7 Nights / 8 Days River Journeys
This safari covers one of Zambia’s premier parks – South Luangwa. 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 Valley is at its most dramatic in the Emerald Season, with the Luangwa River now flowing over into the brimming lagoons. Boating into these lagoons, flooded ebony groves and flowing channels gives you a view of the Valley which is normally inaccessible during this season“.
The Luangwa River is one of the last remaining major rivers in Africa, and even in the world, that has not been damned for hydropower. This vast river still annually rises, floods into lagoons and channels, changes course and resulting in new lagoons and in so doing creates a rich flood plain river system. To be in the heart of the park, at peak flood time, staying at the first camp built in Zambia (Nsefu) with the river being your only access, is quite an experience.
One will also be able to explore a variety of areas of the Luangwa from 3 locations; Luangwa River Camp, Nsefu & Nkwali Camps. This enhances the type of game and overall safari experience.
NOTE: Camp order in South Luangwa is flexible depending on availability.
The Luangwa River is one of the last remaining major rivers in Africa, and even in the world, that has not been damned for hydropower. This vast river still annually rises, floods into lagoons and channels, changes course and resulting in new lagoons and in so doing creates an rich flood plain river system. To be in the heart of the park, at peak flood time, staying at the first camp built in Zambia (Nsefu) with the river being your only access, is quite an experience.
On arrival at Mfuwe International Airport a guide from Robin Pope Safaris will meet you with onward transfer to Luangwa River Camp where you will be shown to your bush suite to refresh. Luangwa River Camp is a small intimate camp with only 5 chalets situated opposite the Luangwa Wafwa in the Upper Lupande GMA. It has all the creature comforts of a five star camp yet with all the intimacy, tailored activities and flexible mealtimes you come to expect from a bush camp. The camp is unique with its décor of locally crafted and handmade details. The main area is elevated between 1-3 metres on wooden decks affording great views to the park and river. The swimming pool is sunk into the deck on two levels with a spill over adjoining the two pools (one for swimming and the other for seating). Seating areas are all elevated and open plan with a bar area as well as a dining and reading area. LUANGWA RIVER CAMP
This is a day to explore The South Luangwa National Park with a mix of walking, game drives and boating. LUANGWA RIVER CAMP
Day 3 – 5:
Today you will take the boat up to Nsefu Camp. This will take between 2 and 4 hours depending on what you see on the way. The Luangwa River will be high and many of the lagoons will be full. The bird life is amazing along the river and you will often see a bull elephant or a lion on the banks. Nsefu Camp is on a sweeping bend of the Luangwa River. There are six round rondavels with luxurious en suite facilities and each room has a clear view of the river through large windows and from the new wooden verandahs. On arrival at Nsefu you will be shown to your accommodation and then lunch will be served followed by a well-deserved siesta before you set off on an afternoon activity. Over the next few days you will explore the area by boat and by foot. There are many lagoons, ebony groves and channels that will be flooding and so you will be boating over land which is the driving area of the park in the dry season. Also, taking a scout with you, you will be able to enjoy a walk to explore further afield in the park for an all day picnic. Lunch will be under a tree or next to a lagoon and you will then be able to take a siesta or simply spend a lazy couple of hours reading a book or watching the fascinating animals and landscape around you. Returning to camp when you are ready – you may decide to continue straight on your evening boat ride and return to camp at sunset – these are very flexible days. NSEFU CAMP
You will boat back to Nkwali in the morning, which has a wide view of the Luangwa River. It is on the Luangwa and overlooking the Park. 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. NKWALI CAMP
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 and your photographic expedition will begin, 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 by 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. Tea will be served in the afternoon and then off on an afternoon game drive that continues into the early night giving the chance to see the nocturnal world. Usually one returns to camp about 20.00 hrs with dinner generally at 20.30 NKWALI CAMP
After breakfast you will be transferred to Mfuwe Airport for your flight to Lusaka and onwards connection.
PLEASE CONTACT AFRICABOUND FOR FLIGHT COSTS FROM LIVINGSTONE OR JOHANNESBURG TO / FROM LUSAKA.
CAMPS – NKWALI CAMP
Many places claim to be “among the remaining wilderness areas” or “one of the last wildlife sanctuaries”; South Luangwa National Park lives up to both and more. The Luangwa Valley is vast, remote and home to both people and a truly impressive variety of game. The South Luangwa Park is 9050 sq. kilometer; with the river, its tributaries and the riverine strips being the focus of the wildlife viewing. There are diverse habitats, from huge ox bow lagoons of varying stages of maturity, woodlands, ebony groves, grassland and thickets, that host a great variety of wildlife. The birdlife is also excellent with over 450 species to be seen. Nkwali is located on the banks of the Luangwa on a magnificent meander in the river overlooking the National Park where leopards roam along the bank and can often be spotted from camp. Situated on Robin Pope Safaris’ private land outside the park there is a private game viewing area behind camp as well as exclusive access into the park either by boat or across the pontoon.
The six chalets with bamboo woven walls and thatch roofs offer a rustic luxury opening up to magnificent views of the river as well as open air en-suite bathrooms.
Nkwali offers understated elegance, seclusion and superb service.
The South Luangwa National Park marks the end of the Great Rift Valley, one of the last remaining unspoilt wilderness areas and possibly the finest wildlife sanctuary in Africa – a claim which is not an overstatement. It is through this 9050sq kilometer National Park that the great meandering Luangwa River runs, with its ox bow lagoons, tributaries, riverine supported woodlands and large plains, all of which play host to huge concentrations of game including elephant, buffalo, leopard, lion, giraffe, hippo and over 450 species of birds.
Situated in the exclusive Nsefu Sector on a magnificent meander on the Luangwa River across which elephants often cross lies the historic camp Nsefu. Nsefu is one steeped in history and was built in 1951 and barring some upgrades the camp and rooms are still in the same place in the original style. The Nsefu sector was first pronounced a game reserve in 1966 some five years before the South Luangwa was even declared and has always been recognised as an outstanding game-viewing area. Robin Pope Safaris took over Nsefu in 1998, spent a year upgrading it and opened it the following July.
The camp welcomes just twelve guests in six original brick and thatch rondavels with en-suite facilities, each room opening up to what can simply be described as the best view in the South Luangwa.
LUANGWA RIVER CAMP
The South Luangwa National Park marks the end of the Great Rift Valley, one of the last remaining unspoilt wilderness areas and possibly the finest wildlife sanctuary in Africa.
It is through this that the great meandering Luangwa river runs, with its ox bow lagoons, riverine supported woodlands and large plains, all of which play host to huge concentrations of game including elephant, buffalo, leopard, lion, giraffe, hippo and over 450 species of birds.
Luangwa River Camp sits nestled under an ancient ebony grove on the banks of the Luangwa River overlooking the game rich area known as the Luangwa Wafwa.
This small and intimate camp with just five bush suites, along with its setting and location creates a real “wow” factor and a romantic feeling simply flows through the camp.