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“Spectacular Bush Camp”

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Kakuli Bush Camp - Norman Carr Safaris
Reviewed April 15, 2012

Spent 2 nights here last year and just want to say it was worth it. Every need catered for including vegetarian menu specially made for us. Whatever we wanted was never a problem. Everyone serving with a smile and everyone friendly. All the animals seen whilst on the drives. Would recommend it over and over again, keep up the great service guys.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Anand S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 5, 2012

We stayed at this camp for 2 nights at the end of the emerald season. We are fans of the small, rustic bushcamps so this was exactly what we love. All the staff at the camp were brilliant, the guiding was excellent & we had some of the best food that we have eaten in Africa. Camp drives by boat were different and we saw far more than we had expected to. We also enjoyed some good walking. This is a camp that we hope to return to in the dry season.

Room Tip: We had the room furthest from the main area. It was cooler but all 4 rooms looked great.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jill S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2011

Kakuli had a bush camp feel to it, though it was certainly a more substantial lodging than other bush camps in S. Luangwa. The chalets/tents were very large with a quite spacious bathroom/dressing area. The hot water was provided by on-demand water heaters (powered by firewood), but required about 15 minutes to heat up for the shower. There were flush toilets, complete with resident tree frogs, and plenty of room for luggage. Tap water was completely potable.

The beds were comfortable. The chalets were a combination of reed and thatch with canvas walls. There were also two chairs out on the front porch with a nice view overlooking the river. There are quite a number of hippo and crocs in the river to watch from the tents, and you can hear the hippos calling all the time.

The chitenge was nice with a bar and a verandah that looked out on a marshy area near the river. We saw plenty of hippos, and a pride of lions in this area one morning.

As with the other camps the food was good and plentiful. Hosting was good. The host was very nice – she was attentive, personable, and looked after whatever needs we may have had.

The guiding here was very good. I was guided by Aubrey, and he is very knowledgeable and has plenty of good stories about his years of guiding. Easily one of the most personable guides I had during my safari. Kakuli is a walking camp – they do walks as the morning activity and drives as the afternoon activity.

I had 3 walks during my stay – one morning we stalked a herd of buffalo and spent some time sitting with them. On another walk, we had the previously mentioned group of lions walk by during breakfast, and we left immediately to follow them. Aubrey and the scout did fairly well tracking the lions and we sped along fairly quickly to keep up with them before falling behind. The last morning, I walked to the transfer point across the river, and along the way we visited a hyena den where we were able to get within 15 feet of a hyena pup.

Game drive vehicles were standard Landcruisers with 3 rows of seats. There were pockets in front to hold belongings – big enough for a pair of mid-size binoculars, but not much else.

The ground in South Luangwa is rather broken in areas, so I recommend a sturdy pair of hiking shoes/boots and perhaps a walking stick.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank escog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2011

We walked and jeeped to Kakuli from Nsolo, another Norman Carr camp, and on arrival were greeted by Sarah, the manager and taken to our room. Kakuli has a large open deck area that faces the river and a wet marsh area. On arrival we immediately saw hippo, elephant, giraffe and other animals, so the deck became a favorite place of ours.

The camp has four guest accommodations. Our room was a tent, surrounded by a reed structure and roof. The room had a very large comfortable bed and there was an attached open air bathroom, basic but with everything we needed. There was no sitting area in the tent however we had a deck in front, with two chairs, and also another attached covered area, with two chairs, so that was where we spent our free time. The rooms are rustic, but comfortable. Our room was right by the river and we were serenaded each night by the sound of the hippos and frogs, which we actually missed when we got home.

The food at Kakuli is excellent, and after we toured the very basic bush kitchen, I was even more impressed. Breakfast is at 6:00 AM around the fire and you can order what you want. Brunch is at 11:00 and served buffet style, and a great variety. Tea is at 3:45 with drinks and cake and then dinner is at 8:00 PM. Most nights we ate dinner out in the open, by candle light, and it was so enjoyable hearing the animals and seeing all the stars in the sky. Guests and staff take meals together, so there is a very intimate atmosphere.

On our first night we were introduced to Dixon, the camp elephant. Dixon is not tame, he is a wild elephant, however he enjoys visiting Kakuli several times a day and when Dixon arrives, all activity stops until Dixon decides to leave. On the first day we had no fruit, because Dixon had eaten it, and there were a number of times where we had to be escorted to our rooms to avoid Dixon. Just part of the fun of an open camp in the bush. The honey badgers kept breaking into the kitchen and on our last night the hyenas stole the very heavy leather guest book.

Our game drives were with Aubrey, the guide, and Lincoln, the armed guard and we had some truly great animal sightings. Saw a pride of 13 lions on the hunt, plenty of elephant, buffalo and two leopard sightings. The night drivers are a lot of fun and that is where we had the best lion and leopard sightings.

We preferred Kakuli to Nsolo because we liked the accommodations at Kakuli a little better and we had much better animal sightings at Kakuli. One of the nicest parts of Kakuli is the atmosphere. There is such a sense of truly being in Africa and being part of the bush and knowing that the animals run the show. There is also a great sense of peace, listening to the sound of the hippos and looking at a million stars in the sky. Sarah sets the tone for a very relaxed laid back camp and you feel like you are visiting friends who just happen to own a safari camp. Like Nsolo, there is an intimacy and friendliness at Kakuli that you just do not get at the larger more deluxe camps.

