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overview

This 7-night walking safari offers a unique wilderness experience that incorporates excellent guiding and hosting in Zambia’s unspoilt South and North Luangwa National Parks. The programme is aimed at safari-enthusiasts looking for an uninhibited Zambian safari guided by passionate and knowledgeable professionals with decades of experience in this splendid part of Africa. Start your tour at family-run Tafika Camp, nestled on the banks of the Luangwa River, where you sleep in reed-and-thatch chalets under the shade of giant sausage trees. Split your safari time between fulfilling morning walks and evening game drives, with the opportunity for mountain biking and microlight flights.

Your next stop is Mwaleshi Camp, one of Tafika’s smaller sister camps located in the remote north of the park not far from the confluence of the Mwaleshi and Luangwa rivers. Safaris here are exclusively conducted on foot in the form of twice-daily walking safaris accompanied by the same reliable team of professionals. The untouched northern region of the park is even more remote and here you are almost guaranteed not to see another soul besides your walking crew and the convivial staff which work together to make your stay at Mwaleshi Camp a most memorable one. Thanks to the availability of a vehicle you can explore further afield – your guide able to drive the crew to a particular place to begin walking. A day trip by 4x4 to the Mwaleshi Falls located upstream of the camp is also possible and away from the teeming plains and woodlands, you can swim in the clear, safe waters of the river.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Extended walking safaris in pristine wilderness
  • Passionate & experienced rangers
  • Mountain biking, microlighting & village visits
  • Leopard & endemic birdlife

Day to Day Itinerary

Days 1-3

Family first

On arrival at Mfuwe Airport, you are fetched by your guide and transferred to Tafika Lodge. During this 90-minute drive you are likely to encounter enough wildlife to make your visit worthwhile before you have even set foot into the camp. Nestled on the banks of the Luangwa River, Tafika Camp’s thatched chalets sit under the shade of giant sausage trees. Built from locally sourced reed and thatch, these elegant suites are equipped with en suite bathrooms and outdoor showers. From the comfort of the camp, watch as elephants and hippos come for a drink and bath in the river while kingfishers perched in tree branches above keep their keen eyes fixed below the surface in search of unsuspecting prey.

The meandering Luangwa River runs through the national park and features ox-bow lagoons, tributaries and riverine woodlands home to large concentrations of animals, including Zambia’s highest leopard concentration and over 450 bird species. Expertly guided 4x4 game drives are combined with exciting activities such as microlighting, mountain biking, a visit to the nearby Mkasanga Village and, of course, outstanding walking safaris.

From the moment you arrive at Tafika – one of the longest-standing owner-run camps in Zambia - you are welcomed as a member of the family. Split your safari time between lengthy morning walks and evening game drives on the reserve; and with each exploration of Luangwa’s eco-habitats more of its ecological wealth is revealed. Walk under the professional leadership of your guide, an armed parks reservist and a caterer, who supplies a warm beverage and snack during your mid-morning tea break, and is an extra pair of eyes to spot animals.

The team of guides has outstanding reputations in the fields of game ranging and nature conservation, and the indigenous ecological knowledge imparted on you during walks will not be found in any textbooks. It is the kind of information which is gathered through decades of interaction with the wilderness and being tuned into the rhythm of life in the Luangwa valley.

With a massive traversable area accessible within this undeveloped reserve, during activities you are unlikely to see any other guests at all. A unique feature of 4x4 game drives in Tafika’s open-sided, open-topped vehicles are their limitation to no more than four guests per car, with just two rows of comfortable bench seats. Hop on a mountain bike and go on an animal-filled excursion along the dirt paths to viewpoints around the camp, arriving back in time to join the evening game drive. Excursions to the nearby Mkasanga Village are a humbling experience and provide the opportunity to visit the school and listen to a performance by the local church choir. Exhilarating microlight flights over the national park take off in the soft light of dawn. These magical trips provide a privileged perspective of the game-rich landscape and often allow the identification of animals for later investigation on your morning walk.

The massive vegetable garden supplies the kitchen with fresh organic produce and ensures tasty and wholesome cuisine is the forte of Tafika’s restaurant.

