This safari covers two of the premier parks in Zambia – The South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi – and Livingstone, home to the spectacular Victoria Falls. The Luangwa Valley, which marks the end of the Great Rift Valley, is one of the last unspoiled wilderness areas and possibly the finest wildlife sanctuary in Africa. The Luangwa River flows into the Zambezi River – just below the Lower Zambezi National Park. This park, scenically bordered by an impressive escarpment, has excellent game, which can be viewed from either the river or by land. Quietly drifting past a huge elephant feeding is a great experience.
Livingstone is home to one of 7 natural wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls, and offers many opportunities, both adrenaline filled and more sedate, to view this amazing site. There are gameviewing opportunities too, with a chance to see the white rhino in Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park and river trips on the Zambezi River. Combining these three areas in Zambia gives you an exceptional safari.
Combining 5 nights in South Luangwa with 3 nights at Chongwe River Camp in the Lower Zambezi and 2 nights at Tongabezi Lodge in Livingstone
Please Note – the order of camps may be changed.
Day 1 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.
Day 2 At dawn breakfast is served around the campfire. The porridge heated on the fire and toast cooked by the coals. The morning walk or drive will leave soon after, entering the park by boat from the camp or by the nearby pontoon. The game in the area is excellent – and includes many family herds of elephants and the endemic species of giraffe, the Thornicroft Giraffe. A mid morning break of tea, coffee and cake will be taken at a scenic point on a lagoon or the Luangwa River. Return to camp for lunch around mid day. After lunch you can cool off in the swimming pool or siesta. Following tea you will go out on an afternoon game drive that continues into the early night giving the chance to see the nocturnal world, returning to camp about 20.00 hrs with dinner generally at 20.30.
Day 3 After an early breakfast, a transfer gamedrive through the park takes you to a crossing point on the Luangwa River. The Nsefu staff will meet the party, who will cross the river by boat, and then enjoy a 45 minute drive to camp, gameviewing on route. Nsefu was the first game camp in Zambia and dates back to the early fifties. The Nsefu Sector was recognised then as a phenomenal area and it still is. Robin Pope Safaris owns the only two camps in this sector of the Park. There are six round rondavels with luxurious ensuite facilities and each room has a clear view of the sweeping bend of the Luangwa River through large windows and from the wooden verandahs. On arrival you will be shown to your rondavel and then lunch will be served followed by a well deserved siesta before the afternoon and evening game drive. (Note: option of booking Tena Tena for the 3 nights).
Day 4 Today is a chance to drive or walk through the ebony groves. Or you may decide this is an ideal day, depending on the heat and time of year, to explore the Nsefu Sector of the National Park possibly with an all day picnic drive to the salt pans that will cover different habitats and is an exceptional day’s safari.
Day 5 After breakfast around the camp fire, your safari will continue with another relaxing day at Nsefu, with morning and evening game activities and the possibility of visiting Kawaza village. This community tourism initiative is a great opportunity to meet local people and experience life in a real non-tourist village. If you wish to visit, then it is best to mention this when booking your holiday or with Robin Pope Safaris on arrival.
Chongwe River Camp
Day 6 After an early breakfast, transfer to Mfuwe Airport (1.5 hours) for the flight to Lusaka (1.5 hours) and then onto the Lower Zambezi (30 mins). As you fly into the area, you will see the wide Zambezi River, dotted with islands. Buffalo and elephant are always seen feeding along with the pods of hippos that rest on the edge of the sandbanks. The transfer to Chongwe River Camp is a short 15 min trip in an open gameviewing vehicle. The camp itself looks onto the confluence of the Chongwe and Zambezi rivers and the mountains of the escarpment to the north. The chalets are large, well-appointed Mulati tents under thatch, with a luxury open-air bathroom on suite. Situated under a canopy of Albida thorns and surrounded by cool lawns, they command fabulous views over the Rivers. The bathrooms are an experience on their own, open air with fittings made from natural materials found near the lodge. You will arrive in time for a delicious buffet lunch. In the afternoon you will have the choice of game viewing by vehicle or you can jump in a boat and experience life on the Zambezi.
Day 7 At Chongwe there are various activities to choose from. Not only on offer are exciting day and night drives and bush walks, but guests can choose their own day’s itinerary from a selection of canoe trips, river safaris on safe, stable pontoon boats and catch and release angling for the infamous tiger fish (in season).
Day 8 The day will be spent continuing with your chosen activities ending with a delicious supper served alfresco under the African night sky.
Tongabezi Lodge or Island Camp
Day 9 After breakfast and farewells, a drive through the park to the airstrip to meet the plane taking you to Livingstone via Lusaka (1.5 hours). On arrival you will be met and transferred to either Tongabezi Lodge or Tongabezi Island Camp (Sindabezi), where you will settle into your accommodation and be served a delicious lunch. Accommodation at Tongabezi Lodge is set in a tranquil grove of ebony on a sweeping bend of the Zambezi River, and consists of five tented cottages and four spacious open-planned stone and thatch houses. Tongabezi Island Camp is three kilometers down stream from the lodge and accessed only from there by either motorised banana boat or canoe. This unique camp consists of 4 cottages built from local timber, reed and thatch. Each with spectacular private views overlooking the Zambezi. The birdlife is outstanding and game is often seen around the Island Camp and Lodge.
Day 10 There is a wide range of activities on offer at Tongabezi including fishing, canoe trips on the river, game drives in the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park. For the more adventurous, Livingstone boasts a whole host of adrenaline filled activities including whitewater rafting, bungee jumping and microlighting. Or you may just wish to rest in camp and enjoy the spectacular scenery and peaceful atmosphere. The day will end with a relaxed dinner served either in the main dining area or as a private meal outside of your room.
Day 11 After breakfast, a morning activity time permitting, or a transfer flight (1hr) to Lusaka to connect onto the onward flight.