The Ultimate 12 Day Safari in Zambia
Glorious Zambia is home to a rich and diverse spectrum of wildlife and habitats, as well as three magnificent rivers and the marvel that is the Victoria Falls. From the game-rich South Luangwa Valley and the bird-lovers paradise of Kafue to the beautiful Bangweleu Swamp and the remote North Luangwa, this unique destination has charm and wonder in spades –plus some fabulous camps. It is also the birthplace of the walking safari and remains the best place to explore the bush on foot, under the watchful eye of some of Africa’s finest guides.
DAY 1- 2: MFUWE LODGE, SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK
Ease into Luangwa life with a stay at the award-winning Mfuwe Lodge in the South Luangwa National Park. This region of the park is renowned for its prolific game – giraffe, hippos, buffalo, antelope, and crocodile are constant visitors to the lagoons and the game viewing potential at the lodge and surrounding area is second-to-none.
Intimate chalets are arranged around the banks of two lagoons, where an endless stream of wildlife keeps guests enthralled while lounging on the open deck or taking a dip in the swimming pool. Walking safaris can be arranged on request, but most outings are day and night game drives, led by the experienced team setting out at first light, and then again in the late afternoon when the wildlife is at its most active. Feel like a spot of indulgence? At Mfuwe Lodge’s Bush Spa, guests can continue game-viewing while sinking into a heavenly herbal Jacuzzi or enjoying a Zambian reflexology foot massage.
DAY 2 – 7: SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK
Hop between Chindeni, Kapamba, Bilimungwe and Chamilandu Bushcamps.
Chindeni Bushcamp is a sublime tented camp on the edge of a permanent lagoon, where hippo chortle and elephant wallow. Combine the thrill of sleeping under canvas with style in one of Chindeni’s four opulent tents and enjoy stunning views from your private veranda. Whether you are in the mood for intrepid exploration or more sedentary wildlife viewing, Chindeni will deliver. Avid game viewers and birdwatchers can set out on superb walking safaris or game drives, then kick back with a gin and tonic at camp to watch the abundance of game that is drawn to the lagoon.
Kapamba Bushcamp is a remote and romantic camp that combines isolation and superb game-viewing opportunities with a touch of sophistication, from a prime location on the Kapamba River. Watch elephants frolic and bathe while you do the same from your own private plunge pool, chill out under a huddle of matumi and sausage trees or even enjoy a drink from the middle of the river itself, your feet dipped in the cool, crystal shallows.
The rich diversity of the surroundings are brought to life on guided walks, and on special occasions, we can also arrange an afternoon wading through the cool waters of the Kapamba where a scenic sundowner or celebration meal will be waiting for you. Warm and welcoming Bilimungwe Bushcamp blends seamlessly with its surroundings and offers unrivalled wildlife viewings. Set beneath a huge mahogany tree, the heart of Bilimungwe is the cool, shady lounge area that looks out over one of the camp’s three waterholes.
Settle down in a cosy armchair with a sundowner overlooking these wildlife magnets and enjoy an enviable display of spectacular birds and animals otherwise known as “Bush TV”. This is a nature-lovers paradise, and with Manda Chisanga – Bilimungwe’s award-winning resident guide – to lead you, you could not be in better hands on a combination of walking safaris, day and night game drives, and sundowners on the river’s edge.
Chamilandu is an extraordinary camp on one of the South Luangwa’s prime locations. There are just three stilted chalets at this exclusive camp, set on the riverbank beneath a soaring ebony grove. From this unique vantage point, there is no need to leave your four-poster bed to drink in the fabulous wildlife; watch as animals roam across the landscape, or swing through the trees above your head.
Walking safaris around Chamilandu are an ideal way to explore the impressive range of habitats in the area. With no fewer than seven oxbow lagoons behind camp, there are always thirsty animals around seeking refreshment. The hide looks out over one of these lagoons and is the perfect place to take lunch, tea, or to while away an afternoon in a hammock to the soundtrack of a bathing elephant.
DAY 7 – 10: LOWER ZAMBEZI NATIONAL PARK
An intimate camp of only five chalets, the concept of Old Mondoro is simple: to provide guests with an authentic and unedited Zambian safari, a ‘back to the bush’ atmosphere centred on the wildlife and wilderness experience.
Free from fences, the wild animals that live here – waterbuck, baboons, buffalo, elephant and more – occupy the space just as much as guests do, which means wildlife often wanders into camp for out-of-this-world game viewing. Big cat sightings (including one of the most prolific leopard sightings to be had in Africa) are on the cards too.
Since Old Mondoro is set on the border of the mighty Zambezi River, you can expect a diverse range of land and water-based safari activities, from day and night drives and walking, boating and canoeing safaris, to catch and release fishing and sunset cruising.
DAY 10 – 12: THE ZAMBEZI RIVER
The ultimate destination for romance and bespoke travel, our long-time favourite Tongabezi Lodge inspires a truly magical adventure. An extensive variety of cottages and houses cater to all guests and groups, decked out in contemporary African fusion style. With Sindabezi Island just a short hop from the main jetty, guests can live out their castaway fantasies from its white sand beach or set off for incredible Livingstone Island in the middle of Victoria Falls.
Further experiences and activities include sunrise or sunset sails along the Zambezi, fishing, game drives, helicopter and microlight flights, white-water rafting and dinner on the Royal Livingstone Express.