Zambia Wildlife Safari
Zambia wildlife safari is an 8 day African safari tour that takes you to two of Zambia’s premier parks. You’ll visit the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi National Parks.
About Zambia Wildlife Safari
This 8 day Zambia wildlife safari takes you to two of Zambia’s premier parks. You’ll visit the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi National Parks. The Luangwa Valley is a wildlife sanctuary situated at the end of the Great Rift Valley.
It provides excellent land and water-based game viewing activities. Accommodation on this Zambia wildlife safari is in 3 Zambia safari lodges. Your stay will be the perfect combination between rustic surrounds and deluxe facilities. Don’t forget to indulge in culinary delights.
You’ll try to balance local ingredients with international influences. You have a choice between an indoor dining area or dine in true African safari style. This is done around a blazing campfire with a bustling bush as your soundtrack.
Zambia Wildlife Safari Itinerary
Day 1: Lusaka – South Luangwa National Park
Our Zambia safari rep will meet you at Lusaka Airport. You will be briefed on the Zambia wildlife safari. This will be followed by a flight transfer to Mfuwe Airport. On arrival you’ll be escorted on a 40-minute road transfer to Nkwali Camp.
This is in the midst of vast grasslands and ebony woodlands. After settling into your suite you’ll enjoy some time at leisure. You may enjoy drinks on the deck overlooking the river. You may also opt to relax in the crystal-clear waters of the swimming pool.
Your Zambia wildlife safari will embark on game viewing activities. This is in the afternoon after your cup of tea. You can choose a walking safaris, birding, game drives and river safaris. You may spot a variety of carnivores, antelope, bird and insect species.
As an alternative, you may take a tour around the local villages. This will be an introduction to their unique culture. Visit the schools, houses, shops and markets occupied by the local people. Here you’ll learn a bit more about their daily lifestyles.
Tribal textiles are a popular part of Zambia and a cultural expression. This can easily be taken home with you as a souvenir.
Your Zambia wildlife safari returns back to the lodge. This is in time for pre-dinner drinks around a campfire. Shortly after, you will be served with a freshly prepared meal.
This can be either in the dining room or at an alfresco table. Enjoy a drink under the stars as the ambers of the fire warm you up. You’ll enjoy a peaceful night’s rest in your comfortable suite.
Day 2: South Luangwa National Park
Your Zambia wildlife safari wakes up to the sounds of the flowing Luangwa River. You will be ready to enjoy a warm cup of coffee. A morning game drive takes you to the South Luangwa National Park. Be on the lookout for zebra, hippo, elephant and a variety of antelope species are common.
The endemic Thornicroft’s Giraffe is unique to the valley. Their heads can be seen towering over the mopane, leadwood and winterthorn trees. The drives are taken in open-top safari vehicles. This allows for unfiltered panoramic views on Zambia wildlife safari.
You can also choose a walking safari guided by a National Park scout instead. Here you’ll follow the spoor of the wild into an untamed diversity of plant, insect and bird life. You will return to the lodge for breakfast and a siesta before afternoon tea.
Later you’ll cruise down the South Luangwa River. This is done in a two-seater canoe or on a sunset river cruise. You’ll spot the sly crocodiles lazing on the banks.
You may also see the eyes of a hippo peeking out from the water. You’ll take a break from your canoe on one of the islands. This is to admire the spectacular sunset with refreshing sundowners.
Later your Zambia wildlife safari will sail back to the lodge. Be sure to witness the changing color of the African sky. Later you’ll enjoy a starry night around the campfire. Here you’ll be entertained by local tales of the fauna and flora.
You will enjoy an indoor or outdoor dinner. Menus are influenced by a combination of local and international flavors. A relaxing and rejuvenating overnight will be in your suite.
Day 3 – 5: South Luangwa National Park
Your Zambia wildlife safari starts with early wake up. This is to be followed by a delicious breakfast. You will then venture into a drive through the park. You will be driving to Nsefu Camp, your next destination.
Here you’ll settle into your comfortable thatched chalet. You may take a walk down to the camp’s waterhole. Here you’ll find congregation of wildlife like antelope, insects and birds.
After lunch, your Zambia wildlife safari heads out into the South Luangwa National Park. Today you’ll explore the depths of the wilderness on a game drive. You may also tread along the contours during a guided walking safari.
Seasonal boating is available from the end of December to April. Explore the water channels and bird life that adorn the lagoons. This is as your Zambia wildlife safari paddles a way around. Your guide will provide an in-depth description of the fauna and flora.
