Memories of Zambia …

Flashback to my last Zambia trip with: Kafunta Safaris News Updates

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Kafunta Safaris

October is only a few days away, it’s really hard to believe the safari season is going by so quickly.

And yet, it is! A quick look around confirms that summer has started here in the Southern Hemisphere! The river is low, the sausage trees are in full bloom, the Carmine bee-eaters are everywhere and the temperature is of course soaring.

We have already been crossing the Luangwa river directly with the vehicles for a few weeks now, although the pontoon hasn’t been completely dismantled yet. But it won’t be long and we wish to thank all the hard working team at the pontoon for their serious efforts over the past months.

What’s been going on at the lodge?


A lot, as September has been our busiest month so far this year, with occupancy average reaching 75%.

Our bakery team is doing extremely well, and was rewarded with official certificates from the National Milling Corporation.

Our garden team (Charles) is also very busy with tomatoes now ready for harvest! The garden is at a trial’s stage at the moment, and is far from meeting our needs but it is very encouraging and we hope to double or triple its size for next season.

Elephants everywhere!


This is the time of year when elephants particularly love the grounds at Kafunta. The Fig Tree and the Wild Mango Tree are both huge attractions, as well as the lagoon in front of the lodge.

But anything is good for a distraction as you can see on the picture to the left, and below.

Anke and Ron’s house is undergoing some re-thatching (roof) and we have grass and bamboo sticks lying around ready for the thatchers. This didn’t go unnoticed by these 3 elephants, and adults and baby alike loved playing with the bamboo sticks!

Luckily, Lisa was still at the house that morning, actually the ellies blocked her way, so she brought us back some cute pictures.

Not always easy to make our way to work, or home, or even in between rooms. But the elephants in camp offer great entertainment to both guests and staff!

Ellies between the guest chalets and the spa, enjoying the fig tree.
And ellies at the lagoon too!
And even ellies at breakfast! This particular one made it all the way to the bar!
Even on Africa Geographic!


At this time of the year, herds of animals join together to be in greater numbers, such as herds of elephants and also buffalos. Hadley & Jomi were on a game drive along with our spotter Lemis when they witnessed this beautiful scene of "rush hour" at the river.

Hundreds of buffalos had gathered along the banks of the Luangwa, before retrieving and making place for a large group of elephants.

You can read the full blog featured on Africa Geographic here. Jomi, Hadley and Lemis got great pictures of the sighting.

Guiding, spotting and photographing


You may have noticed that more of our pictures have the name of one of our guides or spotters. We have been passing around a camera for them to hone their photographic skills and learn the few tricks of the trade.

Lemis and Ephraim are particularly keen to take the camera along on their drive, and this brings me great content as well.

So it is for us all to enjoy through these pictures.

Carmines by Ephraim
Leopards by Lemis
Ginger, the male lion, by Ephraim
Be Our Guest – Per Stoen


This month I have interviewed our friend from Norway, Per Stoen. Per has been coming for years, and this is part of his story.

Kafunta: When did you take your first trip to Africa, and to South Luangwa?

Per: I was working in Zambia in the mid-seventies (Zambia World Education Project) and then again in the mid-nineties (Luangwa Integrated Ressources Development Project) in Mfuwe and that is when I met Ron and Anke Cowan, when they were at Wildlife Camp.

Kafunta: How many times have you been to Kafunta now?

Per: My first visit was when Ron & Anke were managing Wildlife Camp, and now this is my 24th visit to Kafunta!

Kafunta: Which other African countries have you visited?

Per: Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Congo-Zaire, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia (Addis), Egypt (Cairo). At the moment I don’t have plans to visit other countries.


Kafunta: You are bringing us small groups several times a year, how do you promote your trips?

Per: Simply by word of mouth, friends of friends. Mostly Norwegians.

Kafunta: What is your favorite animal in South Luangwa?

Per: By far the leopard! Too good looking!


Kafunta: Is there a bird or a mammal missing on your checklist?

Per: The rhino. It so belongs to the valley.

Kafunta: What would be your advise to a guest coming on safari for the first time?

Per: Be interested in seeing any animal, and be prepared that some days can be quiet, but at the end of the week, you will have seen a lot!

Per’s 26th visit to Luangwa is coming up soon (on Oct 2nd), it wil be his third trip this year! Thank you Per for your long term support of our camps, and for your involvment with our local community.

What else is happening in the Valley?



Karen and Dave, Project Luangwa’s managers, are not only taking care of finding sponsors to allow hundreds of kids to attend school, or moving mountains to secure fundings for school buildings and equipment, they have now also launched, since 2015, the Woman’s Craftshop located right in the center of Mfuwe, before the road turns off towards Kafunta.

