Reviews of Tafika
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Lovely time at Tafika
We really enjoyed our time at Tafika. The game drives were great. Our guide (John) realised pretty quickly that we were interested in birds and smaller animals as well as the big stuff and he found some lovely turacoes and green pigeons for us in a fruiting fig. We only has 2 nights here - in hindsight I wish it had been more. Before we went out on each game drive we discussed options of where to go and what we might see at each place and it was nice to be given a choice. On both afternoon game drives we went in search of wild dogs and we found them both times. There was a group of 17 (including 8 pups) and on both occasions they were very active with all the pups playing with each other.
On one of our mornings we went to a spot where large numbers of grey crowned cranes congregate and we saw them as they flew in, which was lovely. We also saw lions, a leopard, hyenas, civet, genet, elephants, giraffe, a huge heard of buffalo, and lots of other animals while we were here. On one of our afternoon game drives we visited their carmine bee eater hide, which was brilliant. It is in a great position (much better than the one at Kaingo camp). It is worth getting up early in the morning and watching the river as huge flocks of queleas drink at the river and they swarm like locusts - it is spectacular.
The lodge also has a hide by a small waterhole. It isn't as spectacular as the one at Mwamba, as it is very close to the river, but we still saw hammerkop, impala, elephants, hippos, ground hornbill, bushbuck, baboons, banded mongooses and a juvenile eagle. It is nice just to be able to wander in whenever you feel like it.
The food is plentiful and nice and the owners who run the camp are very friendly. The rooms are very well designed and are nice and let in a breeze (if there is one blowing) which is nice. They also supply a sarong like cloth to wet and put over you while you are sleeping when the weather gets really hot. This made such a difference and we really appreciated it.. There is a central point for charging batteries and laptops in the dining area.
Overall we really enjoyed our time at Tafika. The wildlife and terrain is slightly different to the other two camps in the park that we stayed it and I would definitely recommend a stay here and at Mwamba bushcamp - they complement each other very well.
We returned for our last night in Zambia. Tafika, with its brick floors and extra facilities seemed even more luxurious after our 6 nights in the bush camps. We even saw the wild dogs again, on the way to the airport next morning.Read more about the whole safari
This was the first camp on our first visit to Africa. We couldn't have made a better choice. Most fellow guests had made many previous trips to Tafika, and we think that says it all. Mostly the trips are game drives, including night drives to see nocturnal animals. We were lucky enough to see wild dogs - we were very honoured according to other guests who had not been so lucky after many drives in Africa. Staff were amazing; eagle-eyed, friendly, hard-working, nothing was too much trouble.
The huts (rooms) were very spacious, practical and comfortable with hot water on tap (there's a boiler on site). One of the highlights was the micro-lite flight. If you get the opportunity do it! Don't forget to take a memory stick and ask John to switch on the wing camera.
When we get back to Zambia, Tafika will be top of the list for a visit.
Ian and Michelle - Superlative Tafika Review
My review may not be 'balanced' as you requested because it was just a perfect way to begin our adventure in Africa.
We really thought that this owner/operated camp had a great intimate feel to it. John, Carole and their team make you feel as if your comfort is paramount. The guides (We had three of them) were terrific, and will try to show you just what you want to see.
The accomodations are at the same time charming and rustic while also luxurious and well appointed. We loved that fact that there was nobody else around apart from occasional villagers travelling to or from town. It felt as if we were in a truly remote area and that our wildlife viewing was authentically wild. That is what we had requested and that is what Tafika delivered!
We had just one glitch in that through some communications error no one from Tafika was there to meet our plane at Mfuwe. Fortunately we had another rep at the airport contact Tafika and they resolved the issue within minutes - flying us out directly to the camp. Now THAT'S service!
(Another) great stay at Tafika
Just a great place to stay: the location, guiding, food and above all the welcoming atmosphere makes this a great place to spend a few days. Many thanks to John, Carol, Brian, Heather, Rhona and all the staff for an excellent time (and for teh surprise birthday cake!)
It's fantastic to be in the Nsefu sector, and see great game and hardly ever another vehicle. Microlighting another highlight (five lions on one side and two leopards on the other - doesn't get much better than that (not guaranteed of course!)
It is a long journey to arrive at the remote Tafika Camp, but it is well worth the travel. The lodging, the hosts, the guiding, the activities -- all were superb!
We thoroughly enjoyed the family atmosphere at Tafika. Owner/hosts John and Carol and their staff make you feel welcome in every way. When there were enough guests to fill two tables at lunch or dinner, they directed you to a table to be sure that the guests got to meet and mingle with all the others. And having the hosts and the guides join us at meals always led to lively and interesting discussions. We especially enjoyed talking with Lloyd about his experiences in taking the guide licensing exams -- what a process!
The food was delicious and reflected the products of their bountiful garden. And the cakes and puddings were divine! The rooms are large and comfortable, and once you get used to the presence of the little tree frogs, you will find them a delightful surprise at times. Check your bags thoroughly before leaving so that you don't transport one home.
We had never experienced good night drives until we arrived at Tafika. What a great experience they were there! We watched leopards and lions hunting, and twice saw hyenas enjoying the fruits of the labor of the leopards' hunt. We felt like we were in a Nat Geo documentary as we watched and listened to the hyenas fight over the antelope carcass while the poor leopard and her cub dined on nothing but scraps.
We enjoyed having a variety of guides, and gained from their own perspectives and stories. We did our first walking trek with Bryan, and while we saw many things up close that you would miss in a vehicle, we weren't successful in finding many animals. We realized that it is variable -- sometimes you will see animals at close range, and other times you will only find tracks.
A highlight for each of us was the microlight flight with John. What a thrill to glide over the animals just after daybreak. The motion of the aircraft makes it hard to get good photos, but the scenes are etched into our memories.
The rooms were very good, airy, lots of space and attractively decorated. Food and service were very good in camp but not quite up to the levels of RPS camps.
Activities were unusual and excellent and we tried microlighting and biking, both of which we enjoyed enormously. We had some excellent guiding from Bryan and Amon and saw some wonderful game including lots of leopards.
If I could give Tafika 6 stars, I would.
Lovely family atmosphere. Very knowledgeable guides. Good accommodation.
Fantastic learnt so much at all camps all
Hospitality wonderful everyone very pleasant and friendly.food and accommodation above expectations.
Very well organised
Tafika: magic on the Luangwa
Our second camp on the Luangwa River. Beautiful setting under magnificent Sausage trees. The thatched "long houses" with their reed walls and furniture, the bathroom under the trees and stars, made us really feel we were in Africa.
Everyone made us very welcome. Some great meals round the camp fire, the table and under the stars with the other guests together with our hosts and guides who gave us a great insight into life in Zambia (nearly all the vegetables and fruit came from the camps vegetable garden).
Definitely the best night drives we had during all our stay in Africa, guided by Bryan, - porcupine, genet, civet, spotted cat - even a leopard with its prey. The landscape was very varied and we had some amazing drives, wild dogs in the salt pans, lions with a dead buffalo, the surrounding trees full of vultures and even a white griffon. Also a wonderful walking safari guided by Bryan: our sherpa, Brighton, lighting the fire with a stick and elephant dung for our tea! A hide on the river provided great viewing of Carmine bee-eaters. Back in the camp a hide provided close-up contact with animals coming to drink at the water-hole: an amazing experience - we could hear the water running down the elephant's throat.
Another highlight was our visit to the nearby village which is supported by Tafika. Some guests walked to the sister bush camps and really enjoyed them.
We would go back tomorrow.