This exciting Wild Camping Safari takes us to the secluded wilderness regions of untamed Zambia. Our adventure begins with Luambe and the remote North Luangwa National Park - one of Zambia's greatest natural treasures. Get ready to experience authentic Africa in this remote and wildlife-rich wilderness, where few others go. From the rugged North Luangwa, we travel to Kapishya Hot Springs for a soothing soak. Moving on to Kasanka National Park, hosting a myriad of birdlife, diverse wildlife and beautiful flora, we experience some excellent game viewing.
Then we uncover the secret of Bangweulu Wetlands, home to huge herds of black lechwe and a twitcher's paradise. Next, escape to the privately-owned Mutinondo Wilderness, to swim in crystal clear rivers, see beautiful waterfalls and walk in the pristine bush. Lastly, head to the famous South Luangwa Park, where we embark on exhilarating game drives in open 4x4 safari vehicles. On our final day, we travel back to Lilongwe where this wild Zambia Camping Safari ends.
We gather in Lilongwe, where you will be collected from the airport and transferred to our comfortable lodge, for an overnight sojourn before departing on our exciting Wild Camping Safari.
This evening we have dinner at a local restaurant and your guide tells you more about the upcoming safari. After dinner, you are free to enjoy the rest of the evening at the lodge or out and about in the city. The lodge offers modern amenities including digital satellite TV, air-conditioning, email facilities and international direct dialling facilities. The rooms are en-suite and air-conditioned.
Day two begins with breakfast at the lodge in Lilongwe, before we set off on our adventure into neighbouring Zambia. Crossing into Zambia via Mchinji we travel up to South Luangwa and on to the secluded Luambe Park. We arrive at our camp near one of Zambia's oldest protected areas by late afternoon and rest after our long day on the road.
This morning we pack up camp and journey to Zambia's most remote and enchanting park - North Luangwa National Park. By mid-morning we cross the pontoon and enter the national park, game viewing en route to our seasonal camp.
Here, we are privileged to witness Africa at its best - wild and unspoilt. As this park only recently opened to the public it is unlikely that you will see anyone else during your visit. There are few roads and no permanent lodges in this untamed environment. Our bush camp is rebuilt each year, only operating from June to October when it is taken down again.
Massive herds of buffalo reside in this park and to see a herd on the run, kicking up clouds of dust, is an unforgettable sight. Three more of the Big Five are also found here - lion, leopard and elephant. Large lion prides roam the park, so keep a look-out for dramatic kills and wildlife action. The elephant population is being re-established and the elusive leopard is occasionally spotted. Numerous antelope species are commonly sighted, with resident species including eland, hartebeest, bushbuck, reedbuck and the rare puku. Wildebeest, zebras, hyenas, baboons and vervet monkeys are also part of the wildlife spectacle in North Luangwa, along with comical looking warthogs.
On the morning of day four, we embark on a thrilling game walk with our professional guide and experienced scouts. Their knowledge will give you an insight into Africa at its wildest and make for an unforgettable experience. Exploring on foot, we get a close look at the bush and its fascinating inhabitants - big and small. After our exciting bush walk, we head back to camp for lunch and a rest during the heat of the day.
Later this afternoon you can join a sundowner game drive, soaking up the wild African scenery as the sun sets. Keep your eyes open for nocturnal animals as you return to camp where we gather around the campfire under a canopy of stars and relive our adventure-filled day. Fall asleep to the sounds of nature in your en-suite chalet at the bush camp.
Today we drive up the escarpment, making our way to Kapishya hot springs. From our camp at Kapishya, you have unlimited access to the natural, sulphur-free hot springs, located along the banks of the Mansha River. Take time out to soak in the springs and enjoy optional activities.
There are also various activities on offer at Kapishya, including game drives, river floats, horseriding and birdwatching walks. Kapishya is set on the historic Estate of Shiwa Ngandu (The Africa House) and visits to the old manor house can also be arranged this afternoon.
We break camp and set out for Zambia's first privately managed national park, Kasanka. After about two hours of driving, we reach Mpika where we stop to stock up on supplies, before proceeding to Kasanka Park.
The flora and fauna of Kasanka are extremely diverse and the park is home to many endangered species and outstanding birdlife. The reserve is inhabited by elephants, hippos, buffalos, bushpigs and various antelopes including sable and sitatunga. There are 9 lakes in the park and a network of perennial rivers and streams. All the tributaries feed into the Luapula River, the only drainage outlet for the Bangweulu basin, and a major watercourse of the Congo River. Kasanka has a variety of habitats, including miombo woodland, evergreen forests, dambo vegetation which supports grasses providing important grazing areas for many mammals and papyrus swamps which attract the shy sitatunga.
