In the last 10 years Flatdogs have built up a loyal following of international fly-in guests who prefer the Flatdogs way of doing things to better known 'luxury' lodges. The Flatdogs team understands that different types of travellers need to be catered for in different ways. Guests can take their meals when they want to. You don't have to eat dinner with a group of strangers. If you'd prefer to talk to your partner or family in your native language that's just fine. And NO gold taps!
Flatdogs have made the camp a truly 'family friendly' Luangwa camp – it's one of a kind – children are not merely tolerated at Flatdogs… the team actually like having your little ones around! – with a pool, plenty of space for children to play in and a children's menu in the restaurant, as well as a nanny and watchman service available for when it's grown-up playtime.
Satellite TV is installed for selective viewing of the news, sporting highlights or movies and the swimming pool is there for dips when you've done too much reading. Flatdogs Camp is blessed with lots of space so you can choose to sit by the river and listen to the hippos honking and the birds twittering if you prefer! Flatdogs is all about the freedom of choice.
The Jackal-Berry tree house
The Jackal-Berry tree house is the most special accommodation at Flatdogs. Built around three live African ebony trees (diospyros mespiliformis) it has a private view overlooking the unspoilt African plain. There are two en-suite bedrooms at the tree house, but honeymooners and couples can book the tree house privately and keep it all to themselves! A comfy sofa, easy chairs and floor cushions are just perfect for easy-going game viewing as wildlife wanders past the tree house, oblivious to your presence. The tree house is very open – there are no walls at the front of the house, so it might not be ideal for a first time visitor to Africa, or for families with smaller children.
En-suite safari tents
The safari tents have that authentic Africa-under-canvas feel. The tents are large and more like rooms than tents, but you can still hear the animals and birds around you and monkeys might watch while you're having a shower! Both luxury and standard tents have full beds with all bedding and towels provided, electric lights, fans and plug sockets, en-suite shower, WC and basin, and a small stone verandah with safari chairs to enjoy the view. Luxury safari tents are larger and right on the river bank with views of the Luangwa river. They come with a canvas roof over the bathroom for shade. Standard tents are in bush settings with views and fully open air bathrooms. The standard safari tents offer a cheaper option but still have all the necessary comforts!
The chalet rooms are slightly more secure and comfortable as they are made of stone, have thatched roofs and are larger than the tents. The chalets tend to be cooler than the tents in the hotter months and have gauzed verandahs where you can sit in the evenings and not be hassled by insects which can be plentiful once the first rains fall. 14 chalet rooms are available in seven separate buildings. With a range of double, single and twin rooms with a combination on en-suite and free standing bathrooms, the chalets are perfect for families and groups of friends. Chalet rooms normally sleep 16 guests, but with the option of extra beds and triple rooms Flatdogs have the flexibility to accommodate up to 22 guests here as part of a group.Accommodation options
Safari camp facilities
Safari camp information
On site activities include
Every day is different in terms of what you see, hear and smell at this Zambia safari lodge. But the basic Flatdog Camp Zambia safari routine is to meet in the courtyard at 15:30 each afternoon. After tea and cake or a snack, at about 16:00 you'll head out from camp with your safari guide.
You will return to the safari lodge just after 20:00 in time for dinner – either pre ordered or choose from a menu on arrival. Once you're ready to turn in, a watchman will escort you back to your room or tent where you can fall asleep to the sound of elephants feeding outside, hippos grunting in the river or the eternal cry of African fish eagles calling to each other across the water.
In the morning toast and cereal are provided in the restaurant from 05:30. Guests go out for morning drives with the guides at 06:00 in time for the first movements of Zambian wildlife. Choose between a game drive or a walking safari returning to camp around 10:00 just in time for breakfast, brunch or lunch (whichever you prefer).
Walking safaris are possible between 1st June and 31st October each year (and for a few weeks either side, depending on rainfall). These give a fascinating, more personal view of the local Zambian wildlife. Walks usually last four hours and are better taken in the morning when it's cooler. A game drive and walking safari combo is also available (two hour walk and a two hour drive). Note the flexible service here. If you let Flatdogs know of any specific requirements then they try their best to accommodate them. Afternoons at Flatdogs safari lodge are lazy affairs filled with siestas, lolling by the pool, reading or writing up journals …
Flatdogs also organise other local visits, particularly to projects they support through the Luangwa Conservation and Community Fund. Visits can also be arranged to Kawaza Village, Chipembele Wildlife Education Centre and to the Tribal Textiles workshop. There is also a day spa nearby if guests would like to pamper themselves with a massage or beauty treatment between drives! Another popular option is nature walks in the immediate area – particularly child friendly. This is great for kids who cannot join a full walk inside the park, but who are keen to learn more about the dung, tracks and signs found in and around camp.Safari information
Wildlife you may see
Safari activities include
Ground-level sites have good shade, stone fireplaces (for barbecuing and camp fire story telling), washing up sinks with borehole water, mains electricity and electric lighting. Firewood is purchased from the Community Resource Board and this ensures trees are used in a sustainable manner – this money goes straight back to the community.
There is a strict no music policy at both sites as the sounds of the bush are much better and Flatdogs wants as little disturbance for the wildlife as possible.Camping facilities in South Luangwa
The restaurant seats around 50 and guests can choose to sit inside under thatch or at tables in the courtyard and garden overlooking the river. The chefs are trained in-house and offer a bistro-style menu with emphasis on simple things done well. Everything is made from scratch including bread, nachos, fiery chilli sauce and tangy onion marmalade – remember there is no shop round the corner here! During your stay here, indulge in daily specials that combine Flatdogs favourites with new recipes to keep things interesting.
Example restaurant dishes include corn and bacon chowder with home-made sesame crackers; wild rocket, pear, walnut and feta salad with a lemon dressing; Japanese style chicken strips stir-fried with seasonal vegetables and pak choi, served in a spicy coconut broth with rice noodles; and crispy phyllo pastry filled with spicy roasted butternut and a dash of home made pesto served with a fresh mushroom sauce. Hmmm!
As much as possible locally-grown and locally-raised produce is used in this South Luangwa restaurant. Often it is picked only hours before it's eaten. The team at Flatdogs restaurant hopes you like your greens because cleaning your plate helps people in the local community.
A local farmer called Rodgers delivers his veggies by bicycle, making the 40 Kilometre round trip two or three times a week to ensure guests get the freshest veg possible! Rodgers employs two other people so he now supports three families from his garden business. Flatdogs Camp have helped him build a well, provided a pump to irrigate his garden and help plan the production for the year (this includes sourcing seeds for the more unusual Western vegetables he is asked to grow)!Restaurant information