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Mfuwe, South Luangwa National Park Zambia
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#18 of 43 in South Luangwa National Park
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Home to John and Carol Coppinger, the founders of Remote Africa Safaris, Tafika is a small, first-class camp standing on the banks of the Luangwa, on the remote north side of the beautiful Nsefu Sector of South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. Tafika's guides are amongst the most experienced in the Luangwa valley. 4X4 safaris (day and night drives), walking safaris, unique cycling safaris and cultural visits to a nearby village are on offer.
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Free breakfast
Free airport transportation
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Mfuwe, South Luangwa National Park Zambia
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Mfuwe Airport46 kmSee all flights
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104Reviews0Q+A34Room tips
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Jason M wrote a review Feb 2022
Oakland, California1 contribution
This was our second stop on a month long safari trip, and even after many other great experiences on the trip our stay at Tafika stood out for the excellent, experienced guides, the rich environment and the warm, welcoming atmosphere at camp. We were there at the end of the dry season -- the weather was quite hot -- but the lodge owners and staff made sure we were all safe, comfortable and happy, and we had an extraordinary time out in the bush with the animals. Hope to go back someday!
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Date of stay: November 2021
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debndon wrote a review Oct 2021
Phoenix, Arizona109 contributions80 helpful votes
Tafika Camp is set on the Luangwa River just outside the north edge of South Luangwa National Park. The small, rustic camp has 6 open air reed chalets. The spacious, high-ceilinged thatched roof chalets are nicely appointed with a comfortable front porch overlooking the river. Inside there are 2 comfy double beds and plenty of storage space, including a sizable locker to lockup your valuables. The front and back of the chalet have just half walls so they are open to the breeze. They do put a grate up over the front at night to keep out larger animals. While bugs and other small creatures such as frogs do get in, there were significantly fewer insects than at the other open concept camps where we stayed. Maybe the frogs eat the bugs. There is also mosquito netting over the bed to keep out anything that might disturb you while you are sleeping. The spacious bathroom is completely open to the sky, except for the toilet area. The shower has good hot water and water pressure. The space is a lovely combination of creature comforts and being outside. The camp has a large, high-thatched-roof one-room common area that combines a couple of seating areas, dining tables, a bar and a charging station. WIFI, albeit slow, is available at one end of the garden. Along the grassy river bank are several lounge areas where you can watch the hippos and other animals on the river. Animals can wander into camp. One night elephants came to feed on the pods of the winterthorn tree just outside our room. A little unnerving hearing them noisily crunching down what locals call elephant biscuits at 3a.m. Meals are well prepared with a buffet breakfast and lunch and dishes brought to the table, quasi family style, at dinner. The camp offers both walking and driving safari. Having just come from Chikoko Trails Camps, a walking only camp, we only did the driving safaris. There was plenty of game in the area and we saw leopards on more than one drive, lions in the distance, giraffes play fighting and a one-day old baby elephant. The camp is run by Jenn, the owner’s daughter, and her husband Nick, attentive hosts that make you feel like a new friend visiting their home rather than a guest in a safari camp.
