This is a fabulous ten day walking safari in Zambia, but it also can be a combination of a walking safari in the south Luangwa National Park and North Luangwa National Park, from June to October. Spend five nights in south Luangwa (this can be combined with game-viewing by vehicle, should you choose), and five nights walking in the gorgeous north Luangwa region.
We love north Luangwa, because it feels like primeval Africa – huge herds of wildlife, with buffalo, good prided of lion, antelope (including Cookson’s hartebeest and eland) and the most wonderful guiding and scenery. The bird watching is amazing here, too.
There is one really lovely bush camp that we use in north Luangwa which has just four reed and thatch cottages and is constructed each year from scratch. There are no windows, instead just allowing the evening breeze to flow through and the scent of the wild herbs to awaken you in the morning.
Each day will be spent walking along the Mwaleshi River with your professional guide (and the guides here are some of Zambia’s best!), for around three to four hours a day, perhaps seeing a hyaena chasing a puku antelope, or marvelling at the huge herds of buffalo. The camp is located 10kms from the confluence of the Mwaleshi and Luangwa Rivers.
One can also drive on one day to the Mwaleshi Falls or further afield for a change of scenery, but this is the only occasion that a vehicle is used. The food is fresh and wholesome and being such a small camp, the atmosphere is wonderful, friendly, and personal and so many clients return to this park simply because it is like Africa 50 years ago – offering a pristine area, filled with wildlife and not with tourists!
Combine it with south Luangwa for the greater concentration of wildlife. South Luangwa is renowned for its leopard and lion population as well as the endemic Thornicoft’s giraffe, elephant and hippo. Here one can walk between two or three different bush camps which are beautifully located overlooking waterholes or salt licks, so that one can sit in a chair and watch the constant flow of wildlife.
One walks for roughly four to five hours a day and there wildlife is wonderful. Perhaps walk downwind from a herd of elephant, keeping pace with them, or stop and listen to a bird calling to its mate or watch the Lilac Breasted Roller twirl and roll through the air.
The glory of being on foot is that one is entirely silent, with no noise or vehicle pollution. The pace is much slower as your guide stops and identifies the tracks in front of you, checks the direction of the wind, explains the vital role of the dung beetle and the termites to you. The two areas complement each other well and have completely different vegetation and feel.
Click here for more information on walking safaris in south Luangwa >
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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