More infoabout River Journeys

River Journeys in South Luangwa National Park in Zambia is a magical 7-night safari that takes place during the Emerald Season when the Luangwa River is at its fullest, thus giving rise to some exceptional boating.

Key facts of River Journeys

Available dates 1 February - 31 March
Rates from US$3955 per person sharing
Group size Minimum 2 and maximum 6

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Boating on the Luangwa River is an unforgettable experience

A magical river safari

This safari covers one of Zambia’s premier park – South Luangwa. 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 Valley is at its most dramatic in the Emerald Season, with the Luangwa River now flowing over into the brimming lagoons. Boating into these lagoons, flooded ebony groves and flowing channels gives you a view of the Valley which is normally inaccessible during this season“.

The Luangwa River is one of the last remaining major rivers in Africa, and even in the world, that has not been damned for hydropower. This vast river still annually rises, floods into lagoons and channels, changes course and resulting in new lagoons and in so doing creates a rich flood plain river system. To be in the heart of the park, at peak flood time, staying at the first camp built in Zambia (Nsefu) with the river being your only access, is quite an experience.

Itinerary of River Journeys day by day

Download itinerary as PDF
Day 1 - 2 & 6 - 7
Day 3 - 5

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Day 1 - 2 & 6 - 7: Nkwali Camp

You will start and end your River Journey safari at Nkwali Camp, which 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. Many places claim to be "among the remaining wilderness areas" or "one of the last wildlife sanctuaries"; South Luangwa National Park lives up to both and more. The Luangwa Valley is vast, remote and home to both people and a truly impressive variety of game.

Nkwali Camp is a small intimate and authentic camp and is the ideal start off point to any safari with a few more creature comforts than the bush camps to help ease people into the African way of life. While at Nkwali Camp, you have the option of 2 game activities per day, with the choice of a game drive or a walking safari. There is no typical day on safari, you can choose to do as little or as much as you like although we recommend at least one activity per day.

More about the region Learn more about Nkwali Camp

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Day 3 - 5: Nsefu Camp

Next up on the River Journey safari is a stay at the historic Nsefu Camp, situated on the banks of the Luangwa River, in the remote Nsefu sector on the north side of South Luangwa National Park. It was the very first photographic safari camp in Zambia, which dates back to the fifties. The Nsefu sector was first pronounced a game reserve in 1966 some five years before the South Luangwa was even declared and has always been recognised as an outstanding game-viewing area. You will take the boat up to Nsefu Camp. This will take between 2 and 4 hours depending on what you see on the way.

A suggested day on safari at Nsefu Camp starts with a hearty breakfast around the camp fire, after which your morning activity will begin! Depending on time of year an all day picnic drive to the salt pans that will cover different habitats comes highly recommended and is an exceptional day’s safari. Nothing is set in stone and your days will be designed and planned with your bearing your interests in mind. You can mix and match activities to maximize your experience in this game rich and remote area of the Luangwa. One should also remember to make use of the permanent viewing hide at Nsefu Camp.

More about the region Learn more about Nsefu Camp

Itinerary of River Journeys by map

Seeing the Luangwa Valley completely surrounded by water is truly memorable! I have been during the dry season and thought I had seen the park at its best...until I signed up for Rover Journeys! Would highly recommend it to anyone and hope to do it again one day!
Ross S about River Journeys
The river safaris were magical, as was the walk to see the breeding colony of yellow billed storks. The staff worked very hard to look after us and I was very touched by the pride with which Isaac presented our food every day.
June H about River Journeys
The Luangwa Valley is incredible during the Green Season, with the Luangwa River bursting its banks and creating a water wonderland. Boating through the South Luangwa National Park was phenomenal!
Tony P about River Journeys

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