Reviews of Kakuli Bushcamp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Friendly, efficient hosting
This was my first visit to Kakuli - it was the only NCS camp I did not visit in 2012. The hosting here was a vast improvement on Luwi and Nsolo, with Claire doing an excellent, friendly and very efficient job. I also loved the camp a lot more than I expected, especially the open fronted design of the rooms and the river view. Philemon was a great guide and the 14km walk with him from Nsolo to Kakuli was a highlight of my trip and perfectly paced. I had some super sightings here including lions on the "beach" taking down a baby puku.
The only downside to Kakuli was the same problem I experienced in 2012 at Mchenja and the reason I confined my visit this time mainly to the Norman Carr walking camps rather than the more driving based camps. For anyone remotely serious about photography, an early start to a game drive is crucial, and there is just too much faffing around over a fancy breakfast. On one morning it was 7am before we left!! This is compared to the Robin Pope camps and Lion Camp, where there is no mucking about, the guides are on the ball at getting everyone out in the vehicles promptly after a simple but adequate breakfast, and as early as possible.
Perhaps this is a Norman Carr business decision to pitch themselves at the more relaxed safari goer, but it doesn't suit me personally.
The peeping mouse
Julius was not the only guide who asked us in the morning what we would like to see and then delivered it by nightfall, but it was with him that we began to set, as we thought, unattainable challenges. Wondering how high the bar could go, one day I said, "I'd like to see a leopard climbing a tree" and then, by dinner-time, there she was! We stayed out longer than usual for that one. The leopard started out as just a small patch of spots in the undergrowth, but then she walked over and seemed to take an interest in a tree, sniffing it and looking upwards. It was really time to go back to camp and we kept saying, "Oh well, never mind....", but suddenly, up she went, first about twenty feet, and then another twenty, where she made a lunge for a roosting guinea-fowl and missed. They all flew squawking out of the tree and we went back for our dinner, which thankfully we hadn't had to catch for ourselves.
We were a bit late, but hadn't been able to tear ourselves away. The peeping mouse came out of the thatch when I was having a shower. It was very pretty and not at all worrying. John thought there was a bit of debris near the sink, though, and when he went to pick it up, it jumped away, showing itself to be a little tree frog. These are also very appealing creatures, but easy to overlook, which is when they can make you jump.
As our move to Kakuli marked switching from Robin Pope to Norman Carr, I thought the latter didn't have hosts in the way to which we had become accustomed. Julius ate with us, drove us about the place and looked after us all the time, then on the third day Claire arrived and apologised for absence and Julius was allowed to go and eat with his colleagues and relax "backstage".
We were met by our guide Prince at the Mfwue airport who was with us for the two days. He was excellent.
The camp was great and Claire and her team were friendly and welcoming.
Kakuli Bushcamp review
Again a well organised team creating perfect conditions for an agreeable stay. Thank you Claire.
Aubrey is a well experienced guide, proving his skills at a surprise too close encounter with a lonely elephant bull.
and a witty storyteller. ( why the hippo spreads his poo, the king of the bush, the buffalo and the guinea fowl .. )
When on a nightly game drive KAKULI proofed to be be not as remote as the two other camps.
Aubrey and Kakuli the perfect combination.
Once again words fail me on another visit to Kakuli with my favourite guide Aubrey. This is my favourite camp, very comfortable chalet/tent, great location looking out to the river where the whole cast of animals come to drink.
Always a great team here, the best guiding, wonderful stories shared and so delicious was the food. Bendy - RIP, your legacy will live on.
Thank you to everyone concerned.
Lovely stay at the Luangwa River!
The Camp is well managed and sits nicely on the riverbanks of the Souht Luangwa River, in Front of the Bar - Dining Area is a small Lagoon. So you will always see plenty animals in Front of you.
Also a special there is the local Elephant "Dexter", which will visit the Camp every night, so you can see him in Front of your Chalet. Loved also the difference from the other Bushcamps, here you'll staying near the Luangwa River which scenery is great and plenty of Animals in Sight.
Lovely position perched above the river.
A super game drive with a staring match with a lone bull Ellie and a sighting of an AARDVARK (!) with our guide Aubrey ecstatic !
Excellent food and brilliant guiding.
A great start to my trip!
Loved it all - the staff, the setting, my tent and all the delicious food!Read more about the whole safari
Kakuli - exclusively ours
We arrived at Kakuli by boat due to the season, and were glad to learn that we weren't staying in the tent that was now precariously close to the river bank due to erosion during the summer.
We actually had a choice of rooms as we were the only guests, so that made the stay very exclusive. I was amazed at the large overall size of the 'room' which had a thatched roof above the tent walls of the bedroom and the thatch walls of the dressing and bathroom. We were thankful for the thick thatch above when the heavens opened during a thunder storm.
Activities available were either boating or walking, which suited us. I also took the chance to have a lazy day in camp just listening to the sounds from the bush and watching the fantastic birds which were in the trees next to the rooms.
We had some very entertaining conversations with Aubrey and John during our stay, mainly swapping knowledge of our different life styles, which sometimes weren't so different at all.
Kakuli Bushcamp review
Again enhanced by its position beside the river, this camp had the advantage of the close proximity of the Luangwa with both bird and animal activity to observe, but one very amusing sighting of a hippo on its back in the water showing a very pink belly and the soles of four feet in the air !.
There was much to see in the surrounding area during our walks and drives, with close encounters involving lions and elephants on foot and lions from the vehicle.