Wet Paddles, Dusty Feet- a Zambian Safari

Why this adventure works:

Zambia is all about authenticity and total immersion in the wilderness experience. Camps are remote and rustic, guiding is excellent and the bush is best discovered up close and personal.  This itinerary focuses on walking safaris, a Zambian speciality, and boat safaris– a rare treat away from noisy safari vehicles.


We’ll start you off gently, in an established camp like Flatdogs, Nkwali or Nkonzi– great all-round camps in excellent game viewing areas. Here you should be able to ease yourself into the bush with a mix of walking safaris and game drives.  And, yes, we did say the latter are noisy (they are!), but drives will give you a chance to see a good range of wildlife far closer than you would on foot. Take a night drive and try to spot some leopard and enjoy the fantastic wildlife sightings along the Luangwa River.


For your next stop we’ll take you wilder and more remote- to some of the tiny, rustic bush camps that make this park so special. Try walking between the two camps of the Chikoko Trails in the north of the park, or between Kapamba and Zungulila in the remote south. Arriving in camp on foot gives you a totally different sense of the journey, immersing yourself in the landscape, hearing the birds, smelling the dust and feeling the heat.  


The Zambezi River makes the park utterly magical, quite literally bringing life to the animals that live there. Exploring on the water is a slower, gentler, way to do safari, bringing you closer to nature. Almost all of the camps we work with can do both motorized boat safaris and canoe safaris, but for the ultimate experience, camping on untouched islands with Tusk and Mane would be hard to beat.

Other ideas for your African adventure:  For an even more remote walking experience, add a few nights in the North Luangwa National Park, at Mwaleshi– there’s a good chance the only vehicle you’ll see during your whole stay will be the one you use to get to the airstrip. Or let us arrange a sleepout under the stars for one night of your stay.

Make your safari Extraordinary by… While you’re in the South Luangwa, spend a night in a local community- this is a very simple experience, but a wonderful and unusual insight into a totally different part of Zambia that you see elsewhere on safari. Aim your stay for May and visit Tafika Camp for one of Africa’s most legendary experiences- microlighting with owner John Coppinger. A stay at Tafika will always be magical, but this is the icing on the cake.  Or, if you’re travelling late in the season, add on a stay at Victoria Falls and take a dip in the Devil’s Pool. Go on, we dare you…

When to go…? The Zambian safari season runs from May to October- and many of the camps in the Lower Zambezi limit their opening period to this time. May’s the time for lush green grasses and stunning photos, though often you will need to wait till June for many of the walking camps to open up.  Later in the season you get the temperatures get warmer and the vegetation thins- it makes for amazing game viewing but the extremes of heat in late October are not for the faint hearted!

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