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Date of stay: October 2021
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VirginiaCW wrote a review Jul 2021
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina914 contributions251 helpful votes
+1
Tafika was our third safari camp on our trip - the middle - and the newest one of my favorites. Founded by John and Carol Coppinger when they left the corporate world for the bush, it is now transitioning to daughter Jennifer and her husband, Nic who are doing a bang-up job. The advantage of it being outside the South Luangwa National Park entrance is that there are some more, less restrictive options. they have two fabulous gardens (that isn't be possible inside the park) so that you get meals made from the fresh garden-to-table ingredients you could ever hope for. The staff lives on site or in the nearby village and they are some of the best, most experienced guides in the region - two of them are senior enough to be submitters of the questions for the most senior level exam for guides. As with most all bush camps, everything possible was made by hand out of regionally sourced materials, and solar or generator power provides those services. There are 5 cottages, a family suite cottage, the reception/dining/bar area, and two "hides" which are blinds for seeing animals without the animals knowing you are nearby. Tafika camp is situated on a bluff on the South Luangwa that can be as much as 14' above the water (in dry season), on barely above (as rainy season comes in). The Camp is closed during rainy season because it is too impossible. From here you can do a driving safari into the park every day; bicycle rides or runs with the Coppinger family (for safety); and even foot safaris in the park. The morning begins with a fire, coffee/tea, and light continental breakfast of muffins or toast or hot porridge and fresh fruit, to tide you over for the drive. When we returned to camp we had a full brunch/lunch option al fresco, of course. As usual, the afternoon is free to nap, read, bike,... (a couple of people with us had to connect to the internet and there was midday wifi near the office).. Later afternoon tea/beverages before you go out for the evening drive and after you have given them your sundowner orders. Return home to dinner al fresco with a brazier heater under the table if there was too much chill. Every meal was three courses and the most colorful, tasty, well-presented and served dishes you could ever hope for. While we arrived after a long drive and a river crossing in canoe, we highly suggest taking advantage of the camp's pilot for a short, easy flight. South Luangwa National Park is a unique area in Zambia with mostly black cotton soil that is completely flooded over in rainy season, then the elephants and hippos tromp through it making potholes that you have never experienced before, and then the water recedes, the ground dries, and it hardens like concrete - for those of us from coastal South Carolina it is identical to our marl - and driving over it is where the expression "african massage" comes from. If you cannot tolerate it, you might reconsider. As with all bush camps, this is all-inclusive which means that laundry is included (here they even iron), all meals, all drinks, all guides and tours. You are terribly spoiled out in the bush, unconnected to news and the troubles of CoVid. Everyone has been vaccinated. We so loved that it was just the 5 of us at camp, but they prefer not to have more than 10-12 there anyway. The Coppinger family has 5 camps in the South Luangwa area, the other 4 are much smaller than Tafika and even more remote. You get there by the camp's bush pilot from Tafika or from Mfuwe or from each camp to the other. Well worth the ride. The family does so much for sustainability, and local support that you should plan on supporting their causes and learning more to keep raising everyone up and protecting the region.
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Date of stay: June 2021
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Room Tip: Opt for short flight from Mfuwe to camp, not long drive on horrible roads....they close for rainy...
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LindaBMarshall wrote a review Jun 2021
Lake Oswego, Oregon54 contributions5 helpful votes
+1
Tafika After the long drive from Mfuwe airport we arrived to completely being spoiled. The wonders Carol and John Coppinger own Tafika along with several other camps. Their daughter Jennifer and her husband Nic have now started taking over the business. The rooms are very spacious, beautiful and perfectly situated to take in the Luangwa River. Traveling during Covid times is the best. We had the camp to ourselves and every one of our whims were taken care of. Lloyd was our guide and we saw all the animals and Leopards. Being gluten free and loving food, the chef did an amazing job with the menu!!!They have two very large vegetable gardens that provide all the camps with fruits, vegetables and herbs. A true farm to table experience. We loved sitting by the campfire in the morning discussing world affairs and life in Zambia. This is a true family experience. The Coppingers made us to feel like part of the family. A highlight of the trip was visiting Lloyd’s nearby village and hearing the children sing and dance and also the choir sang for us. The Coppingers have started the Tafika Fund many years and they are very generous by supporting the children and the teachers and building a clinic. They are very well loved and their staff are extremely happy. We will be back. I highly suggest arranging with John to have him pick you up at the airport by plane and arrange the transport by plane to Jeki, Lower Zambezzi, and Mfuwe. It saves you much time!!!!
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Date of stay: May 2021Trip type: Travelled
Room Tip: Definitely book your flights through the Coppingers Tafika camp for they can fly you directly to...
