North Luangwa, Kafue and Victoria Falls
Explore less developed corners of Zambia’s wildlife parks from authentic bush camps, ending at Victoria Falls
Price on application

This safari enables you to explore two of Zambia’s up-and-coming safari parks, where wildlife densities are beginning to reach critical mass and where infrastructure development and camp proliferation is at an early stage – the remote North Luangwa National Park, and Kafue, which is Zambia’s largest National Park. In both you’ll stay in proper, authentic-feeling bush camps which offer immersive experiences in wilderness locations – emphasis is placed on guiding skills, engagement and discovering nature, as well as enjoying good food and proper levels of comfort without going over the top. There is a strong emphasis on walking, but game drives and boat trips can be enjoyed too. Unless you’ve visited before, a trip to Zambia is incomplete without a few days spent enjoying Victoria Falls and discovering the lush river environment of the upper Zambezi.

SEQUENCE:    Lusaka   ♦   Takwela Camp   ♦   Mwaleshi Camp   ♦   Musekese Camp   ♦   Victoria Falls

What's Included

  • Accommodation in Lusaka on a bed and breakfast basis
  • All accommodation, meals and drinks, and all safari activities in the Luangwa Valley
  • All accommodation, meals and drinks, and all safari activities in Kafue National Park
  • Accommodation and all meals and drinks at Victoria Falls, and selected activities
  • All regional flights within Zambia
  • Meet and greet service when transiting through Lusaka Airport
  • All road transfers throughout the itinerary
  • Laundry services throughout

Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1 - Arrive in Lusaka

Arrive in Lusaka by air (usually from Johannesburg or Addis Ababa). Most international arrivals will only connect with the last flight out to Mfuwe, the access airport to the South Luangwa National Park, and it is usually not possible to fly on from there to North Luangwa in the early evening. Therefore, it is preferable to spend a night relaxing in Lusaka and fly to Mfuwe and on to North Luangwa early the following morning.


Thankfully, Lusaka offers a characterful, boutique-style, small hotel named Latitude 15 Degrees, which rambles across a large suburban plot in mature gardens. It’s an excellent alternative to the portfolio of larger, international-style hotels located closer to the city centre, and makes a good place to kick off one’s shoes and relax, swim, eat and drink between international arrival and the start of a safari.


Overnight at Latitude 15 Degrees in Lusaka on a bed and breakfast basis

DAY 2 - Commence Safari at Takwela Camp, North Luangwa

You’ll be picked up by a driver very early so that you can catch the morning flight out to Mfuwe, which takes just over an hour. You’ll be met on arrival and transfer to a Cessna for a 40-minute flight to Mwaleshi Airstrip within the North Luangwa National Park. You’ll be met on arrival by a driver, who will transfer you to Takwela Camp, a game drive of about 45 minutes. Cross the Luangwa river by canoe to reach camp. You’ll reach Takwela in time for lunch, with plenty of time to settle in and relax beside the Luangwa River before joining your first afternoon safari.


Overnight at Takwela Camp on a fully inclusive basis

DAYS 3 & 4 - Safari at Takwela Camp

Takwela was opened in July 2019 and is positioned on the eastern bank of the Luangwa river, overlooking its confluence with the Mwaleshi – it’s a wonderful site. The camp technically lies just outside the North Luangwa Park, whose boundary is the Luangwa river, but it’s on private land within the Game Management Area and it’s a prime area for wildlife. Walks are offered on both sides of the river, but a key activity here is game drives within the game management area – as there are no other camps here, there’s almost exclusive access to 50kms of Luangwa river frontage!


The camp has 4 rustic elephant and sorghum grass thatched chalets which are positioned directly overlooking the river and which are open-fronted. Open-air bathrooms have been thoughtfully constructed to the side of the chalets, rather than at the back, so that you can gaze out over the Luangwa whilst you shower or brush your teeth.


Overnight at Takwela Camp on a fully inclusive basis

DAY 5 - Transfer on foot to Mwaleshi Camp, North Luangwa

Today you will transfer from Takwela to Mwaleshi Camp straight after breakfast, and the recommended way is to walk between the two, a 9-10km saunter along the Mwaleshi river which takes around 4 hours. It’s a beautiful walk and likely to be very productive on the game front.


Originally set up in 1989 as a Wilderness Trails camp, Mwaleshi is the simplest of the two camps and is 100% focussed on walking; other than the camp itself there’s no man-made infrastructure save for the single track that leads in from the rough airstrip – it’s a quintessential bush camp located in a true wilderness location, a place of peace and simplicity, contrasted with stunning wildlife action – the excitement of watching hyaenas hunting puku in front of camp or observing huge herds of buffalo and the endemic Cookson’s wildebeest on foot are just some of the typical experiences that you might experience here.


Overnight at Mwaleshi Camp on a fully inclusive basis

DAYS 6 & 7 - Walking safari at Mwaleshi Camp

Spend the next couple of days exploring the unspoiled wilderness in the south west corner of the North Luangwa National Park. You can head out on walks in any direction from camp, exploring deep into the bush on both sides of the Mwaleshi river, which can be forded in many places, or choosing to follow the river itself, which provides a strong draw to wildlife. The camp vehicle is often used to enable linear walks, or to take you to out to areas that lie a little further afield.


