Puku Ridge Camp has a superb hilltop location with panoramic views of the surrounding floodplains. The camp has undergone a rebuild and is due to open in August 2019. It will have eight luxurious guest suites, each with its own plunge pool and star bed, plus a large communal area, all with great views.
Puku Ridge Camp offers game drives and night drives in the South Luangwa National Park with opportunities to view its diverse wildlife. You can also accompany a guide and armed park ranger on a walking safari to observe smaller details and learn how to 'read' the bush. There are over 400 bird species here, so ornithologists are in their element. The camp has a hide where you can watch and photograph wildlife at close range.
Puku Ridge has a large lounge-dining area, under a thatched roof and with blinds along the front that can be rolled up to reveal the far-reaching views. Local artworks lend a sense of place and character to the decor. The large deck has several levels and areas for dining, relaxing and game viewing.
Each of the eight guest suites is similar is style to the main area. All have a large, air conditioned bedroom with facilities for making hot drinks, a minibar, plenty of space for clothes and a sitting area. The en-suite bathroom has a walk-in shower, bathtub and twin hand basins, and there's a further open air shower. The deck comprises a covered sitting area and a sunny lower level complete with a sofa, sun loungers and a plunge pool. The roof of the bathroom doubles as a star gazing deck and is equipped with a mosquito netted bed where you can spend a night under the stars.
Artist renders courtesy Chiawa Safaris
Open: Puku Camp is due to open in August 2019 after an extensive rebuild. It is a seasonal camp, open from the beginning of April to the end of November annually.
Location: The camp is on a hill above a floodplain in South Luangwa National Park. The camp is about a three hour game-viewing drive from Mfuwe airport.
Rooms: Each of the eight guest rooms has a deck with a shaded sitting area and an open area with a sofa, sun loungers and a plunge pool. Steps lead up to a star gazing-star bed deck. Glass doors from the main deck lead into the thatched-roof bedroom. The king-size bed (which can be separated into two generous singles) is fitted with a mosquito net, you have hot drink making facilities, a minibar, safe, air conditioning, ceiling fan, battery charging points, a sitting area, wardrobes and an en-suite bathroom with two hand basins, a walk in shower, bathtub and flush toilet plus an outdoor shower.
Activities: Take game drives, night drives and guided walks, go birdwatching and watch widlife from the hide.
Facilities: The dining and sitting area is spacious and open plan, with blinds that can be raised to reveal panoramic plains views. It leads out to the large, multi-level viewing deck with seweral sitting areas and a campfire. There’s a photographic hide off to one side overlooking the waterhole. The camp provides a free laundry service.
Dining: Meals are eaten together in the dining area and out on the deck.
Children: Children aged 12 years and upwards are welcome. This is the minimum age for walking safaris.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is limited free Wi-Fi internet access and mobile phone coverage.
Notes: Puku Ridge Camp was formerly a Sanctuary Retreats property and is now jointly owned by Chiawa Safaris and Chichele Safaris. It is the sister camp of Chichele Presidential Lodge.
"The tents really do have great views onto the floodplain, and I really liked the feel of this place. The tents are massive and the main area is stylish and open. It's not ideal for anyone with walking difficulties as the paths are a bit rough. If you like leopards this is a great option as they're often spotted from the camp."