Zambia is well known for offering phenomenal ‘back to the wilderness’ experiences and lends itself perfectly to mobile walking safaris. The walking safaris operated in the Lower Zambezi work in the same way as many walking safaris in the South Luangwa and other well-known walking safari destinations do.
The Lower Zambezi is a lesser-visited park for walking safaris but no less spectacular! This place is full of contrasting colours, from the pastel albida forest and the purple Zambezi Escarpment to the blue waters of the mighty Zambezi River flowing by, a beautiful scene is set dotted with phenomenal wildlife viewing.
One walks each day between camps with your expert guide and trackers, viewing mammals, birds and insects, learning about the various plants and trees and spotting their tracks as you move. The going is easy and tailored to your own pace, which allows one to experience all the minute details; smelling scents on the early morning mists, seeing the plants and the insects going about their work and also the wildlife coming down to the river.
Perhaps as the diurnal animals wake up you may spot some nocturnal ones heading off to spend the day sleeping. Herds of elephant cool off in the river eating the grasses, kudu and antelope move through the forests and leopard slink past.
As well as gentle walking, you may travel by canoe or take a boat safari along the river to allow you to see all the wildlife coming down to drink and bathe. Later you arrive in to camp to a refreshing beverage and a warm welcome from the staff. In the afternoon or evening you can take game drives in a vehicle or further short walks near to the camp and then relax around the fire before dinner.
Luke Evans and Kyle Branch offer fantastic walking and canoeing safaris which currently move between small mobile camps, Kutali Camp on Kulefu Island and Chula Camp (meaning ‘frog’ in the local language) on the Katengahumba (Discovery) Island. A third camp will be added to the repertoire in 2020 which will be called Tafara Springs, to be located in the Rufunsa Valley at the foot of the escarpment.
The main camp is sited at one of these three locations where you spend the first and last nights and possibly more depending on the length of your stay – at least four nights is best to allow you to experience everything on offer here. In the middle of your stay you travel to one of the other locations and sleep out under the stars in a simple fly camp for a truly immersive experience!
Each camp is small with only four tents per camp, so numbers are limited and if you wished it could be taken exclusively as a family or group of friends.
This little series of personal tented camps and fly camps are owner run, which means attention to detail and the benefit of having the owners on site making sure you are having the best experience! Every safari is guided and hosted by one of the owners, either Luke or Kyle.
The guiding on these safaris are of an excellent standard and you benefit from Kyle and Luke’s extensive experience and expert knowledge; Kyle even helped to design the national Zambian guiding qualification! Both are keen birders and fishermen and have spent years exploring the wilderness and guiding safaris before opening their own camps.
The sites of the camps have been very well thought-out to ensure that they have good access to wildlife, the game routes have been considered, the best angle for sunset and sunrise has been thought about and many other essential factors to ensure that one’s safari is extraordinary!
Luke and Kyle have extensive experience in Zambia and the Lower Zambezi National Park and they like to make your stay about the park, the wildlife and, the reason you are here, experiencing a part of Africa that is simply gorgeous, immersive and breath-taking.
For Zambia walking safaris children must usually be at least 16 years of age upwards, but please do speak to us for more information. In the Lower Zambezi it may be possible to take younger children from 8 years old on a private safari.
The best time to visit the Lower Zambezi National Park is the dry season from June through to early November. In the South Luangwa National Park, the best time is the dry season from July through to early November. However, our own favourite is the green season, also known as the secret season. This is when animals are relaxed, there is plenty of food and water available for them and the region is beautifully green. This period is from January through to May. Just a handful of places are open at this time.
For further information, please do feel free to contact Nicola directly or at The Explorations Company for further inspiration and unforgettable safaris and holidays to Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
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Video supplied courtesy of Tusk and Mane