Luangwa Bush Camping
Sample 7 nights itinerary in South Luangwa National Park combining
- Nkwali Camp 2 nights,
- Tena Tena 1 nights,
- Bush Camping 2 nights and
- Nsefu Camp 2 nights
The Luangwa Valley, which marks the end of the Great Rift Valley, is one of the last unspoilt wilderness areas and possibly the finest wildlife sanctuary in Africa. It covers an area of over 9000 sq. km. through which the meandering Luangwa River runs. The oxbow lagoons, woodland and plains of the valley host huge concentrations of game - including elephant, buffalo, leopard, lion, giraffe, hippo - and over 450 species of birds.
Day 1 On arrival at Mfuwe International Airport a guide from Robin Pope Safaris will meet you. The drive to Nkwali Camp is 1 hour through colourful local scenes of villages, agriculture as well as bush. 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 At dawn breakfast is served around the campfire. The porridge heated on the fire and toast cooked by the coals. The morning walk or drive will leave soon after, entering the park by boat from the camp or by road via the main gate. 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 Up for an early breakfast and then gamedrive through the park to the Luangwa River crossing point opposite Tena Tena. This is a 3 hour drive. Tena Tena staff will meet and boat the party across the river, and then a 20 minute drive to Tena Tena camp. This remote and small camp lies within the National Park and enjoys a stunning location on a sweeping bend of the Luangwa River. A grove of mahogany trees shade the large custom-made tents. From the thatched dining room and bar, guests can watch the elephants, hippo and antelope on the riverbank. Tena has 5 tents, each with a dressing room, open air bathroom and private verandah that overlooks a water hole. Most meals are taken under the shade of a huge Mahogany tree in the centre of the camp. On arrival you will be shown to your tent and then lunch will be served followed by a siesta and then tea before the afternoon and evening game drive.
Day 4 Up at sunrise for breakfast and then the morning walk to the first bush camp. Situated in a secluded area of the Nsefu sector the camp is simple and “bush”. Arriving in time for a leisurely lunch followed by a siesta. An afternoon walk will follow tea and then back to camp for sundowners and dinner around the camp fire.
Day 5 The day is spent walking in the game rich area of the Luangwa riverine 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 lunch will be waiting for you on arrival, alternatively you and your guide may decide to have a picnic lunch en route. This is a very flexible day and your guide will discuss options to suit you and any other guests.
Day 6 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 recognised 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 7 Being the last whole day in the Nsefu sector you may decide to drive or walk through the ebony groves or take the opportunity of visiting Kawaza village as an option to meet local people and experience life in an African village. If you wish to visit then it is best to mention this when booking your holiday or with Robin Pope Safaris on arrival.
Day 8 Depending on your flight time you will be transferred by vehicle to Mfuwe Airport which is approximately 1.5 hrs drive from Nsefu. Where possible we would incorporate a game drive.