Our safari company (aardvarksafaris.com), had recommended Nsolo and Kakuli because I really wanted to experience the bush, not just be a guest at a 5 star hotel, and both Nsolo and Kauli gave me exactly what I was looking for. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Kakuli. However Kakuli may not be for everyone. My husband had never been camping and is more used to high end accommodations, so Kakuli was not his favorite place.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Kathleen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2011

Good evening,

we would like to thank you for the
great experience with you in the
wilderness of Africa.

Best food, best accomodation,
most competent and committed
leaders, drivers and other staff
made our stay to a perfect ex-
perience.

Specially we thank John, Levi,
Shaddy and Andrew they explained
us the secrets of the bush.

Also we thank Charles and Bwalowe
for driving us and Katy, Sarah and
Glenn for caring us in the camps.




Good evening,

we would like to thank you for the
great experience with you in the
wilderness of Africa.

Best food, best accomodation,
most competent and committed
leaders, drivers and other staff
made our stay to a perfect ex-
perience.

Specially we thank John, Levi,
Shaddy and Andrew they explained
us the secrets of the bush.

Also we thank Charles and Bwalowe
for driving us and Katy, Sarah and
Glenn for caring us in the camps.

At last we thank all staff helped us
to have unforgettable holidays.

continue doing so - much success
in future

With kindly regards
Karin & Jan Piekenbrock from Hanover,
Germany







At last we thank all staff helped us



to have unforgettable holidays.

continue doing so - much success
in future

With kindly regards
Karin & Jan Piekenbrock from Hanover,
Germany

Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
Thank Jan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2011

Wow, a wonderful place. Our first night we could not sleep due to the honking of the hippos all night long - a truly wonderful cacophony. We loved everything about this camp, it's setting, the overlook onto the river with stunning views up and down this hippo-packed stretch of the Luangwa ... and our game packed days full of sightings ... whether on foot or on a game drive. We were privileged to spend a good hour watching and absorbing the antics of 4 hyena cubs at their den (while on foot). Then one evening while on a game drive, we heard puku and impala alarm calling, and came across a leopardess having just brought down a female puku. Never a dull moment at Kakuli! Also a bull elephant who likes to visit camp. ALL of the staff were lovely and warm, very friendly and couldn't have been more obliging - they went out of their way to make our stay special. And of course none of our wildlife experiences could have been possible without the knowledgeable guide and great game scout. We'll be back!

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank GKL5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2011

Kakuli was our second camp, having spent a few days at kapani. We travelled up river (it was green season to get to the camp and arrived just before brunch.

'Rooms' were well spaced out (there are only three presently) and very private. We had a wonderful view of the river - with hippos on tap on the opposite bank! The rooms are tents under thatch/reed - with a spacious partly open air bathroom (complete with cute tiny frogs!). Beds were large, under nets in the tent. They will according to Glenn our lovely host, be enlarging the rooms in time for the new season (any time now). Deck chairs were provided for sitting relaxing with the view.

Meals were fabulous. Excellent food - eaten together round a big table which is always one of the best parts for us of this type of trip - plentiful and fresh, served by the lovely guys who also looked after the bar. I can't believe how the chef can produce such great food in such a remote place with so few facilities.

The routine followed the same pattern as other camps - up at about 5.30 for breakfast (eggs freshly cooked by the chef over the open fire, or toast, cereals, juice) before jumping into the boat to go for a walk. Some days we walked for 3-4 hours - punctuated by stopping for tea and snacks. Walking here is amazing - you get incredibly close to the wildlife - Simon our guide and John our ranger were very amused at my nervousness of being about 50 feet from a very large elephant, which we had spotted from the river, moored and jumped out of the boat. We also got very close to a very fine warthog family.

Back to the camp for brunch - again, lovely fresh salads, quiches, and great home made bread. Afternoon tea and cake followed a couple of hours later, just before we took to the boat again for the afternoon activity, usually this meant taking a very gentle trip up the side tributaries of the river, through as far as we could to the ebony forest (not enough water for serious rips into this area though). Again, great wildlife seen from the river - ellies, hipps, crocs, impala, puku, zebra, buffalo.

Home with G&T's in the boat, just in time for dinner (as if more food was actually required!) and drinks in the bar.

This is a lovely camp - huge thanks to Glenn and all the staff who made our trip so memorable. The camp is a peaceful and tranquil place (except when you have a hippo outside at 3a.m.!) with an excellent staff who make you feel like you are leaving family when they are waving you goodbye at the end of your stay.. Thank you all!

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

Room Tip: They're all great!
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  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Quoinbarn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kakuli Bush Camp - Norman Carr Safaris

Address: Luangwa River, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Location: Zambia > South Luangwa National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 43 Specialty Lodging in South Luangwa National Park
Price Range: $580 - $650 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Kakuli Bush Camp - Norman Carr Safaris 3*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
‘Kakuli’ means old buffalo bull – this beautiful camp has four traditional walk-in safari tents each with outdoor en-suite bathrooms made from natural materials. The bar and dining Chitenje forms the centre point of camp and, along with the rooms, is on an elevated stretch of river bank overlooking a wide grazing lawn/lagoon that follows the Luangwa River. The views from Kakuli are spectacular with the camp having regular visits from elephants, leopard and antelope. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kakuli Bush Camp - Norman Carr Safaris Zambia/South Luangwa National Park

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