This Classic South Luangwa Safari includes all the best that the South Luangwa has to offer. There is plenty of time to explore the amazing variety of habitat and species. South Luangwa National Park in eastern Zambia, the southernmost of three national parks in the valley of the Luangwa River, is a world-renowned wildlife haven. It supports large populations of Thornicroft’s Giraffe, and herds of elephant and buffalo often several hundred strong, while the Luangwa River supports abundant crocodiles and hippos. It is one of the best-known national parks in Africa for walking safaris.
DAYS 1 and 2 – Kapani Lodge
You will be met at Lusaka Airport and escorted onto your domestic flight to Mfuwe. Your safari guide will meet you at Mfuwe Airport and drive you to Kapani Lodge in time to settle in before brunch. You will have the rest of the day to relax, until tea at about 3pm followed by the afternoon game drive. After sundowners, the night drive is a search for nocturnal species such as genet, civet, porcupine and honey-badger, rarely seen in daylight hours. This is the best chance of spotting leopard and lion when they are at their most active. Return to camp at around 7:30pm in time for dinner.
DAYS 3 and 4 – Luwi Bushcamp
After two nights at Kapani you will be driven deep into the National Park to Luwi Bushcamp. Described as Africa’s last real bush camp, wonderfully rustic and authentic, Luwi is set in the shade of large trees close to a permanent lagoon. The four rooms at Luwi have grass walls and thatched roofs with en-suite bathrooms open to the trees and stars above.
Your safari guide will introduce you to the armed escort scout who will accompany you on your first real walking safari. The guide will take time to point out the tracks and signs that he uses to interpret the bush. Your first night in the bushcamp is likely to be accompanied by the noises of animals around camp. When day breaks, your guide will interpret the calls that kept you awake as you head out together and pick up the fresh tracks of a pride of lion or investigate the alarm calls of the local troop of baboon. This is no nature trail – this is the real thing – you are tracking big game through the African bush.
DAYS 5 and 6 – Nsolo Bushcamp
On the second morning at Luwi, head out from camp as you did on the previous day but this time your guide will walk you down the Luwi river course. Your destination is Nsolo, the second of your bushcamps. After a few hours gentle walking you will arrive into camp. A cool drink will be ready for you, brunch will be on the table and your bags will be in your room. Your home for the next two nights will be a raised deck with dry grass walls and a tall, cool thatched roof. Once more your en-suite bathroom is open to the sky above.
DAYS 7 and 8 – Kakuli Bushcamp
The next move takes you further down the Luwi River, again on foot or by 4×4 game viewer if you prefer, to its confluence with the main Luangwa River and to Kakuli Camp. This camp is tented and has stunning views along a stretch of the Luangwa that is home to over five hundred hippo. Each of the four large Mehru style tents has a spectacular river view. Much of the gameviewing is still on foot although there are more game viewing tracks in this area so it is possible to use vehicles and with a dense population of leopards in the area the night drives are usually most rewarding.
DAYS 9 and 10 – Mchenja Camp
A taste of luxury awaits you at Mchenja. The last of your camps is set under the shade of immense ebony trees. The four individually designed tents each have a bath inside as well as an open, en-suite shower and toilet. The main chitenje (lounge) houses a small plunge pool alongside the bar and sitting area and meals are usually taken on the river bank.
DAY 11 – Flight from Mfuwe Airport
Transfer to Mfuwe Airport for your flight out of the valley.