23Apr

Fact File – Flatdogs

 

Accommodation Options

CHALETS

Each chalet building has a downstairs double room with en suite bathroom and an upstairs twin or triple room with their own private bathroom just downstairs. Each chalet room is completely separate to any of the other rooms. The name ‘chalet’ has confused more than a few people (it’s a weird safari habit!). However, they are separate buildings with two rooms in each building, the downstairs room being a double room with en suite bathroom and gauzed verandah all downstairs, the upstairs room being a twin or triple room with bathroom and gauzed verandah downstairs from the bedroom.

We have eight en suite chalet rooms split into four chalets. Three of these have a downstairs double room surrounded by a gauzed veranda and an upstairs twin room with a high thatched roof and views of the river. Both rooms have a day bed which can be converted into an extra single bed when needed.

Electric fans cool the rooms and there are large mosquito nets surrounding the beds. We are on mains electricity and have a standby generator for emergencies.

The family chalet has three bedrooms in total. The two downstairs bedrooms are both en suite; one room has a double bed and a single bed, the other has three single beds, all with large mosquito nets. There is a kitchen area between the two bedrooms with a spiral staircase leading up to the “loft room”, sitting area and upstairs viewing deck. The viewing deck looks out towards the Luangwa River, and while it is not ideal for very small children, it is a wonderful place to relax and watch the sun set. The loft room has two more single beds but has no en suite bathroom. People sleeping here would need to share the bathrooms downstairs.

All our rooms are cleaned each day by “the ladies” Ellyzed and Judy, who will also put your mosquito net down in the late afternoon whilst you’re out on a night drive. Laundry is done daily and for those who are keen to cook for themselves, each chalet room shares a kitchenette with a hob/oven, microwave, kettle and fridge-freezer.

The chalet rooms normally sleep 16 guests, but with the option of extra beds and triple rooms we are flexible enough to be able to take up to 22, if part of a group.

TENTS

Luxury En Suite Safari Tent

On the banks of the Luangwa with the best views in camp, we have sited our six luxury en suite safari tents. These tents are spacious enough for full-sized beds, hanging rack for clothes, and bedside tables and lamps, and a door leads into a shaded open-air bathroom with hot shower, flush toilet and basin. The luxury tents also have mosquito nets and electric fans as well as fully-gauzed windows.

Standard En Suite Safari Tent

Slightly smaller and with bush views and settings, the standard en suite safari tents offer a cheaper option but still have all the necessary comforts! One tent looks over a lagoon where elephants, giraffe, hippo, puku and bushbuck regularly visit, two look onto the river, and two have secluded bush settings where you can witness animals going about their daily business. All have full sized beds, hanging rack for clothes and an open air bathroom with hot shower, flush toilet and basin. The standard tents have fully-gauzed windows but no mosquito nets.

Mains electricity and plug sockets are found in all the safari tents.

TREEHOUSE

The Jackal-Berry tree house is built around three live African ebony trees (Diospyros mespiliformis) with unspoilt views out across the a dambo and lagoon system which is regularly visited by elephant and giraffe.

The tree house has three main decks which are around six feet off the ground with wooden stairways to reach the spacious sitting area and open-plan bedrooms. Each bedroom has open air en suite bathroom facilities, with hot shower, WC and basin. One bedroom has a queen-sized bed, the other bedroom has either two single beds or these can be converted to a king-sized bed if there are two couples sharing the house.

A comfy sofa, easy chairs and floor cushions on the middle deck are ideal for watching the game wandering past the house, oblivious to your presence. A fridge and bar are provided in the tree house as well as tea- and coffee-making facilities. If honeymoon couples and romantic souls fancy a candlelit dinner for two, alone under the stars, we are happy to oblige.

Guests at the tree house are provided with a hand-held radio, as the secluded nature of the house means that a vehicle is needed after dark and when elephant are feeding close by. The tree house is also on mains electricity and has 3-pin square plug sockets for recharging cameras and batteries.

GETTING THERE

From 1st February 2012, Emirates will be flying 5 times a week (Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri & Sun) from Dubai to Lusaka and Harare.

From 15 May 2012, KLM will be flying three times a week (Tues, Thurs & Sat) from Amsterdam to Lusaka. As well as these flights KLM also have codeshare flights with Kenya Airways via Nairobi. Please see www.klm.com for fares and availability.

There are daily flights from Lusaka and Livingstone to Mfuwe with Proflight Zambia.

