Our family of four (two adults and kids aged 15 and 12) did a 6 day safari to Kafue with Adventure Purists in August 2018.
We're not usually campers, but the high cost of accommodation in Zambia is beyond our budget, so this was the only affordable option.
Overall, we were pleasantly surprised by how comfortable the camping proved to be. The tents are in good condition, and having the use of a collapsible stretcher bed (which comes with a mattress) rather than sleeping on the ground makes all the difference in terms of comfort. We brought our own sleeping bags and pillows, but these can also be hired from the company (as they take up a lot of luggage space). You are expected to help with erecting and dismantling the tents, but this isn't an onerous task and the kids in particular thought that it was great fun.
The camp sites we stayed at were well laid out, with good communal bathrooms and flush toilet facilities. The bathrooms were kept clean, and there was always hot water and toilet paper available (not always a given). There's no escaping the fact that it's a nuisance to have to trek to the bathroom if you need to go to the toilet in the night, but that's the nature of camping (rather than 'glamping' with en suite bathroom facilities) and for this reason, you should be sure to pack a torch - one of the torches mounted on a headband is ideal.
The food was standard bush catering, with generous portions and some degree of choice with the picnic-style breakfasts and lunches. As the vehicle is equipped with a fridge, the staff were able to buy and store fresh meat and vegetables en route, and it was nice to see that there was very little use of canned food. The highlight was a braai (BBQ), with some of the best steak I've ever eaten. All the cooking and washing up is done by the staff.
Water and fruit juice is included in the price, but soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are for your own account, and you'll be given an opportunity to buy these before you leave town.
The driver/guide and cook were friendly, helpful and competent, and the driver was safe and cautious. The vehicle was extremely comfortable, and as it pulls a trailer (which is where the tents, catering equipment and luggage is stored), there's lots of space. The vehicle has windows that can be removed, which maximises your game viewing and photographic opportunities. There are also power sockets in the vehicle so that you can charge important items like camera batteries (be sure to bring your own chargers).
If you're considering this tour, then I would strongly recommend that you pack a selection of clothes with long sleeves and trousers. Usually you'd think that you'll only need these in the bush after sunset to minimise the risk of mosquito bites, but Kafue is tsetse fly territory, and those critters are huge, tenacious and pack a painful bite.
Finally, make the most of the experience and the memories by bringing the best camera equipment you can afford - you won't regret it.
- Cathy R.
Many thanks for a really wonderful journey, an adventure always to be remembered. The Safari was awesome, the guide extremely knowlegable and always strived to do his best - a true experience!
Rafting was well organized, also the canoeing trip was great and a nice day out on the river!
In summary, it was a great holiday and a perfect and impeccable organization.
- Uli S.
We would like to thank you once again for the wonderful tour through the Kalahari! We were spoiled in every way: culinarily by our cook Andrew, but we also took back unforgettable impressions and experiences which will always be kept in our memory.
- Doris K.
Thanks again for the wonderful safari. We felt very comfortable and were very well looked after by our guide Leslie and our chef Chipo - the service was outstanding as well as the cooking!
- Arne S.
The vehicle was comfortable, the food was tasty, the accommodation simple but clean and good, even beyond my expectations. Everything was very well organized and the tour guide was excellent – he was very sympathetic, humorous and cultured. It was a real pleasure to travel with him. He gave so much background information about the behavior of animals!
Our 17-day tour combining “Wild West of Zambia” and South Luangwa was a stunning experience, and I just can highly recommend this tour and tour operator. We had the pleasure to be guided and driven by the owner of ‘Adventure Purists’ himself, Jo Stallmann, supported by a trained cook (Emmanuel) and camp helper. Everything was very well organized, all logistics were taken care of (transportation, accommodation, food) and the whole team made us feel at ease. They were always very committed, friendly, available, flexible, and ready to help us in case of any needs. I specifically liked their great sense of humour (representative for many other locals we met). Camping was luxury with very spacious tents providing ample room for camping beds and luggage. The meal, often cooked on open fire was always super-yummy and prepared with lots of fresh vegetables and meat. When it came to dessert Emmanuel did outperform himself.
Most importantly the actual safari part was fantastic. Most of the days we had two pretty extended game drives, and sun-downer tours enjoying gorgeous sunsets with cold beer outside the car – sometimes with breath-taking hippo or hyena encounters. The spectacular custom-built vehicle was perfectly adapted to our needs and obviously also to any terrific wet-season off-road conditions we could only roughly imagine during our stay in the dry season (by the way, it’s up to the participants to always be aware of bumpy roads!). Thanks to Jo’s awesome expert knowledge, driving skills, and long-term record in spotting game we had great sightings every day and impressively experienced the variety of wildlife, animal behaviour and botany in a very nice and educational way. Just as one example we were lucky enough to spot the Lion Queen ‘Lady Liuwa’, the sole survivor of massive poaching in the 1990s. Beyond nature he also provided us with an authentic local’s view onto various human-related issues of the country such as daily life, culture, education, history, politics etc. including some touching visits at local villages.
To conclude from my perspective all promises made in the program have been fully achieved if not even partly excelled. At the Liuwa plains wildlife may have been a bit less present than in other regions (I was, nevertheless, fully satisfied) but this was easily compensated by uniquely beautiful scenery. I just can repeat myself in highly recommending this tour operator. If I would do this trip again, I would probably add a day for a white water rafting tour on the Zambesi offered by their sister company ‘Bundu Adventures’. Thanks ‘Adventure Purists’ and all the best for the future!
Visited November 2014
- Kerstin T.