Gems of Zambia. South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi & Kafue National Park
Expected African Safari Experience Overview:
- Accommodation:Bush Camps
- Activities: Morning, afternoon and night game drives with great chances of spotting Buffalo, Elephant, Hippo, Hartebeest and Cheetah; bush walks; canoe trips; Luangwa and Zambezi River safaris; catch and release angling for the infamous Tiger Fish
- Tour Destinations: South Luangwa National Park, Lower Zambezi National Park and Kafue National Park in Zambia
What you can expect:
This safari covers the three premier parks of Zambia - The South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi and the Kafue National Park. The Luangwa Valley, which marks the end of the Great Rift Valley, is one of the last unspoilt wilderness areas and possibly the finest wildlife sanctuary in Africa.
The Luangwa River flows into the Zambezi River - just below the Lower Zambezi National Park. This park, scenically bordered by an impressive escarpment, has excellent game-viewing which can be viewed from either the river or by land. Quietly drifting past a huge Elephant feeding is a great experience not to be missed. The Kafue is one of the largest National Parks in Africa - and the ecology is different from the two river valleys.
The mature miombo woodland and the wide open flood plains of the Busanga host an abundance of mammal species and different birds species. Combining the three parks gives you an exceptional African safari.
Day 1: Nkwali CampView LodgeOn arrival at Mfuwe International Airport, a representative will meet you. Enjoy the one hour drive to Nkwali Camp through colourful local scenes of villages, agriculture as well as bush. On private land and overlooking the South Luangwa National Park with a wide view of the Luangwa River, Nkwali Safari Camp is ideally situated for the start of your safari.
The six rooms all look out over the river and have open air bathrooms. Depending on your arrival time in the day you will enjoy a lunch looking out over the lagoon to the back of Nkwali or arriving in the afternoon you can sit down for tea and enjoy the following afternoon / night game drive.
Day 2: Nkwali CampView LodgeAt dawn, breakfast is served around the campfire. Traditionally, the porridge will be heated on the fire and toast cooked on coals. The morning walk or drive will leave soon after, entering the park by boat from the camp or by the nearby pontoon. The game in the area is excellent - and includes many family herds of Elephants and the endemic species of Giraffe, the Thornicroft Giraffe.
A mid morning break of tea, coffee and cake will be taken by a scenic point on a lagoon or the Luangwa River. Around midday you will return to your Safari camp for lunch and can later cool off in the swimming pool or enjoy a nice siesta. Tea will be served in the afternoon and then you will head out again for an another game drive that continues into the early night giving you the chance to see the nocturnal world.
Day 3: Nsefu CampView LodgeAfter an early breakfast, a transfer gamed rive through the South Luangwa Park will take you to a crossing point on the Luangwa River. The Nsefu staff will meet the party and provide for a boat to cross the river. On the 45 minute drive to Nsefu camp you will enjoy great game-viewing possibilities.
Nsefu was the first game camp in Zambia and dates back to the early fifties. The Nsefu Sector was recognised then as a phenomenal area and it still is. You will experience a true Africa safari in a atmosphere of tranquility and intimacy. The camp is on a sweeping bend of the Luangwa River and consists of six round rondavals with luxurious en-suite facilities and a clear view of the river through large windows and from the new wooden verandas.
On arrival you will be shown to your rondavel and then lunch will be served followed by a well deserved siesta before the afternoon and evening game drive.
Day 4: Nsefu CampView LodgeToday, you will be offered a game drive or walk through the ebony groves. Or you may head out to explore the Nsefu Sector of the National Park with an all day picnic drive to the salt pans that will cover very different habitats - a truly exceptional day safari.
Day 5: Chiawa Safari Camp, Lower ZambeziView LodgeAfter an early breakfast, you will be transferred to Mfuwe Airport (1.5 hours) for the flight to Lusaka (1.5 hours) and then onto the Lower Zambezi (30 mins). As you fly into the area, you will see the wide Zambezi River dotted with islands. Buffalo and Elephant are always seen feeding along with the pods of Hippos that rest on the edge of the sandbanks.
The transfer to Chiawa Safari Camp is through the Lower Zambezi National Park and there is a great chance of gameviewing along the way. Resting on the banks of the Zambezi under a lush grove of mahogany and acacia trees, eight spacious tents on elevated wooden platforms with en-suite facilities offer Chiawa's guests ample comfort and stunning views.
Game-viewing in the pristine Lower Zambezi National Park is superb and big game, such as Elephant, Hippo, Buffalo and the big cats are even seen regularly in and around the camp! After a late lunch, there will be a chance for an afternoon game viewing activity - be it on the river or by vehicle.
Day 6: Chiawa Safari Camp, Lower ZambeziView LodgeAt Chiawa Safari Camp, there are various activities to choose from. You don't only have the choice between exciting day and night drives and bush walks, but Chiawa's guests can also choose their own day's itinerary from a selection of canoe trips, river safaris on safe, stable pontoon boats and catch and release angling for the infamous tiger fish.
Day 7-8: Lunga River LodgeAfter breakfast and farewells, a drive through the Lower Zambezi National Park will take you to the airstrip, where you will be transferred to your flight to the Kafue National Park (1.3 hours). Landing on the private airstrip of Lunga River Lodge you will be met with welcome drinks.
The camp is only 5 minutes from the airstrip so you can settle soon into your spacious chalets. The main area overlooks the Lunga River and the craftsmanship of the bar and decking is exceptional. The Lunga River Lodge also has a swimming pool and steam room.
The river is clear and deep and lined with lush trees in which you will see an abundance of interesting birds. The Kafue area hosts many species of birds and mammals not (or rarely) seen in the Luangwa and Zambezi Valleys including Hartebeest and Sable antelope and Cheetah. Spend your days exploring the area with the option of boating, canoeing, walking or game drives.
Day 9: Busanga BushcampView LodgeAfter an early breakfast, you will leave on the transfer to Busanga Bushcamp. Enjoy the wonderful drive though exceptional miombo woodland, with a good chance of seeing Sable and Hartebeest. After approximately an hour, leaving the woodland behind, the road breaks through onto the wide open plains of the Busanga Swamps.
This vast area is flooded during the rains but dries up annually leaving short and rich grazing for the many herds of different antelope. And where there is game in numbers you will also find predators. The Lion population in the area is well known and there is a good chance of sighting Cheetah.
You will arrive in time for lunch at the small and discrete bushcamp built on an 'island' in the plains. After a siesta and tea, the afternoon gamedrive will continue into the night when there is a good chance of following Lions.
Day 10: Busanga bushcampView LodgeThe Busanga bushcamp is built of grass and reed - each room with a great view over the floodplain and an ensuite bathroom with long drop loo. It is simple and extremely remote and makes a superb base from which to explore the unusual ecosystem of the floodplains. In the morning you will take pleasure in an excellent long morning drive up the waterway of the floodplain. There is also the option of a morning walk.
Day 11: Departure DayAfter breakfast, a morning activity time permitting, or a transfer flight to Lusaka to connect onto the onward flight.
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