Having opened in August 2019, Puku Ridge is a great base from which to explore the South Luangwa! The camp offers classic vehicle and walking safaris.
Puku Ridge is owned by Chichele Safaris and operated by the Cumings family of Chiawa Safaris. The Chiawa portfolio includes Chiawa Camp and Old Mondoro, properties we’ve always appreciated for their high-quality guiding and service. Accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, and the camp is open from 1st April to 30th November every year.
Access & location:
The camp is accessed via approximately 1 hour 30 minutes’ road transfer from Mfuwe Airport. This journey involves wildlife viewing in the South Luangwa National Park and travelling through villages. Puku Ridge is situated at the foot of a rocky hillside overlooking the Kakumbi floodplain, which is popular with the puku antelope after which the property is named.
Accommodation & facilities at Puku Ridge:
Guest accommodation consists of just eight suites, all positioned to maximise vistas over the floodplains. Each suite has a luxurious bedroom, featuring a super-king bed or large twin beds with mosquito netting. Additional in-room amenities include air conditioning, an overhead fan inside the netting, a tea-and-coffee station, a mini-bar, international charging facilities, 24/7 220W power, and Wi-Fi. En-suite facilities comprise flush toilet, twin washbasins, big bathtub, and indoor/outdoor showers, with views! The interiors as a whole include local artwork, taking inspiration from the classic bushcamp while providing ample creature comforts. From the bedroom, doors lead out onto a private viewing deck, complete with plunge pool! And guests also have access to their own little tower, which supports a platform for a day bed or star bed.
Puku Ridge’s communal spaces are equally well presented, occupying a building constructed from timber, stone, and thatch. Again, the interiors epitomise classic–luxury safari, bushcamp elements mingling with sophisticated modern design. There are both indoor and outdoor lounge and dining areas, as well as a campfire. A viewing hide overlooks the nearby waterhole, which is very popular with the local wildlife! And eco-safarists will be pleased to learn that the camp is carbon neutral.
Activities at Puku Ridge:
The camp offers classic safari activities, as follows:
Expertly guided game drives- These are available during early morning and late afternoon. The remote location of Puku Ridge within the South Luangwa makes for exclusive experiences of the wildlife-rich region! The park’s plains, woodlands, wetlands, and rivers support an exciting variety of predators and herbivores alike. Among the species you can look out for are four of the Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, and buffalo – in addition to hyena, jackal, wild dog, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, antelopes, and hippo. Leopard concentrations are particularly impressive!
Night drives- This activity is also enjoyed in the presence of a knowledgeable and experienced guide, bearing a special flashlight with a red filter. The South Luangwa’s nocturnal animals include bush baby, genet, and porcupine.
Walking safaris- Walks are fantastic for anyone interested in close observation of the park’s smaller lives, such as its plants, insects, and birdlife. Over four hundred species of feathery friends have been recorded in the South Luangwa, not least five described as notable – Verreaux’s eagle owl, great white pelican, African skimmer, southern carmine bee-eater, and the little bee-eater too! Please note, walks have a minimum age requirement of 14 years.
*This property is unfenced and located in a wildlife area, so large and potentially dangerous animals do pass through. If you opt to stay here, always be alert when walking around the camp and request for a member of staff to escort you if you have any concerns. Any guest is escorted after dark as a matter of course.
Please get in touch with a member of our safari travel experts if you’re interested in being among the first safarists to stay here!