- Depart London on an overnight flight to Lusaka.
- On arrival at Lusaka international airport we will be met and transferred to a scheduled light aircraft for the flight to Mfuwe airstrip in South Luangwa, from where we transfer to our comfortable safari tented camp. On arrival we can enjoy the sunset with a view over the park before dinner. Situated just outside the Nsefu Sector of the park, this area boasts some of the finest leopard viewing in Zambia.
- Accommodation: South Luangwa National Park, 3-nights in tented camp on full board basis.
- We explore the national park with morning and afternoon game drives, or walk ancient and well-worn trails created by elephant and hippo. With the array of wildlife that lives around the Luangwa River and its oxbow lakes, there is plenty to see, and we keep an eye out for hippo, crocodile, herds of buffalo, impala, Thornicroft’s giraffe, lion and leopard.
- For birders too there is a lot to see, as more than 400 species have been recorded in the park. The sun-scorched riverbanks play host to vast colonies of carmine bee-eaters, which together with numerous raptors, lovebirds, weavers and kingfishers lend more than a splash of colour to this beautiful destination..
- After breakfast, we transfer to Lukuzi airstrip and board our light aircraft for a short flight to Mutinondo. Mutinondo Wilderness lies on a plateau within the area that traditionally belongs to Chief Mpumba. The area consists of 10,000 hectares of privately-owned land encompassing pristine miombo woodland, massive granite inselbergs, crystalline rivers and picturesque waterfalls and glades. We dedicate our time here to exploring the miombo woodland on foot, birdwatching and visiting the waterfalls.
- Accommodation: Mutinondo Wilderness, 3-nights lodge on full board basis.
- Birdwatching in Mutinondo is highly rewarding as it holds a number of species that are difficult to see outside Zambia, and is one of the easiest places to see these birds in Zambia – including such usually hard-to-see residents as long-toed flufftail and bar-winged weaver.
- Miombo woodland species include thick-billed cuckoo, pale-billed hornbill, racket-tailed roller, green-backed and scaly-throated honeyguides, spotted creeper, rufous-bellied tit, miombo double-collared sunbird and Cabanis's bunting, amnogst others. Stripe-breasted canary is unusually common, and wood pipit flushes from the edges of the entrance road. Mutinondo is also probably the best place to search for the curiously elusive bar-winged weaver.
- This morning we drive by four-wheel drive vehicle for two hours or so to Lavushi Manda National Park.
- This attractive area of rolling hills and striking rocky outcrops covers a large part of the catchment areas of the Lukulu and Lulimala rivers immediately above the richest part of Bangweulu in ecological terms.
- The area is of major importance for African and Palearctic migrants, and during the wet season serves as an upland refuge for ungulates from the flooded Bangweulu Swamp, such as roan, sable and hartebeest. Although the wildlife populations here are depleted, recent visits show there is still an excellent variety of large mammals present – albeit in small numbers – including lion and leopard.
- Accommodation: Accommodation: Lavushi Manda, 2-nights tented camp on full board basis.
- In the morning we transfer from our camp to Mpika airstrip. A short charter flight takes us Chikuni, which is the closest airstrip to the famous Bangweulu Swamps – home of the shoebill. We spend the day looking for this fascinating bird, however if we are unsuccessful, there will be further opportunities to visit the swamps by vehicle from Kasanka.
- We then continue our journey to the heart of Kasanka – from the aircraft we get fantastic aerial views of the wildlife, and our route passes almost directly over Chief Chitambo’s village where David Livingstone’s heart was buried, and which has a beautifully-preserved memorial to the great explorer.
- Accommodation: Kasanka National Park, 3-nights spread between two bush lodges on full board basis.
- Over the next two days we explore Kasanka National Park by four-wheel drive vehicle and canoe in the hope of spotting Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, sable antelope, sitatunga, leopards and the rare blue monkey. The mushitu (swamp) forest offers excellent trails for walking, and we invariably spend some time 18 metres off the ground in a mululu (African mahogany) tree at the renowned Fibwe hide, which is known as the best place in Africa to observe elusive sitatunga, although we may also see crocodile, bushbuck, waterbuck, buffalo and elephant from the platform. Among the many bird species we are likely to see are fish eagle, African hawk-eagle, coucal, mousebirds, Bohm’s bee-eater, and both Ross’s and Schalow’s louries.
- In the morning we go birding along the Luwombwa River to look for Pel’s fishing owl, osprey and African finfoot. After lunch, we drive to Mulembo airstrip and board our charter flight to Lusaka to connect with an international flight back to the UK.
Day 14 Arrive UK
All prices are per person and include:
- Services of the naturalist leader
- Guided activities
We stay in some rustic but comfortable ‘bush’ lodges in Kasanka and Mutinondo in traditional rondavels and chalets, all en suite. In Lavushi Manda, we stay in a tented camp, while in South Luangwa we stay in extremely comfortable and exclusive grass-and-pole chalets with highly personalised, friendly service. All accommodations have been hand-picked for their ideal location in an exceptional wildlife area and offers quick, easy access to the wilderness, quite often on site..
All meals and drinks are included.
Price includes return scheduled flights London – Lusaka – London, and domestic light aircraft between Lusaka, Kasanka, Bangweulu, Mutinondo and Mfuwe
Light aircraft, open four-wheel drive vehicles, various boats, and on foot
At Kasanka, we plan to do some of our wildlife viewing by canoe.
Gentle, on generally flat terrain, following animal trails through the bush; slightly more challenging in Lavushi Manda, in rocky mountain terrain with some steep stretches.
South Luangwa has the world’s highest population of leopard, whilst Kasanka is known as the best place in Africa to observe tjhe elusive sitatunga,
- African elephant
- Lichtenstein’s hartebeest
- Blue monkey
We spend a day in Bangweulu Swamps, one of the last strongholds of the rare and curious shoebill. Kasanka is home to some exceptional birdlife, and Mutinondo is highly rewarding as it holds a number of species that are difficult to see outside Zambia. In the Luangwa, about 400 species have been observed.
- Carmine bee-eater
- Goliath heron
- Racket-tailed roller
- Miombo rock thrush