An African Walking Safari
Duration: 8 days
Highlights: Johannesburg, Zambia, South Luangwa National Park and Zambezi River
This itinerary is ideal for those seeking a remote bush experience coupled with great hospitality and spectacular opportunities to explore.
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Day 1 - Arrive in Zambia
On arrival at Lusaka International Airport, a representative will meet you, hand over further documentation and assist you onto your Proflight flight to Mfuwe. The flying time from Lusaka to Mfuwe is approximately 1 hour.
On arrival at Mfuwe Airport, a representative will meet and transfer you to Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge. The road transfer time is approximately 2 hours, subject to game viewing enroute.
This historic property, once the bush retreat of President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, has a magnificent hilltop location in Zambia's premier game viewing area, the South Luangwa National Park. Carefully restored by Sanctuary Retreats to preserve its turn-of-the-century elegance, Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge is approached through a majestic arched entrance leading to a huge colonial-style lounge. Its long terrace, with commanding views across the valleys of the South Luangwa, is the perfect place to enjoy breakfast or afternoon tea. Chichele has ten air-conditioned suites, each with French doors onto individual balconies overlooking the valley. The lodge is accessible all year around and the ideal base for exploring the prolific wildlife that populates the mosaic of different habitats surrounding the Luangwa River.
Game drives in the lodge's customized 4 x 4 vehicles by day or night, are an ideal way to explore the South Luangwa - an area famed for its frequent leopard sightings. This is also an excellent area to spot lion, elephant, packs of wild dog and endemic species such as the Thornicroft giraffe and Cookson's wildebeest.
This part of Zambia is also renowned for being the original home of the walking safari. A stay at Chichele also offers the chance to venture out on foot with a Zambian professional guide and qualified Park Ranger as guests learn about the bush from a different perspective, up close and personal with the environment.
Overnight: Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge
Meal Plan: D
Day 2 - South Luangwa National Park
After an early morning game viewing activity, you will set off to Sanctuary Zebra Plains Walking Camp for your next adventure.
Sanctuary Zebra Plains is located in a beautiful and untouched area of the South Luangwa, perched on a sand bank at the confluence of the Luangwa and Chibembe Rivers. There are just four traditional tents. The camp accommodates a maximum of six guests, allowing for an intimate exploration of the South Luangwa. All tents have real beds, campaign furniture, mosquito nets, and en-suite facilities. Water for al fresco showers is mixed to your preferred temperature by a tent attendant. The main mess tent has a dining area although most of the meals will be served in the open in carefully selected vantage points. There is also a small library and bar area.
This seasonal camp will operate from June to October each year. The camp has been designed to leave the lowest possible carbon footprint and will be packed up completely each year with no trace that it was ever there between seasons.
In order to fully explore the South Luangwa, guests will spend three nights at the camp with set departures on Monday or Thursday.
Overnight: Sanctuary Zebra Plains Walking Camp
Meal Plan: B,L,D
Day 3 - South Luangwa National Park
Garth Hovell, a safari guide with almost twenty years of experience, will lead walks twice a day. There will be a morning and afternoon walk each day. Garth will share with you some of the most fascinating, yet easily missed, sights and sounds of the bush.
One morning you might wander along a river bank, observing hippos before canoeing across to a large island across from camp to get up close to plains game. Later that day you may choose to explore nearby Zebra Plains where buffalo, elephant and eland gather in large herds on the open savannah, a rarity in the wooded terrain of the South Luangwa. Another day your destination might be the Changwa Channel, featured in David Attenborough’s “Life” series and home to one of the largest hippo populations on earth.
However it’s not just the big animals that are fascinating – termites, dung beetles, chameleons and the prolific bird life all have their stories to tell.
You will be also be accompanied by an armed games scout as well as a Sanctuary tea bearer who will make fresh cups of tea or coffee in the middle of the bush using a stainless steel kettle and traditional fire making skills.
