Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Camping In The Bush

Lion at Kakuli
Kakuli Bush Camp, at the confluence of the Luwi and Luangwa rivers in South Luangwa National Park, looks and feels like an “old time” safari camp where Meryl Streep and Robert Redford might step onto the set at any minute to film a scene for Out of Africa. Norman Carr, who founded Norman Carr Safaris, the operator of the camp, was a legendary big-game hunter before he became an ardent conservationist.

His spirit lives on in the most popular activity at the camp, tracking big game on foot accompanied by expert guides and scouts. There’s nothing quite so thrilling as photographing a pair of young lions with nothing between you and them except twenty yards of grass. Zambia is one of the few places where that’s allowed—most countries require safari operators to keep guests inside vehicles.

Many of the spacious tents at Kakuli are surrounded by evergreen trichelia trees for extra privacy from the other five chalets. You'll also have a deck, attached open air bathroom, and an emperor size bed. Huge ancient acacia trees-—with seed pods that are favorite snacks for the elephants—-shade several tents. If you are honeymooning, let them know in advance; the staff greets honeymooners with a special traditional song of congratulation and goes out of their way to arrange surprises like sparkling wine “sundowners” or a romantic bush dinner on the riverbank where hundreds if not thousands of hippos congregate in the moonlight.

The nightly rate for two is $570 per person inclusive of all meals, drinks, laundry, activities, and airport transfers. Mfwue Airport is about two hours away.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

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