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overview

This 10-day adventure combines thrilling wildlife encounters in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park with the barefoot paradise of Nkwichi Lodge, set on the pristine shores of Lake Malawi.

Begin with two nights at the delightfully intimate Kuyenda Camp where renowned guide Phil Berry oversees incredible walking and game drive experiences. A southward journey through the park leads to Chamilandu Camp on the banks of the Luangwa River where you enjoy another two days of big game encounters. Head northwards for a night at renowned Mfuwe Lodge before leaving South Luangwa National Park and Zambia to wing your way to the luxurious Nkwichi eco-lodge in Malawi, the warm heart of Africa. Spend three blissful days relaxing on the unspoiled beaches of Lake Malawi.

Ideal for seasoned wildlife enthusiasts, honeymooners and adventurous families, this extraordinary safari can easily be combined with other iconic destinations, such as Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls or Botswana's Chobe River.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Combine safari & beach
  • Excellent wildlife viewing
  • Day & night game drives
  • Guided nature walks
  • Water sports, diving & snorkelling
  • Intimate camps & lodges

Day to Day Itinerary

Days 1-2

A warm Zambian welcome

Your adventure begins at Malawi’s Lilongwe International Airport where you board a chartered flight to Zambia's Mfuwe Airport. A game drive carries you into South Luangwa National Park to a refreshing stop at Mfuwe Lodge, overlooking a lagoon in the Luangwa River inhabited by a family of boisterous hippos. Continue your game drive southwards, deeper into the park to Kuyenda Camp.  

 Set in a riverside grove of palm trees on the edge of a grassy plain, Kuyenda is an intimate, thatched camp. Surrounded by a multitude of habitats, it is also the ideal location from which to start your discovery of Zambia's wildlife. Morning and afternoon game drives are offered along with thrilling night drives - and no stay at Kuyenda is complete without a walking safari with Phil Berry, one of Luangwa's top guides.

Home to some of Zambia's best game viewing, the South Luangwa National Park is noted for its large elephant and buffalo herds, crowding along river banks in the dry season, as well as its abundant predators. Lions and spotted hyenas are commonly sighted, wild dogs sweep through regularly, and this reserve is well known for its leopards.

Days 3-4

The magic of Luangwa

Lying close to Kuyenda Camp, Chamilandu Camp has an unquestionably romantic atmosphere. Set on the banks of the Luangwa River under towering ebony trees, its beautiful suites are raised on stilts to offer wrap-around views of the river (and exquisite sunrises!).

A game drive may transport you to Chamilandu, but a nature walk is highly recommended. From a vehicle you see Africa; from the ground you hear, smell and feel it. Together with your guide and an armed ranger, you discover the intricacies of life in the Luangwa. Learn about the fascinating social structure of a termite hill, medicinal uses of plants and follow the irresistible call of the honeyguide bird, luring you to a dripping honeycomb. Track spoor along game paths that might never have felt a human footstep, stand breathless and silent as a herd of elephants rumble gently past, trunks raised like periscopes to sniff the air.

With only three suites available, Chamilandu promises a very intimate experience. Game drives and walking safaris open up even more of Luangwa's wildlife to you and with no fewer than seven lagoons around the camp, there is plenty of easy 'armchair' game viewing and exceptional photographic opportunities from Chamilandu's photographic hide.

Day 5

Mfuwe heaven

After a magical two days at Chamilandu, a game drive takes you to the north of the park and back to Mfuwe Lodge for a night. An award-winning safari lodge set in the most prolific game viewing area of South Luangwa, newly-refurbished Mfuwe is the largest of the three camps and has gained international fame thanks to the family of elephants that strolls through reception in November to feed on the garden's wild mango trees.

Settle into your thatched chalet and reflect on your adventures between indulgent spa treatments and lazy moments beside the pool. A final afternoon game drive ends in a thrilling night drive as you return to a sumptuous dinner in camp.

Days 6-9

The lake of stars

After breakfast, depart Mfuwe Airport for magical Lake Malawi. Resembling an inland sea, its crystal-clear waters are home to an astonishing variety of brightly coloured tropical fish and its sandy beaches are sun-kissed stretches of paradise. Landing on Likoma Island, you board a boat for Nkwichi, an award-winning eco-lodge dedicated to its local community and environment. Sailing towards the shore, you feel like an early explorer as thatched roofs peep out from the forest canopy. Soon, a perfect little bay of white sand appears, enclosed by a gentle ridge. Stepping ashore, kick off your shoes, take off your wristwatch and allow Nkwichi's gentle tranquillity to wash away your cares.

With a pace of life as gentle as the wavelets lapping at the shore, Lake Malawi moves to the rhythm of rosy dawns and spectacular sunsets. The staff at Nkwichi encourage you to be as active or lazy as you wish. The dazzling blue water is perfect for swimming or snorkelling the multicoloured underwater world, which is reminiscent of a coral reef. Paddle a canoe along the shoreline and drift into little bays alive with birdsong, or sail the Nkwichi dhow further afield.

Guided walks into the island forest reveal a canopy filled with swooping, chattering birds, while a hike behind the lodge takes in spectacular lake views. A visit to the local community offers insights into island life, and hearing the cathedral choir’s African harmonies is a truly uplifting experience.

Day 10

A farewell to Africa

After an enchanting four nights beside the lake of stars, a dhow returns you to Likoma Island where your plane awaits to return you to Lilongwe and your homeward journey. The memories of this safari go with you: the sun rising over the Luangwa River, a leopard’s throaty call at dusk, elephants walking past as you stand quietly in the undergrowth, the sun setting and stars rising over the vast blue of Lake Malawi.

Inclusions

  • 2 Nights at Kuyenda Camp on full board basis
  • Transfers as specified in the itinerary
  • Flights as specified in the itinerary
  • 2 Nights at Chamilandu Camp on full board basis
  • 1 Night at Mfuwe Lodge on full board basis
  • 4 Nights at Nkwichi Lodge on full board basis
  • South Luangwa National Park Entry Fee
  • Luangwa Community and Conservation Fund

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature
Carlien Parsons

Carlien Parsons

Product Manager

"If you're looking for a wonderful, off-the-beaten-track safari & beach combination - this will be perfect for you. Head through to the South Luangwa for epic safaris before spending glorious days on Lake Malawi."

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