Shoebill Safari accommodation at Luangwa River CampShoebill Safari accommodation at Luangwa River Camp
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Want a chance to see a shoebill?
If you want a chance to see a shoebill, this safari is for you! Join Robin Pope Safaris for this exceptional trip covering the South Luangwa, Kasanka, and Bangweulu swamps. On the hunt for the remarkable shoebill, you will also encounter elephants, lions, giraffes, and host of other species.
This is an exceptional safari combining South Luangwa National Park, Kasanka National Park and Bangweulu Swamps. One of our top safari guides will lead this trip to enhance your experience throughout.
After a couple of nights at Luangwa River Camp in the South Luangwa the group flies to Kasanka National Park and will spend some time at Wasa Lodge. There are many bird species that will be new to the safari and the sitatunga antelope will certainly be seen at the swamp. Then the safari will continue onto Shoebill Island Camp in the breath-taking Bangweulu Swamps, which remains one of Zambia special gems – with superb birding, from all the water birds to the endangered wattled crane elegantly strolling around the plains. Of course the star attraction remains the extraordinary shoebill. The area also hosts the endemic black lechwe along with tsessebe and buffalo.
The South Luangwa National Park marks the end of the Great Rift Valley, one of the last remaining unspoilt wilderness areas and possibly the finest wildlife sanctuary in Africa. Luangwa River Camp sits nestled under an ancient ebony grove on the banks of the Luangwa River overlooking the game rich area known as the Luangwa Wafwa. This small and intimate camp with just five bush suites, along with its setting and location creates a real “wow” factor and a romantic feeling simply flows through the camp. It is the first stop on The Shoebill Safari.
During your time at Luangwa River Camp, a typical day consists of 2 game activities per day, with the choice of a game drive or a walking safari. Early morning is best for doing walking safaris as well as game drives and commence after a light breakfast. Once brunch and a siesta followed by tea time treats, its back out into the park to see what the late afternoon/early evening has to offer. Alternatively a cultural tour or trip to a wildlife education centre can be arrange, which gives one a more holistic experience of the Luangwa Valley. While there is no shoebill storks in South Luangwa, spending a few nights here gives one a chance to get into the safari groove, as well as meet your guide who will be with you for the rest of the trip.
Kasanka is a beautiful wilderness of woodland, plains, lakes, rivers and swamps in the North of Zambia and forms a valuable protected area for many endangered species. The rich diversity of animal, bird and plant life includes several rare species like the sitatunga, wattled crane, Ross’s Lourie and Blue Monkeys.
Together with a Robin Pope Safaris Guide, spend your days birding (With luck you may see African finfoot, ross’ lourie, pel’s fishing owl and osprey.) and game watching in the hope of seeing many mammal species such as Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, sable antelope, reedbuck and the rare blue monkey. Visit the sitatunga hide with its panoramic views over the Kapabi Swamp where you can spot as many as 40 sitatunga feeding at one time.
Day 5 - 6: Shoebill Island Camp
Bangweulu, meaning ‘where water meets the sky’ is a perfect description for these stunning wetlands. It falls under the management of African Parks who have been working together with the local community since 2008 to sustainably manage the wetlands for the benefit of wildlife and people. It is home to over 433 bird species, including 10% of the global wattled crane population and the globally important population of the endangered shoebill.
Shoebill Island Camp is perfectly positioned on the edge of the expansive Bangweulu wetlands. The camp has a front row seat to the constant activity of the swamps and surrounding flood plain. It is always alive with bird movement and the sound of thousands of lechwe sloshing through the shallow waters.
Day 7: Protea Hotel by Marriott Lusaka Tower
Once you have said your goodbyes to the team at Shoebill Island Camp, you will take a beautiful flight over the escarpment and onward to Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia. You will be met by a representative from Robin Pope Safaris who will assist you to Protea Lusaka Tower Hotel. You may enjoy a relaxed evening ahead of your trip back home. Protea Hotel Lusaka Tower is located in the heart of Lusaka and within Arcades Shopping and Entertainment Complex on the Great East Road. Guests visiting this hotel have direct access to shops and restaurants. The hotel caters for both corporate and leisure guests' alike being a mere 25 minutes from Kenneth Kaunda International Airport. Protea Hotel Lusaka Tower restaurant, The Steakhouse Restaurant and Rooftop bar, Cloud 9 are ideal to relax.
The hunt for the Shoebills will live long in our memories and find its way into our family folklore. We had a wonderful, magnificent time that far exceeded our expectations and wild horses (or zebras) will not keep us away. So beware, we will be back!
You don't have to be a keen birder to enjoy this safari. We had an exceptional time during this well thoughtout trip through some of Zambias lesser known gems. The guiding was superb, the accommodation comfortable and the food delicious. The parks we visited were nothing short of spectacular
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