SANCTUARY Puku Ridge Camp
Originally built for Dr. Kenneth Kaunda (Zambia’s first democratically elected president) in the 1970s, Puku Ridge Camp is situated on a hilltop in the South Luangwa National Park. The lodge’s original grand colonial style has been meticulously maintained, setting it apart from many of the traditional bush camps of the area, and offering a truly awe-inspiring safari experience. The unique position of this location affords incredible long-range views over the lush game-rich valley below, stretching as far as the Luangwa River. Enjoy these panoramic views from a comfortable seat on the verandah with a steaming cup of fresh coffee (or a refreshing sundowner) in your hand. Or get up close on a game drive or walking safari and encounter some of the wide range of animals that call this verdant valley their homes, like zebra, giraffe, elephants, and a whole host of exciting predators.
The ten luxury rooms (with one set of interconnecting rooms that is perfect for families) are decorated in the understated elegance of years gone by. Large French windows offer a light, airy feel, and the opulent rooms open onto private terraces overlooking the lush valley below. You might not want to leave the comfortable four-poster beds, which have been draped with mosquito nets and covered in crisp white linens. Luxurious en-suite bathrooms even include soft bathrobes and hairdryers. These stunning rooms will further seduce you with the comfort of air conditioning and the convenience of your own minibar. When you’re ready to explore beyond the tranquility of your room, walk through a majestic arched entrance to the huge colonial-style lounge with a fireplace, bar, and grand dining room. A large, shady verandah wraps the main lodge to offer those panoramic views, as well as a few special dining spaces that are the perfect complement to Chef Roy’s famous Chichele eggs benedict. The lodge also has a swimming pool for your floating pleasure, and there is access to WiFi in the main area so you can start posting about your trip, much to the envy of your friends back home.
A game drive with the excellent guides at Chichele will prove to you why the game viewing in this park is second to none. For added adventure, take a sundowner and try an evening drive, when hyena, galago (also known as bushbaby), and various predators are at their most active. You’ll get close enough for some fantastic photos, especially of zebra and antelope, since the plains game is unfazed by the lights of your vehicle. Morning drives are equally fantastic, often with sightings of lions and leopards, two safari favorites. And how delightful to stop mid-drive for a snack of coffee and cookies. If you’d rather put those hiking shoes to good use, the walking safaris are a real treat for those guests 12 and over. Experienced and enthusiastic guides will make sure you’re enthralled (and very safe!) as you spot some of the most fascinating signs of the bush that simply can’t be seen from a vehicle. And when you return from your game viewing, by car or by foot, you’re sure to enjoy a dip in the pool to cool off. And who knows, you might be joined by some of the local wildlife who like to pop by the pool for a quick drink. However you organize your adventures, you’ll leave Chichele with memories to last a lifetime. Or, until the next time you visit, of course.
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Falcon Safaris is a moderate-to-luxury safari operator dedicated to providing guests with the ultimate African experience. Get more ideas on what to do on the Victoria Falls Travel Guide
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We travelled with Falcon Safaris in Zimbabwe and Botswana for 16 days. Falcon designed a wonderful trip with private guide to the most interesting sites in both countries. The organization of the whole trip was excellent, flights within the country, accommodation and activites. The guides were very knowledgable and told us a lot about the countries, their history, people, economy and much more. Wevisited the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, the Victoria Falls and a number of national parks in both countries.
Rhino tracking was a real adventure! We had tremendous further game drives and saw very many animals - we did the Big Five. We had much more activities than planned and enjoyed very much.We strongly recommend Falcon Safaris to everyone planning a trip to Southern Africa and East Africa.
Our Consultant Vimbai was very helpful and accommodating. We stayed at the Elephant hills hotel which was nothing short of amazing.Our activities included a helicopter flight, dinner cruise as well as a morning game drive. All the activities were absolutely amazing.
We worked with Gertrude to schedule and organize everything and she did an excellent job. I asked a lot of questions via e-mail and she answered everyone in a timely helpful manner. Our guide at Victoria Falls was also great. He met us at the airport, provided a thoughtful tour of the Falls and got us to our next guide in Botswana. Our lodgings at River View Lodge were just as described- very comfortable and excellent food. All the staff were so pleasant and helpful. If I had to do it again I would arrange a morning boat ride as well. We only did the sunset boat rides and they were the high point of our entire trip- we saw so many animals and our guide was very knowledgeable. Just a great experience. Our lodgings at Oddball's Enclave was rustic and we loved it. So great to disconnect from the world for a bit. Leo, our guide, was the best - got us out and about, saw fantastic wildlife and got back to camp safely each time. Doc manages the camp so well. This whole trip was planned and organized by Falcon Safaris and we could not have been happier.
Falcon safaris have given my the correct advice with excellent service. The only suggestion will be to work closer with the lodges to confirm bookings as soon as possible. We have booked and pay our deposit a year in advance. We have only receive our final convermation from Chobe Safari lodge a week before departure. I do realize its not within your controle but with limit alternatives and a group of 14 people it becomes an issue to find alternative accomodation if the booking was cancelled.
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