Reviews of Tafika
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
The Tafika experience is hard to beat..do it!
It is hard to be objective about the Tafika experince since everything was just so perfect. We were lucky/clever in going in October at the end of the dry season when all the game was close to the river. We thought that the staff might be a bit burnt out after months of clients but we could not have been more welcome if we had been the first clients of the year.
The guides and all the other staff were so attentive it was almost embarrassing. How the guides could explain the role of the sausage tree to us and make it fresh and exciting having done it a hundred times already was remarkable. While we expected the guides to specialise in a subject we were delighted that they all seemed to know the flora and forna in depth.
The food was amazing, so good, the rooms clean, fresh and inviting and the setting of Tafika just perfect. One reason that we had such a perfect holiday, saw so much game, had such interesting walking safaris is that Tafika has limited numbers, we think 12 clients at a time. We wanted a holiday Safari experience of a life time and we got it. Tafika is a premium experience but we would definitely say one gets excellent value.
The only problem we had during our stay was finding a plug to charge the camera!
We took a flight into Tafika instead of coming by road..........an excellent move and we suggest it to everyone.
In retrospect the game was a little too available [unafraid]........but I can not really believe that I am complaining!
A great pleasure to return to Tafika where one is made to feel very much at home by the personal attention of John and Carol Coppinger and you are made to feel part of their bush home and life.
A slight downside is that the game drives tend to always go into the same direction as this is defined by their location at the top end of the viewing territory. On this trip, as we had not previously visited Nsefu or Tena Tena, we combined all three and this combined grouping did not produce enough variety of scenery or environment to be fully successful. (For example, by the end of our fourth day, which means 8 separate game drives, we had been to see the same group of mating lions eight times!).
I would not attempt to classify the rooms in terms of luxury accommodation as they are rustic and localised style but nonetheless are clean and comfortable for where we are.
Tafika has everything. All of the staff at this lodge were great - helpful and friendly at all times. Very good leopard sightings, and excellent lion and serval sightings, as well as all other expected wildlife. Great birdlife as well. Guides were very knowledgeable and respectful for the welfare of the wildlife. An early morning ride in the microlight was a very unique treat and a highlight as well.
Meals were excellent.
I would love to visit this lodge again.
great base camp
John & Carol run a truly professional and very friendly set of camps. Tafica is ideal to start with as you can get all the photos from close up to animals from the vehicules. Later in the bushcamp they are further away and not so easy - but different - to photograph. We felt folk who started in the bush camps took far too long with impossible photo attempts as they did not go to a base camp like Tafica first.
The staff are all excellent and unlike at Kaingo we got introduced to each and could readily chat with them. The microlight flight is a must and John was wonderful to let me fly it - for those with windsurfing experience it is much the same.
The only very slight -ve is that the evening/night drive at 4 hours is a bit long as not much happens from 1600 to 1700 before the sundowner. 3 would be fine.
The lodges and food were excellent, and the menus transferred to the bushcamps work really well.
The guides are all excellent and knowledgable. We much liked the rule that vehicules should not radio to each other so that animals were not tracked by more than 1 vehicule. cf. At Kaingo there were radio contacts all the time and once 5 trucks tracking 1 leopard and cub. We found this upsetting, noisy and totally out of keeping.
Although it was nice to see another safari operator we felt that Coppinger Safaris have it perfectly for base and bush camp combinations. The flights and handovers to Kaingo were organised well .
It is nice being so far North and away from other camps. I would guess Mfuwe camps would be all over each other in the Park, whereas we saw no one else. Now to see if June/July 2009 is possible visit in the "greener" season.
Tafika and environs
Lovely location overlooking the Luangwa River, excellent food and guides. In particular Rory (top birder) and Bryan added considerably to our growing understanding and appreciation of the animals and avifauna from their in depth knowledge.
Night drives exceptional, several leopard seen including one with a cub, serval, porcupine, and loads of civets and genets. Other guests saw honey badger aswell whilst we were there. My impression is the Nsefu sector has fantastic game day and night. John and Carol Coppinger were most hospitable and my complimentary microlight flight for adjusting our booking was very enjoyable. John might wish to know that my film proves conclusively the vulture nest is a that of a Lappet.
An administrative error - mix up caused a slight downer and some inconvemnience at the end of our stay but these things are usually one-offs and can happen anywhere from time to time. I have already recommended Tafika to friends and colleagues my comment of sans pareil (in my African experience to date) jotted in the guestbook is a fair reflection.
Another very enjoyable stay with the Coppingers in all three camps.
The food was reasonable and the staff and guiding was outstanding.
Luxury and birds' eye views in South Luangwa
We were given the best lodge - with 2 showers and an enormous bed. The food was superb and the guides excellent. The microlite flight was most interesting and unique to Tafika. The only downside for us was that the lamplight safaris went on too long and there was little to see.
The visit to the local village and school was much appreciated. It would be good to have other optional activities for people staying more than a couple of nights - we stayed for four.
Please see previous comments.Read more about the whole safari
What can we say except this ws paradise
From the minute we arrived until the minute we left we felt like part of a big family -everyone so caring/thoughtful! Food, service, rooms, safaris all outstanding.
The safaris were wonderful and again our requests to see specific animals were always honoured. Still have scars from tsetse flies but realised we should have realised we would be good targets and used stronger insecticide??
Everybody here seemed so happy and that rubbed off. The Coppingers are a most welcoming couple and the microlite flight was magical - John's a star!!!
lions, lions, lions....
We had an unbelievable experience at Tafika. Staff/guides were highly professional, knowledgeable, and friendly. We saw a huge variety of wildlife - lions, elephants, hippos, leopards, hyena, ..... the list goes on. The 'camps' were comfortable, with great service and excellent food. Visit to the local village was informative. My wife also tried the microlighting and would recommend it highly!Read more about the whole safari