|leopard with two very playful cubs|
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Flatdogs Camp was the first of my three camps in South Luangwa National Park, one of the finest safari destinations in Africa. It is the closest camp outside the main gate of the NP. Although fairly large, the camp is nicely spread out so there is no feeling of over crowding. Unlike many safari camps, guests are not 'hosted' here - so guests take their meals independently, rather than communally with a guide or manager. At the open-sided main area, there are plenty of seating options, inside or out, you can order something at most times of the day. It operates more like a restaurant than safari camp - there is an à la carte menu with no set meals or set meal times. To support the surrounding community, it does try to source food locally. I really enjoyed the meals here - the atmosphere casual and relax, the food varied, tasty and fresh, with generous proportion. They have the chocolate brownies to die for! There are different accommodation options available here like the chalets, tree houses and standard and luxury safari tents.
I stayed in one of the new luxury tents with a good view of the Luangwa River. It is set under a thatch, simple, spacious, with a double bed, mosquito net, a standing fan, bedside tables and lamps, tea/coffee-making facilities and outside sitting area. The walled open top bathroom is located through a door at the back. It is spacious but simply done, with stone floor, flushing toilet, washbasin and hot and cold shower. Both day and night game drive are offered here with a good level of guiding though because of its size, it is rare to have a vehicle all to yourself. Apart from a pride of 19 lions, the most memorable sighting here was a leopard with two very playful cubs. The flexible approach here is best suited for people of independent minded nature. It is also very good value for money, bridging the gap between budget and high-end safari camps in this area. It is owner run and manage which is a good thing. The engaging conversations with them - priceless. Flatdogs = Crocodiles.