This new project came along when Karen started a re-usable sanitary pad production, a true hit in the valley, and it has greatly developped since.


Karen now has 10 ladies working at the workshop, 4 are full time on pad production while the others are creating a variety of crafts which are available for sale to our international visitors.

This original pad project has several benefits:

– With the distribution and use of reusable sanitary pads, girls can go to school throughout the month and the impact has been acknowledged outside Mfuwe walls, with national and now even international interest. As for adult women, these pads are a more affordable option, helping them to live a better more hygienic life.

– The pad project gives Project Luangwa access to unrestricted funding, as long as we have the fabric and the ladies to produce them.

– Visitors to the shop can buy pads and add them to the “donation” pile – and Project Luangwa distributes them to the schools. And larger donations help source the textile needed for fabrication.

Project Luangwa is aiming to provide every girl attending school in ‘our area’ (over 20 schools) with Project Luangwa pads by the end of this year.


A visit to the craftshop is REALLY worth your time.

Not only can we meet and talk with the ladies at work, but one can find numerous gift ideas such as a wide array of hand bags (difficult to choose from!), handmade paper cards and posters – some with lovely African scenes, and also wooden bowls, chitenje and branded items supporting Project Luangwa.

The workshop also features jewellery from various local artists, including Mulberry Mongoose (see below) and of course the sanitary pads themselves!

We would be more than happy to stop to the workshop on the way to the airport or as part of your game drive. Simply ask your guide when you are at Kafunta.

Read more about Project Luangwa here and in which various ways you can help.



Kate Wilson is a popular figure in Mfuwe, and apart from raising a gorgeous family with husband Dave, Kate also founded a few years ago a jewellery workshop called Mulberry Mongoose.

From the workshop, located on a well-trodden elephant path in the Zambian bush not far from Kafunta, local craftswomen make all the jewellery by hand using natural materials from the South Luangwa valley.

In an area where unemployment is high, Mulberry Mongoose plays an active role in supporting families and preserving the unique South Luangwa that inspires their work.


With each piece sold a donation to anti-poaching patrols is made to help remove the snare wire traps that kill and injure many of the area’s iconic wildlife.

Since they started in 2013, Mulberry Mongoose has raised $56,000 for Conservation South Luangwa and the Zambian Carnivore Programme who conduct the essential anti snare work.

Key politicians, businessmen and celebrities have worn the Mulberry Mongoose snare bracelet and necklace including Bill and Hilary Clinton, Leo Di Caprio, Richard Branson, Sting and Whoopi Goldberg.

The workshop now employs 5 ladies to make the jewellery, and buys its material from 5 local suppliers. A visit to Mulberry Mongoose’s workshop should be on your list of things to do during your down time at Kafunta, it’s only a 10 minute drive from the lodge.

Learn more about Mulberry Mongoose here.



I’m sure most of you are already familliar with our iconic Tribal Textiles batik workshop located near Mfuwe airport.

Actually Tribal Textiles is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year!

Twenty five years ago, Tribal Textiles (learn more here) began under a baobab tree in the Luangwa Valley. Today they employ over 100 people and sell their beautiful textiles all over the world.


Each piece is drawn and painted by local men and women in a rich palette of hand-mixed colours, inspired by the stunning wildlife and surroundings of South Luangwa.

You can add a visit to the factory on your way to the airport. Learn more about the fabrication process with a complimentary tour showing the various stages of production, and see the extensive line of products while savouring a sweet refreshment. For younger children, or artsy folks, Tribal Textiles also offers an activity called "art safari" where one can draw and go home with his or her own special piece of art.


To celebrate its 25th birthday, Tribal Textiles is giving you the chance to buy a little piece of Africa for your home with a special anniversary promotion.

Click on the picture below and shop online using the code KAFUNTA25 and you will receive 25% off on all orders above USD $50 (HURRY this offer is valid until October 15th 2016).

With all the above shopping options available near Kafunta, all of them having a positive impact on our local community, I advise you to keep some free space in your luggage! Or even better, bring some school or sport supplies you can leave behind, and replace it by your new purchases!
In the spotlight – Julie & Kurt Goldsby


That’s it for me and this September newsletter. I will leave you to enjoy these photographs taken by Julie & Kurt Goldsby who visited us earlier in July.

All you have to do is sit back and scroll down, preferrably while sipping a Gin & Tonic, but it may not be the right time of the day for you. In any case, enjoy a bit of our paradise through these photos and I’ll be back next month for more!



Kafunta Safaris

Votes are closed for the 2017 Safari Awards

We look forward to the results

Thank you for your support!

Kafunta Safaris, Box 83, Mfuwe, Zambia

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