Kafunta News from Zambia

News from Kafunta Safaris in Zambia

Kafunta Safaris

November was another extremely busy month for Kafunta River Lodge, as we were fully booked for 2 weeks straight with guests who were not put off by the heat or by the risk of rain, and who were rewarded with great sightings – again!

And some of them right in front of Kafunta too, as you will read below!

But now we are heading in our low season, the lodge will be quiet for a while, except of course at Christmas and New Year, after which we will be closing to let the rains pass. Island Bush Camp is of course all packed up and the staff is on leave for a well deserved rest.

November is also the time of year when the Safari Awards are announced, and thanks to your many votes we have again reached the finalist position in many categories and won the Runner Up (2nd place) for Best Value Property in Zambia! Congratulations to our friends at Flatdogs Camp for being elected first, not only in Zambia but in the whole of Africa! Click on the Safari Awards logo to access the Safari Awards 2017 results.

Only a little rain so far


At the very end of October we had our first sign that the rains were to come. I personnally had already left the Valley, and escaped the heat, with a trip to the UK, but Anke and Hadley were at the lodge to capture some beautiful images of the first storm.

It hasn’t rained much since, other than a few showers. We are still waiting for the proper rains to start.

But the vegetation around us only needed that head start to turn green. Although the ground is still very dry, the trees are now all turning green which is a welcome change of scenery.

Three Rivers Camp – first photos


Yes they are here!!

Finally the highly awaited first photos of Three Rivers Camp have arrived! Anke did a stunning job of getting one of the 5 tents ready for a impromptu photoshoot, pushing Ron, Levy and the construction guys out of the way for the occasion!

And the result is superb! There is still quite a bit to be done before the camp opens on May 25th, next year, but now you can have a better idea of what our new tented camp will be like!

Want to have an even better look? Don’t wait and make your reservation as we are already filling up fast!

Enjoy the few pictures below and then click here to access Three Rivers’ page or photo gallery on our website.

*** Spectacular Camp Site ***
The camp is located about 2 hours south of Kafunta River Lodge, just 7 km north of Island Bush Camp, at the confluence of the Luangwa, Luzangazi and Kapamba rivers. And is tucked under sausage trees, between the banks of the Luangwa and a wildlife-rich lagoon.
*** Sumptuous Tents ***


The camp has 5 sophisticated tents either by the river or by the lagoon with a viewing deck, as well as an elevated platform for sleep outs (see below).

The tents have an en-suite bathroom with indoor and outdoor showers.

The soft tones of the fabrics and the natural material used for the furniture and decoration give an overall earthy feel to the rooms.

*** Indoor & Outdoor Beds! ***
Each tent has its own elevated deck where you can relax at siesta time and watch the animals walk by. And at night time, you can do a bit of star gazing and choose to sleep right there, under the mosquito net, and if you change your mind – no problem you can retreat back to your suite for the rest of the night!

Stay or Bale – You don’t have to repack or call for some help, you simply walk down the steps back to your suite.

*** Delicious Fare ***
If you’ve been to Kafunta and Island, you know that we enjoy our food! And so will we at Three Rivers Camp, offering fine dining with a view.
*** Drives or walks – your pick ***


At Three Rivers Camp you will have a choice of going on a game drive or exploring the area on foot with thrilling bush walks.

The distance between Three Rivers Camp and Island Bush Camp is only 7km, so if you stay at both, you can choose to walk from one camp to the next.

Three Rivers Camp will be seasonal, just like Island Bush Camp, and opening from May 25th through to October 31st.

Email me should you want further information.

Meanwhile at Kafunta…


I mentioned earlier that our November guests continued to have superb wildlife sightings on their game drives, but it wasn’t just on drives!

Plenty of things happened right at the doorstep of the lodge too.

This elephant for example. We always have regular families of elephants visiting Kafunta when the fig and wild mango season starts, but this particular male was a newcomer this November. The guides and staff seem to think that he may be blind because he kept bumping into trees and walls…

And look at that herd crossing the plains, that was probably the largest herd we have seen here.

On another occasion, we had a pack of 6 wild dogs, part of the Manchesa pack, come and kill an antelope just past the lodge.

This is what Dr Matt Becker, CEO and Programme Manager of the Zambian Carnivore Program, recently said about the wild dog situation in South Luangwa:

"Dog numbers the last three years are the highest recorded, owing in large part to radio-collars enabling frequent relocation and monitoring of dog packs and dispersing groups, and de-snaring by ZCP, CSL and DNPW. Such collaborative work has kept this endangered species on the landscape and thriving, and made Luangwa a premiere destination for wild dog viewing."

