An intimate exploration of South Luangwa National Park
Africa's best-kept secret is Zambia's Luangwa Valley, an Eden-like paradise with huge concentrations of wildlife (it's sometimes called the "crowded valley"). This is where African walking safaris were born, and this private adventure zeroes in on South Luangwa National Park, one of the greatest—yet least visited—wildlife sanctuaries in the world, with the lowest ratio of people to animals in Africa!
South Luangwa hosts large herds of elephant, buffalo, kudu, zebra, wildebeest, and giraffe, and is renowned for excellent leopard sightings. Game viewing by vehicle here is always superb, but on this safari you'll experience the freedom of Africa's untamed wilderness as you explore on foot, including walking safaris from remote bush camps in a newly opened area (where hot showers, gourmet meals, and great hospitality await you!). This is your chance to relive the past, to get in touch with the real Africa. The exclusive camps we use throughout are limited to just eight people each—ideal for those who seek an intimate wilderness experience.
You'll end your safari with a stay at the five-star Stanley Safari Lodge, an elegant retreat located close to Livingstone, where you can elect to see the astounding Victoria Falls (the local name is Mosi-Oa-Tunya—"smoke that thunders"), one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Combine this trip with other journeys in Africa to create the ultimate dream safari vacation. Ask a Regional Specialist for details!
2-4 days easy to moderate walking, game viewing by 4-wheel-drive vehicle
- Enjoy an old-fashioned walking safari in a little visited area of Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park
- Follow Zambia’s great wildlife corridor on exciting walks and day and night game drives
- Overnight in select, intimate bush camps—the lap of luxury!
- Visit Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world!
Duration: 10 days Start Location: Lusaka End Location: LivingstoneDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Lusaka - Mfuwe
Arrive in Lusaka, Zambia, where you will be assisted with your flight to Mfuwe, the gateway to South Luangwa National Park. Upon arrival in Mfuwe, you will met by your guide and transferred to Mfuwe Lodge, a handsome lodge overlooking the permanent Mfuwe Lagoon, which is always a most prolific area for wildlife. In fact, game watching at Mfuwe Lodge is non-stop, as a parade of animals comes to drink from the channel that runs through the dambo (a seasonally inundated depression that eventually dries out) in front of camp. Quite often, elephants walk right through camp! You'll enjoy our first explorations this afternoon, and continue with a night game drive—a special highlight. Small mammals are particularly interesting in Luangwa, where the spotlight often reveals elephant shrews, genets, civets, porcupines, serval cats, and an astounding variety of mongooses.
Day 2 : Mfuwe Lodge
South Luangwa National Park is dominated by the mighty Luangwa River, whose annual floods constantly rearrange the architecture of the valley floor. Here, riverside floodplains offer a mosaic of habitats that range from flooded lagoons fringed with evergreen forest to grassy dambos and tracts of deciduous mopane woodland. This multitude of environments makes for a wonderful variety of flora and fauna. In addition to its abundant elephants, hippos, antelopes, and predators, Luangwa hosts an incredible variety of small animals: baboons and vervet monkeys abound, and eight species of mongoose are found in the park. South Luangwa is also the stronghold of Zambia's endemic Thornicroft's giraffe.
Bird life is exceptionally abundant and varied. Large water birds such as the yellow-billed stork are common and conspicuous; others like the huge Pel's fishing owl are more reclusive residents. You may well see colorful carmine and white-fronted bee-eaters, or flocks of quelea finches so massive they can darken the sky. While in South Luangwa you'll take walks and go on game drives, and are sure to have excellent wildlife encounters.
Days 3 - 4 : Bushcamp South Luangwa National Park
Drive 3-4 hours to your first Bush Camp, deep into an untouched corner of South Luangwa. Each individually designed camp is located near a river or waterhole for prime wildlife viewing. All of the camps feature no more than 8 spacious chalets, often located on platforms, with en-suite bathrooms, hot and cold running water, large beds, solar-paneled lighting as well as paraffin lanterns.
Activities at the bushcamps include short and long game drives plus the opportunity for walks along riverbanks on fairly easygoing terrain. Lunch is often served al fresco on the banks of a river or hippo pool. After lunch, you can relax and take a siesta in comfortable hammocks before the afternoon walk or game drive begins. You'll walk a total distance of around 2-4 miles per day. There will be plenty of refreshment stops along the way and a porter will carry drinking water, snacks, and coffee for the journey. The walk will end back in camp in time for afternoon tea. You can also go on day and night game drives. Night drives with a spotlight are a special highlight: you may see lions on the kill, leopards on the prowl, aardvarks, or any of the other odd creatures that only come out during the African night.
We can provide a list of bushcamps to choose from, depending on availability.