Educational and interactive activities include village tours. You may also visit the Wildlife Education Centre. Here you’ll learn more about the South Luangwa Valley and its wildlife. A tour to the nearby Kawaza Village will return you with new cultural insights.
You can also get souvenirs of tribal textiles. Night drives venture out after tea time and return before dinner. You’ll be equipped with spotlight operated by your guide. The safari vehicle’s headlights will also provide light on this excursion. It is sure to be an exhilarating experience.
You’ll spot the sparkling eyes of a bush baby. You may also watch as a lioness breaks away from the pride. This is to pursue her prey in the dark of the night. Your years should be open to the hooting of the owl. You’ll head back to a dinner table adorned with a freshly prepared meal.
Dinning is indoors or alfresco. You may enjoy post-dinner drinks around a campfire.
Day 6 – 7: Lower Zambezi National Park
An early morning wake up starts your Zambia wildlife safari. This is followed by a road transfer to Mfuwe Airport. Aboard a flight you will head to the Lower Zambezi. Our guide will meet on arrival and take you to the boat crossing point.
Your Zambia wildlife safari takes a 20-minute motorboat ride on the Zambezi River. This is to Chiawa Camp where you will stay in an en-suite safari tent.
An afternoon tea will be prepared before for the evening events. Your Zambia wildlife safari embarks on your afternoon game viewing activity. You will have a choice between a Zambezi River safari in a canoe or a sunset boat cruise.
You may also opt for a fishing trip. A walking safari offers an opportune time to discover the intricate facets of the bush. In the evening you can opt to join a guide on a night drive. This leads to uninterrupted encounters with the nocturnal wildlife.
The spotlights used to venture through the bush are carefully designed. They provide minimal obstruction to the animals. This therefore maintains an un-spoilt game viewing experience. You’ll return to the lodge for dinner later in the evening. Drinks can be done around the fire while stargazing and an early night’s rest.
Day 8: Lusaka
An early Zambia wildlife safari wake up rewards you with a final game drive. This is to be followed by a delicious breakfast. You will depart by boat to the boat crossing point.
Your Zambia wildlife safari then takes a road transfer to the airstrip. Here you will aboard a flight enjoy a transfer to Lusaka Airport. You’ll be in time for your departure flight home.
———— End of Zambia Wildlife Safari ———–
Zambia wildlife safari Destination
South Luangwa National Park
South Luangwa National Park is one of the great remaining unspoiled regions of Africa. Even as Zambia’s reputation as a spectacular safari destination grows, it retains its essence of true wilderness.
South Luangwa National Park is a place that still feels relatively untouched by modern humans, and is therefore uniquely able to provide Zambia wildlife safari guests an unpredictable and exhilarating safari experience.
Because of that protected quality, it is important that you enter this country with a deep respect for the sanctity of the wildlife habitats and an appreciation for the ecology that supports this special environment.
The Luangwa River is the most intact river in Africa, and its tributaries and lagoons are the lifeblood of this region.
The changing seasons, from the ‘dry’ season in the winter to the ‘emerald’ season of the summer months, make this a vibrant and charismatic part of the world that you don’t want to miss on your Zambia wildlife safari.
It is important to note that alongside the beautiful scenery is also a beautiful culture. The people of Zambia are kind and friendly, and will welcome travelers on Zambia wildlife safari with warmth and genuine hospitality.
The local people are also some of the best guides in the entire country, and their passion for sharing their knowledge while working in these camps, which can be incredibly remote, makes the Zambia wildlife safari experience that much richer and more memorable.
History of South Luangwa National Park
The country of Zambia lies landlocked in the tropics, located at the northern edge of the region known as ‘southern Africa.’ Shaped like a butterfly and covering about 752,610 square kilometers, Zambia is roughly three times the size of the United Kingdom.
South Luangwa National Park – located in eastern Zambia – was declared a national park in 1972. As a protected game reserve for over 65 years before that, the park was never subjected to the degradation of unregulated mass tourism, thus sustaining its pristine wilderness.
It was here, in this park, that the now famous ‘walking safari’ originated, when Norman Carr, who was originally a ranger in the game reserves in the 1940s, began to operate wilderness safaris in the area.
Carr recognized the limitations of the early format of hunting safaris, and developed the walking safari to increase tourism to the area, as well as species conservation.
It could be argued that this shift in the travel tourism focus positively impacted the animal populations in the park and surrounding area.
