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Zambia Safari

Lunga River Lodge

Kafue National Park, Zambia

UPDATE: Lunga River Lodge is closed until further notice.

Lunga River Lodge overlooking the river
Return to Kafue Camps & Lodges                     Image © Wilderness Safaris

View images of Lunga River Lodge: Lunga Images

LUNGA RIVER LODGE RATES: Lunga River Lodge Rates

Lunga River Lodge is situated on the west bank of the magnificent Lunga River in the north-eastern region of the Kafue National Park. The Lunga River is one of the three main tributaries into the Busanga Plains, an area in the extreme north of the Park, and one of the last truly unspoilt places in the world. Kafue is one of the largest and most magnificent national parks in Africa.

Wilderness Safaris owns and manages Lunga River Lodge.

Accommodation            For images of Lunga River Lodge, click Lunga Images
Lunga River Lodge lies on the banks of this river and has six spacious thatched rooms with en-suite shower and bathroom and private decks that provide breathtaking views over its deep blue waters. There is a bar with sundeck suspended over the river, a 'termite mound-top' eating area, reading room and boma-enclosed pool.

A maximum of 12 guests can be accommodated at any one time and great emphasis has been placed on the "guided" experience - being led by qualified, enthusiastic people with in-depth knowledge of the area and its wildlife.

Number of tents
· 6 x thatched rooms
· All tents have twin beds, but can be converted to doubles if need be.

· Electricity is supplied by a small diesel generator which runs for a short period of the day while guests are out on activities. The energy is stored in a bank of batteries and this provides for lighting in the evening.
· Potable water to the camp comes from a borehole.
· Overhead fans have 24-hour power; guests need to be conservative with the use of all electrical equipment.

There are no child restrictions at Lunga. Same-day laundry facility is included.

Activities & Wildlife
Activities at Lunga focus on the river from which the camp takes its name, with the opportunity to explore this fantastic system by boat, on foot along its banks, or by vehicle in the fringing woodlands and dambos (open, grassy areas). Hippo, crocodile, elephant and leopard are present, while impala, puku and wildebeest are common. A small population of the unusual tree hyrax is resident in the camp at Lunga, their calls echoing through the night. A visit here is an ideal and logical combination with the camps in Busanga Plains.

Kafue National Park
At 22 500 square kilometres, Kafue National Park is one of the largest National Parks in Africa. It is fed by three rivers, the Lufupa in the north-west and the Lunga and Kafue in the north-east. The Lufupa River floods in the summer, creating a large floodplain delta system that attracts thousands of waterbirds. The Lunga and Kafue rivers are wide and slow-flowing, banded by riverine forest. In the extreme north of the Kafue lie the Busanga Plains - one of Zambia's most significant wetland resources and one of the few areas in the world that remain untouched by development and human activity.

Considered the jewel in the Kafue crown, the Plains cover an area of approximately 750 square kilometres with Busanga Bush Camp centrally situated within this breathtaking wilderness. The Plains are home to hundreds of red lechwe, ubiquitous puku, stately roan and the diminutive oribi. Lichtenstein's hartebeest, herds of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo and Defassa waterbuck are often seen, while hippo come out of their deep-water channels to graze. This wealth of game on the plains is also a big attraction for predators, including wild dog packs, lone cheetah and lion prides. Pangolin and caracal are spotted occasionally.

The Park has the largest mammal species diversity in Zambia due to its interesting habitat mix which includes miombo woodland and seasonal open grassy areas called dambos. The Park boasts 55 large mammal species - including 20 ungulate and six cat species! At Busanga Bush Camp other unusual sightings include leopard, porcupine, water mongoose and side-striped jackal.

The birdlife is thrilling in its diversity and numbers with nearly 500 species recorded, including exciting endemics such as Chaplin's Barbet. The Busanga plays host to elegant Grey Crowned Cranes and Fülleborn's Longclaw is another speciality here. Birding habitats are exciting and include vast floodplains, broadleaved woodland (mopane and miombo), open water and riverine fringe. Other key species include Ross's Turaco, Schalow's Turaco, African Finfoot, Half-collared Kingfisher, Red-throated Twinspot, Böhm's Bee-eater, Black-backed Barbet, Brown Firefinch, Sooty Chat and Western Banded Snake-Eagle. The area is alive with rollers, bee-eaters, kingfishers, herons and large flocks of Open-billed and Yellow-billed Storks. Northern Kafue is also home to a myriad of other birds like Lesser Jacana, Spur-winged Geese, Saddle-billed Stork, Secretarybird and Martial Eagle to name but a few.

As Wilderness Safaris has expanded its presence in Zambia in the Kafue National Park, more opportunities have arisen to partner with the local people in caring for and learning about our environment.

Employment opportunities have been the first step in this process; initially in construction as more than 150 casual labourers from remote surrounding villages helped to build the new camps, and then later in the open camps where upwards of 130 men and women are permanently employed in ecotourism positions. With permanent employment has come training and skills development. Rural income is such that those employed in the 5-month construction period earned more than 8 times the annual average income for rural Zambians.

Further projects are on the cards with the next major focus being education. Children in the Wilderness (Zambia) hosted its first group of school children in 2007.
Read more: Children in the Wilderness Zambia

Wilderness Safaris' Zambia camps, including Busanga Bush Camp, have pioneered the use of innovative energy-saving systems, which are being used as a model to lower the environmental footprint across the entire portfolio of Wilderness Safaris camps in all regions.

Read more: Zambia Camp Energy Saving Initiatives

Given their relatively recent presence in Kafue, Wilderness' conservation efforts here have been limited to date. Crucially they have established a year-round presence in the remote areas of the Park. Prior to their presence, poaching was known to occur especially in the wet season when the area is largely inaccessible and visitor activity is low. Kafue saw significant poaching in the 1980s and game numbers declined before beginning to recover in the 1990s with the growth of ecotourism in Zambia.

Today in Kafue Wilderness Safaris permanently employ eight game scouts seconded from the Zambian Wildlife Authority who are based at their camps and conduct anti-poaching patrols from these bases year round.

Additional measures taken in Kafue National Park have been the secondment of a tertiary student who, aside from learning skills useful in the ecotourism industry, has conducted grass surveys of the Busanga Plains and examined the role of fire in this unique ecosystem, so contributing to the understanding and thus management of it. Further fish surveys are planned with future students in an ongoing capacity building programme in order to determine the role of traditional fishing in the area. An aerial census conducted in September 2007 has provided baseline data of the ungulate population of the Busanga Plains that is useful in comparison to figures from the 1970s; these calculations will allow them to chart the ongoing revival of the area.

Top           Return to Kafue Camps & Lodges           Return to Map of Zambia

For History and General information about Zambia, click More Zambia
For further information about the National Parks of Zambia, click Zam Parks

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