Zambia's Classic Safari
This safari covers two of the premier parks in Zambia - The South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi as well as Livingstone, home to the spectacular Victoria Falls.
10 night itinerary combining
- Robin Pope Safaris in the South Luangwa 5 nights,
- Chongwe River Camp in the Lower Zambezi 3 nights
- and Tongabezi Lodge in Livingstone 2 nights
Note - the order of camps can be changed & budget camp option available
The Luangwa Valley, which marks the end of the Great Rift Valley, is one of the last unspoiled wilderness areas and possibly the finest wildlife sanctuary in Africa. The Luangwa River flows into the Zambezi River - just below the Lower Zambezi National Park. This park, scenically bordered by an impressive escarpment, has excellent game, which can be viewed from either the river or by land. Quietly drifting past a huge elephant feeding on the river bank is a great experience. Livingstone is home to one of 7 natural wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls, and offers many opportunities, both adrenaline filled and more sedate, to view this amazing site. There are gameviewing opportunities too, with a chance to see the white rhino in Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park and river trips on the Zambezi River. Combining these three areas in Zambia offers you an exceptional safari.
Days 1 and 2 After being met at the airport your guide will drive you to Nkwali Camp through colourful local scenes of villages, agriculture as well as bush. Nkwali Camp overlooks a wide bend of the Luangwa River into the South Luangwa National Park and is ideally situated for the start of your safari. All rooms have a view of the river and open air bathrooms. The game in this area is excellent - and includes many family herds of elephants and the endemic Thornicroft Giraffe.
A typical day at Nkwali has you waking with the dawn to enjoy breakfast round a camp fire before heading out on your morning activity. A delicious lunch is enjoyed on the bank of the lagoon, which is frequently visited by our local wildlife. The afternoon is the quiet part of the day - for siesta or swim in the pool. In the mid-afternoon you meet up with your guide before heading out for an evening adventure, finding a beautiful location to watch the sun go down with a well earned drink in hand. The opportunity to discover the nocturnal world by spotlight is a wonderful treat before heading back to Nkwali for dinner.
Days 3 to 5 After an early breakfast, a gamedrive through the park and across the river takes you into the Nsefu Sector, which is recognised as a phenomenal game viewing area. Nsefu was the first game camp in Zambia and dates back to the early fifties. There are six round rondavels with luxurious ensuite facilities and each room has a clear view of the sweeping bend of the Luangwa River through large windows and from the wooden verandahs.
During your stay you have the opportunity to drive or walk through the ebony groves or, depending on the heat and time of year, to explore further afield with an all day picnic drive to the salt pans that will cover different habitats and is an exceptional day's safari. There is also the option of visiting the community at Kawaza Village (link) to experience life in a real non-tourist village.
(Note: option of booking Tena Tena for the 3 nights).
Days 6 to 8 After an early breakfast, transfer to Mfuwe Airport and onto Lower Zambezi via Lusaka (about 4 hours door to door, depending on flight schedules). As you fly into the area, you will see the wide Zambezi River, dotted with islands. Buffalo and elephant are usually seen feeding along with the pods of hippos that rest on the edge of the sandbanks. Chongwe River Camp is a short 15 min trip (taken in an open gameviewing vehicle) and looks onto the confluence of the Chongwe and Zambezi rivers and the mountains of the escarpment to the north. The chalets are large, well-appointed Mulati tents under thatch, with a luxury open-air bathroom on suite. Situated under a canopy of Albida thorns and surrounded by cool lawns, they command fabulous views over the Rivers. The bathrooms are an experience on their own, open air with fittings made from natural materials found near the lodge
At Chongwe there are various activities to choose from. Not only on offer are exciting day and night drives and bush walks, but guests can choose their own day's itinerary from a selection of canoe trips, river safaris on safe, stable pontoon boats and catch & release angling for the infamous tiger fish (seasonal).
CHONGWE RIVER CAMP
Day 9 to 10 After breakfast and farewells, a drive through the park to the airstrip to meet the plane taking you to Livingstone via Lusaka. On arrival you will be met and transferred to either Tongabezi Lodge. Accommodation at Tongabezi Lodge is set in a tranquil grove of ebony on a sweeping bend of the Zambezi River, and consists of five tented cottages and four spacious open-planned stone and thatch houses. The birdlife is outstanding and game is often seen around the lodge.
There is a wide range of activities on offer at Tongabezi including fishing, canoe trips on the river and game drives in the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park. For the more adventurous, Livingstone boasts a whole host of adrenaline filled activities including whitewater rafting, bungee jumping and microlighting. Or you may just wish to rest in camp and enjoy the spectacular scenery and peaceful atmosphere. The day will end with a relaxed dinner served either in the main dining area or as a private meal outside of your room.
TONGABEZI LODGE OR ISLAND CAMP
Day 11 After breakfast you may be able to squeeze a morning activity in, before your transfer flight to Lusaka.
