The staff at Puku Ridge were warm, friendly and service oriented with an emphasis on details. South Luangwa National Park was exceptional for game viewing. Our visit was at the end of the dry season before the roads disappear under the soggy bog of the rainy season. There were many more accessible roads than we are accustomed to seeing in national parks. Although inside the national park, game viewing was restricted to the main roads, the restriction during the dry season had seemed to have little or no impact on our game viewing. We were able to move freely around the portion of the park that had roads, enhancing our chances of seeing a large variety of animals. South Luangwa was teeming with wildlife when we visited the area.
We really liked Puku because of the setting and the excellent game viewing available in this remote region of the country. The safari camp accommodations combined with comfortable modern amenities and excellent service made this a truly enjoyable experience that we will never forget. We look forward to a future trip to Zambia including the Puku Ridge Tented Camp.
General Manager Petros Guwa
Handicapped Access No
Length Of Stay Two nights
Location The Camp was located in a remote wildlife area in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. The closest town was Mfuwe and the closest large town was Chipata. The drive from the Mfuwe airport to the lodge is approximately 45 kilometers (28 miles).
Owned And Managed Star of Africa Ltd.
Size The Puku Ridge Tented Camp occupied 20 acres in the South Luangwa National Park. There were six walk-in canvas safari tents and guests were looked after by 18 staff members. The South Luangwa National Park is 9050 square kilometers in size.
Year It was opened in 2003
Room We stayed in the Giraffe tent, which was about 42 x 17.5 ft. (735 square feet). It faced east into a veldt (a field) and had an excellent sunrise view. This room had a sitting area with two chairs, a table and lamp, two twin beds, a couch and table, an armoire, two night stand tables with lamps, two luggage tables, a dressing seat on the end of the bed, a vanity area (table, lamp, chair) over looking the bush. Our room had a private viewing deck facing the bush. There were glasses, candles with matches, a hot water maker and a hair dryer.
Continental breakfast consisted of homemade bread toast, homemade muffins, cereal, fresh juice, tea and coffee. Lunch was served at a private table and included homemade bread, onion quiche, mixed vegetable salad, raisin coleslaw, beats, fresh juice and water. For dinner we had roasted pork on rice with steamed vegetables, onion soup, and desert. We chose wine and water to drink.
Pool There was an outdoor pool, about 30 by 12 feet wide and four foot deep. The pool was fed with bore hole water (pumped well water) which contains natural mineral salts.
On one of our game drives we spotted a pride of lions which were within 10 to 20 feet of our vehicle; we were able to photograph them for a long time. When we were there, the South Luangwa River had the largest hippo population in the world. It was really exciting to watch the hippos and large Nile crocodiles in the river when we stopped for sundown drinks at the end of the day. We saw a vast number and variety of birds on our game drives, including the legendary crowned crane, one of the most beautiful water birds we have ever seen. It was a great deal of fun trying to capture the perfect camera pose of the many birds we saw on our games drives. In addition to the numerous other sightings we also spotted some animals unique to the area like Thonicraft’s giraffe (indigenous to the Park), Crawshay’s zebras, and puku.
During our game drives we saw: White bellied stork, egrets, baboon, waterbuck, Crawshay’s zebras a subspecies of Burchell zebras, puku, impala, hippo, fish eagle, grey heron, Egyptian goose, blacksmith plover, elephant, crowned cranes, hidida ibis, carmine bee eater, long tailed starling, guinea fowl, lilac breasted, roller, franklin bird, genet, white tailed mongoose, marabou stork, baboon, buffalo weaver, monitor lizard, white fronted bee eater, elephant shrew, grey hooded king fisher, fish eagle, African hawk eagle, jacana bird, spotted bush snake, tawny eagle, spar winged goose, open billed stork, cape turtle dove, lions
Amazingly this camp ran on electric utility power, even though it is quite remote. Our room had 220 VAC power at 50 Hz with NW-135C adapters.
We visited at the end of the dry season. Although temperatures during the day reached more than 100 F degrees, they fell quickly at night and cooled off to a comfortable level. We found the hottest three hours in the afternoon to be a good time to get out of the heat, but we were active during all other hours of the day.
Cleanliness Very clean.
Date Of Last Visit November 2005
Reviewers Article by Chester Godsy
Photographs by Joni Johnson-Godsy
Service Excellent The camp staff were gracious and helpful at all times. Our host Petros and our guide John were friendly, accommodating, knowledgeable, and a pleasure to be with. The experience of our hosts was reflected in the level and quality of service they provided.
Would You Stay There Again? Yes
- We have been informed that this property has changed ownership.
- Star of Africa
- Postnet Box 218
- Private Bag E891 Manda Hills
- Lusaka, Zambia
- +260 271366
- + 260 271508
- +260 1 271398