A terrific 6-day Budget African Safari combining two unforgettable wilderness gems - Dzalanyama Forest Reserve in Malawi and South Luangwa National Park in Zambia.
Travel from Lilongwe to the Dzalanyama Forest Reserve - a range of steep hills, boasting beautiful trees and escarpments. We venture into this scenic Malawian wilderness area on foot and by vehicle, keeping an eye out for resident hyena, leopard, sable antelope and its well-known abundance of birdlife.
The next leg of this affordable Malawi & Zambia Lodge Safari will take us to Zambia's premier game reserve - the untamed South Luangwa National Park. This wildlife-rich Zambian game park is located in the Luangwa Valley, consisting of 9050km² of unspoiled woodland and riverine vegetation. We explore Luangwa Park, home to over 40 mammal and 650 bird species, on morning and late afternoon game drives.
This Dzalanyama Forest & South Luangwa Safari departs from Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi. We meet at 08h30 in the morning or collect you from your pre-tour accommodation in Lilongwe, leaving the city at about 09h00 on day one.
From Lilongwe, we drive southwest for about an hour and a half to reach Dzalanyama Forest Reserve. Here we stay at a lodge overlooking the forest canopy and a stream. Sit back and soak up the peace of this enchanting forest setting, watching for birds. Dzalanyama is a birding haven, home to an exceptional array of birds.
The Dzalanyama lodge is nestled in the Brachystegia trees, the most common indigenous trees in the forest.
The wooden buildings and deck overlook the crystal clear Makata Stream and surrounding forest. The area attracts a wide variety of birds and butterflies and the lodge is close to a pretty waterfall and natural pools where guests can take a dip.
The forest lodge is an ideal retreat from which to enjoy bird watching, hiking and to simply enjoy the solitude of the surrounding forest. Hyena, leopard and sometimes sable antelope have been sighted from the lodge, as well as baboon and duiker.
The whole of day two is set aside for exploring the Dzalanyama Forest area on walks and drives. Enjoy a forest walk, looking out for the abundant birdlife Dzalanyama is renowned for and possibly spotting some small antelopes. Take a dip in one of the clear mountain streams, spend some time relaxing in nature and visit the waterfall nearby.
Return to the lodge for tasty meals and a rest during the day. We spend another night at the charming lodge in the forest.
On day three we set off on the five-hour drive from Dzalanyama in Malawi to Luangwa in Zambia. We drive to the Zambian border along lesser-known roads before joining the main route to Mchinji. The town of Mchinji is located in the western part of central Malawi, in an area of rolling grasslands and the Mchinji Hills.
Border formalities behind us we continue into Zambia, making our way to the game-rich Mfuwe section of Luangwa Valley, known for its elephants. Along the way we stop for a picnic lunch, arriving at the safari lodge in the mid-afternoon. After settling into our chalet accommodation we enjoy an afternoon tea and coffee and simply relax. Dinner at the lodge is served from 19h30 onwards.
The Luangwa lodge that we stay in is situated on the banks of the Luangwa River and consists of nine en-suite chalets, each built from stone, canvas and wood. Each of these chalets is spacious and well ventilated with a double layered canvas roof. The chalets are designed to offer great views and are decorated in warm earthy tones. Each room is fully kitted out and each chalet has a veranda with a view of the river and the Luangwa Park. Lodge facilities include a swimming pool, bar and restaurant.
Our days on safari in South Luangwa National Park start with an early morning wake up call for some tea, coffee and a light snack before we venture into the Zambian bush. We aim to embark on our morning game drives in South Luangwa Park at 06h00, as mornings are an excellent time for game viewing.
The game drives in Luangwa Park, Zambia's top wilderness area, are conducted in specially modified safari vehicles to ensure the best wildlife experience in this unspoilt wilderness area. We take drinks and snacks along for your enjoyment in the game park. We make our way back to the safari lodge in time for a delicious brunch (early lunch), depending on our luck with spotting game in Luangwa Park.
After lunch, you can relax, take a swim and rest before our afternoon to night game drive starting at about 16h00. South Luangwa Park is renowned for its excellent night game viewing drives, which are included in the safari price. On night drives a powerful spotlight is used to sight nocturnal creatures roaming in the bush. We return from our rewarding game drive in this pristine wilderness area of Zambia at around 20h00 for dinner and overnight at the lodge.
In between the early morning and late afternoon game drives visits to the local community projects or villages can be arranged. South Luangwa is considered the pioneer of African walking safaris and an optional walking safari can also be booked here (in season).
On the last day of this Malawi & Zambia Safari, we make our way back to Lilongwe, after breakfast. Along the way, we visit a tribal textile workshop and market in the Luangwa Valley region.
We have a picnic lunch en route, arriving in Lilongwe in the mid-afternoon, bringing this affordable Dzalanyama Forest & South Luangwa Park Safari to a close.
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