DIRECTORS AND OWNERS

Kafunta began many years ago with the Cowans… In 1988, Ron and Anke met in Ron’s native Australia when Anke was travelling. Ron joined her on her adventure, continuing through Asia and on to Germany, Anke’s home, where they planned the next leg. In 1990, in their trusty Land Rover, they journeyed through Africa, spending time in Malawi before falling in love with the Luangwa Valley in Zambia. Kafunta River Lodge was built in 1998 and has been their home ever since.

STAFF MANAGEMENT

Sam Nkhoma Chiwayu

SAM NKHOMA CHIWAYU

Operations Manager

Sam was born in Chipata and attended school in Mfuwe. His safari experience started at Mfuwe Lodge, where he qualified as a grade 2 guide in 1998 and a couple of years later he was the first indigenous Zambian to top the Walking exams. He spent several years conducting mobile trips from Nairobi to Cape Town before returning to Zambia, holding senior positions with Wilderness Safaris as well as Sanctuary Retreats, along with managing boutique hotels such as Latitude 15 in Lusaka. Along the way Sam completed a diploma in Hotel Operations followed by a baccalaureate in Hospitality Administration and Business Administration. But the appeal of the bush (and wearing khaki shorts again) was too strong. We are delighted to have Sam as our Operations Manager since December 2021.

Lisa_Peake

LISA PEAKE

Kafunta Lodge Manager

Born in Chipata and raised in Lusaka, Lisa is an incredible hospitality professional with so many talents and work experiences it would take a book to list them all. Having worked for over a  dozen years in upmarket safari lodges and boutique hotels, Lisa is  passionate about customer services, safari operations and food & beverage services. She is constantly looking for ways to improve the professionalism of her team through continuous training and support. After her previous time with us in 2016 and 2017, we are delighted to welcome Lisa back this 2022 season as Lodge Manager at Kafunta River Lodge. 

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THEUNS KRUGER

Bush Camp Operations Manager

Theuns, or TJ as we call him, was born in South Africa in 1976. He was brought up on a game farm, sleeping next to camp fires from the age of two. Always fascinated by all creatures big and small he spent hours walking and enjoying nature and at the age of 8 he was taking guests out on safaris on his parents’ game farm. With Africa in his blood, TJ started managing game lodges in 2011 as well as completed a FGASA Level 1 field guide course. It has been a life long dream for him to come and experience the South Luangwa Valley. Since 2018 TJ has taken on several roles overlooking the smooth operation of our remote camps, coordinating logistics and assisting at the lodge in the low season. 

martin-mwembe

MARTIN MBEWE

Safari Manager & Senior Guide
Island Bush Camp Manager

Martin was born in 1965 from the Kunda tribe and has fulfilled his lifetime dream of becoming a safari guide. Martin joined Kafunta in 1997 when we first built the lodge and has been with us all along! His pleasant nature, incredible knowledge and irresistible sense of humour have made him one of most respected guides in the Luangwa Valley.  Martin is looking after our guiding team and this 2022 season he will be managing Island Bush Camp, his all time favorite. He also continues to take our guests out on safari, especially in the low season. 

Kolo Front Office

KOLO NGENDA

Guest Services Manager

Born in Kabwe and raised in Lusaka, Kolo is an exceptionally energetic person with a passion for people, nature and travels. She is also an accomplished runner and scuba diver. But the bush is where she belongs and truly reveals herself. Kolo has spent the last 12 years working in the safari industry, holding operational roles at properties such as Chinzombo, Nsolo, Musekese and Royal Zambezi Lodge. She also worked for Robin Pope Safaris and Wilderness Safaris as travel consultant. Kolo’s pep and smile are irresistible and we’re delighted to have her with us to share her passion with our guests while looking after their well-being.

Betty Host

BETTY MWABA

Kafunta Host

Betty is a recent graduate from the Zambia Institute of Tourism & Hospitality, and after a first professional experience at The Quorum, an exclusive boutique hotel in Lusaka, she accepted our Lodge Manager’s invitation to try out her exceptional customer service skills out here in the bush. Betty fitted right in, and was instantly bitten by the safari bug! Her enthusiasm and cheerful nature make her a brilliant host for our guests.  

 

Ritta Kawina Reservations

RITTA KAWINA

Reservation Coordinator

Ritta was born and raised in Lusaka, and in her early 20’s she spent time in Uganda where she graduated with a diploma in Tourism Management. At her return in Lusaka, she started her professional career in the safari industry. She has spent over 12 years handling reservations and communication for companies such as Stars of Africa, Sanctuary Retreats (A&K) and Chiawa Safaris. A mother of three children, Ritta loves cooking and travelling, and enjoys short escapes to the bush. Based in her home office in Lusaka, she is looking after all our reservations, answering calls and emails from our guests around the world.  

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ISABELLE (IZZY) DEFOURNY

Sales & Marketing Manager

Izzy is a French-speaking Belgian who has been roaming the world working for high end hotels and resorts for over 23 years. In 2009 she landed in Southern Africa and fell in love with the African bush. With an exceptional background in customer service and marketing, she joined us in 2015 as Sales & Reservations Manager. Nowadays Izzy works mostly remotely from her countryside home in the “high peaks” of Belgium looking after our sales and marketing duties. She’s the face of our company for many of our trade partners and our voice behind our social media and newsletters.

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LEVY CHULU

Maintenance Manager

Born in Kitwe in the Copperbelt, Levy came with his parents to the Eastern Province when he was still a young child. Following in his father’s step, he became a mechanic and was one of the first staff members hired at Kafunta over 20 years ago. Ever since he has worked closely with Ron & Anke Cowan to build and to constantly improve all our properties. Although you are more likely to find him under the hood of a vehicle, Levy oversees the overall state of the lodge and camps as our Maintenance Manager.

SAFARI GUIDES

Our guides are extremely well trained and knowledgeable. The majority of them have passed the high level Grade 1 safari exams and are qualified to escort walking and driving safaris. They will ensure your trip is both safe and memorable. With their extensive knowledge, they can provide insight into the complex and fascinating world of the African wildlife and habitat, as well as local traditions, beliefs and bush remedies as only a traditional, local guide can.

JOHN MWAPE

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ANDREW MWANZA

Paul_Ngowa

PAUL NGOWA

JOSEPH ZULU

Ernest Njobvu

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David Tembo

Solomon_Tembo

Solomon Tembo

Davey_Phiri

Davison Phiri

STAFF

We are proud to say that a high number of the local staff that helped us build Kafunta are still working at the lodge. Many of them have had the opportunity to train in professions like room attendants, barmen, mechanics, waiters and cooks. We employ more than 30 permanent workers and many more during the season. Most of our staff are from the local tribal villages and we are always happy to offer young Zambians the opportunity to train in different professions and further their careers.

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