From $On Request
South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
This safari covers one of Zambia’s prominent parks. South Luangwa. Luangwa Valley that marks the end of the Great Rift Valley is one of the last unspoiled wilderness areas and possibly the most beautiful wildlife sanctuary in Africa. “The Luangwa Valley is at its most tense in the Emerald Season, with the Luangwa River presently flowing over into the brimming lagoons. Boating into these flooded lagoons, ebony groves and flowing currents give you a glimpse of the Valley which is normally unavailable to reach during this particular season “.
The Luangwa River is one of the only significant rivers in Africa, and even in the world, that has not turned into a dam for hydropower. This river still annually rises, floods into lagoons and channels, changes course and resulting in new pools and in so doing creates a rich floodplain river system. Accessing the heart of the park during the flood can be done by staying at the first camping site Nsefu built in the fifties which is a fantastic adventure. You will also be able to reach various locations of the Luangwa from 3 areas; Luangwa River Camp, Nsefu & Nkwali Camps. Making your safari even experience more memorable and unique.
Tips on activities on offer:
Walking, game drives both day and night, Kawaza Village Tour, Tribal Textiles tour (for souvenirs), Chipembele Wildlife Orphanage visit.
Day 1 – 3: 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 an ancient ebony grove on the banks of the Luangwa River overlooking the game rich area known as the Luangwa Wafwa.
This small and intimate camp with just five bush suites, along with its setting and location creates a real “wow” factor and a romantic feeling simply flows through the camp.
The subtly decorated bush suites with brick walls and thatch roof each have ensuite bathrooms with bathtubs (some are sunken) looking out onto your own private corner of Africa. Both the bedroom and bathroom are affronted with large sliding doors leading onto a decked area allowing a lovely breeze into the room and great views onto the river.
The main area stretches over various elevated decked levels amongst which a tempting double plunge pool with a waterfall linking the two is situated. Seating areas around the pool or in the shade of the open plan bar on the highest level all offer uninterrupted views across the river and into the National Park.
Luangwa River Camp offers all the creature comforts of a lodge yet retains the intimacy and privacy of a bush camp.
Day 3 – 5: Nsefu 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 - a claim which is not an overstatement. It is through this 9050sq kilometer National Park that the great meandering Luangwa River runs, with its ox bow lagoons, tributaries, 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.
Situated in the exclusive Nsefu Sector on a magnificent meander on the Luangwa River across which elephants often cross lies the historic camp Nsefu. Nsefu is one steeped in history and was built in 1951 and barring some upgrades the camp and rooms are still in the same place in the original style. The Nsefu sector was first pronounced a game reserve in 1966 some five years before the South Luangwa was even declared and has always been recognised as an outstanding game-viewing area. Robin Pope Safaris took over Nsefu in 1998, spent a year upgrading it and opened it the following July.
The camp welcomes just twelve guests in six original brick and thatch rondavels with en-suite facilities, each room opening up to what can simply be described as the best view in the South Luangwa.
The six original rondavels have been upgraded to include spacious en-suite bathrooms however we have tried very hard to keep the feel and fittings in the room in line with the original “old fashioned” feel. Nothing can sum it up better than a guest’s comment of “understated elegance”. Each room has a clear view of the river whether it be from the comfort of your bed or the chairs out on the verandah.
From the dining room lunch can be enjoyed whilst watching large herds of elephants making their daily river crossing just upstream from camp.
The bar and sitting area sit snugly between a large termite mound and lagoon, unobtrusive and cosy but making the most of the extensive wildlife that comes down to the lagoon to drink – lion and leopard can also be heard lapping away at the refreshing water in the evenings. What could be better than sitting in a comfy armchair enjoying a delicious slice of cake whilst watching anything from Antelope to Zebra coming down to drink.
Nsefu Camp offers charm, history, exclusivity and comfort.
Day 5 – 8: Nkwali Camp, South Luangwa
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 game.
The South Luangwa Park is 9050 sq. kilometer; 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 stages of maturity, woodlands, ebony groves, grassland and thickets, that host a great variety of wildlife. The birdlife is also excellent with over 450 species to be seen.
