Kafunta River Lodge

Kafunta River Lodge is a family owned, great value, lodge, perched on a river bank of the park boundary. Overlooking a huge marsh it is a wildlife paradise and an excellent place to start your Luangwa adventure.

Why we love Kafunta!

Every time I have stayed at Kafunta I have been welcomed with open arms, from the incredible viewing deck to the amazing hosting team it feels like a home away from home which keeps me coming back. I really love that you can see the hippos munching the grass from your dinner table at night, you just never know who is going to be walking past your room!

– Last visited by Chloe McCormack, Sales & Marketing, July 2018 –

Exceptional member of staff: Cephus, Guide: His love for nature doesn’t dissappoint with eagle eyes and a keen knowledge for the smaller things he gives a complete guide to the valley.

Experience Rating

Experience Ratings Explained

The star ratings are based on a variety of different criteria.

Namely it is a comparative aspect against the other lodges in this country and/or area. We like to think of this rating as a mix of the accommodation (please do remember just because the rating is lower doesn’t mean it is a bad lodge more that it maybe more of a rustic nature), guiding and wildlife in the area, food, safety and general vibe.

The lower ratings tend to either be due to being a rustic lodge or being in e.g a busy area of the park. This should be used as a general guide but please do contact us for more detail or check out the reasons why we love these lodges.

Fast Facts


South Luangwa, Mfuwe Sector


10 chalets (Inc. Two family rooms/suites)

Rooms starting from

$385 (pppn)

Great for

Young families and honeymoon couples

Children welcome

Yes. Children of 6 years and over are welcome


April – Jan

Ideal length of stay

2-3 nights combined with Island Bush Camp and Three Rivers Camp.




Yes – Temperamental

Lodge Key Features

Family owned

The Cowan’s first opened Kafunta 20 years ago. Built from scratch they have increased their portfolio to 3 lodges; the main River Lodge and two seasonal bush camps. With 20 years experience, it is easy to see why they are valley favourites, treating each guest as an extension of the family!

Photographic hide

The marsh in front of the lodge attracts a wealth of animals, from elephants looking to bathe and drink to abundant birdlife swooping in to grab insects or frogs from the water. With lions, wild dog and leopards all regular sightings in camp it is an excellent place to relax for an afternoon to see who comes to visit. Directly below the dining deck, you can often spot lazy hippos wallowing just meters from the viewing point with a drink in hand!

Adventurous river crossing

At certain times of the year the entrance into the park from Kafunta is an adventure in itself. In the dry season you can drive straight across the riverbed and into the park but in the months where the river is higher you can enjoy taking the pontoon across the private entrance. The guys will ‘row’ you across using brute strength to pull the pontoon along a rope system alongside the famous Luangwa River, teeming with hippos and crocodiles. Start your game viewing the second you hit the water!

Client Reviews

  • Exceptional service, spectacular wildlife, unforgettable experience.

    Stunning location and passionate service very close to gates of South Luangwa National Park. Knowledgable guides and experienced, caring drivers and spotters.
    Very good restaurant quality food and ample refreshments – both complementary and good value.

    Empathetic staff who made living, driving, photographing, relaxing all exceptional elements of the holiday. High prices for a premium experiences. Would highly recommend.

    Gabriella M
  • Don’t miss this camp

    We stayed 3 nights in Kafunta and 2 in the sister Three Rivers Camp. Our guide Abel was most accommodating – searching assiduously for everything on our bucket list. We saw lions, elephants, antelope, porcupine and many birds to add to our African collection. The highlight was the early season carmine bee-eaters. The night drives appeared to be disappointing until John spotted a chameleon, 3 leopards and a hyena happily munching on an impala. Accommodation and food were excellent, especially the chance to talk to Abel and then the “private” tables for dinner.

    Melbourne, Australia
  • Excellent place to end your safari trip

    We stayed in Kafunta River Lodge for 2 nights at the end of our safari trip. We enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere, very good lodgings and facilities. The game drives were very good too especially as we were able to find Ginger and Garlic Lions.

    Knesselare, Belgium
  • Close to perfect

    Imagine a wide African vista across which wander elephants, hippos, hyenas and lions. Imagine also that you can see all this in from the porch of your lodge or whilst sitting at lunch or dinner. That’s Kafunta. Add in great food, excellent accomodation and the friendliest staff you could ever wish to meet and it’s almost perfect. We loved Zambia, it’s people and it’s wildlife and Kafunta was a great place to start our holiday from.


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*Office hours: Monday-Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM (GMT+1)