Day 1 & 2: Tsika Island, Lower Zambezi National Park
This itinerary has been created with photographers in mind to offer a myriad of subjects from a remote village to canoe safaris to night drives to wildlife hides. Please call for details and options for light aircraft flights & overweight camera equipment.
Arrive in Lusaka, Zambia's capitol city, where you are met and assisted to the flight for Lower Zambezi National Park, just across the Zambezi River from Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe. The Lower Zambezi National Park covers an area of 1,800 square miles with most of the game concentrated along the valley floor. There is an escarpment along the northern end that acts as a physical barrier to most of the parks animal species. The rivers edge is overhung with a thick riverine fringe. Further inland is a floodplain fringed with mopane forest and interspersed with winterthorn trees. This is Zambia’s newest Park and as such is still relatively undeveloped.
Rhere are variety of activities available here so you can choose to spend your days on day and night game drives, walks, canoe trips, boating and even catch-and-release fishing. Your first two nights are spent on Tsika Island. The Island camp is a community partnership project and combines the canoeing safari with an authentic cultural experience, offering visits to the Mugurumeno Basic School and the cultural village on the nearby mainland as activities. Spend an afternoon with your guide and a local community guide visiting the village and learning about the culture. This village is not visited by many tourists and so remains an authentic and eye-opening experience. Two nights Tsika Island Camp. All meals.
This exclusive bush camp is on the incredibly beautiful Tsika Island. Located about 35 kilometres upstream from Chongwe, close to the village of Mugurumeno, the camp can accommodate six guests in three bush rooms, each with en suite facilities.
Day 3 & 4: Lower Zambezi National Park
Today you will be transferred by motorboat along the Zambezi river on a boat safari en route to your next safari camp. Overlooking a maze of hippo-inhabited islands from a grove of Acacia trees that tower above the massive elephant bulls that seem to be constantly feeding on them, Old Mondoro has one of the most beautiful sites in the Lower Zambezi National Park and certainly one of the most remote. Explore here on game drives, walks and boating activities. Two nights Old Mondoro Camp. All meals.
Old Mondoro Camp
With only 8 beds, Old Mondoro is the Lower Zambezi National Park's most intimate and private safari camp, exuding charm and charisma like nowhere else. Constructed of canvas and natural materials, the camp has an open and adventurous feel, providing a perfect retreat after a day filled with excitement in the bush and yet where much of the action will happen right in front of you. At night canvas blinds are rolled down and secured although with the night chorus you are assured of never feeling too cosseted or cut off from the action! Each chalet has 24 hour lighting supplied by an ingenious green 220v electricity supply system as well as a hot and cold water supply, indoor flush loo and wash basin and outdoor shower & huge “splash-tub”, all overlooking the Zambezi.
*Old Mondoro is a Pack for a Purpose partner - click here to learn more.
Lower Zambezi Wildlife & Activities
Day 5 & 6: South Luangwa National Park
Depart Old Mondoro and fly via Lusaka to Mfuwe, gateway to the Luangwa. There you are met and transferred to your camp deep in the park. The South Luangwa National Park is situated in Zambia’s renowned Luangwa Valley, which is at the tail end of the Great Rift Valley. This 9050km² area is one of the most accessible and popular parks in Zambia, with the concentration of game around the river being of the highest in Africa. The region is known for its walking safaris, which were pioneered in this park and are still one of the best ways of experiencing the true African wilderness. The survival of the valley depends on the winding Luangwa River, which is one of the most intact major river systems in Africa and the life blood of the park, supporting large herds of elephant and buffalo, among 60 animal species and 400 different bird species.
The game rich area combined with expert guides, specially trained in lighting and photographic positioning, and the photographic hides means spectacular photos are practically guaranteed. These camps have always been the operation of choice for professional photographers and filmmakers. Many of the documentaries you’ll see today on National Geographic Channel have been filmed in this area and using the hides for these camps. Both of your camps pay special attention to your photographic experience by providing all guests with bean bags, dust covers for your camera gear and of course access to their world renown photographic hides.
Overlooking the Luangwa River deep within the prime area of the South Luangwa National Park, Kaingo’s relaxed, personal and friendly atmosphere offers its guests fantastic game-viewing opportunities within an area of incredible beauty and varied terrain. The large centrally located open-sided sitting room includes a dining area, library and Kaingo’s renowned thousand year old lead-wood bar. Nestled discretely apart on the banks of the river, Kaingo’s chalets were designed with the sole purpose of transporting you into the world of the Luangwa without a single distraction. Large fly-wired windows provide stunning views of the river and in addition to the indoor ensuite bathroom, each chalet has a stunning outdoor bathtub with shady views of a pod of hippos. A special feature of Kaingo are the unique individual decks built out over the river in front of each chalet. From this relaxing vantage point one can view game coming down to drink, basking hippos, aquatic birds, crocodiles fishing, and daily elephant crossings.
*Kaingo Camp is a Pack for a Purpose partner - click here to learn more.
Day 7 & 8: South Luangwa National Park
For your final two nights in Zambia, head to Mwamba Bush Camp. Wonderfully remote and peaceful, the site is a relaxed 3-hour bushwalk or 20 minute drive from Kaingo. Both walking safaris, and game drives (day and night) are offered from Mwamba. Two nights Mwamba Bush Camp. All meals.
Mwamba Bush Camp
Set on the banks of the Mwamba River, a tributary of the Luangwa, the camp, sited under huge evergreen ebony trees, enjoys shady views of perennial water-holes, both of which have hides perched over them for fantastic photographic opportunities or simply quiet times viewing the animals. Mwamba takes only 6 guests in 3 reed and thatch chalets, uniquely designed with two soaring skylights (protected by mosquito gauze) set into the roof allowing you to experience sleeping under the stars. These three bungalows have large outdoors en suite bathrooms with flush toilets and hot bucket showers. Our lighting is all solar powered and the complete absence of generator noise means nothing interferes with the morning chorus or the midnight howls of the hyena. The accommodation reflects a thoughtful balance between back-to-nature simplicity and essential comforts. Meals are of the same high standard as Kaingo, and the bush-style dining and bar area or “chitenge” is set under the deep shade of huge ebony trees entwined with python vines. A spectacular sundowner spot on top of a large termite mound and a glowing campfire under the night sky completes the camp’s friendly and personal atmosphere.
*Mwamba Bush Camp is a Pack for a Purpose partner - click here to learn more.
Day 9: South Luangwa National Park
Today return back to Kaingo Camp for your final night in the bush. All meals.
Day 10: Depart
Lake your last snaps today before you are transferred back through the park to the airstrip for the light aircraft flight from South Luangwa back to Lusaka to meet your departing flights. Breakfast.