Day 1: Lusaka, Zambia / Luangwa Valley
Arrive in Lusaka and fly to South Luangwa National Park, where we meet our Expedition Leader. Our Zambia safari begins with a stay at Kuyenda Bush Camp along the Manzi River. The camp was established by legendary guide Phil Berry, who has been involved in conservation management in the Luangwa Valley for more than 30 years and pioneered the Zambian walking safari. Just four huts, built of reeds, roots and thatch, belie the luxury of this intimate camp, where our every comfort is anticipated even in this most remote of settings.
Days 2 & 3: Kuyenda Bush Camp, Luangwa
Within one of Africa’s last tracts of primal wilderness, we are immersed in an evocative landscape of undulating hills, seasonal floodplains, ebony forests and rushing rivers. The Edenic vistas are a backdrop for tremendous concentrations of game, from massive elephants and Cape buffalo to agile antelope and the lions and leopards that prey upon them. The Luangwa Valley is the birthplace of the traditional walking safari, and to explore it on foot with an expert guide, in the reassuring company of an armed guard, raises the sensory experience of the African wild to a level simply not attainable in a vehicle.
Days 4 & 5: Kapamba Bush Camp, Luangwa
We continue by road to the Kapamba Bush Camp, a superb location for walking and 4x4 safaris. The camp overlooks the Kapamba River, and our open-front chalets offer unimpeded private game viewing. The en suite bathrooms, each with a sunken stone bath, are also open to the bush vista, allowing for a soak while watching hippos splash. We feel we have returned to an Africa of bygone days, especially at night when the flicker of paraffin lanterns illumines our retreat beneath a canopy of stars.
Day 6: Mfuwe Lodge, Luangwa
Mfuwe Lodge offers another angle on the diversity of Luangwa. Set beneath huge ebony and fig trees at the edge of a lagoon that draws thirsty wildlife, we even see the occasional elephant saunter up to the lounge. The lodge is surrounded by an excellent road system that allows for extensive game viewing by vehicle. Here, we’ll take a night drive to hear the entrancing sounds of the African night and search for nocturnal predators.
Days 7-9: Kafue National Park
We depart Lusaka by light aircraft for Kafue National Park, twice the size of Yellowstone and little visited. Upom arrival we transfer by road, or via road and mokoro (traditional dugout canoe; dependent on water levels), to remote Busanga Bush Camp on the Busanga Plains. This wide floodplain is a mecca for wildlife during the dry season, drawn to the pools left as the Lufupa River recedes. Kafue has Zambia’s greatest species diversity, with animals that are rare elsewhere in southern Africa, such as roan, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest and the diminutive oribi. Herds of puku, lechwe, wildebeest and buffalo, as well as wild dog and cheetah, roam the plains, and our camp offers some of the best lion viewing in Africa. Birdlife is spectacular, too, with 400 species in residence. Here we are led by specialist local guides whose intimate familiarity with this region unveils amazing wildlife sightings we would surely miss otherwise. In the evenings we return to our isolated camp in the heart of plains, immersed in the vastness of the African wilderness.
Day 10: Kafue National Park / Livingstone
After nearly another full day amid the abundant natural highlights of Kafue National Park, we make our way to the Busanga airstrip for our late-afternoon flight to Livingstone, accompanied by our Kafue Expedition Leader. On arrival, we transfer to Toka Leya Camp. After getting settled into our rooms set along the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, we enjoy a farewell dinner together.
Day 11: Victoria Falls / Home
Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and arguably the most stupendous waterfall on the planet. Our Zambia safari comes to a fitting finale with a guided tour to the falls, followed by a transfer to the airport.