Named after the Puku antelope that graze on the floodplain below, Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp is a traditional bush camp perched on an escarpment in the South Luangwa. The panoramic views are astounding from both the communal areas and guest tents. The area is known for its abundance of game – with everything from lion and leopard to elephant and zebra frequently seen from the camp itself. The camp has been constructed to blend into the local surroundings and designed to leave the lowest possible carbon footprint.

Each of the seven huge safari tents has picture windows and its own viewing deck overlooking the plains where game amble across for a drink of water. Generous and comfortable, each tent has an en suite bathroom with bath tub and shower, as well as an outdoor shower shaded by forest. You can watch the sun rise from your bed, elephants bathing from the comfort of your bath tub and perhaps even wild dogs making their way across the plains in pursuit of prey from your private viewing deck.

Afternoons are spent relaxing in the camp’s large living area in between game activities. Listen out for the Puku antelope whistling to one other when there is danger in the air. When evening arrives, make your way to the central dining area for a delicious gourmet meal in the bush, or order dinner on your own private deck for a romantic night under the stars.

Our Rating:  5 Hand Rating

Location: The camp is perched on an escarpment overlooking a floodplain in the South Luangwa National Park about 2 hour’s drive from Mfuwe Airport.

Number of Rooms: 7 Tents

Room Facilities: en suite bathroom with bath tub and shower, as well as an outdoor shower, mosquito nets, private deck, ceiling fan

Additional Camp Features: Wireless internet access in the main area

Power Source: Mains Electricity with backup Generator

Activities: Game Drives, Night Drives, Walking Safaris

Children: No children under 9 years of age

Season: 1st April – 5th January

Everything about Puku Ridge exceeded my expectations. It was my first ever African safari and I spent five days at Puku Ridge. Learning from Alick, my guide for seven safari game drives and one walking safari, was one of the highlights of the trip. I arrived in the park hoping to see leopards and lions and left having developed a love of bird sighting because of Alick’s knowledge, passion, and patience. I asked many questions and Alick knew the answers to all of them- habitats questions, reproduction questions, and everything in between, about so many different birds and animals. Because Alick grew up in the area he was like an expert guide of his “home.” We saw leopards on every single drive as well as lion, puku, elephants (young and old), wild dogs (a rare sight!), kudu, zebra, eagles, vervet monkeys, baboons, wart hogs, a herd of 200+ buffalo, and a plethora of giraffe. The game spotting was spectacular.

The lodge itself was fantastic. I stayed in rooms #2, and room #6 and #7 over the course of my stay. It was so hot during the day, after lunch, that I enjoyed sitting in the bath tub in a cold bath watching animals roam in front of the lodge. The bath products, Africology, smell so good. There is an outdoor shower, an inside shower, and a luxurious bath tub that we enjoyed. I could also sit outside in the cool mornings and watch the sunrise directly in front of the lodge. One morning when I was taking a shower outside an elephant was looking down at me from a ridge not even 100meter away!

The food was fantastic. I am a vegetarian and the variety over five days was great: lentil burgers, vegetable sticks with beet root dip, and so many other treats. The food was so rich we ended up just ordering fruit plates at the end of every meal. In addition to meals Puku provided delicious snacks with morning tea and afternoon sundowners. Not a single detail ignored by Puku Ridge.

Evidence is a fantastic lodge manager and organised so many parts of our trip. He always has a smile and a story to share with guests. Everyone at the lodge shared my enthusiasm for spotting animals. It was also very quiet and peaceful. The only complaint was that their dipping pool, a water feature as a part of the lodge, was empty and so when we came back from the game drives we could’ dip our feet into the pool.

Francesca and Henrique Mulazzi do Valle - Stayed at Puku Ridge October 2015

We had a wonderful time at Puku – I think it is our favorite so far! Thank you, again, for the bottle of wine. We enjoyed it with Molly and Greg, while watching animals come drink at the water hole at the edge of the lodge.

Jessica and Allen Bateman