Days 4-7

Mwaleshi Camp

This morning you are transferred by light aircraft to Mwaleshi Camp’s airstrip where a vehicle collects your luggage and you take a guided 45-minute walk into the camp. Located in the remote North Luangwa National Park, Mwaleshi Camp is set 10km from the confluence of the Mwaleshi and Luangwa rivers. It accommodates up to eight guests in rustic thatched chalets, incorporating the twisted branches of the mopane trees into their innovative design.

Safaris here are conducted exclusively on foot in the form of twice-daily walking safaris accompanied by a guide, armed reservist and caterer. Walks take place on the opposite side of the river or behind the camp, and sometimes involve easy paddling across the shallow water. The immense natural beauty of the Luangwa’s northern region combined with its exceptional wildlife and the intimate setting of Mwaleshi Camp makes for a life-changing wilderness experience in the most unspoilt section of Zambia’s favourite national park. While on foot, stay on the lookout for Cookson’s wildebeest, which is more commonly found in the north, where where buffalo and lion are also more numerous. Catch a glimpse of a stealthy hyena hunting puku antelope in the shallows of the Mwaleshi River or a reintroduced black rhino resting under the shade of some acacia trees. Use your binoculars to spot white-winged starling and chestnut-mantled sparrow, which are endemic to this region.

If you thought you had the splendid wilderness all to yourself in the southern region of the park, wait until you experience the untainted north. Here you are almost guaranteed not to see another soul apart from your walking crew and the convivial staff who work together to make your stay at Mwaleshi Camp an unforgettable one. Thanks to the availability of a vehicle you can explore further afield – your guide able to drive the crew to a particular place to begin walking. A day trip by 4x4 to the Mwaleshi Falls located upstream of the camp is also possible and, away from the teeming plains and woodlands, you can swim in the clear, safe waters of the river.

Two loungers under a thatched shelter are ideal for daytime relaxation along a safe section of the river, which is usually deep enough for a refreshing swim in the heat of the day. Enjoy lunch prepared with fresh produce sourced from sister Camp Tafika’s kitchen garden, or the true romance of a candlelit dinner on the banks of the Mwaleshi River. Walk some stairs along the riverbank to a campfire on the edge of the water – a dramatic finale to a long day’s walking and a cosy meeting place to share bush tales. Retire to your rustic chalet built in open-plan with nothing but reed bars over the windows at night, and the flush toilet the only part of your en suite bathroom covered by a roof. Lie in bed at night looking up through the trees at the starlit sky and listen to the stirs of leopard, lion and hyena. Each morning confirm the activity of animals in the camp and search the opposite bank to see if any you heard the night before are still around.

Day 8

Farewell to Zambia

After breakfast on your last morning at Mwaleshi you are transferred back to Mfuwe Airport from where you take a connecting flight homewards.

Inclusions

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Road transfers to / from Tafika
  • National Park Fees
  • Contribution to Luangwa Conservation & Community Fund

Exclusions

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

Tour Rates

  • dates rates from
  • 01 Aug 2014 - 30 Sep 2014 $4735
  • 01 Oct 2014 - 31 Oct 2014 $4205
  • 01 Jun 2015 - 30 Jun 2015 $4530
  • 01 Jul 2015 - 31 Jul 2015 $4815
  • 01 Aug 2015 - 30 Sep 2015 $5430
  • 01 Oct 2015 - 31 Oct 2015 $4815

Our rates are per person sharing unless we note differently.

Please treat all pricing as a guide only:

  • All rates are subject to availability and may change without notice
  • Single supplements may apply

Request a quote or speak to one of our African Safari Experts for the best, most current rates available.

Lucy Copson

Lucy Copson

Africa Safari Expert

"If you're looking for a relatively simple but high quality safari with experienced guides, day & night drives, micro light flights, cycling trails and walking safaris, then this should be it! Combining Zambia’s premier South Luangwa with it's very remote North Luangwa – this safari offers a wonderful contrast of areas and activities."

From

$4205

Per person sharing

View all rates ENQUIRE NOW
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