7 Nights / 8 Days
The LUANGWA VALLEY, which marks the end of the Great Rift Valley, is one of the last unspoilt wilderness areas and possibly the finest wildlife sanctuary in Africa. It covers an area of over 9000 sq. km. through which the meandering Luangwa River runs. The ox bow lagoons, woodland and plains of the valley host huge concentrations of game – including elephant, buffalo, leopard, lion, giraffe, hippo – and over 400 species of birds.
The three camps offer a unique combination of creature comforts and stunning remote locations in the South Luangwa National Park. However, some of our guests want to get even further out into the wilderness, to immerse themselves in the sights, sounds and smells of the bush. For these adventurers, we offer dedicated walking safaris. Walking through the bush is a completely different experience to driving. All your senses are alert. Every sound, every movement – the flap of a bird’s wing, a tail swishing through the tall grass – acquires significance.
This is where an expert guide really comes into their own. Not only will they point out wildlife and birdlife to you, they will also teach you to hone and sharpen your senses and to spot the clues that lie around you in the bush. As one of our guests said after walking for five days along the Mupamdazi River, it is like reading an engrossing book compared to watching a film.
Combining Robin Pope Safaris in the Nkwali Camp 1 night, Walking Mobile Safari 5 nights and Tena Tena Camp or Nsefu 1 night
On arrival at Mfuwe International Airport a guide from Robin Pope Safaris will meet you. The drive to Nkwali Camp is 1 hour through colourful local scenes of villages, agriculture as well as bush. Nkwali Camp has a wide view of the Luangwa River. On Robin’s private land, and overlooking the South Luangwa National Park, Nkwali is ideally situated for the start of your safari. The six rooms all look out over the river and have open air bathrooms. Depending on your arrival time, in the day you will enjoy a lunch looking out over the lagoon to the back of Nkwali or if in the afternoon for tea and the afternoon and night game drive.
After an early breakfast, you will be heading north to start your walking mobile which has become known as THE wilderness experience of the South Luangwa. Your drive is some 90kms to the Mupamadzi River along a bush road, through remote parts of the park. You arrive in camp for lunch around mid day. The camp is already set up for your arrival with well-equipped walk-in tents. The shower is under a tree and the toilet is a long drop with a wooden throne. Enjoy a relaxing siesta after lunch, before tea and going for a walk around camp in the afternoon, to return for sundowners and dinner in the open under the stars!
Up at sunrise for the morning walk. The area is remote and wild, the terrain and habitats varied and the game shy and unused to man. From ant’s to buffalo, a bird’s nest to tracking a lion, you will learn the many facets of the bush. The mobile camp will be packed and moved to Camp 2 and lunch will be ready as the guests arrive late morning. Lunch, siesta and afternoon walk.
Explore the area on foot – returning to the same campsite.
Days 5 & 6
The camp will be moved again to camp 3 during the morning as you walk further down the river. The Mupamadzi River is a major tributary of the Luangwa. All walks are led by an experienced naturalist and accompanied by an armed game scout.
After an early breakfast, transfer to the Luangwa River crossing point opposite Tena Tena. This is a 4 to 5 hour drive. Tena Tena staff will meet and boat the party across the river, and then a 20 minute drive to Tena Tena camp. This remote and small camp lies within the National Park and enjoys a stunning location on a sweeping bend of the Luangwa River. A grove of mahogany trees shade the large custom-made tents. From the thatched dining room and bar, guests can watch the elephants, hippo and antelope on the riverbank. Tena has 5 tents, each with a dressing room, open air bathroom and private verandah that overlooks a water hole. Most meals are taken under the shade of a huge Mahogany tree in the centre of the camp. On arrival you will be shown to your tent and then lunch will be served followed by a well deserved siesta before the afternoon and evening game drive. Time to rest those weary legs!
The specialties of these safaris are:
Walking Safaris: The only way to really discover the secrets of the bush. Walks are led by an experienced naturalist and accompanied by an armed game scout.
Game Drives: (not available when on mobile) Conducted in open four wheel drive vehicles by knowledgeable safari guides. Special gameviewing seats provide excellent viewing and opportunities for photography.
Night Drives: (not available when on mobile) Set out in the afternoon. Later, after watching the sun set over the river with a sundowner in hand, the drive continues with a powerful spotlight. The nocturnal world of the bush is witnessed from owls, genets to hunting lions and the graceful leopard.