Lodges

Tafika Camp

An owner-run gem in the South Luangwa

Tafika Camp

The original Luangwa home of John and Carol Coppinger, Tafika is a traditional bush camp with a heart of gold. Situated on a sweeping bend of the Luangwa River, the fabulous location allows for an uninhibited exploration of the northern reaches of the park, led by a guiding team with a combined expertise of over 60 years. The camp itself is simple and unassuming but don’t let this put you off; the sheer attention to detail both at the camp and on safari make for a phenomenal experience that you won’t forget in a hurry.

At the lodge

The hotel

To be a guest at Tafika is to be a personal guest of the Coppinger family and relaxing in the thatched bar and lounge feels rather like spending the afternoon in a good friend’s house. Nothing is ever too much trouble for the team; cold drinks are delivered to wherever you have positioned yourself to watch the animals stroll by and in the evening, meals are cooked with passion and served with a smile.

The rooms

The 6 simple reed and thatch chalets are dotted around the lawns in the shade of the trees with magnificent views of the winding river. All are spacious and homely with locally made furniture inside and lovely built-in seating areas outside. The family chalet has 2 bedrooms and a bathroom, all cleverly built around a sausage tree for maximum privacy. All bathrooms are open to the stars and often shared by the very sweet resident tree frogs.

On safari

Experiences

However you feel like exploring the area, it’s probably on offer from Tafika. Mountain bike around the paths and mud tracks before hopping in a vehicle to search for big game, or head out on foot and learn about the insects, flora and fauna. Whatever you choose to do we can guarantee that you won’t have 4 vehicles around a sighting here; in fact, it will probably just be you.

When to go

South Luangwa by month

January

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures are hot but comfortable, humidity varies throughout the month and there is a 1 in 2 chance of rain, although it usually falls at night.
  • Animal densities drop at this time of year with species spreading out and giving birth, providing a buzz of activity amongst the predators.
  • Vegetation is lush, green and in bloom, alive with the sounds of migratory birds in their breeding plumage.
  • It is important to note that some camps are closed during this month, leading to a more intimate safari.

February

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures are hot but comfortable, humidity is unpredictable and rain falls regularly but usually at night.
  • Animal densities drop at this time of year with species spreading out and giving birth, providing a buzz of activity amongst the predators.
  • Vegetation is lush, green and in bloom, alive with the sounds of migratory birds in their breeding plumage.
  • It is important to note that some camps are closed during this month, leading to a more intimate safari.
  • Considered to be the best time of year to view the rarely seen wild dog.

March

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures are hot but comfortable, humidity has dropped and rain is falling only a couple of afternoons a week.
  • The recent birthing season leads to a rise of predator activity and excitement as they take advantage of the innocent newborns.
  • Vegetation is lush and in bloom, alive with the presence of the migratory birds strengthening their wings for the impending journey.
  • It is important to note that some camps are closed during this month, leading to a more intimate safari.
  • Considered to be the best time of year to view the rarely seen wild dog.

April

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures are high but comfortable, with little to no humidity and only a handful of rainy days across the month.
  • Animals are in peak physical condition but more difficult to spot with the lush vegetation at its thickest.
  • Birds migrate North signalling the end of the wet season and this time of plenty.
  • It is important to note that some camps are closed during this month, leading to a more intimate safari.
  • Considered to be the best time of year to view the rarely seen wild dog.

May

Season: Dry
  • Day temperatures begin to cool with the onset of the dry season, rain is unlikely.
  • Game viewing begins to improve as vegetation thins and water holes begin to dry up, forcing the various species into closer proximity.
  • A great time to visit, with good weather and low price before peak safari season.
  • Considered to be the best time of year to view the rarely seen wild dog.

June

Season: Dry
  • Day temperatures are hot but comfortable with little to no chance of rain.
  • Game viewing is at its best with vegetation thinning and animals congregating around the remaining water source.
  • Even during peak season this premier park never feels crowded, unique for a destination of this quality.
  • Dry cooler conditions, lead to a drop in insect numbers, particularly the mosquito.
  • Take advantage of the ideal walking conditions and experience the bush on foot.
  • pack a warm jacket for chilly morning game drives.

July

Season: Dry
  • Day temperatures are hot but comfortable with little to no chance of rain.
  • Game viewing is at its best with vegetation thinning and animals congregating around the remaining water source.
  • Even during peak season this premier park never feels crowded, unique for a destination of this quality.
  • Dry cooler conditions, lead to a drop in insect numbers, particularly the mosquito.
  • Take advantage of the ideal walking conditions and experience the bush on foot.
  • pack a warm jacket for chilly morning game drives.

August

Season: Dry
  • Day temperatures are hot but comfortable with little to no chance of rain.
  • Game viewing approaches its peak with vegetation thinning and animals congregating around the Luangwa River and other remaining water sources.
  • Even during peak season this premier park never feels crowded, unique for a destination of this quality.
  • Dry cooler conditions, lead to a drop in insect numbers, particularly the mosquito.
  • Take advantage of the ideal walking conditions and experience the bush on foot.
  • Dont forget to pack a warm jacket, morning game drives can get chilly.

September

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures are high with relative humidity, there is little chance of rain.
  • Game viewing approaches its peak with vegetation thinning and animals congregating around the Luangwa River and other remaining water sources.
  • Even during peak season this premier park never feels crowded, unique for a destination of this quality.
  • Dry cooler conditions, lead to a drop in insect numbers, particularly the mosquito.
  • Take advantage of the ideal walking conditions and experience the bush on foot.
  • For all those birders, the Carmine bee eaters are nesting and best viewed at this time.

October

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures are at their hottest, with humidity reaching an all year high before the fall of the first rains, usually towards the end of the month.
  • Game viewing is prime for most of October, deteriorating somewhat towards the end, should the first rains of the season fall.
  • The arrival of the first rains, trigger a burst of green as the vegetation is rejuvenated.
  • If you don't mind the heat, a great time to visit with tourist numbers dropping and often interesting sightings.
  • For all those birders, the Carmine bee eaters are nesting and best viewed at this time.

November

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures are hot and humid for the first half of November, becoming less intense with the increase of rain throughout the month.
  • Game viewing is still excellent with few animals leaving the area until sufficient rains have fallen.
  • The arrival of the first rains, trigger a burst of green as the vegetation is rejuvenated.
  • The arrival of the rains sees a spike in the insect numbers, so have your repellent handy.
  • For all those birders, the Carmine bee eaters are nesting and best viewed at this time.

December

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures are hot with unpredictable humidity levels and high evening rainfall is to be expected.
  • Game viewing is good with relatively high densities of wildlife in a rejuvenated environment.
  • Vegetation is lush, green and in bloom, alive with the sounds of migratory birds in their breeding plumage.
  • The arrival of the rains sees a spike in the insect numbers, so have your repellent handy.
  • It is important to note that some camps are closed during this month, leading to a more intimate safari.

Wildlife


South Luangwa National Park has the deserved reputation as one of Africa's best game viewing destinations. A diverse mix of habitats and oxbow lagoons attract a variety of wildlife species. Encounter vast herds of elephant, buffalo, hippo, zebra and an assortment of antelope. However, it is the predators of South Luangwa that produce the most excitement with lion and leopard in abundance and wild dog present in the area.

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