Ila Lodge sits on the banks of the Kafue River offering a spectacular view to guests from the rooms and the main area. Their name was inspired by the Ila people, a cattle herding tribe residing in the valley of the Kafue River. Their distinctive hairstyle called ‘isusu’ was designed to allow fellow members of hunting or war parties to see each other over the tall grass of the Kafue floodplains. The style was formed with plaited hair stiffened with a sliver of antelope horn. The Ila weapon of choice was the spear and they used many differing varieties with much display of skill. Battles were generally with other tribes over stolen cattle. The lodge recognises this fascinating people wherever possible through their décor and information at the lodge.

Ila is an owner run Eco-Lodge with ten luxury tented rooms on wooden decks using cement only where necessary to limit the permanent footprint. The main boma is built from locally sourced materials, using an eco-friendly sandbag building method. Their electronic boat offers a quiet experience on the river for game viewing and relaxation and one of their game-viewing vehicles is an electronic land rover, allowing guests to get closer to animals without frightening them off with the sound of a vehicle.

Our Rating: 5 Hand Rating

Location: Located on the boundary of the Kafue National Park on the banks of the River. Accessed either through a 3.5 hour road transfer from Lusaka, or scheduled or charter flights into Chunga Airstrip

Number Rooms: 10 Tents –2 of which are Family Tents

Room Features: Open plan spacious tents with glass sliding doors opening out onto private deck. Rooms are en Suite with indoor facilities and outdoor shower or bath

Other Features: Swimming Pool, Gift Shop, WIFI in main area

Power Source: Solar Power

Activities: Game Drives, Walking Safaris, Boat Cruises, Fishing and Back of House Tours. The lodge also offers two cultural trips – one to a small farm at the Nalusanga Gate, the entrance to the Kafue National Park where the lodge is assisting the community to grow a greater variety of fresh produce for their own consumption and for selling at the local market. The lodge also offers an outing and lunch with the Ladies Club at the nearby Chunga Community. A delicious traditional meal will be prepared and guests will be able to learn about the local community, culture and traditions whilst interacting with the local people.

The lodge has an electric boat and one electric game drive vehicle, which allows you to experience all the sights and sounds of the bush in near silence and with a sense of environmental care. The Elandy is kept close to camp and operates in the Game Management Area for short drives or the relatively common ‘dinner table dash’ to investigate what that sound in the night was or how close those lion calls are!

Child Policy: Accepts children of all ages but participation on activities for children Under 6 is at the managers’ discretion.

Season: Closed in February