South Luangwa is dubbed the Valley of the Leopard, as it is undoubtedly one of the best places to see this naturally elusive and solitary creature. So having the right guide definitely increases your chances.
Being a standout guide in South Luangwa is really very difficult, because the standard is just so high. But Godfrey from Thornicroft Lodge has a real talent when it comes to spotting leopards. He’s somewhat unique in a couple of ways – firstly, as well as being head guide at the lodge, he also part owns it – making him the only black Zambia to be the owner of an international standard property in the Valley. You will struggle to meet anyone with quite the same ability to find the usually elusive leopards in the daytime. Christened "The Leopard Magnet", Godfrey is also keen to share his spotting techniques. On game drives he repeatedly stops to listen for bird and monkey signals to create metaphorical guidelines to chart the leopard’s position. Charming, charismatic and full of personality, Godfrey will stop to locate yet another of these most stunning of felines time after time.
Godfrey is one of the directors at Thornicroft Lodge, which has been open since 2010 in the Mfuwe sector near the park entrance. It’s a pretty camp, more rustic than some of its illustrious neighbours, which only adds to its charm. Thornicroft is a great option for those on a budget but whose priorities are enjoying great game and sharing Godfrey’s fabulous tales of the bush! From $190 per night including all meals and game drives.