This safari is for the adventure-seekers who want to venture off the beaten track and experience the unadulterated African wilderness. Leaving the crowds behind at Victoria Falls this exclusive small group safari heads into Kafue National Park for outstanding wildlife viewing and real adventure in the African bush. Most nights are spent camping in rooftop tents, in the middle of the unspoilt bush. No participation is, however, required so you can simply sit back and enjoy the experience. A few nights of lodge accommodation are also included for extra comfort.
We explore the massive Kafue Park at a leisurely pace, only two clients assigned per vehicle with their own guide. Support staff and the dedicated chef ensure that things run smoothly and the meals are delicious. We journey from Bilili Springs and Mufunta up to the scenic Busanga Plains and down again to the Nanzhila Plains and Ngoma Teak Forest. Busanga Swamps is one of the most unforgettable highlights, renowned for its big cats, huge buffalo herds and beautiful scenery.
When your flight lands at Livingstone International Airport we are there to fetch you and drive you to the Maramba River Lodge. Arriving at the lodge after a short 15-minute drive you are free to rest and recover from your journey. Take a refreshing swim in the pool, enjoy the sunshine and take a stroll through the leafy lodge gardens.
This afternoon at about 15h00 our driver collects you and transfers you to the Zambezi Waterfront for a laid-back sunset boat cruise. This optional boat cruise is conducted on the Lady Livingstone and lasts for about two hours. Cruising along the Zambezi River, taking in the wild scenery at sunset with sundowners is the ideal way to end your first day in Zambia. Be sure to bring your binoculars to get a closer look at any birds or animals spotted along the river.
On day two your guide takes you to visit Victoria Falls waterfall after breakfast. Spend some time enjoying the awe-inspiring sight of the world's largest sheet of falling water!
After the safari team has packed the 4x4 vehicles we set off on our adventure into the Zambian wilderness. Leaving Livingstone behind at about 10h00 we travel northeast to Kalomo along a relatively well-maintained road. Our drive takes us through changing landscapes, passing through areas of thick bush and open farmlands, dotted with a scattering of small villages. After about 180km's we reach the town of Kaloma, where we pause to stretch and top up on fuel.
Proceeding through the town we follow the road to Ndumdumwezi (or Dundumwezi) Gate, the southern entrance to Kafue National Park. This scenic part of our drive takes us into rural Zambia with its truly African feel. Winding our way through the low hills we pass remote villages and schools, getting a sense of traditional Zambian culture. Our route takes us through the Bilili Springs Game Management Area, where we may see our first wildlife roaming freely in the bush.
Entering Kafue National Park, we embark on an easy-paced game drive. We take our time, stopping to watch wildlife and birds encountered along the way. At about 15h00 this afternoon the safari crew locates a suitable spot to camp for the night. The crew sets up camp out under the stars in the middle of the wilderness and prepares dinner. After a delicious meal, sit back and relax around the campfire enjoying your first night immersed in the African bush.
Wake up in the middle of the African bushveld on day three and start the day with a hearty breakfast prepared by the safari crew. Then we break up camp and continue our exploration of Kafue, making our way north slowly.
This part of Kafue features many game viewing routes and offers good game viewing. Sightings include Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, oribi, elephant, endangered African wild dog, sable, rare roan antelopes and lion. Birdlife is also plentiful here with over 500 species recorded in Kafue National Park. Sightings range from palm-nut vultures to wattled cranes, along with herons, kingfishers, geese and plenty more. The black-cheeked lovebird is an endemic species considered a once in a lifetime sighting amongst ornithologists. In the mid-morning, we stop for coffee in the bush and stretch our legs out. Then we proceed north, driving through very dense miombo woodland vegetation. We follow the Katinti Track for a while before rejoining the Western Boundary Track.
Days three, four and five are set aside for exploring the Katoka, Mufunta, Katobo and Kamano areas of Kafue National Park, which covers some 22 400 km² of untamed bush in western Zambia. The itinerary is flexible depending on the wildlife viewing and seasonal conditions, enabling us to adapt and make the best of your time in Kafue. For instance, if the game is scarce in a particular area we may proceed to another location, cutting out a day of bush camping in order to maximise game viewing opportunities.
Day six takes us to Mayukuyuku Camp in Kafue, game viewing en route. Arriving at the lodge in the late afternoon you can take a piping hot shower, a welcome luxury after our few days of camping out in the bush. This evening we sit down to a scrumptious meal prepared by the lodge's chef.
Mayukuyuku is set on the banks of the Kafue River in a peaceful and scenic spot. Elephants are frequently spotted at the lodge, along with other visiting animals and birds.
Day seven is set aside as a day of rest. You have the option of embarking on an early morning game walk first thing in the morning. Head out into the bush on foot with one of the local guides and an armed ZAWA scout for an exciting wilderness experience! Our day at Mayukuyuku gives you a chance to enjoy the comforts of the lodge, do some laundry and simply soak up the serenity of this lovely spot beside the river. Settle down with a book in one of the lazy chairs and relax in the shade, enjoying the natural surroundings. The crew takes this time to prepare for the next leg of our adventure, stocking up on supplies and refuelling the vehicles.
