River Journeys South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

8 Days
Zambia
Classic

This safari takes you to South Luangwa, one of Zambia’s most famous parks. The Luangwa Valley, at the end of the Great Rift Valley, is one of Africa’s few pristine wilderness areas and perhaps the most stunning wildlife sanctuary. “During the Emerald Season, the Luangwa Valley is at its most tension, with the Luangwa River currently gushing over into the filling lagoons. Boating into these flooded lagoons, ebony trees, and running currents allows you to see parts of the Valley that are generally inaccessible during this time of year.”

The Luangwa River is one of the few major rivers in Africa, if not the globe, that has not been developed into a hydropower dam. This river continues to increase each year, flooding into lagoons and channels, changing course and creating new pools, and thus creating a rich floodplain river system. Staying at the first camping site, Nsefu, founded in the 1950s, is a terrific opportunity for getting to the heart of the park during the flood. Luangwa River Camp, Nsefu & Nkwali Camps are the three sites from which you can access numerous Luangwa locations. Making your safari even more unforgettable and one-of-a-kind.

Highlights

  • River Safari in South Luangwa National Park
  • Day and Night Game Drive Safari
  • Walking Safari & Kawaza Village Tour
  • Tribal Textiles tour (for souvenirs) & Chipembele Wildlife Orphanage visit.

Inclusions

  • 7 Nights’ Accommodation as per Itinerary
  • All safari activities
  • Meals, Bar & Laundry
  • Transfers to/from Mfuwe airport
  • Local Flights (Lusaka – Mfuwe – Lusaka)

The Itinerary

Day 1

Luangwa River Camp

You will arrive at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka (LUN), where our representative will greet you and assist you in checking in for your local flight to Mfuwe in South Luangwa.

When you arrive at Mfuwe International Airport, a guide from Robin Pope will greet you and bring you to Luangwa River Camp, where you will be shown to your bush suite and given time to relax.

Luangwa River Camp is a small camp with only five chalets located in the Upper Lupande GMA, opposite the Luangwa Wafwa. All the amenities of a five-star camp, but with the intimacy, specialized activities, and flexible mealtimes that you’ve come to expect from a bush camp. The décor of the camp is primarily up of locally manufactured handmade accessories.

The main area is elevated between 1-3 meters above ground on wooden platforms with spectacular views of the park and river. The swimming pool is buried into the floor on two levels, with a spill over between the two pools. All of the seating sections are high and open concept, with a bar, dining, and reading area

Day 2

Luangwa River Camp

The second day is spent exploring the South Luangwa National Park with a variety of activities such as game drives, walking, and boating.

Day 3 – 5

Nsefu Camp

Taking the boat up to Nsefu Camp, which can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours depending on what you see along the way. The Luangwa River will be at its peak, and many of the lagoons will be overflowing. Along the river, the birdlife is spectacular. On the riverbanks, you’ll frequently spot a bull elephant or a lion. Six round rondavels with luxury en-suite facilities are available at Nsefu Camp. Through large windows and new wooden decks, every room has a clear view of the river. When you arrive in Nsefu, you will be brought to your accommodations and offered lunch, followed by a well-deserved rest before embarking on an afternoon adventure.

As the week progresses, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the area by boat and on foot, taking in the sights of ebony forests, lagoons, and flooded waterways. A guide will drive you to more remote areas of the park to explore the park in a more exclusive way while enjoying an all-day picnic. This involves eating lunch under a tree or next to a lagoon, resting for a couple of hours while reading a book or watching the animals and scenery. Returning to camp when you’re ready — you might elect to skip the afternoon boat cruise and return to camp at sunset.

Day 6

Nkwali Camp

Early morning boat ride back to Nkwali, with a panoramic view of the Luangwa River and the Park. Nkwali features six rooms, each with a view of the river and a large bathroom. You can enjoy lunch looking out over the lagoon into the back of Nkwali, or afternoon tea, as well as an afternoon and night wildlife drive, depending on your arrival time.

