Reviews of Tafika
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
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!
It was our second time in Tafika. If possible it was even better of last time.
We have done great walks with multiple lion sightseeing each time we were walking. The staff is gorgeous and we really felt at home. Nice we will be back hopefully in the near future.
A great owner-run camp
We spent a very enjoyable four nights at Tafika. The rooms are very comfortable (but we did get upgraded to the honeymoon suite).
John & Carol Coppinger are very good hosts and the camp seems to be very efficiently run by a good team. All our games drives were interesting and the guides very good (we had different ones most days), although we did go over the same ground once or twice.
A quiet area - we didn’t come across other vehicles on our drives – and we approved of the policy of not using radios, the guides having to find their own things to see and make their own luck. We did two walks that we enjoyed. Food was very good but dining possibly a little formal for us.
Another great experience. wonderful game viewing and excellent guiding. Superb location on the banks of the river but this did mean the noise of hippos at night made sleeping difficult at times. Also the elephants who came and ate the tree outside our hut did cause us a little concern.
The furniture made from local materials was interesting and ingenious.
The game viewing was superb, particularly the birds which we were particularly interested in. All the guides were so knowledgeable particularly Bryan who seemed to know everything and was able to explain things so well. The walk with John was also especially interesting. Although we have rated the food as only good, it was really better than that but was eclipsed by our next camp.
Altogether a great camp which can be thoroughly recommended.
It was great to come back to Tafika for a couple of nights to gradually re-intergrate ourselves to civilisation after 4 nights in North Luwanga. Going straight home would have been a big shock to the system!
Our second stay matched our first and our final morning game drive afforded views of every animal you could expect to see!
Once again, we felt very much part of an extended family at Tafika.
Home from home! Real family atmosphere created by John & Carol greeting and hosting guests at meal times. Also by the staff having been there for many years. Very well managed camp, wonderful food (much of it from their own amazing garden), great location
We particularly enjoyed the format of the daily activities which allowed for extended night drives. As a result, the night-spotting was the best we've ever enjoyed in many years of wildlife travel. The guides and spotters also demonstrated a deep respect for the wildlife as well as expert knowledge of animal behaviour in the locality. And by the way, the sightings were amazing including leopard every day and elephants crunching seed-pods outside our hut.
We've stayed at some fantastic camps all over the world but never left any feeling we must return soon as much as on leaving Tafika.
Great Location & Atmosphere
Tafika was a great location on the bend of the river, with great views.
There were always the options of Game Drives Day & Night, Walking & even Mountain Biking. The Mountain Biking with John was a great unique experience, we even were picked up in the middle of the park after 2 hrs & then continued on a night drive.
The atmosphere of the camp is very friendly & relaxed, & dinner times are good social affair. The Tafika team were also very good to us, as we arrived with the problem of lost luggage, they lent us some clothes, toiletries, etc, so we were still able to participate in all the Safaris. They also ensured our luggage was picked up 2 days later when it finally emerged.
The location and layout of the camp and the rooms was fantastic at Tafika. The fact that the rooms were spacious and somewhat "open to the elements" made the experience of being in an open camp really exciting - it was great lying in bed listening to the wild animals just outside!
The guides were again highly knowledgeable and very friendly. The game drives were fantastic in terms of the game seen - everything we could have wished for.
The only problem were the vehicles, which are old and a lot less comfortable that those at Kaingo. I found them very uncomfortable: the seating caused me back pain because of the placing of the seatback. I managed to improve the situation by using several folded blankets to raise me up. This is why I gave Facilitiies an "average" score - not sure whether vehicles are counted as facilities.
Welcome Return to Tafika
This was our third visit to Tafika since 2005 and this time was just as rewarding as the previous occasions. Our room was beautifully prepared and hot water was available 24 hours a day. Laundry, cleaning and all general maintenance was carried out very efficiently and without fuss.
Food was amazing, with fresh fruit and vegetables coming direct from their wonderful garden - protected from elephants by an electric fence. Meals were planned and overseen by Rhona who coped unbelievably well with the many and various dietary requirements of the guests and was always on hand to make sure that no-one was given anything unsuitable. We were well looked-after by Heather and the team, especially when one of us became unwell and required re-hydration drinks.
Game drives and walks were rewarding with many elephants, large herds of buffalo, two honey badgers and good leopard sightings - plus extraordinary numbers of elephant shrews! Guiding was generally of a very high standard although with a number of different guides over the five days we found we were often being given the same information and were taken on the same routes. If it had been possible to have the same guide each time, this may have been avoided; we appreciate this is not easy to organise when the camp is busy. One or two of the more newly-qualified guides were a bit intense and may benefit from going out with an experienced and more relaxed guide like Isaac, but it is excellent to see that Tafika is sponsoring new talent in guiding. Crossing the river was always a worthwhile experience!
The roofless Land-Cruisers are the best way to see wildlife and are well set-up with places to put binoculars and bird books.
Tafika remains one of the best camps in Africa, superbly run by John and Carol, and we hope to return one day.
Many thanks to all concerned and our very best wishes to the team - including Brighton, whom we failed to meet on this occasion.