9 days from £5640pp plus international flights.
Following in the footsteps of Norman Carr, a well respected pioneer of ecotourism and conservation, is a great way to experience South Luangwa National Park, Zambia's foremost wildlife destination and birthplace of the walking safari.
On this holiday you stay at four Norman Carr Safaris camps spending two nights at each. This gives you time to observe different scenery, animals and birds in varied locations. You have a mix of walking safaris and game drives, and have the option to walk or travel by vehicle between camps. The precise order in which you visit the camps can vary and this itinerary is offered as an example.
All activities are led by expert guides who are keen to pass on their knowledge and love of the region and its wildlife, and you should come away with a greatly enhanced appreciation of nature. Elephant, hippo, giraffe, antelope, lion, wild dog and leopard should all feature, and carmine bee eaters will probably put in a colourful appearance. This is nature at its finest.
The camps are small, each with just five suites. Decor is rustic as befits their locations in the bush, yet you have all the comforts you could want. Beds are draped with mosquito nets, fans keep the interior cool and you have your own en-suite complete with a bath for relaxing soaks. Each suite has a private deck where you can sit and survey the scenery and passing wildlife. Between safaris you relax in the lounge and by the campfire and enjoy communal meals, all good opportunities to enjoy the company of other guests and nature lovers. Don't be put off by the lack of Wi-Fi and a mobile phone signal as within a few hours you'll find this a positive asset. After all, why would you want anything to distract you from the beauty of nature? To complete the immersive experience you have the option to splash out and spend a night in the bush as you sleepout under the stars - magical!
This holiday provides the opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural world, led by and learning from experienced naturalist guides, as you continue the honoured legacy of Norman Carr, committed to the environment, wildlife and communities of the Luangwa Valley.
Photographs courtesy of Time + Tide
Your are met at Lusaka airport and assisted to the flight to Mfuwe in South Luangwa, where a guide meets you. From here it's a drive of around two and a half hours to your first camp, Mchenja, where you settle in and get to know your fellow guests. The camp is set in an ebony grove on the banks of the Luangwa River, and there's a pool where you can enjoy some refreshing exercise. Later sundowner drinks are served as you toast your arrival in Zambia and the beginning of your safari, then dinner is served and the evening is rounded off with a nightcap by the campfire. It's been a long day and you should get a good night's sleep in your comfy tented suite tonight. Dinner
You are woken early, in true safari style, to enjoy an al fresco breakfast, before your first safari activity. You might want opt for a game drive. It's a good way to see and get a feel your surroundings and, with the help of your expert guide, you can identify different landscapes. Wildlife is sure to be the highlight and Mchenja is a great place to see predators including lion and leopard. South Luangwa is known as the valley of the leopard and you should soon start to appreciate this with some first rate sightings. Enjoy lunch and a rest back in camp, then you can either join your guide for a walking safari or head to the hide for some wildlife watching and excellent photographic opportunities this afternoon. Full board
Following breakfast round the campfire it's time to set off for your second camp. Kakuli is about a three and a half hour walk from Mchenja, and you set off relatively early to avoid the heat of the day, stopping along the way to admire views, look for tracks and observe animals large and small. If you prefer you can take a ride in the vehicle watching for wildlife during the drive. Either way you should arrive at Kakuli in time for lunch. This afternoon you again have a choice of exploring on foot or by 4x4. You can expect to see elephant herds, hippo, leopard and dazzlingly eye-catching carmine bee-eaters, real scene stealers! They are also wonderfully photogenic so make sure you are ready with your camera. Return to camp to freshen up for dinner, eaten overlooking the waterhole. Full board
Another exciting day dawns in South Luangwa. A typical day in camp starts with an early breakfast enabling you to set out on your morning activity in good time so you can explore before the heat builds up to its maximum and while animals are more active. Your return to camp is marked by a hearty brunch followed by time to rest and maybe catch up on some sleep. Tea, coffee and snacks revive you in mid afternoon and then you head off on your second safari of the day. If you opt for a game drive this may include sundowners at a specially chosen location and will conclude with a night drive back to camp and a chance to view and hear nocturnal species. Dinner is usually eaten outdoors and followed by drinks around the campfire. Full board
