tour iconTours & Safaris|11 days

11-day South Luangwa & Madagascar

tour iconTours & Safaris|11 days

11-day South Luangwa & Madagascar

Highlights

  • A unique combination of stunning safari and beach destinations
  • Tropical island and protected coral reef environments off Madagascar
  • Opportunities to go lemur watching on the mainland
  • Snorkelling, scuba diving and watersports in a marine reserve
  • Game viewing by 4X4 and on foot with expert guides in South Luangwa
  • Highly recommended for elephant and big cat viewing
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Overview

Showcasing two of the world’s most exciting wildlife destinations, this 11-day tour delivers dazzling biodiversity. It opens with five nights in Madagascar - on a tropical island surrounded by a coral reef - before flying you to two different locations in the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia, one of Africa’s most rewarding big game destinations.

Madagascar is a large but relatively unexplored island in the Indian Ocean off the eastern coast of Africa. Half the size of South Africa and the fourth biggest island in the world, it rivals the Galapagos for sheer diversity of endemic species, with up to 90 percent of the fauna and flora found here thought to be unique to the island. It is most famous for its lemurs – of which there are a hundred different species – as well as six species of baobab trees found nowhere else in the world. Only about 30 000 people visit its 40 national parks every year, making it a rare destination with very low visitor numbers and extremely high biodiversity.

You will be heading from Antananarivo, the capital, to Nosy Ankao island. Here you can snorkel straight off the beach because it is a protected marine area and the scuba diving is also excellent. There are opportunities for turtle, whale and dolphin watching as well as helicopter safaris to the mainland’s forest reserves for lemur watching. Your beachfront accommodation at Miavana Island Sanctuary takes the form of multi-bedroom villas, each complete with a well-stocked kitchenette, private swimming pool, large indoor and outdoor living spaces, and a private butler service. The resort’s spa offers a wide range of treatments and you enjoy complimentary use of bicycles and an electric buggy.

Fully recharged and refreshed, you now fly to Zambia and the South Luangwa where your five nights are divided between Chinzombo and Mchenja camps. Set on sweeping bends of the Luangwa River, both camps are well-placed for epic game viewing, especially during the long June-to-October dry peak season when animals gather at the river in considerable numbers. Game drives take you in search of wildlife and you can also explore on foot with your experienced guide, offering a different aspect to your experience. Safari accommodation is in the form of vacation villas and thatched chalets, with Chinzombo being one of the most luxurious lodges in the whole country.

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Let’s Go

Summary

  • Tour Duration: 11 Days

  • Start: Diego Suarez, Madagascar
  • End: Lusaka, Zambia

Accommodations Visited

South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Chinzombo

3 Nights
Day to day

Itinerary

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Days 1-5: An island sanctuary

Diego Suarez, Madagascar
Detailed breakdown

Days 1-5: An island sanctuary | 5 Nights

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Diego Suarez, Madagascar

The tour opens in Diego Suarez on the far northern tip of Madagascar and a helicopter transfer to Nosy Ankao, which lies off the north-eastern coast. Part of a 15 000-hectare protected marine area, the island is home to Miavana Island Sanctuary, your private home for the next five nights. Your generously proportioned villa lies just a few steps away from the beach and comes complete with its own pool and kitchenette, although of course all meals are provided as well as most drinks. Also included are various shared activities – cultural tours, boat cruises, snorkelling trips, bicycle usage and forest walks – and you have the opportunity to go lemur watching on the mainland, care of a helicopter safari. There is limited Wi-Fi and phone coverage at the resort, meaning you can truly switch off and have a ‘digital detox’ in this stimulating part of the world.

A trip back to the mainland via helicopter is highly recommended as you may be able to visit the remarkable Montagne d’ Ambre National Park. Named ‘Amber Mountain’ because of the red laterite soil and limestone pinnacles, it has incredible small game watching that includes the world’s second smallest chameleon, seven species of lemur and 77 recorded species of birds. If you are very lucky, you might see the ring-tailed mongoose and the fosa, Madagascar’s only known predator.

The nearby town of Ambanja is known for its spice and chocolate plantations, and the air is permeated with the scents of vanilla, coffee, cloves, ylang-ylang and cacao.

Days 6-10: The Luangwa wilderness | 3 Nights

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South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

A helicopter transfer back to the Madagascan mainland and a flight to Zambia’s capital city of Lusaka start your day. On landing in Zambia, you are met and assisted onto the next flight – this time to the South Luangwa National Park where you check in at Chinzombo Camp for three nights. Set just outside the park, Chinzombo offers very luxurious accommodation in elegant villas with their own plunge pools and stunning views of the Luangwa River.

Done in neutral tones with copper and leather accessories, your suite has Wi-Fi, a large egg-shaped tub overlooking the lawn where antelope graze, double vanities, a sizable shower and extensive outdoor decking. After a day of travelling, you may appreciate a massage or pedicure on the privacy of your deck, listening to the cries of African fish eagles and the song of Lillian’s lovebirds coming from the surrounding bush.

You enjoy day and night drives as well as walking safaris and boat cruises if water levels on the Luangwa River are high enough. Look out for puku – a type of semi-shaggy antelope – as well as zebra, giraffe and elephants.

 

Then it is onto Mchenja Camp, taking its name from the ebony trees under which it shelters. A beautiful camp in a dramatic setting on the river, Mchenja lies in game-rich country and has a great reputation for spectacular big cat sightings, especially lion and leopard. You have solar-powered lighting in your sumptuous suite along with a chance to recharge batteries at main camp. 

Day 11: Time to return home

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After breakfast at Mchenja, you transfer by road – a final game drive of sorts - to Mfuwe where you board a flight back to Lusaka for your onward travel or accommodation arrangements and the end of this tour. 

Inclusions tick icon

Inclusions

  • Boat cruises
  • Conservation Levy at Miavana
  • Cultural visit on Miavana
  • Forest walks
  • Helicopter Transfers from Miavana to Diego Saurez
  • Helicopter Transfers frrom Diego Saurez to Miavana
  • Kayaking
  • Meet and Gree Lusaka
  • Park Fees at Chinzombo Camp
  • Park Fees at Mchenja Camp
  • Proflight from Lusaka to Mfuwe
  • Proflight from Mfuwe to Lusaka
  • Scuba diving around Miavana and resort diving lessons
  • Shore based fishing and half day fishing trips
  • Snorkelling
  • Stand up paddle boarding
Exclusions tick icon

Exclusions

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

Rates

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DatesPrice
2018-06-01 — 2018-10-31 $18,865
2018-11-01 — 2018-11-07 $17,615
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.