Kafunta Safaris News from Zambia

News from Zambia’s Kafunta Safaris

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Kafunta Safaris
Newsletter May 2017
Dear ATC Readers,


It’s June already!

I could probably find many excuses for the delay in sending you our May newsletter, but let’s just say it’s been an hectic period leading up to the actual opening of our new camp – Three Rivers Camp!

We are overjoyed with the results and proud to show you some of the most recent pictures taken over the past 2 weeks, during final construction work!

A photoshoot took place on 25 May, and it shouldn’t be long before the photos taken by professional photographer Patrick Bentley will be ready and posted to our website and social media.

While we are waiting for those, let’s have a look our own photos.

Three Rivers Camp is now open!
The camp has 5 elegant & spacious tents, each with a connecting platform featuring soon-to-be-famous star beds.

Pictured above is tent Puku.

View from the sleep out platform of tent Puku, looking southward at the Luangwa river. Behind the sausage tree is the second tent – Impala.
Tents Puku and Impala face the Luangwa River, while the three other tents – Zebra, Waterbuck and Kudu, face the lagoon and its teeming wildlife.
Final touches


With the late rains (which lasted well into May), completing camp building was a challenge, but Levy and his team managed the seemingly impossible!

We opened as predicted on May 28th with two tents and of course the bar & dining tent, as well as the beautiful deck equipped with a fire pit. We’re now proceeding with the other tents so all will be ready by mid-June when camp is full.

Well done to our team of local Malama village staff who has been working so hard through the rains to create this stunning camp.

This is the main area, as it was mid-May! Phew…
Ron had total confidence that it will all be finished on time! And he was quite right.
The main deck & fireplace, and below the lounge, with just 10 days to go!
And ta da … ! Welcome to Three Rivers Camp!


We had trucks going down daily with furniture and more fittings, kitchen appliances and the first food supplies.

Sverre, our Camp Manager, moved down with barmen, chefs and housekeepers on May 24. They used their magic wands to transform the site into an exquisite camp.

Former Island Bush Camp manager (and travel agent) Tony McKeith of Busanga Safaris as well as our UK Marketing Reps Tim & Mandy Henshall of Kamili Safaris were our "guinea pigs" willingly trying out the beds and showers, and other facilities. Then our first "real" guest arrived on May 28th, oblivious to the craziness of the past few days!

We are happy and proud with the results! We hope you will enjoy the look of the camp, and hopefully come and try it for yourself!

Inside one of the riverside tents.
The bedroom leads to an en-suite semi-open bathroom.
The spacious bathroom is open sided, with both indoor and outdoor showers. The walkway circles around the tent to lead to the star bed platform.
Ready for a siesta after lunch, the day beds are made up in the evening for a thrilling night under the stars. With a private walkway leading back to the tent, one can safely walk back and forth between the two, even at night.

Sleeping in or out – the choice is yours!

The main lounge has plenty of sitting space, and is decorated with locally made artifacts.
The inviting benches, set under a huge sausage tree, are perfect for afternoon tea or night stories – around the fire pit.

Activities at Three Rivers Camp include bush walks complemented by game drives. It is best combined with an extended stay at Kafunta River Lodge, and for those who like even more simplicity and back-to-nature experience, we suggest to also visit Island Bush Camp, located only a few kilometers further south of Three Rivers (bush walks only).

In the meantime at Kafunta River Lodge…
We thought we wouldn’t see the end of the rains this year! The last significant showers came around May 15th, although some remote areas experienced downpours well into the second part of May.

It’s excellent for the bush and widllife, even if it makes game-viewing a bit more challenging. After much delay, we were able to install the pontoon too and now everything seems back to normal, with the first cold days of winter upon us.

Lions were heard calling nights after nights until this particular morning of May 6th when a small pride treated us with a visit right in front of the lodge.
On May 21st, it was the turn of wild dogs to come and inspect the area!
And then on May 25th, at sunset, we had the surprise visit of a mating pair of lions. I just had my iPhone with me so the above picture only shows the beautiful sunset. A much bigger lense was needed, and luckily both Ludovic and Jessica had their cameras at hands.
The elephant show!