Kasanka is famous for the straw-coloured fruit bats that start arriving in October, peaking in November. This is believed to be one of the greatest mammal migrations known to man. The migration coincides with the start of the rainy season and there are numerous fruits for the bats to feed on. This invasion of bats brings other predators to the area such as Martial eagles, fish eagles, lesser-spotted and African hawk-eagles, kites, vultures and hobby falcons and if any bats are unfortunate enough to fall to the ground, there are always crocodiles and leopards waiting for these easy pickings.
On day seven we get to explore this fascinating park in our game viewing vehicle with large windows and a pop-up roof. Early this morning you can head to the swamp in front of our camp and watch for the elusive sitatunga. Then there are various hides overlooking the main lake and swamps, that you can visit for bird and animal spotting. Our afternoon game drive takes us to a hide overlooking the lake, where we enjoy sundowners.
Our camp here is quite basic with simple pit toilets, showers and shelter, but there is help with hot water and our camp cook is on hand to keep us well fed.
We need to make an early start today on our journey to Bangweulu, meaning 'where the water meets the sky'. For the next two nights, we camp beside the floodplains of Bangweulu, surrounded by unspoilt wilderness.
Interestingly we pass the tree where David Livingstone was reputed to have died and where is heart is buried, his body having been buried in England. Our journey north is both interesting and varied and our next destination is a remote, well-kept secret. Bangweulu is a paradise for enthusiastic bird watchers, but there is no shortage of other wildlife if birds are not your thing. There are large herds of black lechwe numbering over 100 000, as well as elephant, buffalo, tsessebe, reedbuck, Burchell's zebra, oribi and sitatunga. For the serious bird watchers, there is a feast of waterfowl including the elusive shoebill stork.
Day nine is spent exploring this precious wetland area. First, we drive to the starting point of our walk and then we set off into the bush on foot. Wading through the swamps we hope to encounter nesting shoebill storks, other birds and animals - a memorable adventure! At about noon we return to camp for lunch and a rest.
Later in the afternoon, we embark on a game drive out on the plains where herds of black lechwe roam.
This morning we leave the Bangweulu Swamps and rejoin the renowned route of the Great North Road. By mid-afternoon today we reach our next camp, Mutinondo Wilderness in northern Zambia. This 10 000-hectare private reserve incorporates pristine miombo woodlands and wetlands, featuring large granite hills, clear rivers and beautiful waterfalls. Mutinondo hosts interesting flora and a variety of antelopes, while leopards and lions are sometimes seen.
After setting up camp and settling in you can explore this captivating natural area on foot. Day 11 is free for further exploration in Mutinondo. There are walking trails for different levels of fitness, so you can choose a walk that suits you. Alternatively, you can explore the wilderness area on horseback as an optional activity (extra cost) when availability allows.
We camp in a woodland on a rocky hill inside Mutinondo. The camp has cooking areas, pit latrines and good hot showers.
After breakfast, we embark on a five-hour drive to the northern gate of South Luangwa National Park. Entering the famous park we make our way to the Mfuwe section where our camp is located, game viewing en route.
In the late afternoon, we arrive at the tented camp, which serves as our base for the next two days. We stay in twin-share chalets with en-suite bathrooms. The chalets are built out of stone, wood and canvas offering a comfortable retreat overlooking the surrounding wilderness. Once we arrive there is time to take a refreshing dip in the swimming pool and relax in the spacious lounge area.
On day 13 we get up early for our morning game drive in an open 4x4 safari vehicle. This is a good time for sighting many animals as they are most active in the cool, early morning hours. South Luangwa National Park is a haven for wildlife and our knowledgeable guides happily impart their knowledge, to enhance your game viewing experience. The Luangwa River is the lifeblood of this game park and supports a huge variety of wildlife and birds.
After our exciting morning game drive, we return to camp for a hearty brunch. Then you are free to unwind at the camp and have a swim before we set off on our late afternoon game drive. By sunset, the day has become much cooler and the nocturnal animals begin to stir. With the aid of a powerful spotlight, we search for hyenas, owls, leopards and lions, before returning to camp for a tasty dinner.
After a leisurely breakfast, we leave Zambia behind, heading back to Lilongwe where our exciting adventure comes to an end. Free airport drop-off in Lilongwe is included.
Note: If you have time available an add-on trip to Lake Malawi comes highly recommended and can be arranged.
This tour is available for children of 12 years of age and older, at the same price as an adult.