OverviewThis 8-day adventure in South Luangwa National park is a safari like no other. Walking in the wilderness with an experienced naturalist guide, you will spend five days walking between camps that are prepared for you along the way.
Your journey begins with a night at Nkwali Camp on the banks of the Luangwa River, where you will get a taste for the wilderness on a late afternoon game drive. The following day you take a game drive to the Mupamadzi River in the remote north-eastern sector of the park, where the walking adventure begins. Moving between a sucession of camps, you follow the course of the river on foot, while your expert guide brings every facet of your experience to life. Your final night is then spent in Nsefu, where you enjoy a final game drive and rest your legs!
Perfect for those with a spirit of adventure, this is a Zambian wilderness experience that you will never forget.
SummaryTour Duration: 8 DaysDestinations Visited
South Luangwa National Park
Accommodations VisitedMobile Camps
South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
InclusionsAll safari activitiesLaundryTransfers to/from Mfuwe airportExclusionsInternational flightsAirport taxesAll meals and drinks not specifiedTips and gratuitiesItems of a personal natureHighlightsSpend 5 days walking in South Luangwa National ParkSee Thornicroft’s giraffe & Crawshay’s zebraBe accompanied by an expert naturalist guideExcellent wildlife & birding sightsDay & night game drivesA perfect safari to explore the Luangwa Valley on foot and in a safari vehicle. Start and end your safari in the comfort of a lodge, but the highlight will no doubt be your 5 nights on a mobile camping safari, led by some of Zambia’s top guides, offering a truly authentic safari.Monique WilsonAfrica Safari Expert
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Day to dayItineraryDetailed breakdownDay 1: Welcome to Zambia | 1 DayUp arrowSouth Luangwa National Park, ZambiaYour guide will meet you on arrival at Mfuwe International Airport and take you for the game drive to Nkwali Camp. The journey takes you through colourful scenery of villages, farmland and wilderness until you arrive on the banks of the Luangwa River.
Set on a broad sweep of a lagoon, Nkwali Camp is small and intimate with an authentic safari atmosphere. The six rooms all face out over the river from below the canopy of large shady trees. This is the ideal place to absorb the sensations of being in a true wilderness and prepare yourself for the adventure that lies ahead.
The park is home to a wonderful variety of wildlife, from herds of elephant and buffalo to the near-endemic Thornicroft’s giraffe and Crawshay’s zebra. Hippos and crocodiles crowd the river, while lion and leopard stalk the woodlands. Add an incredible plethora of bird life and this mix is what every naturalist’s dreams are made of.
Day 2: Into the wilds | 1 DayUp arrowSouth Luangwa National Park, ZambiaYou depart Nkwali after breakfast and drive through the remote north-eastern sector of the park to the Mupamadzi River, where your campsite has been prepared.
As the afternoon cools down, you set off with your guide on an exploratory walk to get a feel for the lay of the land. Revel in the sense of absolute freedom and a union with nature as you follow game trails and elephant paths through the wilds, engaging every one of your senses with the purpose and clarity of the very animals you are seeking. Breathe in the scents, listen to every sound, and feel the direction of the wind on your skin. Your guide points out details you may have missed, scuff marks on the ground, bent leaves: signs that are easily overlooked, but tell a story to the trained eye. Also learn about the traditional uses of a variety of plants: which are edible, what to use for rope, and which to use for medicine.
The paths to the water are a wealth of information, where every animal that has walked that way has left some sign of its passage - here the crescent hoof-marks of an old and solitary buffalo bull, there the tracks of a leopard and her cub. The secrets of the wilderness reveal themselves to you through the eyes of your guide and every step is a revelation.
Returning to camp at sunset, you find drinks on ice and a campfire blazing - the ideal ingredients with which to enjoy the sunset views over the river, while hippos snort and splash in the water below you.
Day 3: Following the river | 1 DayUp arrowYou enjoy a sunrise breakfast before once again setting off on your walk to Camp Two. The country is wild and remote: a pristine wilderness that is inhabited by an incredible variety of wildlife and birds. Your guide’s expert and intuitive skills enhance every experience and encounter, from the tiniest reptiles and insects to the looming bulk of a bull elephant as he regally makes his way to the river for a drink.
You arrive at Camp Two to find it set up and ready, and in time to enjoy a delicious lunch. The midday hours are alive with the buzzing of cicadas and the soporific trilling of birdsong, the ideal serenade for a relaxing afternoon. As the sun begins to lower, you once again set off on a walk to explore the surrounding area.
Day 4: Camp Two | 1 DayUp arrowWith Camp Two as your base, you spend the day exploring the region on an early morning walk, and another in the late afternoon. You discover the hidden intricacies of life that are visible to the observant eye: how everything here is interconnected in a web of vitality that encompasses each and every creature and plant that you encounter. From the fascinating social structure of a termite hill to the medicinal uses of plants and the irresistible call of the honeyguide bird, luring you to a honeycomb guarded by bees. Follow game paths that might never have felt a human tread, stand breathless and silent as a herd of elephants rumble gently past your hiding place.
Each time you venture out, there is something different, something new to marvel at, something that sets the adrenaline pumping through your veins. Listen to the sound of a pride of lions calling and feel the vibration in your bones, your hair standing on end as this primal roar touches the core of your being and sets you apart from those who have never heard or experienced it.
Days 5-6: Camp Three | 2 DaysUp arrowSetting off once again at sunrise, you continue downriver while the camp is dismantled and moved to the next location.
The serenity and stillness of this magical wilderness becomes your rhythm, where only the sounds of nature and your own footfalls break the silence. The river is your compass, and the source of life for all the creatures that depend on its waters. Game trails worn smooth by the passage of hooves, feet and paws are your highway, leading you further and further on your voyage of discovery. Arriving at the next camp in time for lunch, you then rest out the midday hours in the shade before setting off once again in the late afternoon for an exploratory walk, returning the camp in the in the golden glow of sunset.
Day 7: Nsefu | 1 DayUp arrowIn the morning after breakfast, you climb aboard a vehicle for the game drive southwards to the Luangwa River and Nsefu, South Luangwa's original safari camp.
This small and intimate camp overlooks a broad sweep of the Luangwa, where a constant parade of elephants, antelope and hippos can be seen. In this tranquil setting, you can relax and give your legs a well-earned rest as you sit on your verandah and gaze out over the life in the river as it passes by.
A late afternoon game drive is the perfect way to round off this magical Luangwa experience: allowing you to drink your fill of the magnificent scenery and the wildlife that lives along this enigmatic waterway.
With a final sundowner stop along a picturesque curve of the river, the last rays of the setting sun illuminate a scene as old as time. Raising a glass in a toast to the adventures of the previous days, you recall the memories of an adventure quite unlike any other.
Your final evening at Nsefu is spent in the warm circle of firelight below a glittering canopy of stars, while gentle conversations and anecdotes of the previous days are offset by the booming calls of hippos in the river.
Day 8: Farewell Zambia | 1 DayUp arrowSouth Luangwa National Park, ZambiaAfter a final morning game drive or relaxing time in the camp, you take the drive back to Mfuwe, where your Luangwa adventure draws to a close.
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Go2Africa