Day 7

Nkwali Camp

Breakfast is served around the campfire in the morning, with porridge prepared over the fire and toast roasted over coals. After breakfast, go for a morning walk or drive with an opportunity to go on a natural light photography trip, accessing the park by boat from the camp to a nearby pontoon.

The game in this area is superb, with elephants and giraffes such as the Thornicroft Giraffe among them. Mid-morning break with tea, cake, and coffee while admiring the lagoon and the Luangwa River.

After that, it’s back to camp for lunch at 12 p.m. After lunch, take a dip in the pool to chill off. Afternoon tea will be served later, followed by a game drive that will last into the early hours of the night for an opportunity to spot nocturnal species. The trip usually concludes about 20.00 hrs, and dinner is served at 20.30 hrs.

Day 8

Departure

Breakfast I served in the morning then you will be transferred to mfuwe Airport for your flight to Lusaka and onwards connection. When you arrive at Kenneth Kaunda International in Lusaka our representative will welcome you then assist you to check in onto your outbound flight.

Where You'll Be Staying

Luangwa River Camp,

South Luangwa National Park

The South Luangwa National Park marks the end of the Great Rift Valley, one of the last remaining unspoilt wilderness areas and possibly the finest wildlife sanctuary in Africa. It is through this that the great meandering Luangwa River runs, with its ox bow lagoons, riverine supported woodlands and large plains, all of which play host to huge concentrations of game including elephant, buffalo, leopard, lion, giraffe, hippo and over 450 species of birds. Luangwa River Camp sits nestled under…
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Nsefu Camp,

South Luangwa National Park

Nsefu Camp, the first photographic safari camp in Zambia offers charm, history, exclusivity, and comfort in the best location in the South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. Nsefu was opened in the 1950s, the first camp in the South Luangwa and the brainchild of the renowned Norman Carr, who pioneered walking safaris here to benefit conservation and communities long before responsible tourism became a buzzword. The camp’s location, within the Nsefu Sector, features superb wildlife, and the camp itself provides some…
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Nkwali Camp,

South Luangwa National Park

Many places claim to be “among the remaining wilderness areas” or “one of the last wildlife sanctuaries”; South Luangwa National Park lives up to both and more. The Luangwa Valley is vast, remote and home to both people and a truly impressive variety of games. The South Luangwa Park is 9050 sq. kilometres; with the river, its tributaries and the riverine strips being the focus of the wildlife viewing. There are diverse habitats, from huge ox bow lagoons of varying…
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What's not included

Visa Fees - Person Travel Insurance - International Flight - Anything of personal nature

Ready To Book This Safari?

The team at Absolute Zambia Safaris is here to help! Book your initial consultation with us and we’ll help you choose the best safari that meets your requirements.

Why Choose Absolute Zambia Safaris?

Absolute Zambia Safaris is a specialist in bespoke and private safaris in Zambia. Through our large safari operators, we proudly assist our guests in designing custom-made safaris.

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Feedback From Our Previous Clients

