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“Wonderful Stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kapani Lodge - Norman Carr Safaris

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Kapani Lodge - Norman Carr Safaris
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Eastern boundary of the park | On the Luangwa River, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia   |  
Hotel amenities
Sacramento
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Wonderful Stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2012

I stayed at Kapani for the 3rd time in February. Everything was wonderful as usual. The accomodations, food and staff are excellent. John is a wonderful safari guide and just as knowledgeable and personable as the other guides I have gotten to know at Kapani. The Rivers and Rainbow trip upriver to the Kakuli bush camp is excellent as well. Katie and the staff at Kakuli provide a wonderful experience. I will certainly return and would recommend this lodge to anyone considering a visit to the South Luangwa. See my previous review from a year ago.

Room Tip: All rooms are good and very similar so it is not necessary to worry about a choice.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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64 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2012

Kapani Lodge, Luwi, Kakuli and Mchenja Bush Camps. We visited this wonderful safari operator in October 2011 and had the most fabulous holiday . The accommodation is terrific even way out in the bush and the attention to detail to ensure a great stay seems to be paramount to every single one of the staff - from the Camp Host and Guides to the Cleaners and Luggage Porters. A really friendly but efficient organisation swings into action from the moment you are collected from the airport and follows with you for the entire holiday until you are waved off at Mufwe airport for the journey home. Most of the staff are local and many have been with the company for a substantial time which gives the whole organsiation a real 'family' feel - some of the staff have been supported by the company through their education at the local school for the whole of their school life and then gone on to take jobs
with Norman Carr Safaris. The Guiding is superb and the food terrific. The wildlife is just fabulous and the whole experience is exactly what you imagine a safari to be and then multiply it by 100!!! If you only ever have the chance for one safari in your life go to Norman Carr for it and if you are an experienced safari goer you will never want to go anywhere else again!! Totally superb.!!

Room Tip: All the accommodation is superb - However , if you stay for any length of time at Kapani Lodge, Lago...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hertfordshire UK
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2011

If you want to enjoy wildlife and be guided and learn about the tremendous variety of wildlife in the Luangwa Valley, then Norman Carr Safaris is the holiday, or adventure, for you. I have just had the most wonderful visit to Kapani and to three of their bush camps. Each place is slightly individual in style but all offer the same first class quality of guiding and comfort. The accommodation is first class and the food is very good, plentiful with great variety. However the true beauty is the variety of animals and birds that you see and the knowledge and wisdom that the guides offer you as they show you the wonders of the Valley. Cannot be bested.

I had a wonderful time and feel privileged to have had this experience.

Jackie Glossop UK October 2011

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coventry, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2011

Kapani lodge on the banks of Luangwa river, located in, South Luangwa. Accommodates a maximum of 18 guests. Each suite has its own lounge with bar and tea & coffee making facilities. The bed is large with an overhead fan and walk in mosquito net. All meals, drinks and even laundry facilities are complementary. Dinning is al fresco and to a good standard and also varied. The snacks on the game drives are also worth a mention. There is a good sized swimming pool to use in between game drives. The game drives are from 6am-10am and 4:30pm-8pm when you will see leopards, lions, hippos, rare Thornicroft giraffes and Cookson Wildebeest, elephants, zebras, water buffalo, warthog, hyena, crocodiles and honey badger but to name a few.
Twitchers will also have a field day with fish eagles, lilac crested rollers, kingfishers, heron, vultures, bee eaters, pelicans and storks aplenty.  
So what was not so good? We had to request for not one but two vehicles to be replaced, one because the starter motor was playing up and it would never start first time and the other because on one occasion, we had to bump start it, not too bad if you were in the middle of town but when it was in thick bush, pitch black, whilst looking for lions and leopards, it was far from acceptable.

