Unparalleled adventure traversing South Luangwa, the Zambezi, and Victoria Falls
For those who want a unique, fully immersive African adventure, a visit to not one but two of southern Africa’s premier areas for walking safaris—Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park and Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools—is in order. As pioneers of walking safaris in Africa, MTS provides an experience other adventure companies can’t match. Spend four nights in the secluded valleys of the Luangwa River, where the unspoiled bush and seasonal waters offer a lush habitat for a kaleidoscope of bird and animal life. The South Luangwa was home to Africa’s first walking safaris, and you’ll trace the footsteps of those intrepid explorers, with ample time for early morning game walks and night game drives, accompanied by the best safari guides in the business. Our adventure continues on the sprawling Zambezi River, where we’ll camp on the riverbanks by night and canoe downstream by day—35 miles in all! We’ll see herds of hippos and elephants along the river, and walk the nearby floodplains among huge albida trees. Enjoy a well-earned night in a luxury hotel as we cap off our journey at spectacular Victoria Falls.
10 days of moderate walking safari, canoeing, game drives
- Trace the footsteps of Africa’s first walking safaris, and paddle Zimbabwe’s Mana Canoe Trail—one of the best safari experiences to be had in Africa, and only from MTS!
- Explore the great Zambezi River (named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its beauty and diversity), and camp on its banks
- Canoe past herds of 1,200 hippos, enjoy up-close interactions with elephants and spectacular birding, and learn to track with the best safari guides in the business!
- Visit world renowned Victoria Falls on the stunning Zimbabwe side
- An ideal trip for outdoorsy, adventurous travelers who want to get closer to nature and avoid the noisy game vehicles—Mana Canoe Trail is one of the best safari experiences in Africa
Duration: 10 days Start Location: Lusaka End Location: Victoria FallsDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrive Lusaka
Arrive at Lusaka International Airport in Zambia and tranfer to the South Luangwa Valley. Drive to Mchenja Bushcamp, stopping to enjoy the game en route.
Days 2 - 3 : South Luangwa National Park
Two full days of walking safaris, day and night game drives in the heart of South Luangwa National Park.
Day 4 : South Luangwa National Park
Today we will transfer by vehicle to Kapani Lodge in the main Mfuwe area of the South Luangwa and enjoy a late afternoon game drive in this prolific wildlife area.
Day 5 : To Zimbabwe
After an early morning breakfast, we'll drive to Mfuwe airport for our flight back to Lusaka. In Lusaka, we'll meet our vehicle and begin our fascinating 4-hour road and boat journey into Zimbabwe. We'll arrive in the late afternoon at the deluxe Ruckomechi Camp, which overlooks the Zambezi River.
Day 6 : Canoe safari begins
We'll meet our canoe safari guides for a briefing, then start paddling downstream around eight miles to our mobile camp in Mana Pools National Park. Upon arrival, camp is already set up for us.
Days 7 - 8 : Zambezi River
We'll awaken before dawn with tea and coffee before climbing in our canoes just before sunrise. We typically paddle for about 2 hours before beaching the canoes and taking a game walk. Then we canoe some more until we find a suitable lunch spot. Perhaps another short walk after lunch before paddling the canoes to our next mobile campsite. We walk and/or canoe about 12 to 16 miles per day from camp to camp. The daily routine will vary depending on wildlife movement.
Day 9 : Zambezi to Victoria Falls
After breakfast by the river, we will transfer by vehicle or by foot to the nearby Chikwenya airstrip for a flight to Victoria Falls. Here, we will transfer to the Victoria Falls Hotel, a luxury hotel within view of the falls. We'll enjoy a sunset cruise tonight on the Zambezi River.
Day 10 : Victoria Falls
We'll tour Victoria Falls this morning, then depart for flights home in the afternoon. Or add on a few extra nights in Victoria Falls or join our Hwange National Park extension for more time on safari!
DATES: Best time to go: May - August Departures: Jul 10 - 19, 2013 Aug 14 - 23, 2013
Mchenja BushcampSouth Luangwa, Zambia
Hidden in a shady grove of ebony trees in South Luangwa National Park, Mchenja Bushcamp sits on the bank of the Luangwa River with expansive views. Mchenja is an elegant, stylish camp. Five tents with thatched roofs offer private en-suite open air bathrooms as well as an inside roll top bath, ideal for relaxing. A small plunge pool is the perfect spot to take a refreshing dip while the bar, lounge and dining area, set amongst the ancient ebony trees, have lovely views over the river.
Kapani Safari LodgeMfuwe, Zambia
Kapani Lodge is delightfully located at the edge of a large lagoon beside the Luangwa River close to the main gate of the South Luangwa National Park. The accommodations consist of six brick and thatch guest rooms designed for the warm Zambian weather; they have large gauze windows, high ceilings and overhead fans. All the rooms have adjoining bathrooms with full facilities. The central area is a thatched building housing the lounge and bar areas and is a comfortable place to relax between game drives. There is also a secluded swimming pool at the edge of the camp. Meals at Kapani Lodge are usually eaten outdoors; dinner is usually served on the terrace and brunch taken on a shady platform overlooking the lagoon.
Victoria Falls HotelVictoria Falls
The Victoria Falls Hotel is situated on a natural heritage site overlooking the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, only a 10-minute walk to the Falls. The hotel has a distinctly colonial design, with Edwardian-style furniture and grand elegance. It is set in lush tropical gardens, with the views and roaring sounds of the Falls as its most distinct feature. All of the 180 en suite rooms have 4-poster or canopied beds and antique furniture.
Ruckomechi CampMana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe
Ruckomechi Camp accommodates guests in ten spacious en-suite tented unit, all of which overlook the Zambezi River. Each tent has both indoor and outdoor showers, and the camp boasts a favorite amongst guests: its outdoor "bath-with-a-view" in a secluded, scenic spot. The central dining, bar, library and lounge areas face the escarpment and are connected to the rest of the camp by low-level walkways that minimize our environmental impact. There is a separate deck with infinity pool for swimming and sun bathing, and an inviting, cushion-strewn star gazing deck.
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.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way. This trip features different local guides in Zambia and Zimbabwe and various MTS staff to smooth each transition point along the way. Guide assignments will be given in your Final Bulletin, sent out about 3 weeks before your trip.