(8 chalets) Contact Star of Africa
Taken over in 2003 by the Star of Africa chain, Kulefu lies deep within the national park, almost cut off from the main track by a small river. Most visitors are transferred by car from Jeki airport (1 hour) or from Royal by boat (11/2 hours). If you're driving yourself, you'll need to contact them in advance as the road is far from clear.
Originally built alongside a channel off the Zambezi, the camp is now fronted by reeds blowing in the breeze on sandy banks, formed when the river changed its course. The elephants are content, though, using the area to feast from the albida trees that overhang the camp.
Large Meru-style tents sit on platforms either side of the camp's communal areas. Each has twin beds (there's one double), hanging lanterns, its own shaded veranda, and covered, en-suite facilities. Teak furnishing is complemented by white muslin tie-back curtains, which add a touch of luxury to the tented sides. The spacious lounge/bar and linked dining area are oval marquee-type tents, with angled half walls, under Faidherbia albida and Acacia robusta trees. During summer 2003, new furniture and fittings were trucked into the camp, taking the whole place more upmarket.
Activities are flexible, with the remote location ensuring that game drives are in complete isolation, and walking is a firm favourite with the manager, Mark. For those staying in camp, a tall thatched hide overlooking the river is an airy place to spend the afternoon, watching game and the river's birdlife. There are also plans to offer dinner on an island in the river, or in a new boma.