Kafunta River Lodge

South Luangwa, Zambia

Kafunta River Lodge

Kafunta River Lodge is situated in a quiet corner of the South Luangwa Valley where it overlooks a game-rich floodplain adjacent to the National Park.

Kafunta River Lodge is located in a quiet corner of the South Luangwa Valley, where it overlooks a game-rich floodplain adjacent to the National Park (the lodge is situated outside the boundaries of the park). Great game-viewing is literally on your doorstep at Kafunta River Lodge—elephants will often wander in front of the camp while you enjoy lunch on the decks, and puku and impala are often seen grazing close by.

Access to the national park is easy. Kafunta has its own pontoon just five minutes from the lodge, allowing for adventurous river crossings into the more remote areas of the park – and extraordinarily good wildlife encounters! (Kafunta is also a short drive from the main Luangwa gate allowing easy access to the abundant game-viewing of the Mfuwe sector, the most visited section of the park).

Kafunta has just eight guest chalets making for a very intimate, exclusive atmosphere. Despite the limited number of rooms, Kafunta is a large, spacious camp, so much so that you get the impression that Kafunta's public areas were originally designed with a much bigger camp in mind. The chalets are woven around the main lodge and bar area, an impressive thatched structure built beneath a canopy of mango trees, and overlook the Luangwa floodplains. There's also a shaded swimming pool and a small hot spring pool. And, underneath the main deck, a wildlife hide which you can retreat to during the midday heat to practice your wildlife photography.

Kafunta River Lodge has a smaller sister property, Island Bush Camp, located about three hours away. Situated within the boundaries of the park, Island Bush Camp is the perfect spot to discover unspoiled wilderness – the focus here is on walking safaris, rather than game drives. It is common to combine a long stay at Kafunta with one to two nights at Bush Camp. Both the lodge and the bush camp are ideally located for you to discover the game-rich Luangwa Valley, whether on day and night game drives or walking safaris.


The eight wood-and-thatch chalets at Kafunta River Lodge are just as spacious as the public areas. Raised from the ground on wooden stilts, they enjoy impressive views of the floodplains in front of the lodge. The chalets feature wooden floors are comfortable furnished with double/twin beds draped in mosquito nets. Each chalet houses an en-suite bathroom, with tiled flooring, double basins and shower (supplied with hot and cold running water). At the front of each chalet is a ground level verandah overlooking the floodplains.

Two of the chalets at Kafunta are luxury suites. These are similar in design to the standard rooms, but have the addition of an upstairs lounge and viewing deck, providing a better view, as well as a larger bathroom with bathtub.

Island Bush Camp is even smaller than Kafunta, with just five rustic bush chalets. Raised on high platforms overlooking the river and entirely open to the air (thick mosquito nets are draped around the beds to ensure you have a comfortable, undisturbed sleep), these stylish chalets provide a unique, back-to-nature experience. We do not recommend Island Bush Camp for children, due to the open-air accommodation, but for those looking for a wild bush experience, the chalets are just lovely.


Sumptuous meals are typically served under thatch in the open-air dining room/lounge overlooking the floodlit watering hole, or on the outside deck that sits directly above the floodplain.

There’s a fire pit where a campfire is lit each evening, allowing guests and guides to meet share their tales from the day over a drink, before migrating to the dinner deck for a candlelit dinner overlooking the floodlit waterhole.


Lounge and bar
Floodlit watering hole
Wildlife hide
Swimming pool
Hot spring tub (the only of its kind in the Luangwa Valley)


Day and night game drives
Walking safaris

Child Policy

Children over the age of six are accepted at Kafunta, and those over twelve at Island Bush Camp. Children under twelve are accommodated at half the adult rate when sharing a family room.