Reviews of Tafika
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
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.
Leopard every day at Tafika
Tafika lived up to expectations once again - a lovely camp with excellent hospitality and great guides. Some of the little gems of information given to us by the guides were really interesting. Once again, we saw leopards many times and it made the trip.
Although not as luxurious as other camps due to its remote position, it nonetheless provides all you need and you are made to feel very comfortable. Once again, too much food! However, at least they serve you so you can have as little or as much as you like.
Flying over the park and river
We greatly enjoyed our stay at Tafika, the highlight was the flight in the microlight which gave a wonderful view of the camp and Park.
The staff were knowledgeable and fun with excellent food and sundowners.
This camp had more people staying so we were on 2 seperate tables for meals which meant you could get stuck and not so easily meet everyone. Breakfasts by the river went some way to remedy this though
Of the animals we saw, the Crowned Cranes flying in large numbers were stunning, we spent a good half hour watching and taking pictures, lovely to just be
Then the next day we saw wild dogs just as the sun was setting. They had very recently killed and eaten so were larking around and playing with each other, again we just sat and watched, lovely.
My only mild critisism would be that because you had a variety of guides you tended to get simillar stories and occasionally repeated information which was a bit of a shame. Also the walking from the camp tended to be in roughly the same area and we didn't see much game. I believe if we had been walking between camps we would have seen more.
Tafika is a very nice camp with very good guides. John, Carol and Hesther were excellent hosts. The micro-light flight with John was a highlight as well as the walking safari with Brian and the view of a leopard with a young and a group of lions who had killed a hippo. The kitchen staff, managed by Rona, did an excellent job preparing delicious dishes and making special dishes for diabetics. The salads came from the fenced vegetable garden at the camp.Read more about the whole safari