Overnight at Mwaleshi Camp on a fully inclusive basis

DAY 8 - Travel to Musekese Camp, Kafue National Park

Depart Mwaleshi straight after an early breakfast and make the 15-minute road trip to the airstrip. You’ll then fly by Cessna to Mfuwe to connect with a scheduled flight to Lusaka. Once in Lusaka, connect with a seat-rate air transfer direct to Lufupa Airstrip in Kafue. From there it’s a 25-minute journey to camp, which includes a 10-minute boat ride along the Kafue River. You should expect to reach Musekese in the early afternoon.


Musekese is an intimate and characterful bush camp located on the eastern side of the Kafue River in the northern section of Kafue National Park, overlooking a large, seasonal lagoon. It offers an immersive safari experience and is noted for its high quality guiding. It’s in an area completely unto itself and there’s scope for exploring a part of Kafue where no-one else really goes. It’s owned and run by Phil Jeffrey and Tyrone McKeith, two enthusiastic ecologists who have been working in Kafue since meeting at university and who are now in their early 30s. Their enthusiasm for the wildlife and conservation of the park, and for the relatively unexplored territory surrounding Musekese, is infectious. Walking is a key morning activity (there are only 7 walking guides in Kafue and Jeffrey and McKeith have 3 of them) and boat trips along the Kafue River, along with game drives, complete the experience.


Overnight at Musekese Camp on a fully inclusive basis

DAYS 9, 10 & 11 - Safari at Musekese Camp

Enjoy 3 full days exploring the unspoiled territory surrounding Musekese. Kafue is Zambia’s largest national park and is over twice the size of South Luangwa, which is better known and more developed. Whilst the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi National Parks have grown into Zambia’s top safari destinations and are well-known for their excellent wildlife, Kafue is gaining ground and opening up, with wildlife numbers on the up – it offers a proper wilderness experience, accessed from a relatively small number of camps spread thinly across its territory. Musekese is an excellent choice for exploring a slice of the park that is relatively undiscovered. Many of the walks are accessed by boating across the river to areas where no vehicles can go.


As an indication of Musekese’s wilderness credentials, it’s worth noting that the camp was opened in 2016, in an area devoid of infrastructure which was previously inaccessible – there are large tracts the guides have yet to explore here. With planning and advance booking it’s possible to arrange fly-camping trips from Musekese, using a boat for support and to access areas that the guides are keen to explore – There are lots of areas in the surrounding territory that haven’t been touched and GPS is carried for navigation. Alternatively, extend up to Ntemwa, Jeffrey and McKeith’s rustic tented bush camp on the Busanga Plains, which has a very different environment, for further adventures and a particularly rich wildlife experience.


Overnight at Musekese Camp on a fully inclusive basis

DAY 12 - Travel to Victoria Falls

Depart Musekese after breakfast and fly from Lufupa Airstrip in Kafue to Lusaka in the morning and connect with a scheduled flight from there to Livingstone Airport, the gateway to Victoria Falls on the Zambian side. You’ll be met on arrival and transferred by road to your chosen accommodation. A nice way to start your stay here is to enjoy a sundowner cruise on the upper Zambezi – all the lodges we recommend have their own boats for this purpose.


There is a wide choice of accommodation in the vicinity of Victoria Falls and we will help you choose from a selection we recommend. If you wish to stay on the Zambian side, we recommend lodges that are located a little way upriver from the falls. The river environment is quieter and you’ll escape the clatter of helicopters buzzing over the falls. Coincidently, the nicest lodges are all positioned well-upstream of the falls.


Walks in Africa’s preferred lodges, which span a range of budgets, are: Chundukwa River Lodge, Sindabezi Island Camp (and its sister lodge, Tongabezi), Waterberry Lodge and Thorntree River Lodge. Good choices also exist on the Zimbabwean side if you wish to cross the border – the Victoria Falls Hotel is a colonial gem and an institution; Ilala lodge, also located in close proximity to the falls, is a reliable second choice. Both are situated within a short walk of the falls, on the edge of Victoria Falls Town, which has quite a lot going for it.


Overnight at one of our recommended lodges near Livingstone-Victoria Falls on a full board basis

DAYS 13 & 14 - Activities and relaxation in the environs of Victoria Falls

We recommend you aim to spend no less than 3 nights in the Victoria Falls environs if you can. This allows for a day to explore the falls area, as well as a day to focus on the environs of your lodge and the Zambezi River. All the Zambian lodges we like have wonderful locations on the river, which can be explored by boat. A range of gentle activities close to the lodge door are well-worth doing, eg. village visits, horse-riding, walking, boating and birding. Its all too easy to come to Victoria Falls and end up spending too much time dashing from one activity to the next – time to relax in-lodge is important, especially in such idyllic natural locations as Sindabezi Island.


Overnight at one of our recommended lodges near Livingstone-Victoria Falls on a full board basis

DAY 15 - International departure

Enjoy an optional early morning activity such as a birding trip out on the river or perhaps a ride. Return to the lodge for a relaxed brunch before departure. You’ll then be driven to Livingstone Airport in time for your international departure. Flights to Johannesburg typically depart Livingstone in the early afternoon and connect with evening departures to the UK and Europe.



I have travelled with Walks in Africa on many occasions, following imaginative itineraries taking me to exotic, exciting and unusual venues. In the planning nothing is too much trouble, even responding to late changes of mind. The detailed co-ordination of flights, meeting representatives at airports, car and other transport arrangements are always spot on. All this delivered with a fund of experience and a warm, friendly approach. Outstanding.

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