For those looking for a tour that is a little more adventurous this is definitely the tour for you. For 14 days you get to experience some of Zambia’s true wilderness areas, and do so via a mixture of basic wild camping and stays in basic remote lodges. You will no doubt get your feet wet wading through the swamps of Bangwuela as you search for the elusive Shoebill, and there will be plenty of early mornings overlooking the beautiful mists in Kasanka National Park. One of the highlights of this tour has to be the 4x4 drive in North Luangwa as you uncover rarely used tracks in your search for amazing sights and wildlife. This is a participatory adventure tour, which means that in around 65% of locations you will need to help set up camp, with ground tents and mattresses. You will also be asked to assist in meal preparations, and you never know….may even need to help us push the 4x4 out of the mud with the unpredictable rains! It’s not all hard work though as nothing beats sinking into the natural hot springs of Kapishya to relax, or a sundowner looking out into the wilderness with nothing but the sounds of the African Bush.
Mixture of camping and mid-range accommodation
Today on arrival you will be collected from the airport and transferred to your lodge. Mafumu Lodge offers a good standard of comfort. This evenings dinner is at a nearby restaurant , where your guide will do the trip briefing. Overnight Lodge on Bed and breakfast basis and dinner is included.
After breakfast, depart for our adventure into Zambia. You head into Zambia, through Mchinji then up to Lundazi and drive to Luambe Park. Arrival will be late afternoon , after a full days travelling. Overnight camping in the park. Overnight camping with all meals supplied. Total Driving time is 10 hrs.
After breaking camp, continue to Zambia's most iconic, remote and alluring Park - North Luangwa. Its a relatively short days drive and you should cross the pontoon mid morning and then its a leisurely game drive to Buffalo Camp. This park, covering 4636 square kilometers the area offers one of the finest wilderness experiences in Zambia, if not Africa itself. Until recently, it was not open to the public and there are no permanent lodges there. The beauty of visiting this park is the truly remarkable opportunities to experience Africa as it was - the Real Africa. The park is noted for its massive herds of buffalo, large prides of lion and other common mammals are hyena, Cookson’s wildebeest, bushbuck, zebra, warthog, baboon, vervet monkey, puku and impala. Elephant and leopard are also seen, but not as frequently as in the South Park. You are however more likely to see hartebeest, reedbuck and eland here. Buffalo Camp is a seasonal bush camp opening at the beginning of June and closing at the end of October. The camp is rebuilt and taken down each year. Overnight Buffalo Bush Camp en suite Chalets with all meals included. Total Driving time is 6 hrs.
Today begins with a morning game walk - possibly one of the most exciting activities you can undertake in Africa. Led by an experienced and qualified guide and supported by experienced game scouts, you will get an insight into wild Africa as never before - Insects, birds, plants, shrubs and all manner of wild and natural phenomenon are experienced and explained. Return to Camp for a rest then an afternoon walk, followed by a sundowner and a night drive before returning back to camp.
This morning you will drive up the escarpment to the Great North Road and will visit the iconic Shiwa Ngandu Estate, and camp at Kapishya Hot Springs. Kapishya is a natural, sulphur free hot springs set along the banks of the Mansha river. There are various activities available at Kapishya and on the estate, such as River floats, game drives, visits to the manor house, horse-back riding and bird walks. It is situated on the Estate of Shiwa Ngandu (The Africa House) which is rich in history. A visit to this landmark house can be arranged in the afternoon.
Today it is a 2 hr. journey to Mpika where you will stop for an hour or so to resupply, before continuing towards the next overnight in Kasanka Park. This park is a valuable conservation area with diverse flora and fauna including many endangered species and exceptional birdlife. Kasanka offers views of sitatunga and sable antelope and rarities like bushpigs. Elephants, hippos and buffalos are all evident and the park is increasingly clear of grass and ideal for walking. The rivers are all perennial so there’s always water for the animals and boating for the visitors! The campsites only have a simple pit toilet, shower and shelter but staff are on hand to help with hot water for showers.
Today is the perfect opportunity to explore this delightful area of Zambia. You get to enjoy a morning walk and afternoon drive, ending at one of the hides overlooking the lake and swamps for a sundowner with outstanding views. Game drives are done in vehicles that have been specially modified for optimum game viewing with pop up roofs and big windows.
Today the intention is to depart as early as possible, passing the junction to David Livingstone tree [where he died and his heart was buried, before his body was carried to Dar as Salaam then onwards to England]. It’s a pleasant, varied and interesting journey north to The Bangweulu wetlands. This is one of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife secrets with over 100,000 Black Lechwe and the world’s most visible Shoebill storks. When the Bangweulu swamp dries up, bird watching is mostly done of foot around the many pools which remain - with an appetising stock of stranded fish and snails. Game drives are spectacular amongst the big herds of black Lechwe, an attractive species found only in the Bangweulu. The area supports an incredible diversity of water and plains-birds as well as Elephant, Buffalo, Tsessebe, Reedbuck, Oribi and Sitatunga. You don’t have to be a birding fanatic to love Bangweulu, as there is so much to see and experience.
A day to explore this unique area - In the morning, drive then walk through the swamp to try to see the very rare shoebill stork. Be prepared to wade through water , its an adventure even though sightings of the shoebill cannot be guaranteed, the experience is un-forgetful. Return, depending on success, around midday, then the afternoon drive is a leisurely affair to experience the vast herds of Black Lechwe on the plains. Overnight Camping inclusive all camp meals
This morning you will depart the swamps, then head back to the main "great north road" and the overnight camp – Mutinondo. This area is around 10,000 hectares of privately owned land encompassing pristine Miombo woodland, massive chunks of granite inselbergs, crystal clear rivers to swim in and picturesque waterfalls and glades (dambos). The campsite is set on the edge of a wooded rocky outcrop with cooking areas, pit latrines and nice hot showers. Arrival is mid afternoon with time to explore this area on foot.
A day to explore this area. Walking trails are demarcated and trails are graded, depending on individuals capacity. Other options are possibly horse riding - subject to availability. Overnight camping with all meals included.
Its a 5 hr. drive to the northern entrance gate of South Luangwa Valley. Thornicroft Lodge - named after the endemic Giraffe species, has 9 X comfortable en suite stone, wood & canvass chalets all set overlooking the Luangwa river. Each chalet is designed to give you unrestricted views of the area. The restaurant serves good wholesome meals, whilst tea and coffee is available throughout the day. The bar serves a selection of drinks for all occasions and the lounge and swimming pool remains a popular “chill out” area especially during the hot summer months. Thornicroft Lodge will ensure you enjoy your safari in comfort and style, whilst ensuring your game viewing experience, is memorable and rewarding. Overnight Lodge on all inclusive basis.
2 X game drives are included in your itinerary - one in the morning and the other in the afternoon/evening in the Lodges. Between game drives there is a pool for you to relax by. Game drives are undertaken in the lodges specially modified 4X4 open safari vehicles led by a qualified guide with an intimate knowledge of the park and its fauna & flora. Overnight 3 star Lodge on an all inclusive basis.
Today you will be picked up at an agreed time and transferred to the airport for your onward flight or flight home, ready to tell all your friends and family about the excitement and beauty of Zambia. *If you want we can arrange for an add-on to Lake Malawi for a few nights. Please just let us know when you enquire.