This package includes
- All domestic flights and transfers
- Robin Pope Safaris ~ accommodation - Nkwali only in low season, Nkwali, Tena Tena, Nsefu in high season, meals, drinks, laundry, game activities, transfers, national park fees
- Chongwe River Camp ~ accommodation, meals, drinks, laundry, game viewing activities, canoe trips, river cruises, fishing trips, National Park fees
- Tongabezi ~ accommodation, meals, drinks except premium spirits, champagne, sparkling wines and premium wines, laundry, sunset and sunrise boat trips, fishing, bird walks, gorge walks, afternoon canoeing, visit to Zambian side of Victoria Falls, visit to Livingstone markets and the local Chief's village, game drives in Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, road transfer between Tongabezi and Victoria Falls, road transfer between Jeki and Sausage Tree, National Park fees
This package excludes
- International flights, visas, airport taxes; external activities, premium spirits, champagne, sparkling wines and premium wines at Tongabezi
- Minimum 2 people. Children of 13 years and above are welcome at full rate
South Luangwa Camp Information
Nkwali Camp is located on RPS private land, overlooking the National Park. The land is superb gameviewing country, with a beautiful area of ebony woodland and open grass plains. Elephants often cross the Luangwa, seen from the bar, or come to the waterhole near the thatched dining room. The chalets are cool and spacious, with a view of the river. One double, four twins and a honeymoon suite/family suite. Throughout the year we have direct access from camp to the park by boat. During the dry months we operate a pontoon into the more southern part of the area.
- 12 guests
- woven bamboo walls with plastering on the inside and thatch roof chalets
- en-suite semi open air bathrooms with flush loo, double shower and basins
- walking, drives, night drives, visit to Kawaza Village and school, Tribal Textiles
- plunge pool
Nsefu Camp. On a sweeping bend of the river, 12 kilometers north of Tena Tena, lies Nsefu. 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. We reopened the camp in 1999, in keeping with the original style, and so operate the only 2 camps in the Nsefu Sector of the park.
The view of the river is superb and includes a terraced area where game grazes during the day. The bar, tucked in beside a huge extinct termite mound, overlooks a waterhole that is very productive for game, especially leopard at night. The original rondavels have been extended, with a spacious bathroom added. Each room has a clear view of the river, through large windows and from the new wooden verandah. The camp lies in the heart of the undeveloped Nsefu sector and so offers charm and total comfort in remoteness and seclusion.
- 12 guests
- en suite bathrooms
- open late May - early November
- open mid January to end March for River Journeys
- walking, drives, night drives
“Tena Tena Camp … is altogether beyond superlatives, and must be one of the best safari camps in the whole of Africa”, The Times, London. 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. The dining room is on an elevated deck overlooking the lagoon, where guests can watch an assortment of animals that come to the lagoon to drink. Nearby there is a spectacular lagoon, Buca Buca, where a whole morning can be spent quietly sitting while the game comes down to feed and drink. With the camp being remote and small, we have these scenes to ourselves.
- 10 guests
- tents under thatch
- en suite bathrooms
- open late May - early November
- walking, drives, night drives
Lower Zambezi Camp Information
Chongwe River Camp. This unique camp is situated on the confluence of the Chongwe and Zambezi Rivers, directly opposite Mana Pools, and probably the best site in the Lower Zambezi. The Chongwe River is the boundary of the Lower Zambezi National Park. The camp has a wonderful view of not only the confluence of the two rivers but also the mountains of the impressive Zambezi escarpment.Situated under a canopy of Albida thorns and surrounded by cool lawns, the 9 chalets are large, well appointed safari tents under thatch, with luxury en-suite open air bathrooms. The bathrooms are an experience on their own. All fittings are made from natural materials found near the lodge.
The Albida Suite is for the slightly more indulgent guest who may be on a special safari like a honeymoon or anniversary or for some one who very much values their privacy and fine surroundings.
The Cassia Suite - a stand alone unit at the very confluence of the Chongwe and Zambezi Rivers built to compliment our executive suite at Albida and provide a luxurious individual tent for Chongwe.
- 16 beds at camp, 4 at Albida Suite, 2 at Cassia Suite
- tented under thatch roof, Suites tented with canvas roof but open sided bathroom
- game drives, walking, boating, canoeing and fishing
Livingstone Camp Information
Tongabezi Lodge is set in a grove of African ebony trees on a sweeping bend of the Zambezi River. Accommodation consists of five river cottages, four spacious open-planned stone and thatch houses and one enclosed luxury house. Dinner can be hosted, private table or room service. Four of the cottages have a private deck overlooking the river, whilst the garden cottage is perfect for families with a children’s’ room, private living room and a garden view. All have en-suite bathrooms, flush "loos with views", bath and shower. The individually named houses - Tree House, Bird House, Honeymoon House and Dog House, each have unique architectural features, built in local materials, open-plan bedroom, four poster double bed with large airy mosquito canopy, en-suite bathrooms with bath and shower. The Nut House is fully enclosed with a private plunge pool. Extra beds can be provided in Bird House, Honeymoon House and Dog House (not Tree House).
- 20 beds
- open year round
- swimming pool
- aromatherapy massage
- activities included - a tour of the Victoria Falls, canoe and boat trips from the lodge, fishing and bird watching and island picnics