Day 1: Mfuwe International Airport
On arrival at Mfuwe International Airport a guide from M15549 will meet you. The drive to Nkwali Camp is 45 minutes through colorful local villages’ scenes. Nkwali Camp has a wide view of the Luangwa River. On Robin’s private land, and overlooking the South Luangwa National Park, Nkwali is ideally situated for the start of your safari. The six rooms all look out over the river and have open air bathrooms. Depending on your arrival time in the day you will enjoy a lunch looking out over the lagoon to the back of Nkwali or if in the afternoon for tea and the afternoon and night game drive.
Day 2: Nkwali Camp
At dawn breakfast is served around the campfire with the porridge heated on the fire and toast cooked over the coals. The morning walk or drive will leave soon after, entering the park by boat from the camp or by the nearby pontoon. The game in the area is excellent - and includes many family herds of elephants and the endemic species of giraffe, the Thornicroft Giraffe.
A mid morning break of tea, coffee and cake will be taken at a scenic point on a lagoon or the Luangwa River. Return to camp for lunch around mid day. After lunch you can cool off in the swimming pool or siesta. Following tea you will go out on an afternoon game drive that continues into the early night giving the chance to see the nocturnal world, returning to camp about 20.00 hrs with dinner generally at 20.30.
Day 3: Nkwali Camp
After an early breakfast the group will be driven to a hill called “Kapiri Mfumu” (“Hill of the Chief”) in the park where you will be dropped off to start your walk. The walk along the hill and the related rises will give you wonderful views of the Luangwa Valley, before you descend into the valley of the Mushilashi River, a dry sand river. The walk will follow game trails through the bush, with many signs of the animals that use these bush trails. It is a 16 km walk from the hill top to the camp site at the palm grove, but this can be reduced by dropping nearer the camp.
After arrival at camp and a late lunch a short walk in the afternoon will lead you to the palm grove. This is a large grove of “vegetable ivory” palms (Hyphaene Ventricosa) and a favorite place for vultures to nest. There is a natural waterhole in the sand river which the elephants keep open and so game is in the vicinity of the grove. However, the game here is unused to man - it is a totally wild area - and so shy. After sundowners the camp fire will be on the white sands of the river bed with either an amazing view of the moon and the moon shadows or of the stars. Dinner is around the fire and a well earned sleep may be accompanied by distant calls of the lions.
Day 4: Palmgrove Bush Camping
The day will be spent walking in the area, following game trails, exploring the nearby rocky hills and terminal woodland and the river course with its evergreen trees hosting many birds. Whilst you may not actually see many animals, the array of vegetation and scenery will be outstanding for both nature enthusiasts and lovers of the bush alike.
Day 5: Palmgrove Bush Camping
An early breakfast and pack to leave the camp. The guide will drive you to the river crossing point where you will be met by the Luangwa Bush Camping guide. This will take you through some wonderful game viewing country and along the Luangwa River. The crossing is from one side of the Luangwa to the other, into the Nsefu Sector of the National Park. From here you will drive to the site of the Luangwa Bush Camp for lunch. A siesta is followed by an afternoon walk, sundowners and then of course the wonderful evening around the camp fire.
Day 6: Luangwa Bush Camping
The day is spent walking in the game rich area of the Luangwa river habitat, with ebony groves, many lagoons and of course the Luangwa River itself. During your morning walk the camp will be moved to a second site and you will arrive in time for lunch.
Day 7: Luangwa Bush Camping
Following a relaxed breakfast you will walk out of camp and head towards Nsefu Camp, stopping for tea and cake along the way and arriving in time for lunch. The camp is on a sweeping bend of the river. Nsefu was the first game camp in Zambia and dates back to the early fifties.
The Nsefu Sector was recognized then as a phenomenal area and it still is. Robin Pope Safaris own the only two camps in this sector of the Park. There are six round rondavals with luxurious ensuite facilities and each room has a clear view of the river through large windows and from the new wooden verandahs. On arrival you will be shown to your rondavel and then lunch will be served followed by a well deserved siesta before the afternoon and evening game drive.
Day 8: Nsefu Camp
Today is a chance to drive or walk through the ebony groves. Or you may decide this is an ideal day, depending on the heat and time of year, to explore the Nsefu Sector of the National Park possibly with an all day picnic drive to the salt pans that will cover different habitats and is an exceptional day’s safari.
Day 9: Nsefu Camp
This is the departure day of the safari; you may be leaving on a flight or extending at Nsefu Camp or Tena Tena Camp. If departing, the drive to Mfuwe Airport will take approx. 1 hr 45 mins through the park and surrounding game management area. A walking transfer to Tena Tena takes 3 to 4 hrs or you may choose to transfer on a morning gamedrive.
The safari is 8 nights:
- Nkwali Camp 2 nights
- Palmgrove Bush Camping 2 nights
- Luangwa Bush Camping 2 nights
- Nsefu Camp 2 nights
Robin will lead 7 out of the 18 set departures (June-Oct).Robin’s walks have been designed around the full moon period so you will see the sand river reflecting the moonlight.
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