Across on the western bank of the Kafue River, opposite Hippo Lodge, is one of the most remarkable areas of Kafue National Park. It is a remote wilderness, virtually untouched by man, and teeming with seasonal wildlife; at night the sounds of lion and hyena are commonly heard. A morning hike through this pristine wilderness, escorted by a game-scout and experienced guide, and following well-used game trails, is a not-to-be-forgotten experience. Depending on the level of fitness visitors may walk from 5 to 15 km, experiencing many fascinating aspects of the bush, from the Honeyguide leading you to a bee’s nest, to visiting the remains of a lion’s feast the night before, to tracking game at seasonal pans.
Game viewing by open 4x4 vehicles, on extensive loops of bush tracks east of the river, is offered in the early morning, or late afternoon/night. As dusk falls the hunt is on to track down the elusive cats: lions, leopard and African Wild Cat. It is not uncommon for impromptu evening drive-outs to be made, following the sound of a nearby lion’s roar.
RIVER CRUISES & FISHING
With so many kilometres of beautiful, wild, river to explore, boat cruises at any time of the day are a favourite. Game viewing from the river can be spectacular, especially in the drier months, when elephants cross the river, or when buffalo come down to the river to drink, not too mention that thirsty pride of lion! For experienced or even uninitiated anglers, a thrilling experience can be had with our local staff which are always willing to thread a worm, untangle knots and unhook your catch – later to be served for dinner! Species such as the famous Yellow Belly, Tilapia or Bream, Catfish and the African Pike are all found in the Kafue River system. Fishing tackle is available for guests, and boats with coxswain) are available for hire.
Thanks to the Zambian Ornithological Society, Hippo Lodge and its surroundings is one of the best catalogued for birding in Zambia –indeed a bird watcher’s paradise. It is renowned for almost 300 species which have been recorded within the area including the African Finfoot, African Skimmer, Rock Pratincole, Crowned and Wattle Crane, Saddle-bill Stork, Racket-tailed Roller, Sharlow’s Turaco, Ross’s Turaco, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Crowned Eagle (which are nesting in camp) and the ubiquitous African Fish Eagle. For the avid birder, birding safari’s can be organized with one of our specialist guides.
A natural hot spring, situated about a kilometre from the lodge, provides guests with a perfect opportunity to unwind and rejuvenate in a unique sand bottomed Jacuzzi – bathing at the spring is one of our most popular activities. A BBQ dinner alongside the spring, under the starry African sky, makes for an unforgettable evening.
Trips to these small idyllic wooded islands within the Kafue River can be arranged in camp for the adventurous guest. These trips are entirely different bush experiences that never fail to excite!
OLD HIPPO MINE
Hippo Mine was the first copper mine in Zambia, discovered in 1903, and now a National Heritage Site. A guided tour of the derelict mine and its artefacts are a fascinating historical insight into the endeavours and lives of early pioneers. Mining ceased in 1973.