Josh and I had arrived at Mukambi Safari Lodge on our trip through Kafue National Park. That day we had driven a horrid road from Itezhi-Tezhi and attempted the Kasempa Road… but failed. I was fairly exhausted after that, so we decided to stay at Mukambi and relax for a day and enjoy the lodge and re-plan our trip. That is one of the pleasures of being self-drive – plans can change.
Mukambi Lodge has chalets and luxury safari tents. They all overlook the Kafue River with the National Park on the opposite bank. They no longer have camping, so anyone looking for a campsite should head a little bit north to Muyukuyuku.
Mukambi is not in the National Park, but in Mumbwa Game Management Area (GMA). The GMA has its own wildlife so walking around at night alone is not allowed. All the guests are either escorted to their chalets or advised to drive.
There are always lots of noises at Mukambi from over the river – elephants during the day, hyena and lion at night.
Basil, the hippo, is a common visitor to the bar and has his own special spot to sleep on. For the safety of the guests, the furniture is moved to cordon him off from the main area. He is so used to having his photograph taken that he squeezes his eyes tight and puts up with the flashes. Although he has never hurt anyone, he is a big hippo, and he is wild, not domestic.
After a morning downloading emails and re-planning our trip we went on a river cruise for a couple of hours in the afternoon. There is always lots to see along opposite bank. We saw elephant, puku, crocs, hippos, kudu, tree monitors and plenty of waterbirds.
The sunset, of course, was memorable.
Mukambi is the first lodge in Zambia to have an electric vehicle for driving around the park and GMA. Jacques took us for a drive and it was a very odd experience.
It didn’t make any noise. Instead of the usual throbbing engine there was a bank of batteries which, of course, were silent. Jacques told us that even the wildlife is confused when the vehicle came into view – they are so used to hearing a vehicle approach and stop to watch, but because there was no noise from an engine, they were unsure of it. The vehicle can do 80 km before needing to be recharged; the recharging done from the lodge’s generator.
Date: 29 September 2013