Meal Plan: D
Day 5 - Lower Zambezi National Park
Today you will enjoy your last activity before departing for Mfuwe Airport for your flight to the Lower Zambezi.
On arrival at Jeki Airstrip, a representative will meet and transfer you to the camp.
Chiawa Camp is a must for any visit to Zambia. Superb accommodation, magnificent game viewing and scenery, and a large variety of activities are complemented by a modern infrastructure and an attentive, professional staff. Resting peacefully on the river bank, in a grove of mahogany and acacia trees, the lodge is constructed essentially of natural materials, and is designed to ensure its idyllic setting can be fully appreciated. All tents are under thatch, have en-suite facilities with hot & cold running water, twin or double beds, insect screens and solar powered lighting.
Guests can be accommodated in 8 well- appointed safari tents, each on a raised timber deck with private veranda. Access paths to the tents run through a grove of Mahoganey trees behind them, maximizing privacy. The honeymoon suite has a beautiful private view of the Zambezi, the escarpment and the Chiawa River bed. The tent is light and spacious and the en-suite facilities are to die for. Victorian bath, his and hers wash basins and a shower for two all in wood and brass.
The spacious lounge and bar area has an observation platform built into its roof, providing one of the best views in the valley. Of course the dining area also looks out onto the river and the animals which regularly come to drink and feed at and near the lodge. Enjoy barbeques under the stars on our al-fresco dining veranda, while your hosts oversee your comfort and the preparation of Chiawa's renowned cuisine.
After dinner, retire to the campfire and enjoy a cocktail or two while taking in the sounds and magic of the African night.
Another viewing platform has been constructed in the quietest corner of the lodge, overlooking the confluence of the Chiawa & Zambezi rivers. Sip a cup of tea or a Pimm's while watching nature move at nature's pace and savour the tranquility of Real Africa.
Overnight: Chiawa Camp
Meal Plan: B,L,D
Day 6 - Lower Zambezi National Park
At Chiawa Camp it is all about the wildlife, the bush and the river, and an impressive variety of safari activities are available, led by our award winning team of Africa-born guides with an unmatched fleet of vehicles, boats and canoes at their disposal - for all of which our safari operation has become world-renowned.
This means that guests will enjoy levels of choice & convenience not found elsewhere and where the duration of a safari activity is determined by the rhythm of the bush (& enthusiasm of our guests) rather than by the clock.
Not only that, your guides who are to differing extents products of our own in house training program, will guide sympathetically with the best interests of the wildlife, the environment and you at heart meaning that you will get the very best out of your visit to the Lower Zambezi National Park.
Safety is always a priority so all guides have recurrent Advanced first aid training and all boats and vehicles, canoe trips and walks carry first comprehensive first aid kits and are linked to both camps by our VHF radio network.
This is the safest and most effective way to view big game. Drives are conducted in open 4wd vehicles that have been specially adapted for safari use with comfy seats, pockets to stow your gear and bean bags to steady your camera for those all important photos. Usually departing in the early morning, drives can last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours depending on what's seen and the requirements of the guests. In the late afternoon drives set off for an hour or so before stopping at a scenic point for sundowners.
Pioneered in Zambia, bush walks are essentially a "micro-safari". An armed ranger with your qualified and experienced pro guide will guide you through the wilderness on foot, interpreting spoor, identifying the various flora and fauna, and highlighting conservation issues. However elephants and buffalo are seen on most walks and sometimes the big cats so expect anything at anytime. The pace is leisurely and the duration is determined by guests' requirements – and what is seen on the walk. Typically, a few hours are sufficient.
One of the great aspects of a visit to Chiawa Camp is the variety of activities offered by virtue of our presence on the Zambezi river.
Overnight: Chiawa Camp
Meal Plan: B,L,D
Day 7 - Lower Zambezi National Park
Enjoy game activities at leisure.
Day 8 - Depart Zambia
After a morning activity, you will be transferred to Jeki Airstrip for your flight to Lusaka and connecting onto your homeward International flight.