Gary V
Gary V
2023-12-19
Another perfect holiday We were a party of eight, most of us on a return trip (last one in 2020 - also with Absolute Zambia Safaris) under the expert guidance of Robert. It was again a holiday without a single complaint. Pickups were reliable and punctual, the David Livingstone resort is perfectly located on the banks of the Zambezi with comfortable beds, sumptuous food, an infinity pool, and an unlimited supply of food and drinks on the silent but spacious sunset cruise. Robert (from Absolute Zambia Safaris) dealt with all our changes, additions, amendments, and cancellations with endless patience and understanding. It was a perfect holiday, we will be back. Thank you Absolute Zambia Safaris.
Lisa A
Lisa A
2023-11-24
Amazing five-day trip Absolute Safari organised an amazing five-day trip for us which included 2 nights in Mwanfushi safari lodge and 2 nights by Victoria falls. Everything worked out perfectly and Robert was quick on the email, answering and organising according to our wishes. Our driver Brian was excellent and always on time and the price very reasonable. Can highly recommend.
Sunshine25775779985
Sunshine25775779985
2023-10-10
exciting trip at the Lower zambeji National Park It was a wonderful experience. I came to know about absolute Zambia safari from TripAdvisor only. I contacted them and Robert was very nice and every time he answered my email very promptly. It was my solo trip and good that I decided to be a client of the absolute Zambia safari because they arranged everything for me. I just dropped into the plan. In my game drive, I saw almost every animals available in the lower Zambezi national park. it was my three day two night trip. The place named Kianbi safari challet where I stayed during the trip was very peaceful and lovely. I again wish to visit Zambia and if I go, I will choose the same absolute Zambia Safari group.
Florencia S
Florencia S
2023-08-01
Amazing experience!! Robert is very professional and his organization and arrangements exceeded every hope we had with our trip. It was just fabulous!!! We did a 2-week trip around Zambia, what a beautiful country!! Thank you again Robert, you did a wonderful work!!
marys
marys
2022-12-07
More than I could have hoped for! I didn't know much about Zambia when we were planning our trip, but I had heard wonderful things about South Luangwa National Park. After reading some reviews, I contacted a few agencies in Zambia to plan our trip. Robert Zgozi from Absolute Zambia Safaris was truly amazing -- the entire experience was so much more than we had expected and everything worked out beautifully. Great properties, unbelievable safaris with knowledgeable guides, excellent and almost too plentiful food, I don't have enough superlatives to describe our visit, but I will certainly call on Robert again when I go back to Zambia!
Litote
Litote
2022-10-08
Véritable Afrique Difficile d'imaginer les éléphants qui passent à coté de votre chalet la nuit? Les hippopotames qui broutent l'herbe devant votre chambre? Les singes qui prennent votre dentrifice si la porte est ouverte? Après plusieurs decennies consacrées à la protection des animaux sauvages (période de braconnage de 1970-1990), la Zambie se met à l'écotourisme avec d' excellents standards de services, nourriture, eau potable et confort de chambre. Des simples comprimés contre le paludisme sont conseillés. Les lodges que nous avons visités prennent soin de supprimer le maximum d'insectes possibles pour que les soirées soient bien sans souci. Robert Zgozi nous a organisé un voyage époustouflant (15j) pendant lequel nous avons vu une bonne dizaine de léopards, une vingtaine de lions et lionnes ainsi que d'innombrables d'autres espèces. Notre voyage a traversé quatre parcs (Kafué, South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi et Mosi Oa Tunya ) avec des guides qui étaient de véritables encylopédies de faune et de flore locaux. Nous avons choisi la saison sèche (septembre) pour voir le maximum d'animaux. Ce parcours nous a permis de faire un crochet à Victoria Falls où nous étions suspendus au dessus des chutes dans le Devils Pool. Adrénaline garantie. Par ailleurs, tous les Zambiens que nous avons rencontrés étaient accueillants et souriants. Ce voyage n'était pas donné mais nous le referions bien un jour. Notre groupe familial de 4 adultes partagent plein de souvenirs ensemble grâce à ce voyage. Beaucoup de transits se font en avion car le pays est très grand. Je déconseille vivement les transits entre parc par voiture. Robert Zgozi est Zambien ; il sait communiquer l'amour et la connaissance approfondie qu'il a de son pays. Nous l'avons trouvé sur le site national "Zambian Tourism", Nous vous conseillons ses service si vous souhaitez un voyage clé en main. Merci Robert Zgozi :) Rob NB: La Zambie est un pays anglophone
Sunderland2
Sunderland2
2022-09-28
