The South Luangwa National Park is considered to be the finest national park in Zambia; it is legendary and most certainly rivals the Okavango Delta in Botswana for the very best wildlife experiences.
This region is renowned for having the greatest concentration of leopard in southern Africa, which is quite a coup! It also has a number of endemic species, including Thornicroft’s giraffe and Crawshay’s zebra. It houses four of the big five, being elephant, leopard, lion and buffalo. The region is mainly made up of miombo and mopane woodland, with riparian forest opening up to alluvial floodplains. The Luangwa River provides water for wildlife, diminishing to oxbow lakes and lagoons when the water levels reduce.
The private mobile safaris in the South Luangwa are in fact walking safaris. The first has just three tents and is a seasonal, static camp, run and operated by one of the finest walking guides in Zambia, Debs Tittle. Situated within the South Luangwa National Park, walking safaris are one of the finest ways of exploring the bush, as one learns so much more. It is a far more immersive, interactive safari and the great thing is that one can be active.
The second camp is a true private mobile tented camp where the camp physically moves. Situated in the Mkulumadzi sector of the South Luangwa, here one walks from camp to camp for five nights, walking around 10kms per day, at a slow pace, with one of the finest guides in the African bush.
Or, for just two nights, we can arrange for you to be in the Nesfu sector of the South National Park, again, on a walking safari with a fabulous guide.
Safari activities from your private camp in the South Luangwa National Park revolve around walking only. If however you want complete exclusivity in the South Luangwa and you would like game drives too, then the best option would be to finish your walking safari with a stay at Robin’s House or Luangwa House where one can game view by vehicle too.
What is the accommodation like?
The mobile camps in Zambia’s South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi are a simple style of safari compared to the luxury lodges of offer across the continent, fly camping doesn’t mean ‘rough’ camping! The benefit of mobile camping is that the sites of the camps have been well-planned so that you have the best access to wildlife, the best angle for sunset and sunrise, and much more!
Each camp is small with only around four tents per camp. The camps are comfortable and even have flush loos! The tents are made of light and airy fabrics and gauze so you can have air moving through the tent. A comfortable bed and luxury bedding are set up along with all the necessities and an en suite bathroom area is accessible without leaving your tent which has bucket showers, a basin and mirror and flushing toilets.
The central area has a well-stocked, shaded bar, central seating area and campfire. Good food is prepared by the chefs.
In the South Luangwa, the Meru tents are light and allow for through air-movement. Again, there are comfortable beds with sprung mattresses, en suites with flush toilets, basins and bucket showers, all with a stunning river view! The central area has a large open-sided main tent where guests can sit to watch the river. Meals are taken in the central tent, along the riverside or under the moonlit skies.
What activities are available?
- Walking safaris,
- Privately guided safaris,
- Boat trips on the Zambezi,
- Conservation education and experiences,
- Canoe safaris,
- Fly camping.
Are Zambia tented camps suitable for family safaris?
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.
When is the best time to take a safari to Zambia?
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.
How can I make a difference to conservation on my safari to Zambia?
With enough notice and an agreed donation, during your safari in the Lower Zambezi National Park we can arrange for a visit to Conservation Lower Zambezi to understand their fabulous anti-poaching efforts, working with the local communities and preservation of wildlife.
Similarly, in the South Luangwa, we can arrange for a visit to Chipembele which we strongly recommend you do. For a donation, you could even spend the night in one of the researchers’ cottages, to learn more about the amazing work they are doing in teaching Zambian communities about wildlife and the preservation thereof.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is a mobile safari safe?
A mobile safari is very safe. All camps have guards (askaris) which are on watch 24-hours a day, as well as the camp crew. There is also a fire made at night which keeps animals at bay, so you are completely safe.
What about battery charging?
These days, there is no problem with recharging all your batteries for you.
Laundry is undertaken on all these mobile camps. It is subject to the vagaries of weather, but you will never have better ironed clothing with the most amazing creases! Regular laundering means you don’t have to take much luggage with you!
Given sufficient notice, we can cater to all dietary requirements. Please also let us know if you have any particular brand of drink you favour, and we will do our best to accommodate your requests!