Earlier in the season, our guest Fine Burchard was amongst those who saw this elephant perform a bit of a show on the dirt road outside the lodge, leading to the main park gate.

The elephant found some water in the road ditch, and decided to squeeze in the puddle.

Great sighting, right on the road!

Let’s keep looking at more of Fine’s photos, illustrating the excellent game viewing we are privileged to have here in South Luangwa.
Unusual sighting of sitting giraffes, they look like they were cut in half!
And a nice pack of wild dogs.
Amazing landscapes
Next are beautiful photos of Luangwa landscape, with clear light and spectacular skies typical of the season.
Who’s on our guiding team?
With the additional camp, our guiding team has also grown to include 7 fully qualified guides.

Above, clockwise: Martin, Abel, Andrew and Jabes. They are all licensed for walks as well, so they share their time between Kafunta and the bush camps.

Bottom, clockwise: Ephraim, Chapuma and Williams are driving guides.

Be our guest! John Lemon and the Painted Dog Conservation Inc


John Lemon has a long carreer of zoo keeping in Perth, Australia, and is involved in a large variety of conservation programs, in various parts of Africa.

Chairman of Painted Dog Conservation Inc (Australia) which he founded in 2003, John is also Chairman of the Zambian Carnivore Program and has been visiting South Luangwa for a number of years.

For the second time in three years, he brought a group of donors and conservation enthusiasts at Kafunta River Lodge and followed the daily work of the Zambian Carnivore Programme and Conservation South Luangwa.

We asked John a few questions during his visit in early May.

Can you briefly describe what your organisation is about? Painted Dog Conservation Inc (Australia) is a non-profit organisation established to provide support for projects in Africa that are actively conserving the endangered African wild dog, also known as the painted dog or painted wolf. We support projects in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

What brought you here in the first place? After coming to the valley for many years and also in my capacity as the Chairman of the Zambian Carnivore Programme, I wished to showcase the incredible work undertaken by our supported projects not only to our donors but also to members and friends of our association.

We support not only ZCP but also Conservation South Luangwa and Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust.


Who are the participants travelling with you on this trip? Donors, Association members and Painted Dog lovers.

What is your focus when you bring the group to Luangwa? During our tours we focus on the work of our supported projects and give participants a first-hand experience of the amazing work that they undertake at the coal face of conservation. After South Luangwa and Livingstone, we are heading to Zimbabwe.

You work closely with local organisations here in South Luangwa. How do you help them? We fund an anti-poaching team through CSL and have assisted in funding the flying time for the ZCP/CSL plane
For ZCP we support field work, vehicles, vehicles spares, research and field equipment, education scholarships, buildings and infrastructure and all other aspects of the project
With Chipembele we support the rural community conservation education program and have assisted in funding the construction of a classroom


How did you discover Kafunta River Lodge? Ron and Anke Cowan, Directors and Owners of Kafunta, are also residents of Perth. After they attended one of our fundraising nights our mutual love of Africa and the valley lead to an ongoing friendship.

What was the best sighting or experience this trip? Painted Dogs in Nsefu sector!

Pictured from left: Dr Matthew Becker CEO and Programme Director of the Zambian Carnivore Program, and John Lemon.

Check out Painted Dog Conservation‘s work here and follow them on Facebook and Instragram.

John and his 14 participants – donors, conservationists, wild dog enthusiasts.
An extra guest at bush brunch


Once in a while, we like to surprise our guests with a nice bush brunch, in Kafunta’s back lagoon.

Recently, we had the visit of Tim & Mandy Henshall, founders and directors of Kamili Safaris, our UK Marketing Representation company.

While having lunch with Tim, Mandy and Anke, we had an un-invited guest who peaked at our copious table!

Never a dull day in the bush! As Tim’s facial expression clearly shows.

It’s time to send this newsletter off, without further delay – despite the many more pictures I intended to include such as those of long term return guests René Krayss (below).

Don’t worry, they will be part of the next newsletter.


You won’t have long to wait anyway.

And in the meantime you can follow us on Facebook!

Bye for now,


Kafunta Safaris

Kafunta Safaris, Box 83, Mfuwe, Zambia