Reviews of Kakuli Bushcamp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
65 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Kakuli Bushcamp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Kakuli Bushcamp review"
The chalet was lovely and we appreciate the differences between the 3 camps we visited in the area. We enjoyed the sofa outside in our limited time in camp. The elephant that came to visit us (and feast on the acacia pods) during our siesta was a special and memorable moment although probably not arranged specially by the staff! It was great to get that close to such an impressive wild animal without feeling threatened. (we were to experience more of this at Mchenja).
Sightings of game were excellent and having seen very few leopard on several safari holidays, it was great to find one on our first game drive." See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia
The communal area is a little cramped for my liking , especially at meal times where the serving area is too close to the dining tables. However, the food was excellent, well presented and well prepared.
On our first night at the camp, we met the other guests at a communal sundowner spot, then had drinks with them at the camp, only to find we had been put on a separate dining table for 2 while everyone else sat together. We felt a little excluded and uncomfortable.
The staff at Kakuli are all very efficient and friendly, but I could not help but think they were a little on edge in their efforts to please the guest, where a little light hearted contact would have been perfect.
In all, I think that Kakuli has tried to elevate itself to an elite camp level and has certainly lost the genuine bushcamp feel we experienced on a previous visit.
Guiding and game viewing was excellent." See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia
"Kakuli Bushcamp review"
Excellent game drives, led by Philemon. A particularly magical day of observing different species interacting - wild dogs with grazing zebra and incoming warthogs (who encroached onto the dogs' comfort zone and, amazingly, it was the dogs who moved away). Later found a leopard up a tree lying on a dead impala; Philemon didn't think the impala's injuries were consistent with a leopard kill and we then spotted the wild dogs lurking in the undergrowth nearby.
We returned later on - leopard was making good progress with eating the impala, the disappointed dogs were still lurking and at one point swarmed around the base of the tree, snuffling and snarling. Fairly sure it was the dogs who'd killed the impala and the leopard had somehow managed to steal it from them." See all these reviews: 11n in Zambia
"Kakuli Bushcamp review"
"Kakuli Bushcamp review"
1- The people - different names but the same dedication, support and warmth. Philemon (manager), Gloria, Jack (meals), Joseph (ranger) and a special mention to John (guide - the walking encyclopedia). All of them are very good on their jobs. John seems to know everything about South Luangwa ecosystems, and each and every species of animals and plants that live there. We've learned a lot from him!
2- The food - it's amazing how so delicious dishes can be cooked in such secluded places. Thank you very much Judith and other kitchen people!
3- The Bushcamp itself - location, accommodations, service, facilities.
4- The activities - the walking safaris are really special and very good opportunities to learn from such experienced guides like John. I wish I could have done more. Impressive density of animals!
An aspect to improve (the same apply to other camps that we visited - Chongwe River Camp and Mchenja Bushcamp): the lack of communications, including the internet, although it is great to keep you focused in your job (walk and drive safaris) can be a serious limitation if you are in need to hear from your family very far away..." See all these reviews: 11n in Zambia
"Kakuli Bushcamp review"
The romantic surprise dinner for two on our veranda suddenly included an elephant "in the room" eating the pods from the acacia next door and we had to continue with an armed guard to protect us! Huge fun.
More close encounters with elephants at the surprise lunch on the banks of the Luangwa - a really memorable stay." See all these reviews: 13n in Zambia
"Kakuli Bushcamp review"
The best guides in the trip so far!
Saw lions from all 3 prides in the area." See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia
"Finishing on a high"
I think Kakuli had my favourite chalets - they were rebuilt earlier this year and were so fresh and very large. Like Mchenja, the front is open during the day with canvas walls pulled down at night. The en-suite is actually inside, although screened off rather than a separate room, but there's an outdoor shower too. The polished concrete floor extends into a verandah with a comfy two-seater sofa (and a pair of shy skink living underneath mine). My chalet overlooked the river - but quite high above it - with a view of a well-used hippo trail across to the other side. Sitting on the sofa one afternoon, a small troop of baboons passed in front of me, each one doing a double-take when it realised I was there.
