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Carnivore Week in South Luangwa

8 days from £3835pp plus international flights.

Experience a week's privileged access to the operations of the Zambian Carnivore Programme in South Luangwa. Spend time with the project manager Dr Matt Becker and team members as they track and identify animals, gathering vital information on predators. Learn about their conservation work and education programmes and leave with an enhanced understanding of the regions's wildlife and ecosystems.

As well as all this you'll be treated to day and night game drives and bush walks led by experienced safari guides, keen to share their knowledge. South Luangwa National Park is rich in wildlife and has varied landscapes making it a perfect safari destination, and each day will show you different aspects of the region's flora and fauna.

Your base for the week is Robin Pope Safari's Nkwali Camp set on the bank of the Luangwa River overlooking the national park. Accommodation is in private cottages built of bamboo and thatch, with en-suite bathrooms open to the sky, and viewing decks facing the river. The bar deck is the ideal spot to rest between activities as you watch elephants by the river, and there's a swimming pool for cooling off. The dining room and deck have wonderful views of the waterhole, offering further wildlife viewing opportunities as you enjoy the fine food.

This holiday operates just once a year and has a maximum of 6 guests, so this really is an exclusive experience. You'll need to act fast to secure your place, so contact us now if you'd like to be part of this trip of a lifetime.

Photos courtesy Robin Pope Safaris

Nkwali Camp


You arrive into Mfuwe airport where a guide from Robin Pope Safari is waiting to meet you. You'll be driven the hour or so to your home for the next week, Nkwali Camp. Along the way you pass through villages, cultivated land and bush, arriving at the camp on the banks of the Luangwa River. You'll have the rest of the day to unwind after your journey and settle into life in camp. In the evening you'll meet one of the staff working for the Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP), to learn about their work and current projects, as well as witnessing a demonstration of the tracking equipment you'll become familiar with over the next few days. Enjoy a delicious dinner then retire to your tent for a well-earned sleep. Dinner    


Your days start early at Nkwali, with a wake up call around dawn and breakfast by the campfire. Sufficiently refreshed you'll join the morning game drive for your first sight of South Luangwa's wildlife. This includes hippos, elephants, buffalos and Thornicroft's giraffe with its distinctive coat pattern. A ZCP team member will join you and you'll see the tracking equipment in action! You'll learn about lion identification and counts, vital to the work of the ZCP. Lunch is served back in camp, followed by time to relax and enjoy a refreshing swim. In the late afternoon you'll go back out into the park on a drive that includes the chance to view nocturnal species. Breakfast, lunch, dinner 
wild dogs


You'll have a choice of activities today. As well as the twice daily game drives, you can take a guided walk. South Luangwa was the birthplace of the walking safari and this remains one of the best ways to explore the flora and fauna of the area. This can last an hour or so, or you can plump for a full day trip for an immersive experience, stopping for a picnic lunch en-route. Tonight you'll have a talk from a ZCP member, focussing on the relationships between lions, wild dogs and hyenas. Breakfast, lunch, dinner    


Today you'll visit the Chipembele Environment Education Centre. Education is key to the survival of endangered species and the reduction of human-animal conflict, and you'll see how this is achieved and the children are engaged in conservation work. You'll also hear about other education projects run by Chipembele. You'll return to Nkwali for lunch and a siesta, with the option of a late afternoon game drive if you wish. Breakfast, lunch, dinner  
lion and cub


You'll have more game drive and guided walks today. A member of ZCP will accompany you on either the morning and afternoon drive, and you'll have further chances to observe the tracking programme in progress. This non-profit organisation has been operating in this area since 2005 and concentrates largely on the lion population as the Luangwa Valley is one of 10 lion strongholds remaining in Africa. It's a real privilege to be involved first-hand in this vital work. Breakfast, lunch, dinner  


Another day top enjoy the rich and varied wildlife of South Luangwa, with you choice of drives and walks, and spending time with the ZCP. As well as lions, wild dogs and hyenas, with luck you'll observe leopards as Luangwa is home to one of Zambia's largest leopard populations. When not out exploring you'll be able to enjoy the relaxed pace of life in Nkwali Camp, watching wildlife by the river while sipping a drink from the bar, leafing through a book in the library and sampling the chef's tasty food. Breakfast, lunch, dinner   
walking safari


Get the most out of your last day in South Luangwa, joining a game drive with a ZCP team member, accompanying a guide on a nature walk, taking to the water for a boat cruise, and maybe enjoying a picnic in the bush. Depending on the weather there may also be a chance to visit Kawaza village for an insight into local life. There's almost too much to squeeze into one day!  Tonight you'll gather for your last dinner at Nkwali, an opportunity to look back at all that seen and learnt over the last week. Breakfast, lunch, dinner 
Nkwali Camp


All too soon it's time to leave. Take time to enjoy views of the river as you eat breakfast and later, bags packed, you'll be transferred to Mfuwe airport for your onward flight. Breakfast 
Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £3835 (ex. international flights)

Price notes: Only 1 special departure on 21st November 2020. Price pp sharing, excluding international flights.


7 nights accommodation based on twin share; Lusaka-Mfuwe-Lusaka flights; daily game drives with a Zambian Carnivore Programme team member; game drives and walking safaris; a donation to ZCP; meals as specified; local drinks; park fees; laundry.


International flights and taxes; visas; premium drinks; tips; personal expenses

Getting there: 

You need to fly into and out of Lusaka. Flights will cost from about £900 per person, depending on season and availability. From the UK the best route is via Johannesburg. We usually book these flights for you.

Departure dates: This is a very special set trip that departs once a year and has a maximum of 6 passengers.

places you will see

places you will see

South Luangwa National Park
South Luangwa National Park
This is one of THE best places for an African safari. It is one of the last unspoilt wilderness areas and possibly the finest wildlife sanctuary in Africa.
 

holidays with heart
holidays with heart

How this holiday helps

It’s not often you get the chance to head out into the wilds with conservation experts and researchers. This special once-a-year trip allows you to do just that.

The Luangwa Valley is a very special area of wilderness. It includes Zambia's second largest wild dog population, the largest lion population and one of the largest leopard populations. It is important that these predators are protected as they are constant targets for poachers.

Working with the Zambian Carnivore Programme, Robin Pope Safaris offer this special annual safari whereby you get to accompany the researchers as they do their work in the South Luangwa National Park. It's an insight few travellers will get. Not only will you get a unique safari experience, but also some of your money for the trip goes to back the important work of the ZCP.

You'll be staying at Robin Pope Safaris' Nkwali Camp. RPS have won various awards for their efforts in poverty reduction, they strongly back anti-poaching activities and carnivore research programmes, and they are very careful to use green technology such as solar power, natural air cooling and living grass roofs in order to minimise environmental impact.

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facts and information

Time: GMT +2 hours

Flight time: Flights from Europe to Lusaka take about 10 hours. Lusaka International Airport is about 25km from the city centre (about 30 minutes transfer).

Language: Zambia's official language is English, but outside of the cities few people speak it.

Visas: Visas are required for most nationalities, although a waiver can normally be organized in advance for British citizens.

Health: This is a malarial country.



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