This evening you have the chance to join an optional night game drive conducted by one of the lodge's guides. The night drive offers the opportunity to see some of the elusive nocturnal animals of Africa, an exciting game viewing adventure!
Please Note: You have the option of booking a chalet at the lodge in advance if you want extra comfort for the next two nights.
Setting off from Mayukuyuku, we drive further north on day eight. We follow the course of the Kafue River driving up to the Busanga floodplains and the far northern region of Kafue National Park. The northern area of Kafue is rich in game, offering outstanding wildlife viewing. This region is renowned for its big cat populations, hosting plenty of lions, leopards and cheetahs. The far northern region is also home to packs of endangered wild dogs which are often seen. We may drive further north into the Kasonso Busanga Game Management Area, leaving the official park, as we follow the swamps that flow southwards into Kafue.
Along the way, we take breaks for tea, coffee and snacks. Pausing gives you a chance to explore a bit and take in the incredible natural environment around us. We spend as much time as possible wildlife viewing and experiencing the beautiful wetlands up close.
In the late afternoon, the safari crew sets up camp and we settle down for the night. This gives you time to take a bush shower and unwind after an exciting day of exploring. Sit back and recount the adventures of the day while your chef cooks up a tasty dinner.
If the wildlife numbers in the south of Kafue are not high, then we may spend an extra day up in the north, in the Busanga Plains area, to ensure that we make the most of our game viewing opportunities.
On day 10 we slowly make our way back south, returning to Mayukuyuku Camp. We spend another night back at this lovely lodge along the Kafue River, breaking our journey to Kasabushi. Given the easy pace we take to allow for optimal wildlife viewing and the rough road conditions, we find that it is best to break the drive here. Take a nice hot shower and spend the evening enjoying the comforts of the lodge.
Please Note: You have the option of booking a chalet at the lodge in advance for a break from camping.
Early this morning leave Mayukuyuku, setting off south on an adventure-filled day of game viewing!
We cross the Kafue River again at Hook Bridge and explore the wildlife viewing loops in this area. Drawing on the invaluable information from Mayukuyuku Camp about recent animal sightings we hope to enjoy interesting wildlife encounters here. From there, our drive takes us along the Shishamba River in search of game, via Shishamba Loop. Then we continue south, slowly making our way to Kasabushi where we overnight at a unique, private campsite. Tonight's campsite makes for a memorable stop. This special camp is set on the banks of the river overlooking the waterway dotted with islands. Pods of hippos and elephants are regularly seen at the river so keep your eyes open.
This afternoon there is enough time for us to visit the Kalungu Falls waterfalls near the camp. Tonight you also have the option of embarking on a night game drive.
We begin day 12 at a leisurely pace, enjoying breakfast and the unspoilt setting at Kasabushi before continuing our journey. Leaving Kasabushi, we head south on the Spinal Road, crossing several rivers and the Kantinti–Mufunta Track along the way.
Reaching Lake Itezhi-Tezhi we round the southern region of the lake to reach Hippo Bay. Arriving in Hippo Bay at about midday, you have the opportunity visit the local town. Exiting the national park, you can do some shopping for fresh produce in the town. The crew refuels the vehicles here and stocks up on supplies. We return to our camp at Hippo Bay in time to watch a magical African sunset over Lake Itezhi-Tezhi.
The following day we embark on a game drive and bush walk in the area. A local guide accompanies you on the day's activities in this area which is visited by plenty of animals. If you would like to go fishing instead then this can also be arranged.
Please Note: Chalet accommodation is available at the camp and needs to be booked in advance (at a surcharge).
An exciting day of bush adventures awaits! This morning we leave Hippo Bay behind, heading towards the Ngoma Teak Forest. We begin by exploring the game viewing routes in the Ngoma Teak Forest area, scanning the wilderness for the very rare antelopes found here.
We also visit the David Shepherd Elephant Orphanage for a guided tour. Our guide tells us about the conservation work being carried out here by Game Rangers International and explains how the young elephants at the orphanage are reintegrated into the wild.
From there we proceed to the Nanzhila Plains area where we follow a few interesting tracks through the bush. We visit some of the seasonal waterholes, called dambos, looking out for wildlife. Tonight we set up camp along the Cordon Road in the southern part of Kafue.
Wake up in the African bush once more and enjoy your last breakfast surrounded by untamed nature. Then it is time to break camp and make our way out of Kafue National Park.
Leaving the park in the mid-morning we drive back to Kalomo and on to Livingstone. Late this afternoon we arrive back in Livingstone, heading back to our lodge. Wash the dust of the road off with a hot shower and cool down with a swim in the pool. Treat yourself to a poolside massage or simply relax and ease back into civilisation at the comfortable lodge.
End your last day off with sundowners on the deck, then join your safari crew and fellow travellers for a celebratory dinner together.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
This tour does not take children.
A minimum age of 16 is required to join this safari.