A once in a lifetime Safari to The South Luangwa in Zambia led by Graham Cooke – Safari Guide and Leopard Specialist Extraordinaire.
Graham Cooke started out life guiding at the renowned Londolozi Game Reserve in the Kruger National Park. Whilst working as a game ranger there, he was given the opportunity to release two leopard cubs that had come from a circus into the wild.
Graham’s heart rending story was finally documented by author Fransje van Riel in the book My Life with Leopards. Graham took his beloved leopard cubs and released them in the south Luangwa Reserve in Zambia – and it was Fransje who felt that Graham, 20 years on, should revisit the spot for the first time and allow others to share this very special experience.
He will be returning to the exact spot where he released them, which will be an emotional experience for Graham. Graham’s extraordinary experience has allowed him to have a unique insight into the behaviour of leopards which makes him so perfect to lead this very special safari accompanied by Fransje van Riel.
This truly is a once in a lifetime safari that Graham will be sharing with a very small and select group of others. Share this very special experience and incredible knowledge that he gained in this very unique situation, of living with these cubs for almost two years, raising them and then finally experiencing the heart wrenching release into the wild.
Luangwa is renowned for having one of the greatest concentrations of leopard in Africa. You spend 10 days split six nights in the South Luangwa at a beautiful owner managed camp called Kaingo and 3 nights in the Lower Zambezi.
Kaingo is very special and perfect for those who are interested in photography too, as the owner of the camp, Jules Shenton is a professional photographer.
In addition, a number of hides have been erected so that you can spend time in them, literally just feet away from the animals, allowing you to take that perfect photograph!
It is also the time of the beautiful, highly coloured carmine bee eater who nests in the river banks. Again, there is a carmine hide on a boat where you can observe and photograph them from.
You then drive to Island Bush Camp where Graham lived and released his leopards. Here you relive the whole story of Graham raising his cubs.
You end off in the gorgeous region of the Lower Zambezi at one of our favourite camps of all time, Old Mondoro. There is a mixture of walking, boating and game drives on this safari.
Sleepouts And Treehouses
A treehouse! A sleepout! Surely both words make an instant connection to the child in every adult as well as to children themselves? Treehouses and sleepouts can seriously extend the fun and enjoyment, in a clement climate of course, of time spent in the bush, in the desert or even by the ocean.
Fly camping is, for many, the ultimate bush experience and is for those people who don’t want to be “stuck in a vehicle” or just want an exciting and adventurous change from staying at, especially, a permanent camp or lodge. Flycamping also works well for those who want to explore a region mainly on foot, by canoe, on horseback or walking with camels, which could easily be a multi-night experience.
Classic Authentic Permanent Tented Camps
If you are looking for that essential experience in the African bush which offers perfect comfort whilst not losing the essence and feel of being properly “on safari” then a classic permanent camp fits the brief!
Design Inspired Lodges
Design, style, comfort, excellence, location. Shake - don’t stir! – these ingredients and blend in varying quantities for perfection to suit all tastes. Luxury lodges in Africa, especially the uber-stylish, are ideal for anyone wanting to celebrate a “big” anniversary or birthday, or just those who simply place a high importance on design and style, in whatever measure, as part of their visit to Africa.
Luxury Tented Camps
Africa is a continent that evokes the senses, the “feel” of the bush challenges one’s sight, hearing and smell especially. Being in a lodge removes to a great extent one essential part of this trio: the sound of the bush, especially at night. Canvas walls allow the sounds of the bush to permeate one’s room, without losing any iota of luxury; the best of all worlds and a huge layer of extra value.
If one is looking for adventure, whether as a couple of a family, or somewhere that’s just vast fun with plenty of variation in activity for a group of friends mixed with wonderful hosting and a totally relaxed atmosphere, then a ranch is the answer.
Robinson Crusoe Chic Hideaways
The ultimate in barefoot luxury has to be a Private Island or Coastal Retreat where the essence of “barefoot living” is mixed with perfect comfort, service and style. The oft-used image of miles of white-sand beach with just “you” leaving a pathway of footprints etched into the damp sand at the water’s edge may be slightly hackneyed but, in real life, it is a perfect antidote to the mad, rushed, “real” world. It is attainable!
Bush Camps are perhaps the ideal balance between more rustic “fly” or “mobile” camps and more permanent camps offering a more advanced luxury experience. Bush Camps tend to be a southern African phenomenon, because they are often closely allied to walking in certain parts of Zambia and Botswana.
Oh my word! Where to start? We have such an array of styles in our beach lodges. Tell us what comes to mind, what your mind conjectures in terms of “Beach Lodge” and we can almost certainly fill the brief.
Boutique Hotels are always wonderful, mixing sympathetic and often unusual décor and style with a very personal hosting ethic – and all in a small and intimate package. So often such properties are also owner-run, which fits brilliantly well with our - and your, as our clients - own preferences. In the same vein, Africa has some examples of the boutique hotel genre that rival anything available anywhere else – and not all are in cities even if many are more urban.
Private, Mobile tented camps
Travelling as a family? Perhaps a small group of friends or just two couples spending some time together on holiday? Wanting to be able to get “close to the action” in terms of game, or be near a specific activity? Do you feel a yearning for something authentic in terms of Africa-bush-living and yet not wanting to give up any basic comforts (Heaven forbid!)?
Private Villas & Houses
Time off in this manic, I’m-always-available, information-driven, day and age is precious; a bracket around a few days or weeks that may be the culmination of a long period of work and a considerable amount of planning. No matter how hard we try, with all the pressures that surround us it can be a tough balancing act to make enough time to “spend” (what an apposite word that is!) with those who matter and doing the things we wish.
Yachts, Catamarans & Houseboats
Some of us are just drawn to the magic of water and for many people the relaxing effects of being on or by the water are part of the rejuvenation that comes with a holiday. So, for those who like to take to the water, whether it’s for the gentle soothing of the sound of the ocean, or being on a river, or taking the helm and sailing under the guidance of a skipper, the sailing and houseboats that we have to offer add another dimension!
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour and catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore – Dream – Discover - Mark Twain - You can view clips of some of our own favourite discoveries here.
- Utterly designed and tailored around you and your requirements
- Totally unique every time you travel with us
- The very best hand picked guides which can make the difference between a good and an outstanding holiday
- Established over 30 years ago we have been around longer than most
- Our specialists come from, have lived in or travelled extensively in the regions we cover
- Unparalleled knowledge provides you with the best possible experience
- Philanthropy is our philosophy
- Our founding principle is to always ‘put something back’
- An amount from each holiday is donated to our selected conservation and humanitarian charities
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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