Reviews of Kakuli Bushcamp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Kahului our third camp
We drove to Kakuli with a game drive on the way which took around three hours, very warm welcome again from our host, This camp is based right on the river packed with hippos and crocodiles . Our tent , as with all of Norman Carr bush camps we stayed in, are spacious with thatched roofs and an open air bathroom, very cool and those beds, so comfortable . Once again the food, excellent . Staff wonderful and nothing is too much bother they are there to please and they surely do that . There is a small troop of baboons that come through the camp mid afternoon to feast on the trees and are great fun to watchRead more about the whole safari
Best views at Kakuli Bushcamp
Accommodation and personal viewing area were fantastic. Wonderful views from common area. Service was excellent.
We had an excellent viewing of a leopard at this camp during the day. The walks were more interesting.
No need to leave camp as there were lions, hyena and Dixon, the local elephant, pacing outside our room.
Again the room was even better than last year, appreciated the extra width and different layout of the room.
Kakuli Bushcamp review
Experiencing a great safari depends upon the animals, the location of the camp and having one of the finest guides in Africa let alone, Zambia, senoir guide Aubrey. Another legend like Abraham and Shaddy, Aubrey lives and breathes Kakuli. Nothing is too much of a problem. His knowledge, humour and tracking skills meant this was another very productive venture at Kakuli.
Great location overlooking the near dry river, good gaming, excellent food, friendly staff and the chirpy Sarah as hostess.
Thank you for another great time at Kakuli. This just overshadows Luwi as my favourite bush camp.
Kakuli Bushcamp review
Loved the location but there were problems. The place was infested with mosquitos and wasn't helped that the flooring of the accommodation had huge gaps. Although these had been plugged with mud earlier in the season, this had dried and fallen out, consequently mosquitoes just came up all the time. Tried tucking the mosi net of the bed into the mattress at night - still got substantially bitten.
There was also a laundry problem (something we experience in all the Norman Carr camps) with laundry getting mixed with other guests and they getting ours. But more annoying was someone ironing a non-iron brand-new shirt leaving it burnt and ripped. Then folding it in such a way that I didn't notice until I got to the next camp. Resolved later with Christina who agreed to pay for a new one, but should have been admitted to and dealt with immediately.
Kakuli Bushcamp review
Average host. We walked to Kakuli with another guide (Lawrence) who was very good. He changed the focus slightly away from poo and concentrated on birds. He was an excellent mimic.
We came across an elephant on the walk and Lawrence immediately made sure we changed direction to move away so that the wind was not blowing our human smell towards the elephant. We were definitely not getting close. In the brochures Norman Carr shows a group of people that look about 30 metres or less from an elephant flapping its ears. According to our guide this would not be allowed to happen. Again our disappointment and annoyance that the walking safaris were misrepresented.
Unfortunately on arrival at Kakuli we were told that our guide for our stay was again to be Julius. Part of the safari experience is to have different guides. As it turned out we had Julius at Kapani as well which meant we had the same guide for 5 of the 9 nights. As Julius was the worst of the 4 guides we had we were not very pleased. We did not feel that we could ask to change the guide.
Expert Africa comments
Close encounters with wildlife whilst on foot can occur, and so whilst these camps use only their most tantalising images in their marketing literature, the portrayal is not entirely incorrect. The managing director of Norman Carr Safaris noted that the company takes their guest’s safety very seriously as is evident by their excellent record over the past 60 years. He comments that it is something that neither he nor his guiding team will compromise on. The areas in which they offer walking safaris are completely wild and unfenced and so, whilst it is possible to walk in these areas, one must never forget that the animals here are wild and can be unpredictable. This priority over safety is also Expert Africa’s experience of walking safaris offered in our portfolio, including those done with Norman Carr Safaris. Having said that, this doesn’t mean that you don’t sometimes get close to wildlife. Whilst on a walking safari, you may find yourselves upwind of animals when generally they will smell you and run away; sometimes you’ll be downwind of an animal which won’t have seen you or smelt you and if the guide deems it safe you can creep closer; and sometimes you’ll come across an animal unexpectedly and if they haven’t seen or smelt you, your guide will often ask you to duck down and sit still so that you can safely watch – this can be from quite close by!
Fantastic location and great game
We thought the location was fabulous with the views over the river and also great for game drives with plenty to see and not many other vehicles. a good place to come after Nsolo and really nice to be able to walk from Nsolo into the camp.
