ILA SAFARI LODGE - KAFUE NATIONAL PARK
Ila Safari Lodge is a true eco-lodge located on the banks of the Kafue River in an area of abundant wildlife and boasts 180 degree views out across the water. The lodge is one of the first lodges just off the road to Lusaka and is great for a few days relaxation before heading off to more remote camps or somewhere to relax after visiting the bush camps.
Take a dip in designer pool, dine on mouth-watering cuisine, kick back and enjoy a book or just watch the world go by with an ice cold drink in hand from the lounge.
Ila Lodge is located in the central area of the Kafue National Park in Zambia. From Lusaka the lodge is a one hour chartered flight or 3 hour road transfer.
The lodge has 10 state of the art luxury safari tents perched on their own deck reaching out over the banks of the Kafue River - including 2 larger family suites. The tents have been individually designed to blend in with the flora surrounding it providing shade, privacy and your very own piece of Kafue wilderness.
The interiors as well as the private decks are furnished in chic, modern African style and every comfort has been considered. All tents feature ensuite bathrooms and either outside showers or baths and beds are extra length for a fabulous night’s sleep. Mosquito nets are spacious and billowing and are turned down for you each evening.
The family tents can accommodate 4 people or in case of families with 3 kids - can have an extra bed added. The spacious tents offer 2 separate sleeping areas which are ideal for families or for couples sharing. Both family tents offer a luxurious bath and shower overlooking the Kafue River.
The main area is an expansive boma with open sides, wooden decks, comfortable seating areas, dining area and a stunning infinity pool with views out over the river.
ACTIVITIES AND WILDLIFE
Enjoy 22,400 sq kms of pristine African bush to explore in open 4x4 game viewers, by boat on the Kafue River or using your own two feet in the form of walking safaris. 40% of all of Africa's water flows through Zambia and the Kafue River –the major lifeline of this park – is one of the largest rivers in the country. This huge park is known for its incredible diversity of wildlife and it's sheer quantity of big game.
The park was established in the 1950s by the legendary Norman Carr but despite its size, diversity and wealth of game remains largely unexplored.
From the remote northern seasonal Busanga floodplain formed of open grassland dotted with wild date palm, sausage and fig tree islands through central miombo woodland and along the banks of the Kafue river to the more sandy southern plains - the Kafue represents an incredible collection of diverse habitats. The park is easily accessed by road or air from Lusaka or Livingstone.
On the big game front lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo are all prominent. Further to this, Kafue boasts the highest population of wild dog in Africa and the greatest diversity of antelope in the world including the much revered roan and sable antelopes.
The diversity of habitat makes Kafue one of the best locations in Africa for birding. The Kafue riverbanks, wetlands, savannah and woodland boast an impressive 478 of Zambia's 733-recorded bird species. Among them African Wattled and Crowned Crane, Fish Eagle, Woolly-Necked Stork, Saddle Billed Stork, Goliath Heron, Ground Hornbill, African Fin Foot, Pel's Fishing Owl, Purple-Crested Lourie and Chaplin's Barbet.
Game Drives – the camp has Zambia's very first 'Electronic Landrover' (eLandy) in operation. This vehicle allows you to experience all the sights and sounds of the bush in near silence and with a sense of environmental care. The eLandy is kept close to camp and operates in the Game Management Area for short drives or the relatively common 'dinner table dash' to investigate nearby wildlife.
The camp also has three top of the range game vehicles which reside on the park side of the river. It's a quick float in a boat over to them which is always a nice way to start the morning!
Regular sightings include lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, a wide range of antelopes including roan, sable and zebra, hippo, crocodile, warthog, genet, jackal, mongoose, baboons and monkeys and a myriad of species of bird. Rarer species include wild dog, cheetah, honey badger, civet, serval, bushpig, porcupine and bushbaby.
Walking Safaris – are available from June until November when the camp closes. Grasses are still quite tall and certain areas still a bit muddy which makes walking difficult. Walks leave in the early morning hours after sunrise to avoid the heat of the day. The walks begin right from camp and there is plenty to see along the banks of the Shishamba River. Your guide will show you how the whole ecosystem works together to support the national Park.
Boat Cruises – take a smooth and serene boat cruise either at dawn or for sunset on the lodge’s solar powered boat. There is nothing quite like quietly drifting down the Kafue river taking in the sights and sounds of the river or a relaxing few hours following the river bank to see what is living on the water or coming down to drink. Sunset from the water is particularly beautiful.
Walking Safaris – head out on a walking safari with one of the lodge’s specialist walking guides and an armed Zambian Wildlife officer. Using footprints and spoor track game using your own two feet as power. Get up close and personal to nature and appreciate the smaller things that you may miss from a vehicle.
Fishing - set out on the river with rod, tackle and a fishing guide to show you all the best spots. For experienced fishermen the lodge can target specific species or if you just want to, try your hand see if you can land a big bream. Basic equipment is available on site but we recommend professional fishermen bring their own gear.
Ila Community Farm - this project is situated at the Nalusanga Gate which is the entrance to the Kafue National Park. The aim is to assist the community to grow a greater variety of fresh produce for their own consumption and for selling at the local market. Lodge owners and other travellers in the area will be able to purchase these products as they enter the park.
ILA LODGE IS CLOSED DURING FEBRUARY EVERY YEAR
THE LODGE WELCOMES FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN OF ANY AGE. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE MINIMUM AGE FOR WALKING SAFARIS IN ZAMBIA IS 12 YEARS AND OLDER