Carnivore week An opportunity to learn from researchers!

More infoabout Carnivore Week

Spend 6 days with the Zambian Carnivore Program (ZCP) in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. A unique opportunity for an up-close and behind-the-scenes look at large carnivore conservation in the Luangwa!

Key facts of Carnivore Week

Nkwali 7 nights
Ratefrom US$ 4607 per person sharing.
Available dates14 November 2024
Max group size 6 guests

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A chance to see the painted wolves during Carnivore Week

A specialist safari dedicated to the carnivores of the Luangwa Valley

Zambian Carnivore Program (ZCP) is a non-governmental Zambia  organization dedicated to conserving large carnivores and ecosystems, using a four-pronged approach – Conservation Science: Long-term research and monitoring aimed at identifying and evaluating the limiting factors and threats to the persistence of Zambia’s large carnivores and ecosystems; Conservation Action: Addressing immediate threats, as identified by science; Conservation Leadership: Helping Zambia become a model for locally-led conservation through well-trained, passionate, and committed conservation leaders; and Coexistence: reducing the costs, and increasing the benefits, understanding and appreciation of conservation.

ZCP currently works across 39,500 km2 of 7 national parks, 7 Game Management Areas and 5 ecosystems, and runs some of the continent’s longest-running field-based projects in the Luangwa Valley, the Greater Liuwa Ecosystem, and the Greater Kafue Ecosystem.  They employ an integrated research approach dealing with the interface of ecological and human impacts on carnivores and ecosystems.  With work ranging from population dynamics and predator-prey studies to wire-snare poaching and human encroachment of wildlife areas.  Working closely with the country’s wildlife management body, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), as well as over two dozen local and international non-governmental organizations and academic institutions to employ an array of conservation actions ranging from anti-snaring, anti-trafficking and human-wildlife conflict mitigation to land-use planning, large landscape conservation, and species restoration. This is the country’s largest and most comprehensive capacity-building programme for field-based conservation–supporting Zambian students in educational and training programmes beginning at the secondary school level up to the international PhD level, and our 70+-person team is 85% Zambian, with majority female management. Their collaborative research provides some of the only science-based guidance on large carnivores and herbivores throughout their range in Zambia, which helps guide conservation policy in the country, the region, and the continent.

The ZCP team is based at our Nkwali Camp in South Luangwa and will be pleased to accompany you on activities and share their work with you.

Itinerary of Carnivore Week day by day

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Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5-7

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Day 1 : Nkwali Camp

Nkwali Camp is located on the banks of the Luangwa on a magnificent meander in the river overlooking the National Park where leopards roam along the bank and can often be spotted from camp. Situated on Robin Pope Safaris’ private land outside the park there is a private game viewing area behind camp as well as exclusive access into the park either by boat or across the pontoon. The South Luangwa Park is 9050 sq. kilometer; with the river, its tributaries and the riverine strips being the focus of the wildlife viewing.

The first night of your stay, one of the full-time project staff from ZCP will give an introductory talk on the Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP). This will include a general overview of the ZCP, its aims and their current programs. You'll also get a demonstration of their tracking equipment which will be used to find the carnivores when they join you out in the field.

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Day 2: Nkwali Camp

At dawn breakfast is served around the campfire. The porridge heated on the fire and toast cooked by the coals. The morning 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 by a scenic point on a lagoon or the Luangwa River. This morning you will be joined by ZCP for the game drive. Gain exclusive insights into their research as you track for carnivores through the National Park - see their tracking equipment and techniques in action! They'll also explain about lion identification and prey counts which are used in their annual predator and prey surveys. You'll get to use these new skills in species identification and scientific technique as you drive around one of the most beautiful areas in Africa.
Return to camp for lunch around mid-day. After lunch you can cool off in the swimming pool or siesta. Tea will be served in the afternoon and then off on an afternoon game drive that continues into the early night giving the chance to see the nocturnal world. Usually one returns to camp about 20.00 hrs with dinner generally at 20.30.

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Day 3: Nkwali Camp

Another day to enjoy the game viewing at Nkwali on walks or drives or you may wish to go on an all-day picnic. Taking a scout with you, you will be able to enjoy a walk or explore further afield in the park. Lunch will be under a tree or next to a lagoon and you will then be able to take a siesta or simply spend a lazy couple of hours reading a book or watching the fascinating animals and landscape around you. Returning to camp when you are ready. In the evening you will be joined by ZCP for another discussion. This evening’s lecture will focus on competition between lions, hyenas and African wild dogs, why ZCP researches these inter-predator competitions, and what it means for the survival of the wild dog. They'll also tell you all about exciting hot-off-the-press findings for Zambian wild dogs and other associated wildlife in the area from their research.

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Day 4: Nkwali Camp

Chipembele Environmental Education Centre. Education, and in turn the reduction of human-animal conflict, is key to the survival of this endangered species. With a visit to the Chipembele Education Centre you'll learn all about wildlife conservation education in general, as well as the education programs ZCP have in place. There's both a fun children's school-based curriculum as well as adult targeted posters and both are integral to ZCP's conservation efforts. You will also be able to learn about other education programs run by Chipembele for different species running in the area too. After your return in the afternoon, you will be able to choose to go out on an evening game-drive, or just relax in camp watching the sunset over the river.

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Day 5-7: Nkwali Camp

These last days are very flexible, ZCP will join you on either a morning or evening game drive to track the carnivores. The rest of your days will be free to do activities with your Robin Pope Safaris guide. A walking safari, game drive, or boat cruise on the river. Whichever activities you choose, they are sure to be spectacular. Weather dependent, you will also have the chance to visit Kawaza Village, to experience a bit of the local culture. Please let your guide know if you are interested in going to the village.

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Itinerary of Carnivore Week by map

Carnivore Week gives you a chance to gain some exclusive insights into the ZCP conservation program. The activities during the safari are carnivore specific and while we were never guaranteed a sighting, we had an incredible week not only learning about these meat eaters but we also had some wonderful first hand encounters with them!
Jonathan M about Carnivore Week
For anyone interested in getting an in depth look and better understanding of the meat eating machines of the Luangwa, then this trip is for you. Thank you to the ZCP for providing such an enjoyable yet educational experience!
Susan D about Carnivore Week

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