The Kakuli lounge/dining bar area has been extended apparently - I didn't see it before but certainly the current version is spacious. There's a balcony overlooking a small lagoon: two elephants had stopped by for a drink when I arrived and as I left (protestingly) two warthogs were splashing about. Despite it being the dry season, there was actually a brief heavy shower on my last night, and the balcony was awash with tree frogs which we then discovered had migrated to the sofas, resulting in us all shuffling to the dinner table so we didnt step on any en route. Underneath the balcony is now a hide, complete with sofa which cant be common in many hides." See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia
Staff at Kakuli were excellent, friendly and helpful and with a great sense of humour. Food was excellent given the location and facilities. Watching these guys cook breakfast over a small fire was a sight, but the other inventive ways they cooked and presented the food was very good.
Guides and scouts were readily available to easily cover the small number of guests, and amazed with their keen eyesight and enthusiasm and knowledge." See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia
"6 leopard sighting in one day!! "
Holiday styles & special interests in Zambia
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Other lodges in South Luangwa National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
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One of the Luangwa's oldest camps, Nsefu is a great safari camp in a remote, beautiful and game-rich location with top-rate guiding.
Small, remote and owner-run, Mwamba offers first-class walking, 4WD safari drives and superb hides, with excellent guides and a real bush feel.
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Chikoko Tree Camp
Chikoko Tree Camp is an excellent small, rustic bushcamp that concentrates on walking safaris, and is run by a top-quality operation.
Big Lagoon Camp
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A relatively big safari camp, Flatdogs offers value for money with great guiding and good food in a comfortable, relaxed setting.
Luangwa River Camp
Luangwa River Lodge is a small and consciously stylish lodge in the Mfuwe area, overlooking the Luangwa River and the South Luangwa National Park beyond – an area renowned for great game.
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Nsolo is a small, comfortable bushcamp overlooking one or two pools in the usually dry Luwi riverbed. It concentrates on walking safaris in an interesting and diverse area, led by a knowledgeable guide.
Kafunta River Lodge
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In a remote part of the South Luangwa National Park, Luwi is a rustic bushcamp whose emphasis is on walking safaris with great guiding and a chance of seeing some rarely seen and elusive antelope.
Robin Pope bush-camp
RPS bushcamping in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Lion Camp is an established and comfortable camp with a swimming pool, located near to the game-rich Lion Plain in the northern part of South Luangwa National Park.
Robin Pope mobile
RPS mobile safari camps are at the heart of their set-itinerary walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park, which start and finish at a permanent camp.
In the remote far south of South Luangwa National Park, Kapamba is a small and very comfortable bushcamp offering good walks and game drives.
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Kuyenda Bushcamp is a classic bushcamp with particularly delightful hosts and offers top-class walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park.
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Luangwa Safari House is a vast and very smart four-bedroom house specifically designed for families and small groups, and offering an exclusive and flexible safari experience.
Opened in early June 2013, Chinzombo offers luxurious and stylish accommodation with very high levels of service and excellent guiding.
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Chindeni Bushcamp is a very modern and minimalist camp, which is a far cry from your traditional bushcamp and unlike most of the other camps in South Luangwa.
Three Rivers Camp
In the remote far south of South Luangwa National Park, Three Rivers Lodge sits at the confluence of three of the valleys rivers.
Kawaza Village – beside the South Luangwa National Park, offers guests the rare opportunity to appreciate local village life. Visit for a few hours or stay overnight.
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Island Bush Camp
Island Bushcamp is a good-value, rustic, walking-only camp, in arguably one of the most remote parts of the South Luangwa, well away from all other camps.
The Mwamba-Camp Out allows you to have an incredibly adventurous night in the bush, sleeping under mosquito nets with activities led by some of the best guides in Zambia.
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Zungulila is a small, comfortable tented bushcamp with an emphasis on walking safaris, in the remote southern section of the South Luangwa.
Currently undergoing renovations, Chichele Presidential Lodge stands high within the park, with superb views, and is due to reopen in late 2022.
Luwi Riverbed Sleepout
For an adventurous night in South Luangwa National Park, come and sleep out in the bush, around a campfire, with an experienced guide and game scout.
Opened in June 2021, Shawa Luangwa Camp is a small, intimate and rustic camp, with a good location in a remote section of the South Luangwa National Park.
Mapazi Camp is a basic safari camp in the far north of the South Luangwa, with walking safaris led by renowned guide Deb Tittle.
Chikunto Safari Lodge is a more traditional property in the South Luangwa National Park, sitting on a peninsula of land created by the meandering Luangwa River.