Tafika is quite simply, one of the finest bush camps in the South Luangwa. It’s one of the last remaining owner-run camps in the “Valley” and is gloriously authentic feeling.
What’s Tafika really like?
Tafika has just six deliberately rustic reed and thatch chalets built around pretty lawns on the banks of the Luangwa River. Inside the chalets have high roofs, open-air bathrooms with shower and loo, and two double beds. There’s also a honeymoon chalet with a kingsized bed and double shower, and for family safaris there’s a chalet with two bedrooms sharing a bathroom.
The focus at Tafika is very much in keeping you as close to nature as possible: when you shower you can smell the damp night air, we ate breakfast on the lawn listening to hippos honk in the river, and most of the main areas of camp are open-sided. There is wifi here, but hours and speeds are extremely limited so this is not something to rely on! Despite the deliberate simplicity here standards are high: food was scrumptious and there’s an impressive veggie garden tucked away towards the airstrip. As this is John and Carol Coppinger’s family home, and many of the staff have been here for more than a decade, the atmosphere in camp is excellent, and in all, we’d rate this as one of the finest bush camps anywhere in the South Luangwa.
What can I do at Tafika?
One of the many things we loved about our stay at Tafika was the diversity of activities on offer. We enjoyed morning and evening game drives with an excellent guide, and this area is much quieter than the more central parts of the park. Being the South Luangwa, there are of course walking safaris on offer- mainly in the mornings- and some fun faster-paced mountain biking safaris.
If you are feeling a little more sedentary, Tafika has a hide, and you can also visit the local community at Mkasanga, more of which below. For guests who have a little longer to spend at Tafika, we’d recommend walking out for a night or two in Crocodile and Chikoko- Tafika’s two satellite bush camps. Lastly- John has his own small plane, which can be used to speed up the transfer from Mfuwe (just ask us if you’d like to upgrade to this), as well as make day trips to the rather marvellous colonial manor at Shiwa Ng’andu.
Giving back at Tafika:
Tafika works closely with Mkasanga village and school, co-ordinating donations from guests via the Tafika Fund. Not only does this help the school with supplies, it supports scholarships for students even after they leave school. The Tafika fund has also helped with building a local clinic for Mkasanga. Should you wish to help, Tafika works with the Pack for a Purpose programme to gather much needed supplies for the village and school- just let us know if you’d like a list.
Want to know more? We’ve stayed here so just