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Africa Safari Blog






Mfuwe Lodge: Elephants and Predators Checking In

Monday, 2 November 2009 10:27 by BillGiven

Photo of an elephant at inside Mfuwe Lodge
An annual feeding tradition brings elephants through the Mfuwe Lodge Reception.
Photo courtesy of The Bushcamp Company


Mfuwe Lodge - My Unique Lodging Experience

You have probably received it at some point via email, the unlikely photo of elephants parading through a safari lodge lobby. The sender may even question do you think its real or just some kind of photoshop trick? I can assure that it is real and happens at Mfuwe Lodge inside of Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park.

Mfuwe Lodge's Special Locatoin

As luck would have it, the Mfuwe Lodge reception was unwittingly built on an ancient trail that the elephants use annually to reach some favored mango trees. Once the lodge was built, the matriarch - Wonky Tusk - continued to lead her herd to the trees despite the fact that it meant crossing through the lobby. Occasionally in late September and October Wonky Tusk will come for a visit to check on the condition of the fruit.

Unfortunately for me, on my recent Walk on the Wild Side Safari, I just missed the event by two days. The mangos typically become ripe in November, at which point a daily parade begins to enjoy the fruit. This year's visits have begun along with special news as Wonky Tusk has just given birth to a new calf! As elephant culture and habits are passed down it is almost certain that new generations of elephants will continue to thrill guests with this annual feeding ritual for decades to come.

Mfuwe Lodge Lion Pride

Photo of a Mfuwe Lodge Lion on a night drive
On a night drive I observed some of the local pride of lions close to Mfuwe Lodge. Last week they were spending their days at the lodge!
Photo © Bill Given


Perhaps the local lion pride of 17 heard from the elephants how inviting the grounds of Mfuwe Lodge was because last week they took up daytime residence as well, lounging along the pathways and on the lawn. Guests were transported by vehicle to their rooms and game viewing started on the property to be sure.

African Wild Dogs near Mfuwe Lodge

Photo of African Wild Dogs near Mfuwe Lodge
African wild dogs have become a more frequent sight in South Luangwa National Park over the last year.
Photo © Bill Given


When the lions left, African wild dogs filled the vacancy and as of today were being observed right from the main reception. Quite an incredible week at Mfuwe Lodge to have elephants, lions, and wild dogs all in residence.

Beyond these sexy megafaunam Mfuwe Lodge is an extremely rich wildlife area with permanent water in an oxbow lagoon drawing in a great variety of species so it is typical to have great viewing right from camp. I really enjoyed taking a dip in the pool from where I could see seven different mammal species at one time and the night time sounds were fantastic, a special mix of spotted hyena, hippo and others.

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