularly wild or isolated, a key reason many people go to one of Zambia's largest but least visited parks. To experience the best of Kafue we would suggest staying at Ila for the convenience from Lusaka and the comfort of the lodge before heading deeper into the park.

Ila Safari Lodge was built in 2016, and a strong focus on sustainability was present throughout the construction of the camp. Each of the eight tents have frames constructed from locally sourced wood, and are elevated on stilts to make the most of the riverside location. The interiors are decorated in a modern, African-chic style that complements the more traditional khaki canvas walls and roof. All tents also have private decks out front, and en-suite bathrooms with outside showers or baths.

The open-sided, thatched boma that makes up the main area perches on the edge of the river, and includes a lounge with plentiful seating, an open-air restaurant, a fire-pit area, and an impressive infinity pool looking out over the Kafue River.

Ila Safari Lodge takes advantage of the varied terrain in Kafue by offering walking safaris and game drives, as well as activities on the river such as boat cruises and fishing. Ila's sustainable credentials are highlighted on activities, with one of the camps boats being solar-powered, and an electronic game-drove vehicle being available for particularly peaceful drives around the game management area adjacent to camp.

Our view

Ila Safari Lodge is a stylish and smart property with an impressive dedication to sustainability. While it's not in the most remote areas of Kafue, it's convenience from Lusaka and high levels of comfort make it a superb spot for one or two nights at the beginning or end of a trip exploring Kafue's more isolated regions.

Geographics

Location: Kafue National Park, Zambia

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Infrastructure

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