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Kafunta River Lodge

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Highlights

- Game viewing from lodge
- Pool and natural hot tub
- Private access to South Luangwa
- Kafunta Safaris Portfolio

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Overview

Kafunta River Lodge is a comfortable, good-value property situated near the Luangwa River, just beyond the busy main Mfuwe gate of the South Luangwa National Park, eastern Zambia. The lodge is well positioned for access to some of the more remote areas of this popular National Park, and boasts a wealth of recently refurbished facilities, while retaining a friendly and down-to-earth atmosphere, albeit with a more commercial feel than it’s more remote sister property, Island Bush Camp. There’s a pool, spa, geothermal hot tub, and two hides to enjoy, along with exceptional game viewing and bird watching. Sightings of elephants, lions, and leopards are common on game drives, and endless buffalo, antelope, and hippo can be admired from the lodge's elevated position above the floodplains. Open for a relatively long stretch from mid-May to mid-January, the lodge offers great value for money when compared to other camps in the area, and is only a 45-minute drive from Mfuwe airport.

The simple and stylish open-air main area is built around a wild mango tree and houses a lounge and dining space. However, in good weather, evening meals are served communally under the stars on the substantial decking area which overlooks the vast plains and a floodlit waterhole. The camp’s two separate hides allow guests the privilege of ‘up-close’ wildlife viewing, and there’s a fire pit in the centre of a circular, cushioned seating area. Next to the bar is a unique, natural hot tub fed by underground geothermal sources and an infinity pool, spa, and small gym hut are also available. WiFi is accessible throughout.

The accommodation comprises eight standard chalets raised on wooden platforms beneath thatched roofs. Refurbished in 2014, each chalet includes African-inspired décor, twin beds, an en-suite bathroom with hot and cold running water, and a private veranda with views across the floodplains. Beds are covered with walk-in mosquito nets, and ceiling fans go some way to alleviate the intense heat of October and November. A mini-bar, safe, and in-room tea and coffee facilities are also available. In addition, there are two more spacious luxury suites, each featuring double or twin beds and an en-suite bathroom with both shower and stand-alone bath. Both suites boast exclusive viewing decks overlooking the surrounding landscape and its resident wildlife, with the option to sleep out beneath the stars.

Morning activities include game drives into South Luangwa via a river crossing from the lodge's own pontoon, providing access to more remote areas of the park during peak season, and the main gate to the game-rich Mfuwe sector is only a short drive away. Game drives are also offered in the evenings, and while walking safaris are available, these feature more heavily at Kafunta’s more remote sister property, Island Bush Camp. Note that safari activities are shared, and a visit during the rainy season of November to January will limit some wildlife viewing.

Children of 6 years and over are welcome at Kafunta, with the babysitting service and pool making it a considerably more inviting option for families than Island Bush Camp. Note that wildlife is free to roam, and although it is rare for animals to approach humans, parental supervision is essential at all times.

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What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 502 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • It was FANTASTIC! Beautifully organised, everything worked like clockwork. We agreed that we had the best support team ever (and we have experience) - all delightful, very professional and nothing was too much bother.

    It clearly couldn't have been a better route, such a wonderful mix of landscapes. And plenty of acclimatisation time. Nonetheless, I was glad of my summit oxygen.

    Kit excellent. Double good mattresses made for most comfortable trek camping ever. Tents v good. Mess tent pretty windproof, which was vital for enjoyment. Best camp loo ever!

    My favourite day was Shira Cathedral. Amazing.

    MissingWilliam M reviewing Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route on 15 April 2020

  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
    We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
    Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
    Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
    Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
    Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
    Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
    Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
    Level of service, quality of food throughout

    MissingCatherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019

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