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Michael-IBK wrote a review Oct 2020
Fulpmes, Austria59 contributions13 helpful votes
We were a party of four and stayed at Tafika for three nights in early October 2020. The setting just by the Luangwa is breathtaking. Almost no need for game drives, there´s always something going on on the river. Also the in-camp hide can be very productive, had some lovely experiences with Eles there. The rooms are very comfortable and open. Food was just delicious - and a lot! We especially enjoyed that Tafika is familiy-owned, very different from some of the corporate camps. All meals were hosted my members of the Coppinger familiy, and it was a pleasure hearing about all their adventures and experiences in Zambia. The whole family works very hard for their guests, and their passion and love for "their" pocket of the NP is very endearing. Some unseasonal eary rains resulted in slightly lower game densities, but we still enjoyed top sightings. Highlight was a Leopard killing an Impala, and we could admire the elegant Cat with this prey whenever we returned to that scene. COVID: We felt very safe, all staff wore masks, and everything was spotlessly clean. Since meals are all taken in the open and guests are never in closed rooms infection risk is very low. The same applies to game drives of course. In general Zambia seems to have avoided the worst of the virus for now. The country is welcoming international tourists, and I´d encourage anybody with the option to do so to go. A unique opportunity to experience a park like Luangwa almost without other visitors. (We were the only ones in camp, and saw two other tourists during our time there.)
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Date of stay: October 2020
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Safariholic wrote a review Jul 2019
Horsham, United Kingdom1938 contributions526 helpful votes
From the moment we crossed the Luangwa River (after 2 nights at Luwi Bush Camp) everything changed. We were welcomed like returning family – warm, genuine, enthusiastic. It was delightful, and bearing in mind it had been 8 years since our last visit, we felt quite humbled – we were not exactly regulars, like some - or many, should I say. John & Carol Coppinger and Bryan Jackson are obviously still very much active hands-on Managers (Owners too, so a very rare breed) with so many of the same old (no that is not ageism) familiar faces. It would be unfair to name too many, but I have to say it was a real pleasure to see Isaac again, and to have Stephen Banda, all to ourselves for so many days, on the walks. We had scheduled our Visit as follows - Tafika (3 nights), Chikoko Bush Camp (2 nights), Crocodile River Camp (2 nights) and Mwaleshi Camp (3 nights). This Review is focused/exclusively on Tafika. Chalets/Suites – excellent. Clean, comfortable, spacious, open-aired but with mosquito nets, shelving and hanging space for clothes etc, electric bedside lights. No charging points in the Rooms – only centrally in the Lounge area. Laundry was perfect. Food – very good indeed, but Team - you excel at breakfast, just when I am busting to hit the road. Game Drives – excellent in variety, quantity, excitement and drama. Night drives reached dizzying heights of sightings of nocturnal ‘small cats’ (Spotted Genets especially) and Leopards. We were so lucky for day-after-day, night-after-night, that we are beginning to suspect skill, ability, bush craft and experience have something to do with it. Phenomenal eyes helped, of course – just not mine. Internet Café needs some work – a signal might help. Don’t expect to be able to use your laptop, iPAD, iPOD, iPHONE, or pretty much any Smart device thingy whilst here, and you will not be disappointed. It is actually quite therapeutic. In Summary – Excellent. Thank you one and all. We will be back, and not leave it quite so long this time.
