Reviews of Tafika
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Unforgettable stay at Tafika
We really enjoyed our time at Tafika and felt it complemented our time at Flatdogs well, i.e. a good combination of having some time in the busier, more game rich side of the park (around Mfuwe) with some time in the more remote northern side of S. Luangwa.
The guiding at Tafika for the drives and walking safaris was really exceptional showing real expert knowledge and understanding of the area and wildlife.
The food was excellent and as a vegetarian and vegan we were very well catered for.
The whole experience was very relaxed and understated but still quietly impressive, e.g. being met with a canoe for the transfer and then having the surprise dinner by the river on the last night.
Last 2 night at Tafika
We were very sad leaving Nsefu but Tafika was yet another new experience. We loved the rooms, the bar and Bryan our guide was suberb. Again nothing was too much trouble and the quality of the game viewing was incomparable.
The walking safari & crossing the Luangwa by canoe was a highlight but nothing compared to watching the 15 lions that were eating their buffalo kill actually right beside the camp on our last morning.
We would love to go back and try their walking only bush camps. Highly recommended!
This camp is very well run. John and Carol and their staff were very welcoming and couldn't do enough for you.
The food and accommodations are fantastic.
Brian (our guide) was extremely helpful with camera settings for photographing at night and for capturing birds in flight. We have him to thank for some amazing photographs.
Had the family room, which was amazing!Read more about the whole safari
Luxurious Magical Tafika
What a camp to finish with. Megan was right - we certainly finished our holiday in style. She said leave Tafika until last, and we are so glad we did.
What we especially loved about Tafika is that Carol and John Coppinger were on site and were around all the time. They were excellent hosts, knew everyone's names after meeting them only once, and always acknowledged us by our first names when we saw them, Nice touch.
The guiding was great, and again we lucked out as we had Bryan for the whole 3 days. What he doesn't know about the bush and its inhabitants probably isn't worth knowing! Tafika is truly a magical place, so special. Everything was excellent.
Even better than last time!
The great stay started as soon as we arrived at Mfuwe where we were told that we would be flying to Tafika, rather than going by road!
Food, accommodation and guiding all excellent and mountain biking with John is always great fun.
On the last day, we asked to do a morning walk but they were short of rangers, so they took us to Chikoko so that we could walk to Crocodile with another couple - nothing is too much trouble to ensure you have a wonderful stay.
Brilliant start to our safari in Zambia
Very warm welcome. Family owned and run - the family involvement and feel a great feature. High staff ratio.
Great drives and walks with masses of wildlife and grerat guides. Good to visit local village - which they strongly support - by bike with John Coppinger. All the hosting - accommodation, food, introductions, logistics etc. - first class. Brian and Heather a strength as well as the Coppinger family. Amon, Stephen and Moffat first class guides.
My bag never made it through from London via Jo'burg to Lusaka. My wife's arrived fine! Mike of Tours Africa managed to get hold of mine and Tafika kindly picked it up a couple of days later at Mfuwe and handed it to me.
A wonderful experience
I really can not say enough great things about Tafika. I had read so much about this camp and my expectations were high. My expectations were met and even exceeded.
The Coppingers really understand how to run a camp. Terrific experiences with the entire staff - Bryan, Issac, Alex, Lloyd, Rona and others that I have surely forgotten. While the cats were scarce the 3 nights that Lynette and I were there, the guides worked hard to make up for the absence of the cats. The highlight was a pack of wild dogs and pups.
We had a superb experience at Tafika and hope to return some day. I can highly, highly recommend Tafika to anyone considering a Zambian safari. A must do experience.
Tafika with family
We visited Tafika with our 14 and 12 year old sons. It is a beautiful camp, really well designed and thought through. We were staying in the family chalet, which was perfect for us - two separate rooms, within one self contained chalet, with two showers. The right balance of privacy but still close enough to feel safe and together. Younger children might feel a bit far away and prefer to be in the same room as parents. The family chalet also has the best setting, with a veranda looking straight out onto the river.
I found this camp extremely luxurious, with very high standards of service - I am a little bemused by some of the reviews describing it as 'rustic'! Everything was taken care of - clothes whisked away and returned clean and pressed; drinks and food served; beds and rooms prepared every night etc etc. I felt extremely pampered! And the overall environment is simply stunning.
Food was excellent, perhaps a little 'complicated' for the children at times. Breakfasts were taken around a fire overlooking the river, with staff. Lunch was a buffet and dinner a fairly formal affair with everything served to us. Dinner and lunch were shared with one or two staff on a rota - sometimes this felt a little bit uncomfortable as we were aware that the rest of the staff were eating back in staff quarters and wondered whether eating with the guests might be the short straw!
The camp was quiet when we were there, only two other guests. As a family of four, we did all our activities together with no other guests, and we had one guide, Alex, throughout our stay of four nights. Alex was an excellent choice of guide, as well as being highly experienced and knowledgeable, he had a great rapport with the children and made the experience fun as well as interesting. We did mainly drives, with one morning walk. We might have liked a greater variety of activities, but it took us a little while to get the bearings of the routine and by the time we had worked out what we wanted to do, time was running out.
I think a fuller orientation to the possible activities at an early stage in our trip would have been useful. Whilst I felt staff were responsive to our requests, I think a bit more proactive information would be useful. We enjoyed the walks as the safari experience can feel rather sedentary with most of the day spent sitting, eating or resting! it is a balance though as the walks do see a little less game. I was also a bit nervous about crossing the river in a small boat very close to the hippos - all passed without incident but I did wonder what the plan was if we had capsized...
Game viewings were good, though leopard sightings were scarce and I nearly thought we were not going to see one through our whole stay! The last drive came good though, with a superb close up and prolonged sighting - thanks to Alex and Lloyd's expert spotting. Overall we had three leopard sightings on the last day, including one on a walk.
Very minor suggestions for improvement: we would have found more books, maps and other information about the animals, birds and ecosystems in the park interesting to look at during our down time, to enhance what we learnt from the guides. Also, although everyone introduced themselves to us, we weren't very clear what everyone's role was at the camp (not that this mattered as everyone was helpful and friendly).
Overall, a lovely stay in an amazing location.
see earlier comments [Ed: See below]Read more about the whole safari