Tsika Island, Lower Zambezi National Park, South Luangwa National Park
Zambia Adventure Safari!
Here is what’s included in your safari
This itinerary has been created with photographers in mind to offer a myriad of subjects from a remote village to canoe safaris to night drives to wildlife hides. Please call for details and options for light aircraft flights & overweight camera equipment.
Arrive in Lusaka, Zambia’s capitol city, where you are met and assisted to the flight for Lower Zambezi National Park, just across the Zambezi River from Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe. The Lower Zambezi National Park covers an area of 1,800 square miles with most of the game concentrated along the valley floor. There is an escarpment along the northern end that acts as a physical barrier to most of the parks animal species. The rivers edge is overhung with a thick riverine fringe. Further inland is a floodplain fringed with mopane forest and interspersed with winterthorn trees. This is Zambia’s newest Park and as such is still relatively undeveloped.
Lower Zambezi National Park
There are variety of activities available here so you can choose to spend your days on day and night game drives, walks, canoe trips, boating and even catch-and-release fishing. Your first two nights are spent on Tsika Island. The Island camp is a community partnership project and combines the canoeing safari with an authentic cultural experience, offering visits to the Mugurumeno Basic School and the cultural village on the nearby mainland as activities. Spend an afternoon with your guide and a local community guide visiting the village and learning about the culture. This village is not visited by many tourists and so remains an authentic and eye-opening experience.
Today you will be transferred by motorboat along the Zambezi river on a boat safari en route to your next safari camp. Overlooking a maze of hippo-inhabited islands from a grove of Acacia trees that tower above the massive elephant bulls that seem to be constantly feeding on them, Old Mondoro has one of the most beautiful sites in the Lower Zambezi National Park and certainly one of the most remote. Explore here on game drives, walks and boating activities.
South Luangwa National Park
Depart Old Mondoro and fly via Lusaka to Mfuwe, gateway to the Luangwa. There you are met and transferred to your camp deep in the park. The South Luangwa National Park is situated in Zambia’s renowned Luangwa Valley, which is at the tail end of the Great Rift Valley. This 9050km² area is one of the most accessible and popular parks in Zambia, with the concentration of game around the river being of the highest in Africa. The region is known for its walking safaris, which were pioneered in this park and are still one of the best ways of experiencing the true African wilderness. The survival of the valley depends on the winding Luangwa River, which is one of the most intact major river systems in Africa and the life blood of the park, supporting large herds of elephant and buffalo, among 60 animal species and 400 different bird species.
The game rich area combined with expert guides, specially trained in lighting and photographic positioning, and the photographic hides means spectacular photos are practically guaranteed. These camps have always been the operation of choice for professional photographers and filmmakers. Many of the documentaries you’ll see today on National Geographic Channel have been filmed in this area and using the hides for these camps. Both of your camps pay special attention to your photographic experience by providing all guests with bean bags, dust covers for your camera gear and of course access to their world renown photographic hides.
South Luangwa National Park
For your final two nights in Zambia, head to Mwamba Bush Camp. Wonderfully remote and peaceful, the site is a relaxed 3-hour bushwalk or 20 minute drive from Kaingo. Both walking safaris, and game drives (day and night) are offered from Mwamba.
The Hippo Hide is located on a deep corner at the confluence of the Luangwa and Mwamba rivers. Here hundreds of hippos congregate throughout the season in both bachelor and breeding pods. The hippo hide is carved into the bank of the river directly above these pods and its inhabitants are hidden by a grass screen. Comfortable seating and cleverly designed camera props make this a photographers dream. Also watch the resident crocodile who has learnt to snatch unsuspecting Oxpeckers from the hippos back. Watch elephants, giraffe and buffalo coming in to drink .
The Elephant Hide is a platform nestled between an Ebony and a Sausage tree directly above a centuries old elephant highway. Knowledge is passed from elders to juvenile elephants in the community and for hundreds of years this beautiful spot in the river has been used for drinking, mud bathing, social greeting and river crossing. When the elephants come to the river at the crossing point, the guides gather everyone and race to the hide where the tree gives us a unique – and safe – vantage point from which to watch their activities.
South Luangwa National Park
Carmine Bee-eater Hide is put in place early in September once the Carmines are established at their nesting site. Carmines build their nests in huge colonies into the river bank so the is built hide in the middle of the river in order to get the best viewing angle and distance. Getting to the hide is an adventure in and off itself – walk across the long beach with an armed scout and wade through the river to the anchored boat-hide. The Carmines are very used to the hide’s presence and carry on about their business as though it wasn’t there. This hide provides fantastic photo opportunities of this spectacular bird. A must for serious birders and novices alike!
Mwamba’s Last Waterhole Hide is perched on an outcrop directly above an active waterhole. This waterhole is busy throughout the season, but is most spectacular from late September when all the other water in the area has dried up. This waterhole provides fantastic opportunities to watch different species of thirsty game coming in to drink. The stage remains constant but the players change throughout the day – it is very easy to while away hours in this hide watching the ever changing show. It is particularly good in the mornings between 8 and 9am.
On day 10 it’s sadly time to depart. Take your last snaps today before you are transferred back through the park to the airstrip for the light aircraft flight from South Luangwa back to Lusaka to meet your departing flights. Breakfast.