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Zambia & Malawi: Safari & Beach

11 days from £3295pp plus international flights.

A week on safari in South Luangwa, regarded by many as the best safari destination of them all, followed by lazy days on an island in Lake Malawi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This holiday is a dual delight!  

This excellent holiday starts with incredible game viewing opportunities in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park. Apart from being a beautiful landscape this park is home to prolific numbers of wildlife of many different species. Lions and leopards are commonly sighted, hippos are everywhere, there are loads of elephants, and even the rare wild dog can be found here. This is without mentioning all the other plains game such as zebras, antelopes, giraffe, buffalo and more. 

Your week on safari is based at a lodge and its sister bushcamp, both of which are owner-run, and offer comfortable accommodation and food, and good guiding. You'll have a mixture of game drives and guided walks, each offering a different perspective and leaving you with a comprehensive insight into the flora and fauna of this special location.  

Days on safari are long and can be tiring, so you'll need to time to unwind. You'll fly to Malawi where you'll spend 3 nights on a tiny Nankoma Island in the Marelli Archipelago. This is a real gem, an unspoilt island rich in bird life, surrounded by the clear waters of Lake Malawi, where myriads of colourful fish can be seen. Your days here are free for you do as you wish. Paradise! 

We recommend this as a wonderful combination of safari and beach which will suit most people.

Elephants close to Kafunta River Lodge


On landing at Lusaka you will transfer the short flight (approximately 70 minutes) to Mfuwe, for South Luangwa. Here you'll be met by a guide from Kafunta River Lodge who will drive you to the lodge, a journey of about an hour. You should arrive in time for a welcome lunch followed by a short siesta, and then afternoon tea. Fully rested, you set off on your first jeep safari in South Luangwa. It will be an exciting few hours as you have your first sightings of the valley's wildlife. You'll have a stop for sundowner drinks and nibbles before returning back to the lodge in time to shower before dinner. Lunch, dinner 

Kafunta River Lodge in Zambia's South Luangwa


A full day at Kafunta. Activities revolve around the game drives which set off in the early morning and late afternoon, cooler times of day when the wildlife is more active. You'll be in open 4x4 vehicle, which offers great visibility. There are large populations of elephant, hippo and crocodile in South Luangwa, plus predators such as lion and leopard. You also expect to see giraffe and wildebeest among others. Your guide will help you spot and identify different animals and birds. Game drives are punctuated by stops for drinks. You'll spend the hottest part of the day resting at the lodge, and the day ends with drinks by the camp fire. Full board

Zebra near Kafunta River Lodge


Once again you have a full day to explore the riches of the South Luangwa Valley. By now you'll know that no 2 game drives are the same, and you need to keep your camera to hand to preserve exciting encounters. Between safaris you can visit the lodge's hide located beneath the deck, with perfect views of wildlife at the waterhole and yet more photographic opportunities. Full board

The pool at Kafunta River Lodge


You final day at Kafunta River Lodge follows a similar pattern with an early breakfast followed by the morning game drive or a guided walk, asyou prefer. There's time to relax, enjoy some tasty food, have a refreshing swim in the infinity pool or soak in the natural hot tub before setting out again in the cooler late afternoon for a game drive. You'll be back in time for the 4-course dinner on the deck  Full board 

Drinks by the river at Island Bush Camp


After breakfast your are drivemn south to Island Bush Camp. This will take around 3 hours travelling through open plains and wooded areas, game viewing en-route. Settle into camp and spend a few hours enjoying the tranquility and watching birds and animals by the river. The camp specailises in walking safaris and this afternoon you'll set off on foot to experience the bush at first hand. You'll be amazed how your guide can deduce so much from tracks, spoor and other small signs. This is your introduction to the fascinating world of bush lore! You'll be abck in time for drinks by the river followed by dinner, served out in the open by candlelight. Full board  

walking safari at Island Bush Camp


With a backdrop of the Chindeni Hills and Luangwa River in front, Island Bush Camp has a lovely location. On a walking safari here you feel very much part of nature, rather than an observer. Your senses will be tuned to react to the slightest sound, scent or movement, and you'll be in a heightened state of awareness. Your guide is eager to share his deep knowledge of the flora and fauna, and the vital role that apparently insignificant things like plants and insects play in the environment. It's an eye-opening experience and you'll come away with a real understanding of the African bush. Full board

Giraffes near Island Bush Camp


Although you'll spend much of your time out on nature walks studying plants and small creatures, you may well encounter larger animals. Stand back and admire the graceful gait of the giraffe, or watch in hushed awe as a herd of elephant pass by. Between walks you're free to unwind in camp, takling to fellow guests and enjoying a chilled drink. Full board

Blue Zebra Island Lodge veranda


After breakfast this morning, you will be driven to Mfuwe for the flight to Lilongwe in Malawi. From here it's about a 2 hour drive to the shore of lake Malawi where a boat is waiting to take you across to Nankoma Island and your home for the next 3 nights, Blue Zebra Island Lodge. Relax, lie back in a hammock or take in the views from your private veranda. You'll soon succumb to the pleasantly slow pace of island life. Full board

Kayaking at Bue Zebra Island Lodge


Enjoy a lie-in and a leisurely breakfast. You may want to do little more than bask in the warmth of the sun by the pool this morning, as you unwind after busy days on safari. There are lots of activities available, too, so you can take a kayak out into the lake for close-up views of birds and sea creatures, or go snorkelling or diving in the clear water to see Malawi's cichlids in all their colourful glory, many of which are unique to the Marelli Islands. The lodge can arrange boat trips, too, to help you explore Lake Malawi National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

Fish eagle at Blue Zebra


lake Malawi has an abundant and diverse bird life, and the uninhabited Marelli Islands are especially good places for bird watching with some 350 species on record. On a walk following a nature trail round the island you have good chances of seeing kingfishers, storks, hornbills, sunbirds, weavers, owls and cormorants as well as fish eagles, Malawi's national bird. Later you can treat yourself to a a sunset cruise on the lake, complete with chilled drink as you watch the dramatic colour changes in the sky. You'll return in time for dinner, a generous 3-course affair. Full board     

Cottages at Blue Zebra Island Lodge


After breakfast you take the boat ride across the lake back to the mainland, where a vehicle is waiting to transfer you to Lilongwe airport, where the holiday ends. Breakfast   

Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £3295 (ex. international flights)

Price notes: 2017 guide prices pp sharing: April -24 May and Nov-4 Jan 2018 £3295 (with a £120 pp supplement for Christmas/New Year). 25 May-30 June £3975. July-October £4225.


10 nights full board accommodation based on twin share; road and boat transfers; flights Lusaka-Mfuwe and Mfuwe-Lilongwe; game drives, walking safaris and night drives in South Luangwa; non-motorised activities at Blue Zebra Island Camp; national park fees, conservation and community levy


International flights and taxes; domestic flight taxes; visas; drinks at Blue Zebra Island Camp; motorised activities on the lake; tips; personal expenses

Getting there: You need to fly into Lusaka and out of Lilongwe for this trip. Return flights from the UK will cost from about £800 per person. We usually book these for you.

Departure dates: This is a private tailor made safari and beach holiday which can be taken at any time from 25th May to 31st October.

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.
Lake Malawi
Lake Malawi
Part of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Malawi is flanked by hills inland towards the Nyika Plateau and has some attractive sandy beaches as well as interesting villages to explore.

customer rating

5/5 from 52 reviews

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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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