We are of course thrilled with what Matt had to say about the painted dog population, this is great news for all of us in Luangwa!

Have a look at Matt’s beautiful picture of another pack, the large Manzi pack (up to 26 dogs), hunting near the river.

But then the cherry on the cake this November was certainly this never-seen-at-Kafunta-before sighting of 2 roan antelopes walking from the river to the plains across from the lodge.

None of the guides or staff members present that afternoon could believe their eyes with what they were seeing! Luckily one of our guests had the good reflex to take at least one picture before the roans walked away!

Of course Roan antelopes can sometimes be seen in South Luangwa, especially when going to Island Bush Camp, but this was the first time that some came right in front of the lodge in the Mfuwe area. Event the puku seem astonished by what they are seeing!
Be Our Guest – Ken & Irene Sanderson


Thinking back at our 2016 season, Anke and I were thinking of all the guests we’ve had, and we smiled at the memories of Ken & Irene‘s visit back in July. They are wonderful people and some of our sweetest guests and we agreed to feature them in our newsletter. And of course they are Anke & Ron‘s neighbours in Australia! So it was easy for Anke to walk next door and ask Ken & Irene a few questions about their trip to Africa.

Anke: Was this your first trip to Africa?

Ken & Irene: Yes it sure was our first visit to the African continent

Anke: So what triggered the wish to come to Africa?

Ken: My Grandfather worked in Africa in the 1920s during the depression and later on in life he moved back to South Africa when his wife died. I remember him telling me stories about Africa, its people and the animals. Africa was always on my Bucket List as was going on Safari. Also we have you as neighbours and you’ve been trying for years to get us to visit Africa and go on safari at Kafunta!


Anke: Which places did you visit?

Ken & Irene: In South Africa we went to Rourke’s Drift and Isandlwana which were the Zulu/British battlefields occurred in 1879. Cape Town and the surrounding areas including Stellenbosch wineries, the Southern Cape (Cape of Good Hope), Kirstenbosh and Table Mountain. In Zambia we went to the Victoria Falls and then on safari at Kafunta and Island, in South Luangwa.

Anke: What was the highlight of the trip?

Ken & Irene: Without doubt going on safari and seeing all the wild animals in their native habitat. Another highlight of the Safari was going on a walking safari at the Bush Camp. Being so close to wild animals was an experience that will stay with us both for ever.
Having said that I have to mention the knowledge of our local guides, the service we received from all members of staff and the great food that we were provided with at all times.


Anke: What was your greatest wildlife sighting?

Ken: I loved seeing the Elephants in their setting. I never grew tired of seeing them daily and how powerful, proud and yet majestic they appeared. My wife also loved seeing the giraffes, specially when they were in large groups.

Anke: Was there anything that made you nervous in the African bush?

Ken: For me no as I always felt safe with our local guide and ranger, but Irene however was anxious walking through the African bush particularly when we were quite close to three elephants when we were walking along a dry river bed.


Anke: Do you think you will travel again in Southern Africa after this? If so, where?

Ken & Irene: As soon as we have enough money saved up we will definitely return and on our return we will include going back to Kafunta.

Anke: Anything else you would like to add?

Ken & Irene: Our overall impression of Africa and going on Safari was something that we will remember forever and without doubt our best holiday experience that we have ever had. The people, the country, hospitality, scenery and wildlife were outstanding.

Thank you Klaus!


I have again reached the end of the newsletter with a lot more I would have liked to share, especially more beautiful pictures shared by out 2016 guests. Luckily there are more months to come, with more newsletters!

I’ll therefore end here with this picture of our staff at Island Bush Camp. It was taken in July. In August, Klaus – known to you all who have been at Island these past 3 years – was obliged to return home to Germany for medical reasons. Klaus is now well again, and we wanted to thank him for his loyalty and dedication to Kafunta Safaris, and Island Bush Camp in particular! We’ll miss you Klaus, but we hope to see you often leading groups to Luangwa, just like in the old times!

Oh last treat. Click on the picture below and take a tour of Kafunta and Island, through our latest video, inclusive of new footage, put together by Raphaëlle Gasse.

Kafunta Safaris, Box 83, Mfuwe, Zambia