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Zambia & Malawi: Safari & Beach

11 days from £3180pp 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 at one of its sister bushcamps, all 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 fly to Malawi where you spend 3 nights on 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 transfer to the short flight (approximately 70 minutes) to Mfuwe, for South Luangwa. Here you are met by a guide from Kafunta River Lodge for the drive 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 should be an exciting few hours as you have your first sightings of the valley's wildlife. You 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. Sitting in an open 4x4 vehicle you have great views of the surroundings and wildlife. There are large populations of elephant, hippo and crocodile in South Luangwa, plus predators such as lion and leopard. You can also expect to see giraffe and wildebeest among others. Your guide helps you spot and identify different animals and birds, and the drives are punctuated by stops for drinks. You spend the hottest part of the day resting at the lodge, and the day ends with drinks by the camp fire. Full board

Island Bush Camp


Today you are driven to your next home, which is either Island Bush Camp or Three Rivers Camp, a jounrye of around 2 to 3 hours. Both camps are open from late May to November and are small with just 5 rooms and a communal lounge and campfire. The atmosphere is intimate and relaxed. Walking safaris are teh mainstay here and following lunch you set off with the guide, who is able to deduce much from apparently small signs including tracks and spoor. It's a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the African bush. You arrive back in camp in time for drinks and then dinner, usually eaten outdoors. Full board

Walking safari


Awake early full of antiicipation for a day in the bush. After a light breakfast you set off on the morning walking safari. Exploring on foot your feel very much a part of the environment, rather than an observer. Your sense are heightened as you watch, listen and smell nature around you. The guide's knowledge and expertise is invaluable and you are certain to pick up some fascinating insights. You return to camp for brunch and plenty of time to rest, before afternoon tea and a second guided walk, returning in time for dinner. Full board 

Giraffes near the seasonal camp


Your second full day at the bush camp is as full of wonders as the first. Walks are taken at a gentle pace, allowing you to pause to watch insects and examine plants, and include stops for refreshments. Both camps have safari vehicles allowing access to different locations, and no two walks will be the same. Between times you rest in camp, watching animals and birds, enjoying fine food and being looked after by the friendly staff. Full board  

The pool at Kafunta River Lodge


Today you leave the seasonal for the drive back to Kafunta River Lodge, arriving around lunchtime. Enjoy an easy afternoon, maybe with a swim in the pool, before setting off on the 4x4 safari. Keeping your camera close at hand to record encounters, you head off into the Zambian bush. By now you are becoming a seasoned safari go-er, and should be able to spot and identify a number of species. There's a pause in proceedings to enjoy sundowner drinks, and you return to lodge in time to shower for dinner. Full board

On safari at Kafunta River Lodge


Make the most of your final day on safari. Rise early and set out either by 4x4 or on foot for your morning game viewing. At this time of day animals are stirring and you get a sense of the day beginning in earnest.  The wildlife never disappoints, and watching elephant, giraffe, hippo, lion and leopard is endlessly engaging. After brunch at the lodge you can base yourself in the hide for a while, ideal for capturing some close up photos of resident game, and in the afternoon you once again set out to explore South Luangwa's riches. Tonight's dinner is the perfect moment to reflect on your week's safari and relive some of the many highlights. 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. Before you know you've succumbed 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. 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 to help you explore Lake Malawi National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Full board  

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 return in time for dinner, a generous 3-course affair. Full board     

Cottages at Blue Zebra Island Lodge


After breakfast you take to the water for the ride across the lake back to the mainland, where a vehicle is waiting to transfer you to Lilongwe airport and your onward flight. Breakfast   

Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £3180 (ex. international flights)

Price notes: 2018 guide prices pp sharing: April -24 May and Nov-4 Jan 2018 £3180 (with a £120 pp supplement for Christmas/New Year). 25 May-30 June £3710. July-October £4040.


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 £1000 per person. We can book these for you as we are ATOL bonded. 

Departure dates: This is a private tailor made safari and beach holiday. 

It can be taken as shown from 25 May to the end of October, but the bushcamps are closed outside of this time, so the price for April-24 May and November-December assumes only using Kafunta River Lodge in South Luangwa (and with no time at a bushamp). 

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.

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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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