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Zambia’s enchanting Kafue Nationwide Park


There’s silence within the eating room, and across the dinner desk solely a quiet clinking and tinkling and scraping of cutlery, as we take pleasure in a scrumptious mushroom risotto. The eating room sits atop a a hill, wanting eastward over Lake Itezhi-Tezhi, within the southern a part of Zambia’s Kafue Nationwide Park. Vintage lanterns illuminate the desk and surrounding deck and, within the quiet, we will hear loud splashing noises coming from the water. Abandoning our locations on the desk, we transfer to the sting of the decking and look out into the darkness. Highly effective torchlight illuminates twenty or thirty hippos, all grazing, stomping and splashing within the shallows and on the shore. Barely skittish, likely feeling a bit of uncovered and susceptible, they quarrel with each other, periodically dashing in the direction of the water and sending up in plumes of spray. We hadn’t anticipated hippos, in such numbers, to go to after darkish. Trying up, the stary skies overhead have been mirrored by the twinkling lights of the native fisherman’s camps, and the lamps on their dugout canoes, as they fished within the darkness. After dinner we retired to mattress, leaving the hippos in peace, and within the morning, opening the doorways to our room, we lay in mattress listening to them, nonetheless munching, as a spectacular dawn lit up the sky in a kaleidoscope of colors.

As we head to breakfast an enormous monitor lizard swaggers previous within the grass, and we discover a leopard’s footprints on decking beside the eating room – it had clearly come for a drink from the pool whereas we’d been asleep. Throughout daytime there’s a consistently altering array of wildlife in entrance of the lodge, with puku, bushbuck, impala, vervet monkeys and a troop of banded mongoose, all very at house right here, and elephants no strangers to camp.

We’re at Konkamoya, in Kafue Nationwide Park, Zambia’s oldest and largest Nationwide Park, and one of many continent’s wildest. Kafue is called for the river, the lifeblood of the park, that dissects it nearly north to south. The Kafue River is the most important tributary of the Zambezi. A big river, as much as 400m extensive in locations, and elsewhere interspersed with islands, granite boulders and quick flowing rapids. It’s the Kafue that finally feeds the gorgeous, but comparatively undeveloped, man-made, Lake Itezhi-Tezhi.

Kafue is an unspoilt wilderness, a land with out fences and with few roads, however with a unprecedented array of wildlife. Nowhere else in Africa are you able to see blue duiker, sable, roan, purple lechwe, Lichenstein’s and Defassa hartebeest, elephant, buffalo, leopard, wild canine, hyena, hippo and yellow backed duiker multi function park. While Kafue doesn’t have the large herds of sport that may be present in different parks, what it lacks in density it greater than makes up for in variety. There are not less than 161 species of mammal, 6 cat species, and 22 species of antelope (Kafue boasts the best antelope variety of any African park). The park can also be house to roughly 500 species of birds.

Konkamoya means “comply with the wind” within the native language, Nyanja. The lodge was in-built 2010, after founder, Andrea Porro, found this piece of paradise. Andrea was born and raised in Milan, however his curiosity in wildlife, from childhood, had led him to check zoology and pure sciences. Combining his love of wildlife along with his ardour for images, Andrea travelled the world, together with Zambia, the place in 2007 he found Kafue Nationwide Park. Repeated visits ensued, culminating in his determination to plant roots within the park. Andrea says “When for the primary time I arrived within the Kafue, now greater than 10 years in the past, as a wildlife photographer and passionate zoologist, I utterly fell in love and determined to alter my life. From Italy, my birthplace, I moved my house onto the banks of the Itezhi-Tezhi Lake, a magical place… My intention is to share my ardour and my house within the bush with a small variety of company… to supply an actual close-up encounter with Mom Nature in one of many wildest and fewer identified areas of the Kafue NP… For me this can be a matter of affection and I’m by no means too drained for an additional thrilling drive late at night time, to trace an elusive aardvark or to seek out the lions calling close by”

Andrea didn’t waste time throughout covid. Freshly refurbished, and nearly unrecognisable from my final go to a couple of years in the past, this small and unique lodge has had a significant makeover. Except for his numerous different expertise, Andrea has turned his hand to carpentry, and created all of the wood furnishings within the lodge – chairs, beds, tables, cupboards, benches and extra. With solely 4, spacious, luxurious safari tents, accommodating a most of 8 individuals, the lodge ensures you an intimate connection to the encircling wilderness. Every of the 4 tents are on raised wood platforms, excessive sufficient to discourage any undesirable company! Inside, every has an open plan bed room and sitting room, with an adjoining rest room and bathe. All of the tents are east going through and have marvellous views of the dawn, out of your mattress, your lounge room or your personal verandah. Electrical energy is powered by photo voltaic, so there’s no generator to disturb the peace of the bush, the roar of a lion, the grunt of a hippo, or the distant name of a Pel’s fishing owl.

Out on sport drives we have been scorching on the heels of hyena, lion and leopard tracks. Birds have been in every single place, from the red-faced mousebirds to gray headed gulls. Mayer’s parrots, egrets, spoonbills, cormorants and storks, watchful fish eagles perched in timber overlooking the water and pelicans soared overhead. Stopping for a drink we instantly discovered ourselves within the ‘thick of issues’ as a herd of elephants determined to cross the highway forward of us. The group was enormous and it appeared to take ceaselessly for them to cross. Elephant after elephant walked in entrance of us, huge one, small ones, moms, infants, youngsters. Some stopped to stare, others shook the branches of timber hoping to dislodge fruit, a couple of younger males tried to indicate each other ‘who was boss’. After nearly half-hour there have been nonetheless a couple of stragglers who had but to cross the highway, so we determined to surrender on ready, and turning the automobile round, headed again the way in which we’d come.


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Meals is a particular spotlight of your keep at Konkamoya. A easy however scrumptious lunch of sliced salamis and prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato and pesto salad, accompanied by home made focaccia. Dinners of mouth-watering risotto, home made pasta, scrumptious roasted meats, or conventional skinny crust pizza made within the lodge’s wooden burning oven. Meals are improbable, and are all accompanied by Italian wines. The menu is organized and personally overseen by Caterina Ferazzini who joined Konkamoya in 2019, and has been passionately overseeing every little thing from reservations to human sources and catering ever since.  She is the one answerable for all of the delectable dishes you’ll discover in your plate. Due to Andrea and Caterina’s backgrounds, the menu is strongly influenced by Italian cooking and, like every Italian house, the kitchen is on the coronary heart of the lodge.

Usually ignored in favour of Zambia’s smaller parks, Kafue is a sleeping large. Considered one of Africa’s oldest and largest parks, however nonetheless certainly one of its wildest, this can be a distant wonderland, with spectacular rivers, huge open plains, woodlands, beautiful surroundings, wildlife and birds. The sensation of remoteness is palpable on this untouched wilderness, however at Konkamoya you’ll definitely really feel at house.




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