South Luangwa Lodge / Safari operators
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Mar 5, 2013 12:21 PM Last Post By: hc_f
Feb 26, 2013 3:53 AM
South Luangwa Lodge / Safari operatorsDoes anyone have experiences with Lodge / Safari operatoers in the South Luangwa Park?
Im loooking for a good wildlife experience (especially the walking safaris), and a decent athmosphere at the base. What i absolutely don't need is any pseudo/postcolonial chique.
Can i expect this from the more Budget Lodges in the park, or for a good guide and activities, do i only get this with the more exclusive lodges?
Please let me know about your experiences
Feb 26, 2013 12:11 PM
1You don't need an expensive lodge for walking tours and the like. For example, I stayed at Flatdogs years ago (they offered both campsites and little bungalows). It continues to get positive mentions here.
They did walking tours plus a couple of game drives a day (with the ability to opt in or out), including night drives.
Edited by: me
Feb 26, 2013 11:26 PM
When I was there (spring 2011), I used Jackalberry Safaris (operated by Gavin Opie)
It’s not the only structure to operate in the South Luangwa but it’s one of few dedicated to budget travellers.
Of course, you can use a more upmarket option inside the NP but bear in mind that you will see the same animals and that even if the 4x4 is not new, the guide and the assistant are more important.
Feb 27, 2013 5:02 AM
3As far as I know you can't camp at Flatdogs any more with your own tent.
I stayed at Croc Valley and would recommend it.
I wanted to do a walking safari, but was travelling solo and they require a minimum of 3 (I think) to do one and unfortunately there wasn't anyone else there interested. Night drive was great though.
Feb 27, 2013 5:18 AM
4there wasn't anyone else there interested
Their loss. It's really nice to get away from the road, engine sounds, etc. and hear the same ground under your feet as under the nearby animals'.
Sorry to hear there's no more camping at Flatdogs with your own tent. I had a room myself so was spared the experience of having an elephant's trunk enter my tent unannounced, as happened to one of the overlanders staying there at the same time.
Feb 28, 2013 5:06 AM
5Thank you all for your tipps and suggestions:
there wasn't anyone else there interested
--> Just don't want it to turn into mine ;-)
Flatdog doesn't seem to be that low-cost anymore, at least good value midclass..
I do like the programme of Jackalberry (except the last day local visit, which sounds a bit like a sales event), but its already close to the prize of Flatdogs'.
Then there is such like Kiboko and Maphys, which are much cheaper. But no idea about their tour quality...
Any more experiences?
Feb 28, 2013 7:26 AM
6The South Luangwa Safari Association has a very comprehensive exam for guides, which helps insure that they are some of the most competent in Africa imo.
Though we have camped in our own tent at Flatdogs for a month each visit in 2009 and 2011 we are looking at other camps for later this year, but ONLY because Flatdogs no longer allows personal tents. For us Flatdogs rocks.
The guides and all the rest of the people who work at Flatdogs are first class and very competent. We thoroughly enjoyed our Flatdogs walking safari in the park this last trip made more dramatic by a lion sighting a km or so before we began the walk !
The armed Park Ranger who is required to accompany camp guides and clients was comforting. :)
Wildlife Camp website has a listing for their walking safaris that you might want to check out. They also require three people, but one can go alone if you pay a supplement...
Feb 28, 2013 10:37 AM
Bear in mind that cheap and Zambia are not synonyms…
Maybe you find that the prices are not as cheap as you expect but most of the camps are seasonal, far away from cities/villages, should be remove during the rainy season for some of them and people are running them only for few months.
Mar 3, 2013 8:14 AM
ok there seem to be some reasonable options.
And the more budget camps seem to offer good quality.
Anybode experience with the local community led camp?:
Mar 3, 2013 11:00 AM
9Last May we stayed at Marula Lodge and loved everything about it. Our trip was organized by Land & Lakes Safaris out of Lilongwe (budget operator similar to Kiboko), but the actual game drives were run by Marula with their own full time guide. The guide was excellent by the way. Not sure what "post-colonial chique" means, but you can look at their website to see if it resonates with your tastes. The ensuite chalet was very comfortable and the food was also great.
Mar 5, 2013 12:21 PM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$78.00 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$134.14 per night
(1 star Hotel)
From US$9.63 per night