Tailored from £5,250 per person excl. flights
8 days South Luangwa National Park, Lower Zambezi National Park
8 days South Luangwa National Park, Lower Zambezi National Park
This luxury Zambia holiday combines two of the country’s premier safari destinations, South Luangwa National Park and Lower Zambezi National Park, to create the ultimate Zambia safari itinerary for wildlife enthusiasts looking to rove the parklands by road and river.
You’ll start in South Luangwa, where you’ll participate in game drives by night and day, as well as Zambia’s famous walking safaris.
Big game and big cats are abundant, with common sightings of elephants, lions, hippos, giraffes, buffalo and colourful birdlife, amongst many other species.
For a cultural twist on the traditional Zambia safari, we recommend visits to local villages such as Kawaza, where you can learn about local communities and shop for unique souvenirs such as handmade textile pieces.
A trip to the Wildlife Education Centre is an informative and interactive experience, ideal for children eager to learn about wildlife.
Swapping one river for another, you’ll venture on to Lower Zambezi National Park, where there are more wildlife watching opportunities by vehicle, on foot, by boat and even by canoe.
Drift down the currents of the Zambezi with hippos and crocodiles, watching wildlife come to drink at the water’s edge. Try your hand at fishing to catch a toothy tigerfish, then relax with “floating sundowners” on a sunset cruise.
This one-week suggested itinerary for South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi offers the best of Zambia’s wildlife watching activities, providing you with a memorable river safari adventure that is sure to have you returning to this destination again in the near future.
You’ll arrive at Lusaka Airport and take a scheduled domestic flight to Mfuwe, where you’ll be met by a Wayfairer representative. After a welcome and introductions, you’ll take a private transfer to your accommodation at South Luangwa National Park, one of Zambia’s best safari destinations.
You’ll stay two nights at Luangwa River Camp, a gorgeous safari lodge perched on the banks of the Luangwa River. This petite safari camp is comprised of just five bush suites, with the property overlooking the game-rich Luangwa Wafwa area, providing you with a great introduction to Zambia’s diverse wildlife.
Enjoy a sundowner and an evening meal (food and local brand drinks inclusive) with a lush view of South Luangwa National Park from the lodge’s suites, keeping your eyes peeled for your first sightings of elephants, lions, hippos, giraffes, buffalo and a colourful collection of birds.
South Luangwa National Park is one of Zambia’s premier safari destinations, located at the end of the Great Rift Valley and veined by the winding Luangwa river. Here, there are huge concentrations of big game, including favourites such as giraffe, hippo and elephant, as well as big cats such as leopards and lions. Don’t forget to listen and look up, where you’ll see and hear the region’s birdlife.
Take guided morning or evening game drives and safari walks (Zambia is the birthplace of the walking safari) to explore the environment in different ways. To learn more about the human inhabitants of the region, take a cultural village tour and explore the shops, bars and markets of nearby Mfuwe.
Today, you’ll take a road transfer to a different area of South Luangwa National Park and your next accommodation, Tena Tena. Located in the exclusive Nsefu Sector, this luxury safari camp offers unspoiled views of the meandering Luangwa River from your private verandah. Watch families of hippos wallowing in the waters from the shade of the property’s grove of mahogany trees.
Tena Tena is safari lodge associated with Robin Pope Safaris, a safari camp group named and founded by Robin, who grew up in Zambia and is passionate about safaris, responsible tourism and wildlife conservation. Tena Tena was the first of the Robin Pope Safari camps to open, in 1986, offering game drives in this exclusive region of South Luangwa National Park, tucked away in the river’s complex lagoon system.
From your new location at Tena Tena, you’ll take part in more day and night game drives, as well as escorted walking safaris with local guides and National Park scouts. A trip to Kawaza Village will introduce you to the Luangwa Valley community and provide an opportunity to shop for tribal textiles produced locally, painted by hand and with designs inspired by Zambia’s wildlife.
If you’re travelling with children, you might like to pay a visit to the Wildlife Education Centre to learn about wildlife conservation in a fun and interactive way. The centre is run by a charitable trust, providing funds for local schoolchildren.
Today, you’ll leave South Luangwa National Park and head back to Mfuwe Airport, where you’ll take a scheduled domestic flight to Jeki via Lusaka. Then, it’s a road transfer to your next Zambia safari location, Lower Zambezi National Park.
Lower Zambezi National Park is an area of unspoiled wilderness reminiscent of Africa before safari tourism. Here, you can see a wide variety of wildlife on game drives, including sightings of lion, leopard, buffalo and elephant (four of the Big Five). However, you’ll have more chance of see the big cats after sunset, as these species tend to be more active at night.
You’ll be staying for three nights at Potato Bush Camp, a five-star luxury safari lodge comprised of only three spacious tents, ensuring maximum privacy and peace. Relax on your private balcony in a two-person hammock or take a dip in your private plunge pool to cool off.
After dark, participate in a night drive to see nocturnal creatures such as honey badgers, African wildcats, porcupines, genets, civets and if you’re lucky, maybe even the rare and critically endangered pangolin. Look up and you’ll be treated to celestial landscapes of the southern night sky, with stars and constellations made brighter by the location’s lack of light pollution.
Take advantage of the Zambezi River today with water activities such as canoeing, boat trips and fishing. Lower Zambezi is known for its canoeing and the 14-kilometre stretch of the Chifungulu Channel is a favourite of both locals and visitors, as the currents allow you to drift downstream, looking out for wildlife that congregates by the river to drink and listening to the sounds of birds combined with the trickling stream of the river.
For an even more relaxing river activity, take a boat trip or a sunset river cruise for “floating sundowners.” You’ll encounter bathing pods of hippos and lurking crocodile populations, with the chance to see elephants crossing from Mana Pools to Lower Zambezi, cooling off in the waters as they go.
Alternatively, keen anglers can try their hand at spinning or fly fishing, with the chance to hook a tigerfish (also known as the striped river dog) and tilapia fish. Note that this activity is catch and release, in compliance with National Park rules.
After exploring Lower Zambezi National Park by road and river, you’ll next rove the parklands on foot as part of a walking safari – an essential addition to any Zambia safari holiday. A walking safari is the best way to swap out big game for tiny creatures, learn about the flora of the region and examine tracks and scat, which rangers use to detect and track wildlife.
In the cool of the mornings, you’ll take a game drive from your camp to an area of Lower Zambezi National Park designated for walking safaris, accompanied by a professional walking guide and a National Parks Wildlife Office. You’ll be in safe hands, though be warned that it’s not unheard of to encounter a big cat or even an elephant!
Sadly, your South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi Zambia safari adventure comes to an end. After checking out of Potato Bush Camp, you’ll take a road transfer back to Jeki, where you’ll take a scheduled domestic flight to Lusaka Airport in plenty of time for your onward international journey.
You’ll leave Zambia inspired by the diverse wildlife and friendly locals you’ve had the opportunity to meet here, and depart most likely filled with inspiration for your next travel adventure.