Puku Ridge, South Luangwa: The Lowdown

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A long-standing camp in the South Luangwa, Puku Ridge has been transformed into a fairly splendid lodge, providing a rather luxurious alternative to the ultra-rustic style of camp more usually found in the park.

What’s Puku Ridge really like?

In a word, rather plush, and with many of the special extras we’d include if we were designing a safari lodge ourselves. Puku has eight tented rooms, though it’d be fair to say the feel is really more of a beautifully designed lodge than a safari camp. Rooms have air-conditioning, indoor and outdoor showers (the latter is a big plus in our book), tubs with lovely views, and a plunge pool- a rare treat in the South Luangwa. On one side of the room there’s also a small tower with a bed which you can either snooze on during the day or use as a starbed at night.

The setting of Puku Ridge is certainly worthy of mention- there seems to be a constant parade of wildlife passing by camp, so put your camera down at your peril! The main mess has a lounge and dining area- meals are eaten both inside and outside- overlooking a distant waterhole. The decking’s built around the existing trees, and there’s a firepit for evening drinks.

What can I do at Puku Ridge?

Wildlife (of course) is what you come to the South Luangwa for and Puku Ridge does not disappoint. Although there’s plenty of game that’ll wander by camp, you’ll mostly be heading out on game drives, both during the day, and at night in an effort to spot some of the more nocturnal animals.  The South Luangwa is also home to the walking safari, and if you get a chance to do one here we’d highly recommend it- while you don’t see as much big game as you do from a vehicle, for total immersion in the bush, a walk would be hard to beat!

Giving Back at Puku Ridge: The management of Puku Ridge have long been known for their excellent eco-friendly activities elsewhere in Zambia, and operate in a similar way in the South Luangwa. Red filters are used on spotlights during night drives to minimise the impact on wildlife, the camp was rebuilt using recycled materials from Puku’s previous existence, and an eco-friendly water system has been installed.

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