Kafunta Safaris

Kafunta Safaris “The name Kafunta has been used for a long time before the lodge was built. There is even a story to tell about the name Kafunta:  Chief Kakumbi (I) was called Lowey. He was very tough and kept slaves. There was a flat stone next to what is now known as the Kafunta River. It is a seasonal river that joins the Luangwa River, but in the rainy season it is very fast and powerful. The chief wanted the stone for his chair and made the slaves carry it to his palace. It was very big and heavy. The slaves named the river “KAFUNTHA” which means crazy in Nyanja, the local language. They thought the chief must have been mad to ask them to move such a heavy stone. And that’s how Kafunta got its name.

We’ve been in the South Luangwa Valley for 20 years and we see it as our responsibility to protect and preserve it for the future. We instantly fell in love with the South Luangwa when we first came here and we have made it our home. Let us share our passion for the valley and the African bush with you.”

Click on the lodge names for more!

Kafunta River Lodge “is a classic Zambian safari lodge and combines all the essentials for a great safari. Here you will find the rest and peace you need after an exciting day on safari in combination with personalized service and a warm welcome by our team.  Our attention to detail and relaxed atmosphere is matched by our professionalism. We love what we do and pass this on to our guests. Highly qualified guides take you on exciting game drives and share their extensive knowledge of the Zambian bush with you.

At Kafunta River Lodge, each of the luxury private chalets and the main lounge & dining area overlook the game rich flood plain. Beyond the plain is the Luangwa River and one of the best game viewing areas of the magical South Luangwa National Park, the premier park in Zambia and one of the best national parks in all of Africa.

Our eight private safari chalets have been built on raised wooden platforms and have thatched roofs. They are tastefully decorated with African style and charm. All were refurbished in 2014 to a high standard. Additionally, there are two luxury suites which feature a private deck, an upstairs viewing veranda and a luxurious bathroom.

Kafunta River Lodge has its own pontoon 5 minutes from the lodge and this adventurous river crossing takes you into the more remote areas of the South Luangwa National Park, giving access to extraordinarily good wildlife encounters. We are also a short game drive from the main gate giving access to the abundant game viewing of the Mfuwe sector. The early morning hours are ideal for a game drive or alternatively a walking safari can be arranged. During your afternoon game drive we stop for sundowners in the bush to fully experience the magnificent African sunsets. You continue with the drive in the dark which allows you to spot nocturnal animals.”

Island Bush Camp  “offers untouched wilderness and walking safaris in the heart of South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. This authentic Zambian bush camp is set under the cool shade of old mahogany trees on the banks of the Luangwa River.  With views that stretch from the Chindeni hills in the Eastern corners of the Luangwa Valley to the Muchinga escarpment in the West, you are presented with the complete natural boundary of this remote and achingly beautiful wilderness. Every day is presented with new experiences and never the same.

Island Bush Camp is located around 3 hours South of Kafunta River Lodge. On the way to reach this safari bush camp you drive through the South Luangwa National Park, passing through woodland and open plains.  Far from the well beaten tracks, Island Bush Camp offers complete solitude.

Island Bush Camp has just 5 bush chalets tastefully decorated in a simple, chic bush style. They are open to the front with stunning views over the river and allow the sounds of the bush to drift through. Each chalet is built out of natural materials and sits on a wooden platform high off the ground. Cosy beds are turned down each night behind tented mozzie nets.  Each chalet has an en suite bathroom on the same level as the rooms also facing the river. The bathroom is open to the sky, with a stylish and practical canvas bucket shower, that is filled with hot water once a day. There is cold running water and flush toilets.

Walking safaris are our main activity in this heavenly place. This is your chance to explore the bush on a different level. You walk in small groups and will be escorted by an armed official wildlife scout and our experienced guides. This ensures your safety and gives you an exciting and educational view of the bush at ground level.  You will find that your senses are heightened to the sights and sounds of your surroundings. Encounters can vary from a chance meeting with elephants to sitting and watching a cloud of Carmine bee eaters coming and going from their seasonal colonies on the high sand banks of the Luangwa River.  Although the main activity at Island Bush Camp is walking safaris, we do also use a safari vehicle to get into a variety of walking areas or return from a walk after dark to discover some of the nocturnal wildlife in the area.”

Three Rivers Camp  “is the latest addition to the Kafunta Safaris’ portfolio and is set at the confluence of the Luangwa, Kapamba and Lusangazi Rivers in South Luangwa, Zambia. The stylish tents lay under shady sausage trees and are facing either the Luangwa River or the game-rich lagoon. Sitting in the cozy chairs near the dining area, you will have boundless views of the Luangwa River and the Kapamba River, with their white beaches where hippos love basking in the sun. Or choose to rest on the plush day beds on top of your private viewing deck and observe giraffe and waterbuck strolling down to the lagoon. Bordering the national park, the area around camp is unspoiled and teeming with wildlife and offers unrivaled game viewing.

Three Rivers Camp is exquisitely intimate with only 5 spacious tents, elegantly decorated with natural materials and earthy hues. They have large gauzed windows embracing extensive views of the Luangwa River and the nearby lagoon. Each tent has its own wooden deck with comfy chairs to enjoy the surrounding vistas.  The en-suite bathrooms include indoor and outdoor showers, double sinks and flushing toilets.  The distinctive feature of each guest room is its private elevated platform, safely connected to the tent for convenient access day and night. Ready with plush beds, the platform lets you absorb the stunning views during the day or sleep under the stars surrounded only by the sights and sounds of the African bush.

We offer game drives in the South Luangwa National Park along with bush walks around the camp area and down the river banks. Encounter elephants, giraffes, waterbuck, and maybe the relatively rare roan antelope with a chance to also spot lions, leopards or wild dogs. Short night drives are also offered before returning to camp for dinner.  Should you combine Three Rivers Camp with Island Bush Camp, you can decide to walk between the camps while your bags will be transferred separately.”