Due to both the CITES ban on the world ivory trade, the presence of South Luangwa Conservation Society supported ZAWA teams, which carry out law-enforcement patrols on a regular basis, the park and its wildlife population (especially elephants) have remained remarkably stable ever since.
Not just the park, but the entire region is a true wildlife sanctuary. It is clustered with the neighboring North Luangwa, Luambe, and Lukusuzi National Parks. These are all separated by a cushion of game management areas.
The region is teeming with wildlife and is fiercely protected and conserved, so it remains largely unmolested. The best part of South Luangwa National Park and its adjacent GMAs is the remoteness.
More and more precious these days is that chance to relax into a rare night sky that is untainted by light pollution.
Here Zambia wildlife safari guests will fall asleep under the most impressive blanket of stars, including awe inspiring views of the shimmering Milky Way.
The small and intimate lodges contribute to this feeling of being in a place where the modern world has yet to intrude upon nature.
Lower Zambezi National Park
The park is named after Zambezi, the fourth-longest river in Africa, the longest east-flowing river in Africa and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa.
For about 500 kilometers it serves as the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe thundering over the Victoria Falls and through the narrow, steadily deepening Batoka Gorge, providing a fantastic playground for white-water rafting, kayaking, river boarding and jet boating.
Its unique value is that it is less developed than other rivers regarding human settlement and many areas along its banks have even been granted protected status.
The lower part of the river from Cahora Bassa down to the Indian Ocean is navigable by large vessels. This section is 650 km (400miles) in length, the river is shallow in many places especially during the dry season as the river enters a broad valley and spreads out over a large area.
Only at the Lupata Gorge 320 km (200miles) up from the mouth does the river flow between high hills and a gorge is formed.
Elsewhere it flows gently with many small channels to explore along the way. The river bed is sandy, and the banks are low and reed-fringed, however during the rainy season these streams join to become one fast flowing river.
The Lower Zambezi National Park flanks the river on the Zambian side and Mana Pools National Park on the Zimbabwean side. This whole area of the Zambezi supports one of Africa’s most important wilderness areas as it provides sustenance to a diverse array of game, birdlife and fish species.
Hippo, Nile crocodiles and monitor lizards, are commonly found along many of the calm stretches of the river by those on Zambia wildlife safari.
Species of bird, like heron, pelican, egret and African fish eagle are found in large numbers here. The riverine woodlands then support many large animals, such as buffalo, zebra, giraffe, elephant.
The Zambezi also supports several hundred species of fish, some of which are endemic to the river. Important species include cichlids which are fished heavily for food, as well as catfish, tigerfish, yellowfish and other large species.
The bull shark is sometimes known as the Zambezi shark after the river but is found around the world.
After having provided power, food and transport for many people, and a home for untold numbers of wildlife ¬– the river ends its journey through Mozambique and out towards the Indian Ocean.
The Zambezi’s most noted feature is Victoria Falls, but there is also so much more. Other notable falls include the Chavuma Falls at the border between Zambia and Angola, and Ngonye Falls, near Sioma in Western Zambia.
There are two primary sources of hydroelectric power on the river, the Kariba Dam, which provides power to Zambia and Zimbabwe, and the Cahora Bassa Dam in Mozambique, which provides power to Mozambique and South Africa. There is also a smaller power station at Victoria Falls.
Wildlife to See on Zambia wildlife safari
At this point Zambia wildlife safari guests may be wondering what it is that draws so many wildlife enthusiasts and safari connoisseurs to this particular area, often returning to the same camps many times over.
Accompanying the reputation for a very high quality of guiding in this area, South Luangwa’s concentration of animals is some of the densest in all of Africa.
The park offers guests on Zambia wildlife safari a multitude of game that will satisfy any safari bucket list: from predators like the famed African wild dogs, majestic lions, and lean leopards to big game favorites like elephants, buffalo, and hippo, this park has them all.
South Luangwa also offers Zambia wildlife safari guests unique animal sightings, such as Zambia’s beloved Crawshay’s zebra herds (whose stripes are more distinct than those found further south and west).
There are 14 different species of antelope, including the elusive bushbuck; and the attractive kudu, with its spiral horns and delicate face.
Did we mention there are also 400 species of birds in the park, including 39 birds of prey? You’ll want to pack your binoculars and a camera so you can capture your sightings of these amazing creatures.
Because this park offers day and evening game drives, which is unique in the world of Zambia wildlife safari, a whole other nocturnal realm is opened up for your viewing excitement.