Days 5 - 6 : Bushcamp South Luangwa National Park
You'll move to your second bush camp, located in a diffrent area of the park. It might be possible to walk to your next camp, or you can choose to drive and then take a game walk from the new camp in the afternoon. Each camp is chosen for their scenic settings and proximity to wildlife. This is a chance to experience on foot the freedom of Africa’s untamed wilderness. A walking safari is an exciting way to relive the past, to follow in the footsteps of the great explorers, and to be among the last of the great bastions of wildlife. Along the trail, surprises are the order of the day: leaping impala, screeching baboon troops, loping giraffe!
Together with the warmest of hospitality, sumptuous meals and first-class guides, our bushcamps are the perfect gateway for individuals and small groups wishing to explore the spectacular wildlife of the South Luangwa.
Day 7 : Mfuwe Lodge
Transfer by four-wheel-drive vehicle back to Mfuwe Lodge, with an afternoon of game viewing, walks, or simple relaxation by the lodge’s pool.
Day 8 : Livingstone
Today we'll fly to Livingstone, located about six miles from famed Victoria Falls. Upon arrival we'll transfer to Stanley Safari Lodge. Just two miles from the Zambezi River and Victoria Falls, the lodge is an exclusive oasis set on a hill overlooking the bush, with distant views of the spray of the falls from the lodge and from each of its ten private cottages. The afternoon is free to relax around the lodge’s infinity pool and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the African wilderness, or perhaps go bungee jumping, take an elephant back ride, walk with lions, or enjoy a sunset cruise. In the evening you’ll soak up the ambiance and romance of dining under the stars at the lodge’s restaurant, or in the privacy of your suite, in the wine cellar, or even in the infinity pool if you prefer!
Day 9 : Stanley Safari Lodge
The day is free to explore the spectacular Victoria Falls, known locally as Mosi oa Tunya, which flows at up to 200 million gallons per minute (when in flood). There are many inviting trails to stroll and you can admire the lush tropical vegetation fostered by the spray of the falls. There are also a number of optional excursions available in the area (not included in Land Cost). These include the thrilling whitewater rafting trip on the Zambezi River, canoeing a peaceful stretch of the river, the spectacular “Flight of Angels” over the falls, and bungee jumping. In the evening you’ll have a festive “farewell” dinner.
Day 10 : Depart
Transfer to the airport and depart on homeward-bound flight. Or, if you're combining your Zambia walking safari with another of our African adventures, you'll continue on to the starting point for that trip.
DATES: Best time to go: June - October Departures: Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availability. Call us for details.
2012 Private Adventure Prices
$4,995 per person (2-8 members), double occupancy
Award winning safari lodge set in the most prolific game area of the South Luangwa. The perfect place to enjoy excellent game viewing, recharge your batteries, or to start and finish your journey to our bushcamps.
Ease yourself into Luangwa life with a stay at the award winning Mfuwe Lodge. Set inside the park, just five minutes’ drive from the main gate, the lodge’s allure is instantly obvious. Beneath a canopy of ebony and mahogany, its thatched buildings are arranged around the banks of two lagoons where an endless stream of wildlife will keep you enthralled as you lounge on the open deck or take a dip in the swimming pool. Thanks to a thorough refurbishment in 2010 the airy interior of the lodge is an exquisite complement to its natural surroundings.
This region of the park is renowned for its prolific game – giraffe, buffalo, antelope, crocodile are constant visitors to Mfuwe Lodge’s lagoon, whilst in November the local elephants regularly wander right through the lobby, lured by a nearby wild mango tree. Whether you stay overnight, or just have lunch en route to a bushcamp, Mfuwe Lodge’s relaxed charm and enviable surroundings make it the perfect stopover. Voted Best Lodge in Zambia in 2009 Mfuwe Lodge also offers you the chance to relax at its Bush-Spa or buy a few mementos of your time in Zambia at the Tribal Textiles Curio Shop.
Bushcamps ZambiaSouth Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Each of our six bushcamps is set in glorious surroundings and can accommodate a maximum of just eight guests, ensuring that your stay is a peaceful one and tailored to your personal needs. Together with the warmest of hospitality, sumptuous meals and first-class guides, our bushcamps are the perfect gateway for individuals and small groups wishing to explore the spectacular wildlife of the South Luangwa.
Stanley Safari LodgeVictoria Falls, Zambia
Set on a hill bordering the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and overlooking unspoilt bush, Stanley Safari Lodge is only 3km from the Victoria Falls. The views are splendid: the spray of the Falls in the distance, the mighty Zambezi river and on top of that yet another beautiful African sunset. From either our main garden, our infinity pool or from the privacy of your room, views are unmatched.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
This private adventure does not have a trip leader, but utilizes the wonderful safari guides based at each different camp. The camp guides know the area around their camp the best and will escort you on both game drives and game walks. An experienced tracker and ranger also accompanies every vehicle and walk. Our Zambian guides have won numerous awards and are truly the best in Zambia!