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.
Lake Malawi – The Nankumba Peninsula in the South end of the Lake is recognised as one of the most beautiful shores of the Lake and borders Lake Malawi National Park.
This Park was established in order to protect the cichlid fish unique to the area. In 1984 the park was designated a World Heritage Site.
Day 1 On arrival at Mfuwe International Airport by our represesntative. 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. 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&3 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 road via the main gate. 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.
Nsefu Camp (or Tena Tena)
Day 4 After an early breakfast, a transfer game drive 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, game viewing 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 en suite 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.
Day 5-7 These are a few days for 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 8 After breakfast you will transfer to Mfuwe Airport (1.5 hours) for your flight to Lilongwe. The flight time to Lilongwe is approximately 50 minutes. On arrival at Lilongwe’s Kamuzu Airport, you will be met by our staff and assist to your Pumulani flight. Pumulani is situated on the Westside of the Nankumba Peninsula in the South end of Lake Malawi – romantically called “The Lake of Stars”. The ten villas are scattered around the hillside and are individual in shape and style but all have a spacious bedroom, bathroom and extensive sitting area. The front sliding doors open onto the deck – elevated above the ground giving optimal views.
The central dining and bar area is high above the lake with the most spectacular views and leads onto an expansive deck. The infinity swimming pools are on a lower terraced deck by the main lodge and on beach level. The lake shore bar offers light snacks as well as refreshments. Meals will be served in the dining area, on the beach or by arrangement on your private deck. The stunning setting of the lodge and the unique comfort of the rooms means that many guests choose to make relaxation their main activity, but there is enough activities available to keep guests busy.
Day 9 Enjoy the first full day of relaxation at Pumulani. Our remote beach setting is ideal for those who simply want to soak up the sun and swim in the clear blue waters of the lake. Those who prefer to take a dive in the swimming pool, there is an infinity pool near the central dining area with grand views over the lake, as well as another infinity pool on beach level. For those seeking activity we offer many water sports activities like snorkeling, fishing, sailing, kayaking, waterskiing, wake boarding and fun tube rides (all motorized activities are excluded). At the end of the day climb aboard our dhow and let our experienced local crewmen take you sailing into the sunset.
Day 10 & 11 Lake Malawi is the world’s most ecologically diverse lake. Its crystal clear waters are home to more than a thousand species of fish, including hundreds of species of colourful cichlids. We offer special diving courses at the best diving spots near one of the islands. For those who are interested in the real Malawian village life we offer guided walks through one of the local villages. Malawians are renowned for being amongst the friendliest people in Africa and during your stay you will have the opportunity to meet them. You can also simply relax in the beautiful and tranquil scenery or can enjoy the many other activities.
Day 12 Your last day at the lodge. Today you have the opportunity to continue to relax in the beautiful surroundings or play on the lake, or take a walk to the local village for an insight into how village life operates while Malawians explain their traditions and rituals.
Day 13 Depending on you onward connection, you may have a lazy morning or early breakfast before heading off to Lilongwe.