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Wild Zambia: Zambia safari

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Wild Zambia: a Zambia safari


This 14 day Zambia safari is a wildlife camping expedition that explores some of Zambia’s best-kept wildlife secrets. Visit 4 national parks, North and South Luangwa, Kasanka and the magnificent Benguela Wetlands. You even get to stay in a castle, and there are precious-few of those in Africa!

Bufalo & lion sizing up. Zambia Safari

Eyeball-to-eyeball: sizing up

Day 1: Rendez vous in Lilongwe

The starting point for this Zambia safari is Mafumu Lodge in Lilongwe, Malawi. Airport transfers are included. Mafumu Lodge offers a welcoming, personalized service; there are 30 large bedrooms. Rooms are air conditioned and en-suite, with all the digital facilities you need. The safari briefing will be at 18.00 hrs and afterwards relax in the comfy bar and get to know your fellow travellers and guide. Dinner is à la carte and breakfast next morning buffet-style.

Overnight Lodge
D; B&B

On safari in Zambia

Hippo with oxpecker hitchhikers

Day 2: From Malawi to Zambia and drive to Luambe National Park.

As we depart from Lilongwe we’ll top up with fresh veggies and fruit before crossing the border to Zambia. It’s a 5 hr drive to Luambe in the heart of the bush on the bank of the Luangwa River. This will be the first night camping in the African bush.  We use dome tents (3m X 3m and 1.8m high). Each Tent has two single beds. The environment at Luambe is Mopane woodland which thrives in the warmer, drier parts of Zambia. Plans are afoot to create a wildlife corridor that links this park to near by North Luangwa park.

Driving time 10 hrs + 30 mins for the border.
Overnight in camp
Full board (FB)

Day 3: on safari in Luambe and drive to North Luangwa

After breaking camp, continue to Zambia’s most iconic, remote and alluring park – North Luangwa. It’s a r short day’s drive and we should cross the pontoon mid-morning and reach Buffalo Camp. This park, covering 4,636 KM² offers one of the finest wilderness experiences in Zambia, if not Africa itself. Until recently, it was not open to the public and there are no permanent lodges. The beauty of visiting this park is the truly remarkable opportunities to experience Africa as it was – the Real Africa. The park is noted for its massive herds of buffalo, large prides of lion and other common mammals are hyena, Cookson’s wildebeest, bushbuck, zebra, warthog, baboon, vervet monkey, puku and impala. Elephant and leopard are also seen, but not as frequently as in South Luangwa Park. You are however more likely to see hartebeest, reedbuck and eland here. Buffalo Camp is a seasonal bush camp opening at the beginning of June and closing at the end of October, just before the rains; the camp is rebuilt and taken down each year.

Driving time 5hrs + 2 safaris (approx 2 ½ hrs each – depending on the game.)
Overnight Buffalo camp, en suite chalets

Full board (FB)

Zebras seen on safari in Zambia

Zebra embrace

Day 4: Explore North Luangwa

This morning we take a game walk – possibly the most exciting walk you will ever do in Africa. It’s led by an experienced and qualified guide and supported by experienced game scouts, to provide you with an insight into wild Africa as never before – Insects, birds, plants, shrubs and all manner of wild and natural phenomenon are experienced and explained. Return to Camp for a rest; in the late afternoon drive out to a vantage point and watch the African sun go down.

Driving time: safari drives

Overnight Buffalo Camp, FB

Elephant seen while on safari in Zambia

Elephant – tricky exit

Day 5: Kapishya Hot Springs

This morning we climb the escarpment and head to the unique Kapishya hot springs. Kapishya is a natural, sulphur free, hot springs set on the bank of the Mansha river within a private estate. There are various activities here including river floats, game drives, visits to the manor house, horse riding and bird walks. The farm is rich in history and a visit to the landmark house can be arranged in the afternoon for those that wish. Overnight camping at Kapishya with unlimited access to the hot springs to swim and relax in.

Driving time 5 hrs
Overnight camping on the riverbank.
Full board (FB)

Day 6: Kasanka

Break camp and set off on the short drive to Mpika where we stop for an hour to resupply, before continuing to Kasanka Park. This park is a valuable conservation area with diverse flora and fauna including many endangered species and exceptional bird life. Kasanka is home to species like the rare sitatunga, sable antelope and bush-pigs. Elephants, hippos and buffaloes are also resident. The park is ideal for walking. The rivers are all perennial so there’s always water for the animals and boating for the visitors!

Driving time 5 hrs (plus safari drives)
Overnight camp.
Full board (FB)

Day 7: Explore Kasanka

Today we explore this delightful area. We recommend an early morning visit to the swamp in front of the campsite where sitatunga are seen, then a visit to one of the hides overlooking the lake and swamps. Game drives are done in our own vehicles that have been specially modified for optimum game viewing with pop up roofs and big windows.

Driving time 0 hrs (safari drives)
Overnight camp
Full board (FB)

Hippo seen in Zambia on safari

Hippo and baby; the size difference!

