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“Peace & tranquility in the Zambia rainy season!”

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Kapani Lodge - Norman Carr Safaris
Certificate of Excellence
Sunningwell, Oxford
Level Contributor
95 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Peace & tranquility in the Zambia rainy season!”
Reviewed May 1, 2011

Kapani was our first of three lodges in the S Luangwa. We had an easy flight from Lusaka to Mfuwe with Proflight and were met on arrival by our guide John, from Kapani. The transfer from the aiport is great - we've been to lodges in the middle of parks before but here you drive through the local area before you get to the lodge. Met on arrival with a cold drink, we were shown to our room which was just set back from the oxbow lake. Rooms are nice, quite large, with stocked fridge, tea and coffee on tap, nice bathroom and huge beds! Rooms got quite hot during the day at siesta time even with a fan. Not much wardrobe space, so believe them when they say travel light!!

The mood at Kapani is relaxed and laid back - except for wake up at 5.30! Breakfast was round the fire, before we got on the truck to go to the park. The camp was quite full when we were there, but guests were split up into small groups and we were by ourselves with our own guide all the time we were there. These lodges are not as remote as some - you WILL see other trucks (particularly in wet season which this was when the number of passable roads/tracks is more limited) but it's hardly in the wet like picaddilly circus.

Game viewing was fabulous - but even though this is reputedly the best place to see leopards in Africa you still need some luck - and we didn't have it...but we had fantastic sightings of lions with cubs, hippos, giraffe, cape buffalo, massive amounts of beautiful birds, and the scenery was stupendous.

Food at kapani was great - a nice selection at lunchtime, and dinner on the deck at night.

Highly recommend Kapani, S Luangwa and Zambia as a whole.

IF YOU ARE TRAVELLING ON BA VIA LUSAKA - PLEASE CONSIDER HELPING THE SALVATION ARMY ZAMBIA PROJECT. We did and it is a great and easy thing to do. Please follow this link...http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2014699

Also please do take items for the school - it's an inspiring place, but they can make use of any educational items you can take.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Quoinbarn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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82 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Frankfurt, Germany
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2010

We stayed there in September 2010 towards the end of our vacation. Upon arrival in Mfuwe we were picked up by Lawrence, our guide for the next days. We went straight to the park just as we wanted. Our guide was there for us for the time of our stay and we could arrange our activities with him the way we wanted. He proofed to be a great guide. The service in the lodge is wonderful, the rooms are nice and spacious, the food is great. From the restaurant deck there is a nice view to watch wildlife on land and in an arm of the river. A well run lodge of Norman Carr Safaris with the flair of africa. We stayed there for three days and enjoyed every one of them. We could not try out one of their camps / outposts. Fellow travellers told us they are worth going. This place not cheap - but absolutely worth the money.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank udo_h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2010

We enjoyed the lodge and Luwi and Mchenja camps nearby. Together they make the perfect safari experience.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Brazilian_tripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2010

My husband and myself visited Kapani in April - along with our two children - young adults. It was planned as atreat for us all and reunion as my daughter has been working in Zambia - and it really was a treat! The accomodation and food was first class - the people were so welcoming and eager to please. Our guide, Simon was fantasic! It was our first safari - but each of us would love to do it again and would certainly recommend this lodge.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank BiddyBolya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento
Level Contributor
54 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2010

This is the 4th lodge I've stayed at in South Luangwa. I was very pleased in all respects. This is a very professionally run operation.

The guides are the most important aspect if one is very serious about game viewing. My guide was fantastic. I had the chance to meet and talk to 2 others and my impression is that I would have been very happy with them as well. They all have many years of experience.

The food is very good and plentiful. The rooms are quite comfortable. The lodge has a nice location as they are fairly close to the main gate but can also use the pontoon to cross the river into the park in dry season to enter the park and view areas that are a little less crowded. Crowded in South Luangwa only means sometimes up to 5-6 other vehicles when viewing cats in dry season, or sometimes a lot of spotlights at night. There are far fewer vehicles in the area reached by pontoon, and far fewer vehicles in green season.

The general staff are very friendly.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank sactrav8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ireland
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2008

Time constraints meant we could only avail of a 4 day stay in Kapani but the Kapani management & staff ensured we got the most from our brief stay. From the time our guide collected us at Mfuwe Airport until the day he dropped us back we were totally absorbed in the Kapani experience.
Food & accomodation were simply excellent and the knowledge of our guide was enhanced by his wit & good humour.
Sunrise & sunset meals on the decking area overlooking the lagoon were daily highlights.
Interaction with staff & guides was a feature of our stay & ensured that Kapani will live long in our memories.

  • Liked — spacious lodges,cleanliness,unobtrusive service
  • Disliked — no issues
  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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Helpful?
4 Thank Myles11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mission Viejo, California
Level Contributor
31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2008

I stayed at this safari camp for 5 days back in January of 2006. It is perfect! There are only about 10 private chalets in the camp, each of which are luxurious. The chalets have the traditional thatched roof with traditional walls and screens. There are lovely beds with clean linens (and bednets) as well as a sitting area with chairs, a table, coffee pot, etc. The bathroom is decorated in an "African" theme with alligator soap dishes and a stand-up shower. Very clean and comfortable.

Many of the chalets overlook the lagoon where Hippos live throughout the day. The chalets are also surrounded by baboons climbing in the trees, jumping from roof to roof. We even had an elephant come right to the door of the chalet at night. There are guards to help you navigate to back to your chalet in the evenings, and they will ensure your safety should animals get too close.

There is a bar area and deck right on the lagoon which is lovely. At night there are candles burning and a variety of drinks available. It's also a relaxing place to sit, read, and animal watch during the day.

The meals at the lodge are top class. Excellent variety of cuisine served by candlelight and accompanied by lovely wines (many from South Africa).

There is also a pool on the grounds which is beautiful, clean, and offers towels and lounge chairs.

The game drives were also excellent, and the 5pm drive included a nocturnal animal expert!

I'd recommend this to anyone travelling to Zambia. I'm not even really an "animal person", and I absolutely loved the experience!

  • Liked — Food, Game Drives, Scenery
  • Disliked — Scorpions, Centipedes, geckos and other random animals I found in my chalet
  • Stayed January 2006, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank EgyptianHeidi
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

Property: 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 #34 of 43 Specialty Lodging in South Luangwa National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kapani Lodge - Norman Carr Safaris 4*
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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