Fabulous trip to Sth Luangwa We’ve just returned from a wonderful trip to South Luangwa all organised by Robert Zgozi from Absolute Zambia Safaris. I contacted this company as I read it was Zambian owned and I was very impressed by Robert’s speedy replies to my queries. We stayed in 2 different camps which Robert recommended to suit our budget and we weren’t disappointed. Both camps were everything we’d hoped for. We did a combination of chalets and tents with all meals, game drives and transfers included. Robert actually surprised us twice by meeting us at our Lusaka hotel on arrival in Zambia and our return after the trip. We found Robert to be a very friendly, likeable and professional guy who went above and beyond to make sure our trip went smoothly. You can’t go wrong with this company, we will definitely use them again on our next trip to Zambia.
Mubita M
Mubita M
2022-09-08
Experiencing South Luangwa I didn’t know what to expect it being my first time in South Luangwa, it was lovely, all of it (the entire experience!). We stayed at Mfuwe lodge and opted for 3 game drives a day, this doesn’t give you a lot of time for sleeping in but all the fresh air and being in the bush, watching all the animals made us feel so refreshed. And don’t get me started on the food!! Absolute Zambia Safaris gave us exactly what we needed and we enjoyed everything bit of it. Their staff is patient and friendly; they take care of every last detail including a range of options to suit your budget. All in all, it was the true definition of a holiday carefree and stress-free and we most certainly will be going back.
Silent639
Silent639
2022-09-02
The real zambian agency My family and I have just returned from a trip to Zambia. Before booking, as always, I searched for all the best local travel agencies. My choice was Absolute Zambia Safaris. First of all it is one of the few, if not the only one, that is Zambian-owned. So all the staff know perfectly every single area of the country, from the most aware to the most remote. The owner, Mr. Robert Zgozi, has over ten years of experience in the Zambian tourism industry, having worked for top-tier tourism companies, as well as being a lover of unspoiled nature. Before defining the various stages of the journey, Mr. Robert, like a true friend, advised us both the best areas of the country, the best lodges and resorts, and all flight connections. Having traveled extensively in Africa for more than 10 years, I know perfectly well the difficulties of organizing transfers, of finding the best accommodations for the budget available. Robert and his staff have been able to organize any type of activity with extreme professionalism. The organization has always been perfect. All the staff interested in our trip were always present as soon as we reached an airport, a lodge. We didn't have to think about anything but enjoying the beautiful nature and the people of Zambia. Although our international flight (from Italy) was canceled and rescheduled two days later, putting the entire trip at risk, Mr. Robert was able to help us change the itinerary without missing a single scheduled activity. Incredible! While we were in Lower Zambezi, we suddenly decided to go three days to Victoria Falls. Robert, within two hours, organized all the transfers and the resort, taking care in the meantime to get us refund for the two nights lost in Lusaka. Never before have I been assisted in such a professional and friendly way in my previous travels. Among other things, he could also have organized trips in combination with neighboring countries (Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana), having direct contacts. The surprise? While we were in South Luangwa, he came in person to meet us and find out how the journey was progressing. Incredible! Briefly a note on Zambia. it is truly an incredible country. Its people are so friendly and hospitable that you immediately feel like a genuine Zambian. I never felt any sense of danger. In fact, the country is considered among the safest in the world for travel. Landscapes take your breath away. Nature is majestic. Here you can really see anything: wildogs (herd of 20 specimens with cubs), dozens of leopards and cubs, lions and lionesses, different scenes of lions and leopards hunting, huge herds of hippos, huge herds of elephants, birds of extraordinary beauty, including the crowned crane and secretary bird. One negative note: unfortunately having had to go home and leave this extraordinary country that has given me unforgettable moments that will remain forever etched in my mind and in my heart. So I would recommend both visiting Zambia and doing it with Absolute Zambia Safaris. Have a good trip!
Irena12
Irena12
2022-08-02
One of the best safari operators Absolute Safaris is one of the best operators I have ever encountered - Robert managed to do an incredible thing and organise my custom 11 days Luangwa trip in Zambia at the shortest possible notice ( literally few days before arrival)! My trip was absolutely wonderful, everything worked perfectly and I loved every moment on the safari. I have had so many wonderful wildlife sightings, and all the camps were in beautiful locations, very comfortable with great service and very professional guiding. Truly one of the best safaris of my life ( I have spent most of it in Africa). My big thanks to Absolute Safaris, for their professionalism and outstanding customer service. Will definitely be back.

Looking For A Tailor-Made Safari?

The team at Absolute Zambia Safaris is here to help! Book your initial consultation with us and we’ll help you choose the best safari that meets your requirements.

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