Aubrey, our guide, was fabulous. He was so good with my nephew and nieces, telling stories and really engaging with them, even putting them on the spot and testing if they had listened to him! They loved him (as did the rest of us).
Minor point about food, snacks on sundowners were not always vegetarian.
Hippos on the Luangwa
Arrived at Kakuli to find that we were the only two guests. Sarah was our wonderful host and Aubrey our guide for what was effectively a private safari.
Experiences too numerous to mention, unforgetable moments continued to pile up, however very close encounter with hyena cubs outside their den with one curious cub coming within feet as we sat on a log and watched deserves a special mention.
Kakuli Bushcamp review
Kakuli has a bush camp feel to it, though it was certainly a more substantial lodging than other bush camps. The chalets/tents were very large with a quite spacious bathroom/dressing area. The hot water was provided by on-demand water heaters (powered by firewood), but required about 15 minutes to heat up for the shower. There were flush toilets, complete with resident tree frogs, and plenty of room for luggage. Tap water was completely potable.
The beds were comfortable. The chalets were a combination of reed and thatch with canvas walls. There were also two chairs out on the front porch with a nice view overlooking the river. There are quite a number of hippo and crocs in the river to watch from the tents, and you can hear the hippos calling all the time.
The chitenge was nice with a bar and a verandah that looked out on a marshy area near the river. We saw plenty of hippos, and a pride of lions in this area one morning.
As with the other camps the food was good and plentiful. Hosting was good. Sarah was very nice – she was attentive, personable, and looked after whatever needs we may have had.
The guiding here was very good. I was guided by Aubrey, and he is very knowledgeable and has plenty of good stories about his years of guiding. Easily one of the most personable guides I had during my safari. Kakuli is a walking camp – they do walks as the morning activity and drives as the afternoon activity.
I had 3 walks during my stay – one morning we stalked a herd of buffalo and spent some time sitting with them. On another walk, we had the previously mentioned group of lions walk by during breakfast, and we left immediately to follow them. Aubrey and the scout did fairly well tracking the lions and we sped along fairly quickly to keep up with them before falling behind. The last morning, I walked to the transfer point across the river, and along the way we visited a hyena den where we were able to get within 15 feet of a hyena pup.
Game drive vehicles were again standard Landcruisers with 3 rows of seats. There were pockets in front to hold belongings – big enough for a pair of mid-size binoculars, but not much else.
The ground in South Luangwa is rather broken in areas, so I recommend a sturdy pair of hiking shoes/boots and perhaps a walking stick.
Beautiful bushcamp on the river
We spent 3 nights here and for two we were the only guests....lucky as usual! We had all the camp for ourselves as well as Glenn and Simon and the rest of the staff (sorry but we are bad at remembering all the names!).
Being the green season we were taken to Kakuli by boat and we were a little anxious to be so close to all those hippos (millions of them probably!) but the landscape was so beautiful that we soon relaxed.
We like walking and Simon took us for a walk every morning (escorted by Shimek a scout from the park). We saw thousands of birds and lots of mammals as well. One day we stopped for a rest and watched a giraffe with her baby standing about 100 metres from us. unexpectedly (for us) they did not move for quite a long time and simply kept an eye on us. Another day we met a hippo in a small pond hidden by the bushes, this was quite amazing and we did not feel unsafe at all as we were always under strict control of our guides. We simply stopped and when Simon signalled we walked very quietly and the hippo did not even move. Even so, this was quite thrilling!
In the boat safari we saw hippos doing all kind of things and as I said thousands of birds everywhere. Impala and puku are really endemic! Elephants are also in good numbers, despite being scattered in the green season.
We loved the camp as it is small and rustic but perfectly comfortable (I loved the open bathroom in particular). The main area where meals are served is absolutely fantastic. We enjoyed our early morning coffee with the camp team. Perhaps I should not call them "staff" or "team" as they really made us feel like being with friends! Glenn is a perfect host, always looking after us, extremely friendly yet professional. We deeply enjoyed his company (on top of his professional skills of course) and his nice thoughts- he organized a romantic dinner for us on our veranda for our last night there.
Our tented room was fantastic with a view on the river. We saw two hippos mating just sitting there after lunch. It was amazing as we had never seen that before. Food quality was as good as at Kapani (despite being so remote) and we enjoyed the communal meals a lot. Once again the vegetarian options were always tasty.
We wish we will be able to go back in the dry season and walk between camps.