Luxury South Luangwa Safari Lodge


Newly renovated with no aspect left unattended, this South Luangwa safari lodge blends style and comfort seamlessly with nature. Recently updated, Puku Ridge is wilderness, refined – from the elegant architectural lines to the thoughtfully outfitted game viewing vehicles and the perfectly-positioned photographic hide in front of the camp’s private watering hole.

Located well inside the incredible South Luangwa National Park with an outlook onto a private floodplain and watering hole, this remote and elevated landscape is enriched by the rolling gait of giraffe, the heart-shaped nose of the puku, and the midnight whoop of the hyena.

This is a Zambia luxury safari from start to finish, and every detail in between.

A collaboration between its owners, Chichele Safaris, and the Cumings Family of Chiawa Camp & Old Mondoro – the reimagined Puku Ridge is situated on one of the Park’s prime sites.

The well-known and much loved facilities, service and guiding have been upgraded to the highest of standards for which the Cumings Family’s own safari camps have become renowned. Unique in design but traditional in outlook, it has been completely rebuilt with a lighter footprint.

Elements from the South Luangwa bush camps of old have been combined with traditional village life and authentic, local art works complement crucial creature comforts making for one of the most appealing and welcome safari camp launches for many years.

Previous guests of the old Puku Ridge will feel that everything has changed, but nothing has changed, as many special touches from the past have been retained for the ultimate combination of past and present in our South Luangwa safari lodge.

South Luangwa Safari Lodge Video


What is the Luangwa Valley?

The Luangwa Valley is the name for the land area that contains both the North Luangwa and South Luangwa National Parks (as well as the lesser known Luambe and Lukusuzi).

Thought to be where the walking safari originated, both major parks have quite a bit to offer guests. The North Luangwa is very remote and the only park in Zambia where you can see black rhino. A great deal of big game saturates the Luangwa Valley, including the endemic sub-species Thornicroft’s Giraffe and Crawshay’s zebra, both of which can be viewed at our South Luangwa safari lodge, Puku Ridge, and even from the comfort of your luxury safari tent.


What is the South Luangwa National Park known for?

The South Luangwa is 9,050 square kilometres (in contrast to the North’s 4,636 sq.km) and is colloquially referred to as the “Valley of the Leopard” due to such a high density of this elusive African animal being found in the park. Both day and night sightings abound at Puku Ridge for the leopard lovers. While modest in size, the South Luangwa is still largely uninhabited and unexplored, providing guests with a remote and private feel. Arguably home to Africa’s best bush walks, guests staying at Puku Ridge can explore the valley on foot and even encounter some pretty special (and very rare) African animals and walk with the increasingly rare Wild Dogs. A stay at Puku Ridge effortlessly combines both the wild experience and the luxurious camp for a Zambian safari that ticks all the boxes.


The South Luangwa and sustainable tourism

At all of the Chiawa Safaris camps, conservation is not just a word, but a way of life. From lodge building materials to use of solar power and reduced reliance on fossil fuels, as well as a considerate and sensitive approach to how we interact with the environment and wildlife – Chiawa is committed to conservation and sustainable tourism. In late 2017, United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Secretary General Taleb Rifai, made a visit to South Luangwa National Park to declare it as a park committed to sustainable tourism (and the first in the world to be declared as such).

“There can be no true meaning of tourism if it does not benefit the local people in the community. We want to see more engagement and involvement of the local community in sustainable tourism. This declaration is the first to be done in the whole world,” said Dr Rifai.

The view from this special place is absolutely sensational, right across a huge open plain, with the bush in the distance. The staff at the camp are unfailingly warm, friendly and incredibly helpful.

We have stayed at Puku Ridge 3 times now and each time we leave determined to return. It's a magical place, as much so for the care and warmth received from the Puku team as for the South Luangwa landscape and wildlife

This was the most wonderful three days we have ever had. The location and setting were perfect. The welcome and service we received could not be faulted. The food was delicious. The accommodation was “glamping ” at its best. And then there was our safari experience - sensational!

This place definitely has the edge when it comes to atmosphere, food and that special 'Safari' something. Dining under the stars watching the animals appear out of the darkness to drink from the adjacent waterhole was nothing short of magical

Our stay was excellent in EVERY sense of the word. Everything was 5 star including the service, luxury tents, the food, the staff/guides, and the list goes on. I don't have enough nice things to say about my experience here. It was one of the best weekends of my life without a doubt!

The plain's view creates an enormous bush experience. All meals served with a spectacular view. Camp is intimate, and game drives exciting. One camp where I truly like to return to.

The customer service is really second to none. The staff go above and beyond at every opportunity. The game drives are phenomenal.


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