Room Tip: We had room two which was a large detached cottage closest to the swimming pool. Most others are sem...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Truro, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2011

Spent a week at Kapani (and Kukuli Bush Camp). Everything was excellent especially the staff. Our driver/guide Julius was brilliant, finding all the animals and birds we could have hoped for - and more!! The highlight for us was an up close encounter with wild dogs with plenty of photo opportunities.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Black Creek, Canada
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2011

My family and I had the pleasure of visiting Norman Carr Safaris (Kapani Lodge) at the beginning of July. As first time visitors to Africa we were excited to visit but not sure of what to expect. The attention to detail by Mindy and Collins at the Norman Carr office went a long way towards relieving any worries we might have had about traveling so far from our home on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Little things like having someone meet us at the airport in Lusaka to assist us with customs and check-in for our domestic flight went a long ways towards making our trip a smooth journey.

The itinerary for our 6 nights had us spending the first 2 nights at Kapani Lodge followed by 2 nights at Nsolo Bush Camp before finishing up with 2 nights at Kakuli Bush Camp. We loved all 3 locations, each unique in its own way, but with a common theme of incredible food, superb staff, world class guides and incredible wildlife viewing. It was simply a 5 star vacation in every way. During our stay we had the pleasure of going on driving and walking safaris with Willy, Shaddy and Aubrey as our guides. All 3 are among the best guides I have ever had the pleasure of being around. Their exceptional knowledge of the wildlife, birds and the flora and fauna is simply world class. My wife and I especially appreciated their good humour and how they included our 2 teenage daughters in everything we did and experienced.

I would like to finish by saying thank you to some special people. Jo and Sarah you were wonderful hosts at Nsolo and Kakuli. The almost instant bonds you seemed to form with our daughters were incredible. Although you are both a long ways from your homes you made us feel welcome and at home in both bush camps.

Finally to Christina and David thank you for making our trip happen. We hope to see you and your families out our way one day. The fact that you both took the time out of your busy schedules to share a meal with our family meant a lot to us. Everyone at Norman Carr has made a friend in the Bergman family; we will see you again one day.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2011

I went to Kapani on a long weekend while working in Zambia. I booked the trip pretty last minute, and had such great customer service from the get-go. My contact at the lodge sent me photos via e-mail in the week leading up to my trip to get me in the spirit. It was such a sweet and attentive touch - I really couldn't believe the thoughtfulness.

I arrived on an easy and cheap Proflight (they do last minute stand-by fares if that's ever an option for anyone out there...particularly in green season, these are often available). I was met at the teeny airport and rode in an open air vehicle to the park. They knew my stay was short, and made sure to take me straight to the action! I transferred into my guide's covered Landrover, and off we went! The weekend went off without a hitch. We saw everything I dreamed of seeing - even though it was green season. The accommodations are first rate and gorgeous. The food is AMAZING, and they make an attempt to never see you hungry (or thirsty). There is a very old TripAdvisor recommendation still up that says something about an absent chef on weekends. This is no longer true, and all of the chefs have benefited from extensive training. They are also extremely aware of food issues and preferences.

I'd like to mention that Kapani guides seemed to be tracking and finding game that other groups we passed were very jealous of! I know that luck is involved to some extent, but when we passed other groups in the Park, I got envious looks and comments when I discussed our sightings. I also found it incredible that you can be out in the dark. It is SO thrilling, and not everywhere in Southern Africa allows game drives in the dark. And, random but true - check if your potential lodge has covered vehicles. I love the sun and outdoors, but spending hours under the beating sun or in the rain without cover looked dismal. I was really glad Kapani had covered vehicles, and I never would have thought of that beforehand (until I saw guests from other lodges looking crisped and/or soaked).

I will go back here. It is amazing.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kapani Lodge - Norman Carr Safaris

Address: Eastern boundary of the park | On the Luangwa River, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Location: Zambia > South Luangwa National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 41 Specialty Lodging in South Luangwa National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kapani is an exclusive, privately owned lodge situated on the banks of a large lagoon, and was originally built by the late Norman Carr. Open all year and accommodating only 12 guests, each of the six suites has an en-suite bathroom and a lounge with bar fridge. According to the season, dining is al fresco with dinner taken on the terrace, on the spacious deck overlooking the lagoon, by the swimming pool or in the lounge. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kapani Lodge - Norman Carr Safaris Zambia/South Luangwa National Park

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