You are now settling into the safari routine, and looking forward to the journey to your next location. Nsolo is a four to four and a half hour walk from Kakuli, though if you prefer you can be driven there. Walking offers the chance to feel at one with nature, as you use your senses fully to experience being in the bush. On arrival at Nsolo you are served lunch as you listen to the resident hippo pod nearby and you may see the colourful flash of a kingfisher just above the river surface. There is a wild dog den near the camp and you may get some sightings of these endangered creatures on your afternoon game drive, a rare privilege. Full board
There is so much to see. Elephant herds cannot fail to impress, hippo and crocodile abound in the river, lion, leopard and wild dog are on watch for prey, so there's a real sense of excitement and anticipation as you head out of camp for today's safaris. By now you realise that no two days on safari are the same and you can never be sure what you will encounter which is very much part of its attraction. With the benefit of your guide's knowledge and insights you should now be building up your own understanding and appreciation of the natural world. Back in camp you can relax on your private deck with a ringside view of wildlife at the lagoon. Full board
Today you set out for your fourth and final camp, Luwi, a walk of three to three and a half hours. The camp has a wonderfully remote setting deep in the national park and it's not unusual for herds of elephant to wander past. Tented suites are set among mahogany trees and offer great views of the floodplains. This afternoon you might like to join your guide on a walking safari as he tracks lion and wild dog, which promises to be an exciting experience. There's time to enjoy watching smaller creatures, too and to learn about the whole ecosystem of the bush and how everything has its place and its role to play. Tonight you're served another delicious dinner based on Zambian produce and traditions. Fine dining in a bush setting is all part of this holiday and is sure to be among your treasured memories. Full board
This morning you can set off in the 4x4 heading upriver in search of roan antelope, hartebeest and eland. You are also likely to come across lion, adding a frisson of excitement. After brunch and a siesta you might like to spend some time in the wildlife hide by the permanent lagoon, perfectly sighted for viewing and photographing hippos and other animals as they gather to drink. Your time in South Luangwa is largely thanks to Norman Carr, who pioneered ecotourism and walking safaris in South Luangwa, and staying at his camps you are literally following in his footsteps as well as sharing his love for this special place and its wildlife. Tonight you can toast his life and legacy as you dine amidst the sights and sounds of the bush. Full board
Enjoy breakfast in camp and the by now customary views of South Luangwa. Later, with your bags packed, you are driven back to Mfuwe airport for your flight to Lusaka, where this holiday concludes. Breakfast
Guide price from (pp sharing): £5640 (ex. international flights)
2020 guide price pp based on 2 sharing:
Safari Season 01 Jun - 31 Oct 2020 from £5640
Secret Season 20 - 31 May and 01 - 04 Nov 2020 from £6750
Domestic flights Lusaka to Mfuwe and Mfuwe to Lusaka; full board accommodation on a twin share basis; bar drinks at bush camps; safari activities; park fees; laundry.
International flights and taxes, domestic flight taxes; visas; drinks other than bar drinks at camps; tips; personal expenses.
This holiday starts and ends in Lusaka. From the UK it is best to fly via Johannesburg and return flights cost from around £900 per person depending on season and availability. We usually book these for you.
Departure dates: This holiday operates between May and October using four seasonal camps in South Luangwa National Park
Kakuli Camp is a 4-tent camp set on the confluence of the Luwi and Luangwa Rivers in South Luangwa National Park.
Luwi is a small, remote bush camp in South Luangwa. Mainly for walking safaris.
Mchenja Bush Camp, located on the banks of the Luangwa River, is a small camp offering game and walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park.
Nsolo Camp is a small bushcamp in the Luangwa Valley, offering an intimate atmosphere and excellent game viewing by walking safaris and game drives.
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Find the best time to visit Zambia
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.