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“surprise and delighted from the moment we ponooned over the river”

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Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp
Certificate of Excellence
australia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“surprise and delighted from the moment we ponooned over the river”
Reviewed August 11, 2010

don and suku were excellent hosts and the guides are gems.
paradise . the rooms are A+, game viewing plentiful with a lot of variety and very little traffic to compete with.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
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1 Thank wyndham29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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92 reviews from our community

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Rheinberg, Germany
Level Contributor
36 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2010

My wife and I stayed at Puku Ridge Camp for three nights june 09th – 12th 2010. It was fantastic.

The camp is located in an incredible beautiful area in the southern part of the South Lungwa National Park. The landscape around is of indescribable beauty. The camp itself is located on a more than perfect spot along the slope at a floodplain. That floodplain was at this time of the year nearly dry what leads to the fact that almost every kind of game walks along there to the remaining waterholes and you can watch it right from the balcony of your tent or the bar. Herds of Zebras, Elephants, Giraffes, Buffalos, Pukus ..... We've seen a leopard 500 meters from our tent and a lion just at the same place next day. At another place around we found a pride of seven lions. In the end we saw big cats 4 times there and every other animal that is to be seen in South Luangwa in most cases just from the tent / the bar. The game drives where probably the best we’ve ever had because there are so much animals around and the landscapes around Puku Ridge changes a lot and offers you unbelievable views. And because there is only one more lodge in the neighborhood one will not see many other vehicles there during the game drives. As we where there the President of Zambia and his staff where the only guest in the other lodge. But he was not going on game drives so we didn’t see any other vehicle at any time.

Puku Ridge Camp even is a perfect place when it comes to dining and lodging.

Early morning Breakfast includes eggs to order with bacon/sausages or whatever you wanted, fruits, bread, different cereals, pancakes …. Lunch comes with two or three courses of hot and cold meals, salads, vegetables, fresh baked breads, CousCous, Rice, Potataoes or Noodles … High Tea was served with two different cakes and a choice of teas, coffe and different cold drinks like home made juices and ice tea. But the most spectacular meal was dinner. Before starting the afternoon game drive you are asked what you prefer for dinner out of various offers like slowly roasted leg of lamb, quail, filet of beef or baby pork, fresh fish, stuffed chicken breast. The dinner was served on a wooden platform overlooking the floodplain in a style like in upper class restaurants with finest table cloths and decorations, sauce “painted” on the plates and the meat pre cut and arranged for the eye. That was something we didn’t expect in a camp during a Safari. On the one hand you don’t need it but on the other hand it makes a difference that you will remember. And the most important thing is that the food was not only plenty and well presented but very, very tasty.

The lodging in Puku Ridge is in 14 meter x 5 meter tents (plus balcony) that are standing on platforms. Our’s was No. 1 named “Leopard”. Inside the tents is a sitting area with 3 chairs, a desk with a seat, a king size bed underneath a spacious mosquito net construction, a tub with views over the floodplain, a relax/massage bank, a shower, a flush toilet and a double sink. There is also a 2 meter x 4 meter outdoor shower. And with all that furnitures there is still a lot of space in the tent. It's more like a deluxe-suite in a hotel. Maybe not neccesary on a safari but feels great. And by the way: Puku Ridge Camp is open all year round so that during the rainy season guests maybe stay some hours in the tents and will love the luxury interiour and space.

But also the public areas offer much space and plenty of chairs, chaiselongues and a Dedon day bed to sit or lay down and relax.

As to expect the service was brilliant. The tent seems to be looked after several times a day. The staff at all was absolutely friendly and does everything for us. Just to name a few: The regular mangagers of the Camps, Dan and his wife Suku, where with the President in the other lodge. With us where the managers from Zambesi Kalefu Camp (another Sanctuary Camp), George and Merle, because their Camp was closed because of the high waters of the Zambesi River at that time. Our guide was Malemia who has great knowledge and enthusiasm. We had a great time there with them.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank ralfcho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bucks County , Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
144 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2009

My wife and I spent four nights in PuKu Ridge in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park. To be honest, getting there is not easy as you have to fly from Johannesburg to Lusaka and then fly on to Mfuawe. But it was well worth it and the air service was perfect. See attached photo of Leopard we saw on day one, Crimson Bee Eaters, and the young hippo learning how to fight. The camp was wonderful and we were lucky to be in Ten 1 which is right on the path that elephants and hippos take at night to go from the river to the top of the ridge. At midnight we had an elephant three feet from the outside of our tent. (We were safe as the tent juts out from the slope of the ridge, but it was breathtaking.). On the first day we saw three different leopards; one eating a kill at night. We saw baby lions. (photo attached). The camp’s main house overlooks the delta with a watering hole about 50 yards away. One night not only hippos came up but a leopard slinked in. (Picture attached). We also had a spectacular sunrise every morning. (Photo attached). The staff was absolutely the best. Great service, great food, and the night the employees all marched into the dining room singing Africa tribal songs as well as the Lion King theme will never be forgotten.
Ralph and Barbara Powell

Helpful?
5 Thank Traveler0013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp

Property: Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp
Address: South Luangwa National Park, South Luangwa National Park 10101, Zambia
Location: Zambia > South Luangwa National Park
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 46 Specialty Lodging in South Luangwa National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp has embraced a very natural African chic style in its decoration, blending in completely with its local environment. The camp has been constructed to blend into the local surroundings and designed to leave the lowest possible carbon footprint. Complimentary wireless internet access is available in the main areas of the camp. Afternoons are spent relaxing in the camp’s large living area in between game activities. Listen out for the Puku antelope whistling to one other when there is danger in the air. When evening arrives, make your way to the central dining area for a delectable gourmet meal in the bush, or order dinner on your own private deck for a romantic night under the stars. Each of the seven safari tents has picture windows and its own viewing deck overlooking the plains where game amble across for a drink of water. Generous and comfortable, each tent has an ensuite bathroom with bath tub and shower, as well as an outdoor shower shaded by forest, all stocked with environmentally friendly products for your pure indulgence. Watch the sun rise from your double bed, elephants bathing from the comfort of your bath tub, perhaps even wild dogs making their way across the plains in pursuit of prey from your private viewing deck. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp Zambia/South Luangwa National Park

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