Travelling by RoadBy road Lusaka to Chipata will take you 6-7 hours, Chipata to Flatdogs from 2 1/2 to 3 hrs. Please do not drive at night in Zambia, it is very unsafe due to the high proportion of vehicles and bicycles with no lights, aimless unfenced animals and drunks sleeping it off on the warm tarmac!

Directions for Driving to Flatdogs

Flatdogs Camp is the closest camp to the Mfuwe main gate. Our access road starts just before the park gate and we are five minutes drive from there. Please drive very slowly into and out of the camp; animals have the right of way!

From Lusaka, take the Great East Road to Chipata. You can get fuel in Petauke and Chipata on the way. Best to fill up before you head here, as fuel here in Mfuwe is much more expensive due to the monopoly BP has here.

The directions here are:

Turn left to Mfuwe just before Fast Wheels motor parts (on your right). If you go into the town of Chipata, then you’ll need to head back along the Great East Road heading west (back towards Lusaka), then turn right 200m after Fast Wheels.

Continue on the tarmac until road turns to dirt. The roads authority are working on the road so there should be more tarmac laid all the time.

Follow the dirt for further approx 60 km. There is one stretch of tar road over the escarpment, but I’m afraid it doesn’t last long! Turn left at the sharp corner where there are signs for Mfuwe including one for Flatdogs! It looks as though the road continues straight on, but this is just because it has been graded better in the past; in fact the straight on road takes you to Luambe. There are a couple of blind sharp corners on this road, so take it easy where you can’t see what’s ahead of you as some of the NGO vehicles and cotton trucks take the road at about 100 km/hr with no sense of self preservation!

Carry on through Jumbe, where you will see the council offices (and a flag) on your right, past Kamoto Hospital on your left, over a small bridge which was slightly washed away at the edges, then over a second stretch of tarmac on Mphata Hill.

Carry on for a further 4 km and you will see a large green sign on the left for the Zambian Wildlife Authority. You can either turn left here down a much smaller dirt road which takes you to the airport (bank and post office) and brings you onto the (relatively) good tar road earlier. Or, you can also continue straight on on the main dirt road as this will just bring you out on the same tar road around 5 km closer to Mfuwe. We recommend you take the first option.

Turn right onto the tar road whether you are at the airport or at the T-junction opposite the Zesco (electricity) sub-station. Please drive slowly past schools and bicycles. If you see some green branches lying in the road, this either means that there is a vehicle with a breakdown or that there is a funeral in progress. If it is the latter, please go dead slow in first gear (you will notice that even cyclists dismount) until you come to more branches. Proceed on tarmac for approx 25 km and you will pass a fuel station on your left and a sign for the South Luangwa Conservation Society on your right. Continue straight on, you will pass a sign for Flatdogs, then after a further kilometre or so, you will see our entrance ramp on your LEFT. Please engage a low gear and drive down the ramp very slowly, then follow the road for another 750 m and you will arrive at reception. Be aware that you might meet wildlife on any of the roads, so please drive slowly.

GAME VIEWING

Flatdogs conducts professionally-guided game viewing activities in the National Park, including morning and night drives and walking safaris. (Walking possible during the dry season.)

Each drive or walk is accompanied by a fully-qualified guide, and for the drives a fully-equipped 4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser with radio so they are in contact with Flatdogs in case of emergency. All our guides carry toolboxes, and a first aid kit. Most of our vehicles can carry nine guests but we limit numbers to six per vehicle unless larger groups or families prefer to go out together.

Our morning drives leave camp at 0600 hours and last for at least four hours. Night drives depart at 1600 hours and return at around 2015 hours when the National Park is closed to all vehicles. Private vehicles may enter the Park from 0600-1800 hours daily.

Between 1st June and 31st October each year (and for a few weeks either side, depending on rainfall) we are able to offer walking safaris. These are a fascinating, more personal view of the park and its wildlife. Walks usually last four hours and are commonly taken in the morning when it’s cooler. We also offer a drive/walk combination of a 2-hour walk and a 2-hour drive.

Other combinations are available, and this year in the winter months all-day drives with some walking and taking a picnic lunch with you into the park proved to be very popular. Please chat to us when you get here if you are interested as these can be organised with a day’s notice (for a minimum of 4 guests).

We also offer nature walks in the area around Flatdogs Camp, particularly for children who cannot join a full walk inside the park, but who are keen to learn more about the dung and tracks and signs found in and around camp.