Day 1 - 3 LAKE MALAWI
Expedition group will meet in Lilongwe at 10:00am. After an expedition briefing we depart to our camp on the beach at Lake Malawi. It is possible to take a boat out to the islands to explore and snorkel the fantastic bays and coves in the area (own expense).
Malawi “the warm heart of Africa”. Lake Malawi is the third largest in Africa and the eighth largest lake in the world. This great lake's tropical waters are reportedly the habitat of more species of fish than those of any other body of freshwater on Earth, including more than 1000 species of cichlids.
We return to Lilongwe on day 3 to restock on supplies and camp the night. This allows time the following day for a long drive into Zambia. [camping Bx2 Lx3 Dx2]
[B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner]
Day 4 - 7 SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK
We make our way to the world renowned South Luangwa National Park. There are many game parks in Africa that may lay claim to be “Africa’s Best Game Reserve”, but South Luangwa has a better claim than most. Few other parks have South Luangwa’s remarkable wildlife spectacles (day & night) in the isolation of a true wilderness. The concentration of game around the Luangwa River and it’s ox bow lagoons is among the most intense in Africa, and coupled with low visitor numbers South Luangwa always comes out around the top of the list.
Our stay in South Luangwa is unashamedly about wildlife viewing. With the plentiful wildlife that flourish in the park, we will explore the area on morning and afternoon game drives both inside the park, and in the game management areas that border the park. A highlight of visiting South Luangwa is to go on a walking safari with a knowledgeable local guide, and night game drive in an open 4WD game viewing vehicle, where we hope to spot some of the elusive nocturnal predators.
Day 7 will be a travel day, as we move south towards Lusaka. This allows time on day 8 to enter the Zambezi Valley and Zimbabwe border crossing. [camping BLD]
Day 8 - 10 MANA POOLS NATIONAL PARK
Day 8 is a long travel day, and there is the Chirundu border post to cross from Zambia into Zimbabwe.
Mana Pools National Park is synonymous with the Zambezi River, elephants, lions, remoteness and wilderness. This unique park is a WORLD HERITAGE SITE, based on its wildness and beauty, together with the wide range of large mammals, over 350 bird species and aquatic wildlife. Mana Pools is one of Zimbabwe's most popular parks, and it is easy to see why it falls into this profile.
The name "Mana'' means "four" in the local Shona language. This applies to the four large pools inland from the Zambezi River. These pools are the remnant ox-bow lakes that the Zambezi River carved out thousands of years ago as it changed its course northwards. Hippopotamus, crocodiles and a wide variety of aquatic birds are associated with the pools. ''Long Pool'', is the largest of the four pools, extending some six kilometres in a west-east direction. This pool has a large population of hippo and crocodiles and is a favourite for the large herds of elephant that come out of the thickly vegetated areas in the south to drink.
A highlight of the visit to Mana Pools is the fact that wild animals wonder freely through the campsite, and it is one of the few National Parks worldwide were you are allowed to walk in the bush without being escorted by a local ranger. [camping BLD]
Day 11 - 12 MATUSADONA NATIONAL PARK
Matusadona National Park is situated on the shores of Lake Kariba but was proclaimed a non-hunting area on 7 November 1958 before the dam was built. The Park comprises some 1 400 square kilometers of diverse flora and fauna. Before the lake was built, Matusadona was a vast, rugged wilderness with limited access. With the lake came ecological changes. One in particular, the lakeshore contributed greatly to the increase of large mammal populations in the area, especially elephant and buffalo. Matusadona is an Intensive Protection Zone (IPZ) and home to several relocated rhinoceros. It is one of the last remaining sanctuaries of the endangered Black Rhinoceros. It is commonly recognized as having the second largest concentration of wild lions in Africa after Ngorongoro Crater. Its relatively poor accessibility by road and extremely harsh internal network of roads keep the crowds and traffic low. [camping BLD]
Day 13 - 14 LAKE KARIBA
Lake Kariba is the world's largest artificial lake and reservoir by volume. It lies 1300 kilometers upstream from the Indian Ocean, along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The portion of Lake Kariba which falls within Zimbabwe has been designated a Recreational Park within the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Estate and this area supports an abundance of wildlife. We camp on the shores of Lake Kariba, try our hand and fishing and take in the natural beauty of the area. [camping BLD]
Day 15 - 17 HWANGE NATIONAL PARK
Named after a local Nhanzwa chief, Hwange National Park is the largest Park in Zimbabwe occupying roughly 14 650 square kilometers and is located in the north-west corner of the country. It is famed for its large elephant population. Our camp is in the game management area that borders the park, and we explore the park with on morning and afternoon game drives. [camping BLD]
Day 18 - 20 VICTORIA FALL – TOUR ENDS
Magnificent Victoria Falls is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. David Livingstone ‘discovered’ the falls in 1885 and named them after his Queen. The scene he encountered was a mile-wide (1.6 km) sheer basalt fault line over which the mighty Zambezi tumbled to a depth of 100m, creating a cloud of spray. The falls are also the centre of a wide range of activities, including white water rafting on the mighty Zambezi, scenic flights or a 111m bungy jump (own expense).
Tour ends in the morning of day 20. [camping B - -]
Please note: The distance and travel times quoted above are an estimate only, and subject to local road conditions and photo stops!.