Reviews of Tafika
Wildlife sightings and reviews
301 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Tafika and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
The chalets with their delightful open roofed bathrooms are a creation in local materials built by local craftsmen. They are very spacious and located in a parklike area on the banks of the beautiful Luangwa River among large shade trees. The hippo keep the grass short. The food is especially planned by a nutritionist in camp, cooked by trained chefs and benefits from fresh produce grown in the extensive camp gardens. The end result cannot be faulted.
The days are long (from 5.15am to 8pm with a siesta after lunch) but so interesting that they fly by. There are game highlights such as the stork colony and a hippo and crocodile invested river. There is also the local village to visit and I can heartily recommend this experience as great fun.
My first introduction to Tafika was the river crossing to the camp in a mokoro (canoe) past hippo and crocs. A very African experience and from there it only got better. One of the best safari experiences I have had and I have travelled around quite a bit of Southern Africa staying at lodges and camps. I would definitely go back to Tafika again and I understand many guests do just that." See all these reviews: 14n in Zambia
The camp itself is managed at a very high standard, but kept deliberately simple to allow an authentic bush experience. The camp still offers all amenities needed (at least for those that get along without air-conditioning or a pool). The camp is entirely unfenced. During our stay elephants stopped by for a visit, and we heard lions roaring at night. The cuisine is top-notch both in respect of food quality and diversity paying great attention to dietary requests.
Despite slightly fewer sightings this time in June (compared to our last stay in October), we still had excellent game drives with our guide Bryan during our 4 nights stay. A great plus of the camp is its remote location in the northern sector of the park that guarantees an exclusive and far more rewarding safari experience than the typical walkie talkie style safari in the busy central sector of the park.
We also strongly recommend the village visit that is offered by the camp. The nearby airstrip and the camps own airplane is a further advantage making logistics easy." See all these reviews: 13n in Zambia
The family running it are the owners and founders, passionate about wildlife, Zambia, and the environment. Wonderful discussions. Food was excellent. Guiding was superb, except Makupa, who needs to be told to tone it down a bit. He's remarkably capable but way too "in your face".
Lloyd, however, was one of the best guides we've ever had--over the span of many safaris. Lots of encounters with a pack of 14 wild dogs, including a kill right in front of us--which was a bit sobering. a number of excellent leopard sightings, including a mother with her semi-grown cub.
Staff was entirely solicitous to our every need, and those cold towels at the end of the drive were divine!" See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia; 10n in Zimbabwe
I noticed some changes in the camp which improved comfort without adversely affecting the "bush" feel. The lighting in the rooms is improved, the doors now swing on hinges, and there is some useful hanging shelving. I also noticed a big improvement in their wine offerings. The food, as ever, is superb and they do the best lunches I've had on safari.
Game viewing was a little less productive than previous visits, perhaps due to some early rain, and I was sad to miss the wild dogs who were around in Sept and I think returned to the area after my visit (of course!). However, I did have one very exciting night drive of lions vs puku vs hyenas vs crocs vs hippos. Guiding from Lloyd was great.
The wifi is unusable, which is not something that would normally concern me as I prefer to disconnect on safari. Unfortunately travel in the time of Covid now necessitates a lot of tedious online form filling for international travel, and I was glad of the few hours I had with internet access in Lusaka (there is no wifi at Lusaka airport) in order to complete the required forms. If the current circumstances persist, I wouldn't want to be in the position of departing direct to an international flight from Tafika, with passenger locator forms and such to be filled out online. I think this is an issue a lot of camps will need to address.
But overall, another wonderful stay and I look forward to returning next year." See all these reviews: 12n in Zambia; 10n in Kenya
"Sad to be reaching the end"
As I had not spotted yet any lion, nor leopard nor hyena, I decided to do my first game drive, at night though. It was a nice experience, but was nonetheless a confirmation for me that walking is so much richer and emotional as an experience compared to driving.
Anyway, I saw my first (and only) leopard and hyena on that drive." See all these reviews: 9n in Zambia
"A lovely welcome"
Two guides welcomed me at the airport and we drove from Mfuwe to the camp. We immediately had a very good contact, were joking together. When arriving at the camp, Jen and Nick welcomed me and brought me to my bungalow. I settled in for 15 minutes and went to the bar for a beer.
Jen called me to show me a 2m50 python right behind my bungalow, saying how lucky I was and they could only rarely be seen (I'm not sure lucky is how I would describe my feeling on the spot). Good beers and a lovely dinner.
Also in the morning all was perfect : hot shower, good breakfast, great view over the river with the hippos and then the transfer on the small Cessna plane to Takwela." See all these reviews: 9n in Zambia
"Just Loved Tafika"
We enjoyed the warm hospitality of Carol and John and Nick and Jen. The entire staff was extremely welcoming. Being avid gardener's ourselves we appreciated the food coming from the extensive organic garden on the property. Who knew that you could grow such an abundance with elephants around? And being admittedly "foodies" we savored every dish prepared by the talented chef. Vegetarian and nonvegetarian choice at every meal was especially nice. Never imagined fresh salad being served in the remote bush of Zambia. Dinners were taken at at a beautifully set table under the moon with a charcoal under table heater! Talk about cozy...
Our guide Macupa was eagle eyed with lots of detailed information and stories about whatever we came across. Even on the night safaris I don't think he missed a single set of eyes. We got to see a leopard make an impala kill only to lose it immediately to the voracious hyena. The heronry was so interesting that we visited it on 2 morning drives. There is a great variety of terrain in the area including the salt pans complete with Hot Springs. Beautiful trees too
We would highly recommend Remote Safaris. It would be fabulous to come back and stay at their walking camps and in North Luanga as well. Just as the previous camp Kaingo, it was a privilege to stay at an owner run lodge." See all these reviews: 16n in Zambia
"Great hospitality in a remote, rustic setting"
While not a "foodie", I must mention that meals at this camp are exceptional. The hosts have an organic garden. Food is plentiful, diverse and incorporate a variety of cultural influences.
During my stay, I was able to spend a few hours at the nearby village. I toured the school, listened to the church choir and even got to meet some locale dignitaries. Everyone was extremely warm and welcoming. Thanks to all for your efforts to make my stay a memorable one." See all these reviews: 9n in Zambia
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