The Puku Ridge & Chichele Presidential Lodge team is led by uber-managers, Jason and Michaela Johnstone, ex Chiawa Camp & Old Mondoro, and who will be bringing and delivering the highest of international standards to the South Luangwa.
They are supported by many familiar faces from Chichele and Puku Ridge and are building a formidable team to take Puku Ridge on its onwards and upwards journey to new heights.
JASON + MICHAELA JOHNSTONE
Jas and Kayla are one of the industry’s top management couples. They bring to Puku Ridge not only their world-renowned hospitality and skills gleaned from working in some of the world’s top boutique resorts, but as importantly, 5 years of experience working for Chiawa Safaris at Chiawa Camp and Old Mondoro. Sticklers for detail, foodies, coffee and wine afficianado’s and wonderful company, Jas and Kayla will ensure any visit to Puku Ridge is memorable for all the right reasons.
Abel was one of the original guides at Puku Ridge when it first opened in 2003; it is somewhat ironic then, that he has returned to star in its next chapter. Now reputed to be one of the Luangwa Valley’s most respected guides – not only does he have a degree in African Wildlife Management but he is also a certified TEVETA Safari Guide trainer. Abel’s interest in guiding started at school via the Chongololo (millipede) Club, his favourite bird is the Lilac-breasted roller because of its beauty and his favorite mammal is the elephant.
Although Andrew’s home is the South Luangwa, his demand as a guide has taken him from East Africa to South Africa. And little wonder as his knowledge, photography and tracking skills are first class. Andrew knows the South Luangwa like the back of his hand and has documented just about every lion, and many leopards, in the park. Andrew is a certified TEVETA Safari Guide trainer. Growing up in the bush, he learnt to track and appreciate wildlife as a child. He loves everything about nature, believes there is a lesson to be learned from every creature, and that the earth is all we have so let’s be kind to it and each other.
Abram grew up in the South Luangwa. A keen naturalist and naturally inquisitive, Abram passed the notoriously tough South Luangwa safari guide exams with flying colours and has gained substantial experience over the past four years. Working with Chiawa Safaris under the mentorship of Abel and Andrew gives Abram the opportunity to unlock his potential and become one of the best.
GRANT + LYNSEY CUMINGS
The Puku Ridge safari experience has been carefully crafted by Grant + Lynsey who are proud to work with this amazing team, delivering what they feel is the most refined South Luangwa safari available.
The customer service is really second to none. The staff go above and beyond at every opportunity. The game drives are phenomenal.
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 is the most exceptional travel experience I have ever had. The grounds, accommodations, and food are just exquisite and the service is even better than all of that combined.
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
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.