May 18, 2024
Zambia's enchanting Kafue National Park

Zambia’s enchanting Kafue National Park

There’s silence in the eating space, and close to the supper desk only a silent clinking and tinkling and scraping of cutlery, as we love a delicious mushroom risotto. The eating space sits atop a a hill, seeking eastward over Lake Itezhi-Tezhi, in the southern element of Zambia’s Kafue Nationwide Park. Antique lanterns illuminate the desk and bordering deck and, in the tranquil, we can listen to loud splashing noises coming from the drinking water. Abandoning our areas at the desk, we go to the edge of the decking and search out into the darkness. Potent torchlight illuminates 20 or thirty hippos, all grazing, stomping and splashing in the shallows and on the shore. Marginally skittish, doubtless emotion a little exposed and susceptible, they quarrel with 1 a different, periodically dashing in the direction of the water and sending up in plumes of spray. We hadn’t envisioned hippos, in these types of numbers, to visit after dim. Hunting up, the stary skies overhead ended up mirrored by the twinkling lights of the neighborhood fisherman’s camps, and the lamps on their dugout canoes, as they fished in the darkness. Immediately after meal we retired to mattress, leaving the hippos in peace, and in the morning, opening the doors to our place, we lay in bed listening to them, still munching, as a impressive sunrise lit up the sky in a kaleidoscope of colors.

As we head to breakfast a large check lizard swaggers earlier in the grass, and we obtain a leopard’s footprints on decking beside the dining home – it experienced clearly arrive for a drink from the pool though we’d been asleep. All through daylight hours there’s a regularly shifting array of wildlife in front of the lodge, with puku, bushbuck, impala, vervet monkeys and a troop of banded mongoose, all incredibly at household here, and elephants no strangers to camp.

We are at Konkamoya, in Kafue National Park, Zambia’s oldest and greatest Nationwide Park, and one of the continent’s wildest. Kafue is named for the river, the lifeblood of the park, that dissects it practically north to south. The Kafue River is the most significant tributary of the Zambezi. A huge river, up to 400m wide in places, and somewhere else interspersed with islands, granite boulders and rapid flowing rapids. It is the Kafue that inevitably feeds the beautiful, still comparatively undeveloped, guy-designed, Lake Itezhi-Tezhi.

Kafue is an unspoilt wilderness, a land with out fences and with couple of roadways, but with an remarkable array of wildlife. Nowhere else in Africa can you see blue duiker, sable, roan, purple lechwe, Lichenstein’s and Defassa hartebeest, elephant, buffalo, leopard, wild doggy, hyena, hippo and yellow backed duiker all in one particular park. While Kafue does not have the enormous herds of activity that can be discovered in other parks, what it lacks in density it much more than would make up for in range. There are at least 161 species of mammal, 6 cat species, and 22 species of antelope (Kafue features the greatest antelope variety of any African park). The park is also property to approximately 500 species of birds.

Konkamoya implies “follow the wind” in the community language, Nyanja. The lodge was constructed in 2010, just after founder, Andrea Porro, found out this piece of paradise. Andrea was born and lifted in Milan, but his interest in wildlife, from childhood, experienced led him to examine zoology and purely natural sciences. Combining his adore of wildlife with his passion for images, Andrea travelled the planet, together with Zambia, where in 2007 he discovered Kafue Countrywide Park. Recurring visits ensued, culminating in his selection to plant roots in the park. Andrea says “When for the very first time I arrived in the Kafue, now much more than 10 several years back, as a wildlife photographer and passionate zoologist, I wholly fell in really like and determined to change my lifetime. From Italy, my birthplace, I moved my home on to the banking companies of the Itezhi-Tezhi Lake, a magical place… My aim is to share my passion and my property in the bush with a smaller number of guests… to offer a genuine shut-up experience with Mom Mother nature in a single of the wildest and fewer acknowledged places of the Kafue NP… For me this is a subject of love and I am hardly ever as well worn out for an additional thrilling travel late at night, to track an elusive aardvark or to discover the lions calling nearby”

Andrea didn’t waste time throughout covid. Freshly refurbished, and pretty much unrecognisable from my final take a look at a several decades back, this smaller and special lodge has experienced a major makeover. Aside from his numerous other abilities, Andrea has turned his hand to carpentry, and developed all the wooden home furniture in the lodge – chairs, beds, tables, cabinets, benches and much more. With only four, spacious, luxury safari tents, accommodating a optimum of 8 people, the lodge guarantees you an personal link to the surrounding wilderness. Every single of the 4 tents are on raised picket platforms, superior adequate to prevent any undesired friends! Within, each has an open up approach bed room and sitting down area, with an adjacent rest room and shower. All the tents are east experiencing and have marvellous views of the dawn, from your bed, your lounge area or your private verandah. Electric power is powered by solar, so there is no generator to disturb the peace of the bush, the roar of a lion, the grunt of a hippo, or the distant phone of a Pel’s fishing owl.

Out on sport drives we had been incredibly hot on the heels of hyena, lion and leopard tracks. Birds ended up in all places, from the purple-faced mousebirds to grey headed gulls. Mayer’s parrots, egrets, spoonbills, cormorants and storks, watchful fish eagles perched in trees overlooking the h2o and pelicans soared overhead. Stopping for a drink we all of a sudden discovered ourselves in the ‘thick of things’ as a herd of elephants made the decision to cross the street ahead of us. The team was substantial and it appeared to consider without end for them to cross. Elephant just after elephant walked in front of us, significant 1, smaller types, moms, babies, young adults. Some stopped to stare, other individuals shook the branches of trees hoping to dislodge fruit, a number of younger males attempted to display 1 another ‘who was boss’. Just after nearly 30 minutes there had been nevertheless a number of stragglers who had nevertheless to cross the street, so we determined to give up on ready, and turning the automobile all over, headed back again the way we’d arrive.

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Foodstuff is a definite highlight of your remain at Konkamoya. A uncomplicated but scrumptious lunch of sliced salamis and prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato and pesto salad, accompanied by homemade focaccia. Dinners of mouth-watering risotto, handmade pasta, delicious roasted meats, or conventional slender crust pizza created in the lodge’s wood burning oven. Foods are excellent, and are all accompanied by Italian wines. The menu is arranged and personally overseen by Caterina Ferazzini who joined Konkamoya in 2019, and has been passionately overseeing every little thing from reservations to human resources and catering ever since.  She is the a person liable for all the delectable dishes you are going to find on your plate. Many thanks to Andrea and Caterina’s backgrounds, the menu is strongly motivated by Italian cooking and, like any Italian home, the kitchen is at the heart of the lodge.

Frequently overlooked in favour of Zambia’s smaller parks, Kafue is a sleeping giant. One particular of Africa’s oldest and greatest parks, but nonetheless just one of its wildest, this is a distant wonderland, with spectacular rivers, broad open up plains, woodlands, spectacular landscapes, wildlife and birds. The sensation of remoteness is palpable in this untouched wilderness, but at Konkamoya you’ll undoubtedly truly feel at house.