Nkwali is located on the banks of the Luangwa on a magnificent meander in the river overlooking the National Park where leopards roam along the bank and can often be spotted from camp. Situated on Robin Pope Safaris’ private land outside the park there is a private game viewing area behind camp as well as exclusive access into the park either by boat or across the pontoon.
The six chalets with bamboo woven walls and thatch roofs offer a rustic luxury opening up to magnificent views of the river as well as open air en-suite bathrooms.
Nkwali offers understated elegance, seclusion and superb service.
Nkwali is dominated by an enormous ebony tree around which the bar is moulded. It is this tree which, when Robin and Jo Pope found it cemented the location of the camp. From the bar deck cantilevered over the river a cool drink can be enjoyed whilst watching the sun set over the Luangwa.
The six chalets are spacious and during the day are fully open to wonderful river views, in the evenings the Constantia grill doors are pulled together to close the open room fronts. The en-suite bathrooms are spacious with double sinks and showers from which you can enjoy the enormous African skies.
Set back from the river on a lagoon are the dining room and swimming pool from which guests are often treated to elephants and other game coming down to drink during the day unperturbed by our presence.
Day 1: Luangwa River Camp
Arriving at Mfuwe International Airport, a guide from Robin Pope Safaris will meet you with onward transport you to Luangwa River Camp where you will be ushered into your bush suite to rest.
Luangwa River Camp is an intimate camp with only five chalets located opposite the Luangwa Wafwa in the Upper Lupande GMA. Having all the creature comforts of a five-star camp yet with all the intimacy, tailored ventures, and flexible mealtimes you come to anticipate from a bush camp. The camp is filled with its décor from locally crafted handmade accessories.
The main area is above the ground between 1-3 meters on wooden decks affording great views of the park and river. The swimming pool is sunk into the floor on two levels with a spill over adjoining the two pools one spilling over the other. Seating areas are all high and open plan with a bar area as well as a dining and reading area.
Day 2: Luangwa River Camp
The second is a day to experience. The South Luangwa National Park with a mix of activities including game drives, walking also boating.
Day 3 – 5: Nsefu Camp
Taking the boat up to Nsefu Camp which usually takes 2 to 4 hours depending on what you see during the journey. The Luangwa River is typically high, and many of the lagoons will be full. The birdlife is fantastic alongside the river. Often you will see a bull elephant or a lion on the banks of the river. Nsefu Camp has six round rondavels with luxurious en-suite facilities. Every room has a definite view of the river through big windows and from the new wooden decks. Arriving at Nsefu you will be shown to your rooms, and lunch will be served followed by a well-deserved rest before going for an afternoon adventure.
As the week goes by you will have a chance to explore the location by boat and on foot, looking at ebony groves, lagoons, and flooded channels. A guide will take you to remote places enjoying the park in a more exclusive way of taking a rest while having an all-day picnic. Which includes lunch served under a tree or next to a lagoon, taking a rest spending a couple of hours reading a book or watching the animals and the landscape. Returning to camp when you are fit – you may decide to proceed straight on your evening boat ride and back to camp at sunset.
Day 6: Nkwali Camp
Boating back to Nkwali in the morning, with a comprehensive view of River Luangwa overlooking the Park. Nkwali has six rooms all looking out over the river and have spacious bathrooms. Activities are thereby sent according to your time of arrival you can enjoy lunch looking out over the lagoon into the back of Nkwali or afternoon tea and the afternoon and night game drive.
Day 7: Nkwali Camp
At dawn, breakfast set around the campfire with porridge heated on the fire and the toast made by roasting it with coals. After breakfast the Morning walks or drive with a chance photographic expedition with the natural light, accessing the park by boat from the camp to nearby pontoon. The game in this area is exceptional and including various families of elephants and giraffes like the Thornicroft Giraffe. Mid-Morning rest of tea, cake, and coffee taking in the views of the lagoon and the Luangwa River. After that returning to camp for lunch at mid-day. After having lunch, cooling off in the swimming pool. Tea will be served in the afternoon will be served then followed by a game drive continuing into the early night for a chance to see nocturnal animals. The ride ends at around 20.00 hrs, and dinner generally served at 20.30.
Day 8: Transit
After breakfast, you will be transported to Mfuwe Airport for your flight to Lusaka and onwards connection.