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Date of stay: September 2018
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Trip type: Travelled
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91Chris wrote a review Dec 2018
Hertfordshire, England41 contributions30 helpful votes
We stayed at Tafika and its sister walking camps of Chikoko Tree Camp and Crocodile River Camp in July 2018. They are all owned and run by Remote Africa Safaris, the business of owner-managers John and Carol Coppinger and Bryan Jackson who live at Tafika during the season. This is a combined review for all three locations. It's hard to know what to add to the other glowing reviews of this organisation, but simply to say that of all our African trips, this has been one of our most memorable and authentic experiences. The quality of the hospitality and guiding was absolutely outstanding but what really defines these camps is the deeply respectful ethos underpinning everything Remote Africa Safaris does. The structures of these beautiful places are rebuilt afresh each season in the traditional way by local craftspeople with natural materials. The fresh ingredients used in the kitchens are sustainably grown in Tafika's wonderful kitchen garden on the banks of the Luangwa River. The camps support and employ many people from the local communities and put funds back into their schools and healthcare. We were lucky to have Moffat as our guide, both for the walking and vehicle safaris. I cannot speak too highly of him. Encyclopedic knowledge of the bush is a given when guiding at this level, but what he added was a tremendous warmth of personality, a wit and wisdom that made him great fun to spend time with. This part of South Luangwa is a real treat for game viewing. It is remote so that meeting another vehicle is a rarity yet the game is outstanding. On all our vehicle drives we never failed to see either lion, leopard or wild dogs (or all 3!) along with all the more regular sightings. Chikoko Tree Camp and Crocodile River Camp are even more remote than Tafika with no road access (hence only walking safaris). The locations are absolutely superb, and give a true wilderness experience. Despite the remoteness they are still very comfortable with excellent food - we were amazed at the standard of food Padson could cook on an open fire! Overall we had a wonderful time and can't recommend all three locations (and Moffat!) highly enough.
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Date of stay: July 2018Trip type: Travelled
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chloemcck wrote a review Nov 2018
48 contributions11 helpful votes
Tafika was brilliant! the rooms were huge and the open bathroom at the back was great for viewing vervet monkeys as you shower! The hides at camp are the perfect place to watch the wildlife during the day and the resident ground hornbills who are beautiful. The food here was really excellent and it was a pleasure to have Jon and carol host meal times and hear about their life in the bush! They also have the oldest guide in the valley Isaac who it was a pleasure to meet-his eyesight rivals that of any teenager it is quite remarkable. It is also a very quiet yet game rich area of the park which is perfect for anyone who doesn't like crowded sightings. All in all I can't recommend it enough.
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Date of stay: October 2018
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Trip type: Travelled
Room Tip: I had a room at the end near the hippo hide which was great
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SibDD wrote a review Oct 2018
Dresden, Deutschland10 contributions2 helpful votes
It is a privilege to meet such places and people. Great wildlife and no other tourists. Great nature camp without frills, but with a lot of love and great service. Impressive, what is done here for the nature conservation and the communities. We will come back again.
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Date of stay: October 2018
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tartan3673 wrote a review Sep 2018
Coos Bay, Oregon87 contributions31 helpful votes
I love when you can come home and say that your experience was more than you ever thought it could be. Tafika Camp and the staff are just that. The staff were an amazing combination of professional and caring. Heather and Fiona are two incredible people. The food is really outstanding and presented with care and effort. The game drives, morning and afternoon were really solid. Bryan, our guide, and our spotters, Lloyd and Jimmy were the best. We had multiple sights of leopard, lions, wild dogs, hyena, buffalo, elephant, zebra, giraffe and hippo, to name a few. We truly enjoyed being on the drives and getting the chance to see what crossed our paths. The accommodations were lovely. Very traditional with all the amenities one really needs. The grounds were enchanting and the hides offered wonderful photo opportunities. Tafika is a wonderful place to be with professional and caring staff. I would recommend to anyone that they make this camp one of their destinations when planning their next trip. Yvonne & Tasha
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Date of stay: August 2018
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ALSO KNOWN AS
tafika camp hotel south luangwa national park
LOCATION
ZambiaSouth Luangwa National Park
NUMBER OF ROOMS
6
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Frequently Asked Questions about Tafika Camp
What are some of the property amenities at Tafika Camp?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, airport transportation, and laundry service.
What food & drink options are available at Tafika Camp?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast during their stay.
Does Tafika Camp have airport transportation?
Yes, Tafika Camp offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.