Day 8: exploring Bangweulu

Break camp and this morning we aim for an early departure. We drive passed the junction to David Livingstone tree [where he died and his heart was buried, before his body was carried to Dar es Salaam then onwards to Westminster, England]. It’s a pleasant, varied and interesting journey north to The Bangweulu wetlands. This is one of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife secrets with over 100,000 Black Lechwe and the world’s most visible Shoebill storks. When the Bangweulu swamp dries up, bird watching is mostly done of foot around the many pools which remain – with an appetizing stock of stranded fish and snails for the wetland species. Shoebills can still often be seen by the more determined! Game drives are spectacular amongst the big herds of black Lechwe, an attractive species found only in the Bangweulu. The area supports an incredible diversity of water and plains-birds as well as Elephant, Buffalo, Tsessebe, Reedbuck, Oribi and sitatunga. You don’t have to be a birding fanatic to love Bangweulu! Overnight camping on the side of the flood plain with all camp meals included.

Driving time 0 hrs (safari drives)

Overnight Bangweulu Camp Full board (FB)

Day 9: Explore Bangweulu

A day to explore this unique area – In the morning, drive to then walk through the swamp to try to see the very rare shoebill stork; be prepared to wade through water, it’s an adventure and even though sightings of the shoebill cannot be guaranteed, the experience is unforgettable. Return, depending on success, around midday, then the afternoon drive is a leisurely affair to experience the vast herds of Black Lechwe on the plains. Overnight Camping inclusive all camp meals.

Driving time 0 hrs (safari drives)
Overnight Bangweulu Camp
Full board (FB)

Day 10: Mutinondo Wilderness

Leave the swamps behind and return to the “great north road” and our overnight camp at Mutinondo, which is 10,000 Ha of privately owned land encompassing pristine Miombo woodland, massive chunks of granite inselbergs, crystal clear rivers to swim in and picturesque waterfalls and glades (called ‘dambos’ locally). The campsite is set on the edge of a wooded rocky outcrop with fantastic views. Overnight camping with our cook preparing all our camp meals. Arrival is mid-afternoon with time to explore this area on foot.

Driving time 7 hrs
Overnight in camp
Full board (FB)

Zebra drinking on Luangwa River, Zambia

Zebra drinking in South Luangwa

Day 11: Explore Mutinondo Wilderness

A day to explore this area. Walking trails are marked and graded, so you can pick a route that suits you. Other options include horse riding – subject to availability.

Driving time 0 hrs (safari drive)
Overnight in camp
Full board (FB)

Day 12: South Luangwa National Park

It’s a 5 hr drive to the northern entrance gate of South Luangwa Valley. From there we drive through the park to the Mfuwe Area. Arrive late afternoon. Thornicroft Lodge – named after the endemic Giraffe species – has nine comfortable en suite stone, wood and canvass chalets all overlooking the Luangwa River. Each chalet is designed to give unrestricted views of the river and wildlife. Comfortable beds, mattresses & bedding ensuring you have the best night’s rest, whilst being safely tucked inside your large walk-in mosquito net. Natural materials have been used to give each chalet its unique style and ambience. The restaurant serves great food, whilst tea and coffee is available throughout the day. The bar serves a selection of drinks for all occasions and the lounge and swimming pool remains a popular “chill out” area especially during the hot summer months. Thornicroft Lodge will ensure you enjoy your safari in comfort and style, whilst ensuring your game viewing experience, is memorable and rewarding.

Driving time 7 hrs
Overnight in safari lodge Meru tents (FB)

Day 13: South Luangwa Safari

Two game drives are included in your itinerary – one in the morning and the other in the afternoon/evening in the lodge’s open game viewing safari cars. Between game drives there is a pool for you to relax by. Game drives are led by a qualified guide with an intimate knowledge of the park and its fauna & flora.

Day 14: return to Lilongwe

Breakfast at leisure which marks the end of the Zambia safari; followed by the 4 hr drive back to Lilongwe or to Lilongwe airport for your onward travel. Departure times are coordinated to ensure you are in place for your onward journey.  But we do recommend adding on a visit to the wonderful Lake Malawi, if you have the time available – contact us for the options.

Driving time 4 hrs

In summary

1 night hotel, Lilongwe
10 nights camping
2 nights lodge

Included in the price

Accommodation as per above schedule
Meals as indicated
Activities as indicated,
Services of English-speaking guide
The vehicle, fuel & taxes as detailed above.

Not included

Visas [if required] Game Park fees
Activities not indicated above

Note on Zambia Safari

•    This is a participation camping safari and clients will be expected to pitch their own tents and help out with some camp chores.

•    Please bring a soft bag, not a rigid suitcase: weight restriction 15kg.

•    Drinking water is provided and clients can fill their water bottles when required.

•    2 inch fold-up foam mattresses and a small pillow are provided; you need to provide a sleeping bag

•    The above route is flexible and dependent on road and local conditions: adjustments may be required at the last minute. THIS IS AN ADVENTURE EXPEDITION.

Hippo running the gauntlett River Luangwa, Zambia

Hippo running the gauntlett

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