Reviews of Tafika
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Same as ever [Ed: See review below from their visit here a few days earlier in this same trip.]Read more about the whole safari
Tafika - 4 nights
This is a very good camp, but for some reason it didn't make great camp status for us.
There is a very good choice of activity, which works well in terms of flexibility, the downside is that you have many different guides (we had 4 different guides in our stay). This means you don't get quite the same discussion and interaction that other camps provide with one dedicated person. Overall, this camp gave a less personal atmosphere than others on our trip.
We had excellent walks here - it's clearly a strong point for this camp and I highly recommend the experience. We chose to walk in the evening - shorter walks, but giving us more time and light for photography in the morning on drives, and this was very well arranged and delivered.
The charging facilities (in the main area) were a little erratic since not all sockets worked correctly. As a minor downside, the provided drinking water did not agree with either of us (not a serious problem, but anyone with a delicate constitution should be wary).
We really enjoyed our stay here and did appreciate the flexibility of activity, so do not take the feedback to mean there were any especial problems!
Return to Tafika again
Our third visit here, our favourite camp in South Luanguwa. A lot of people seem to return to this camp!
Don't really have much to say that hasn't been said before. We had fantastic walks and drives, you can even go on a bike ride if you wish, unfortunately the microlight wasn't available this time. A visit to see the carmine bee eater hide is to be recommended.
We particularly like the way guides stay with the camp for years, working their way up the ladder. This results in fantastic guiding, the best we have encountered. Excellent training plus all the local knowledge is unbeatable.
Can't wait to go back!
marvellous camp with great flexibilty
Some small changes to lights and lodges but remains unpretentious, comfortable, excellent food and great staff.
Walking guides are now more numerous so always a choice to use truck or to walk across the river.
Our favourite camp!
We have stayed several times at Tafika (and at many other safari camps through Africa), and it is top of our list.
One of the few owner managed camps still in the Valley, John, Carol and Bryan generate a warm and professional atmosphere, ably assisted by Heather and Rhona, and all the other camp staff.
The aircraft operated by Tafika and which took us from Lower Zambezi is strongly recommended. It may cost a bit more than ProFlight, but it cuts almost a day's travel down to an hour and a half.
We particularly appreciate that all the guides are local, often from the nearby village, and having often started in the kitchen or as tea bearers, have developed and passed their guiding exams.
Thank for a great stay - especially the hippos at Hippo Bend, and the mating leopards (not guaranteed!)
A fine example of responsible travel
John and Carol Coppinger set a fine example in the field of responsible tourism. The camp is just outside the National Park, set on the river bank. there are no water-based activities here, but on offer are 2 x4hour game drives per day, or small group day walks ( we did not try the cycling!).
The chalets are all made of local material, no electricity ( plently of re-charging sockets at the main lodge), but lit by solar lamps.comfy beds and we were not too hot at night. At the rear of the room, the bathroom and shower facilities are open to the sky - a hot shower under the stars was a wonderful experience! The rooms are well spaced, and the communal meals are tactfully organised so that everyone mixes well. The food was excellent on the whole, our only mild complaint was there was too much pudding!
We enjoyed the fact that the guides , and the management Staff ate with the guests. Every effort was made to suit the game viewing to our particular interests (eg, birding, photography). 4 travellers per vehicle, so everyone gets a good view. the afternoon drive includes the traditional"sundowner" and then gives you the opportunity for a couple of hours driving after dark.
The Park has excellent game and birds- hightlights were a leopard kill, hyena sightings by day and night, carmine bee-eaters nesting in their hundreds, crowned cranes flying in over the salt pans, following a pride of 10 lions on a hunt, and many cute baby elephants.
Walking tours allow you to see the smaller creatures- chameleons, insects, and also some close encounters with the larger animals. We felt very safe whilst on foot with 2 guides and an armed park ranger. The guides were all excellent.
We also learned such a lot about the life of the villagers from our guides. Remote Africa support many community projects, and provide employment for a substantial number of local people. this was not the most luxurious of the camps we visited - there's no wifi or mobile phone signal, but, of the 3 places we stayed, it's probably the one we are most likely to return to for a second visit.
See my earlier comments. Did not want to leave. [ Ed: See below! ]
Our thanks to everyone at Tafika .
Like in our recollection, brilliant
It was our second stay in Tafika, ,,, the leopards are still there, so are the lions, impalas, pukus, cameleons, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, girafes, zebras, buffalos and other bushbucks.
For those more interested in bird watching, it is also paradise on earth (certainly different from the orkneys, but as varied and exciting).
The whole staff is always helpful without being overwhelming or servile and the accomodation is very comfortable.
A special mention to Mukupa B with whom we had the unique experience of watching, and up to a point following, a pack of wild dogs in action (it was our fourth safari and the first time we saw them).
Tafika was 5-star camping with running hot and cold and solar power round the clock. John and Carol have established an extraordinary camp in a stunning setting, overlooking the river.
The guides at Tafika were in a league of their own. Brian combined a wide and deep knowledge of the bush with an instinctual sense of animal behavior and habitat. The two Mucupas were a fantastic team, who turned up spectacular sightings. We'll never forget cycling in the bush with John or our trip to the local village, where we were shown around the school, entertained with song and dance and began to get a sense of life in rural Zambia.
The food was delicious and it was a surprise to discover that much of it was coming from a gorgeous garden on site. We'd never seen a garden protected by electric elephant fencing and anti-monkey cages!
We decided on the spot that we simply must return to this camp.
Tremendous! All in all one of the better camps we have stayed in over forty years of travelling to Africa.
Guiding, service, food and rooms all above average.
It was good to have the camps' owners have meals and great conversations with you. This wouldn't happen at most other camps in Luangwa since nearly all are owned and run by large hotel groups. The personal touch matters!