South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi and Victoria Falls (2 weeks)
A well-balanced safari that uses traditional camps, features superb walking and showcases the highlights of the Zambezi
From £7,960 per person

This two-week safari explores two of Zambia’s best-known, yet very different, wildlife parks, before ending with a relaxing sojourn at Victoria Falls. The South Luangwa National Park is Southern Africa’s top destination for walking safaris and you’ll spend a whole week here, initially exploring the game-rich Nsefu sector on game drives, before moving to a 4-night walking safari in back-to-basics yet comfortable bush camps. A short hop by light aircraft moves you on to the very beautiful Lower Zambezi National Park, where in addition to game drives and walks, you can head out onto the water to engage with the park’s excellent wildlife. Unless you’ve visited before, a trip to Zambia is incomplete without a few days spent in the environs of Victoria Falls – other than viewing the falls, spend time discovering the lush river environment of the upper Zambezi.

SEQUENCE:     Lusaka   ♦   Tafika Camp   ♦   Chikoko Trails   ♦   Lower Zambezi National Park   ♦   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 the Lower Zambezi 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 - Arrival 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 because Tafika Camp is located a fair distance by road from Mfuwe, it is preferable to spend a night relaxing in Lusaka and fly on to Mfuwe 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 Tafika Camp, South 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 by a driver, who will transfer you to Tafika by road, an interesting drive through small settlements, game management areas and eventually the Nsefu sector of the South Luangwa National Park. You’ll reach Tafika in time for lunch, with plenty of time to settle into this very welcoming and appealing, family-run safari camp before joining your first afternoon safari towards the end of the day.


Overnight at Tafika Camp on a fully inclusive basis

DAYS 3 & 4 - Safari at Tafika Camp, South Luangwa

Of all the camps we’ve visited in the Luangwa valley, Tafika has one of the most enviable positions on the Luangwa River. It’s is a very high quality, authentic-feeling camp and is one of the smallest permanent camps on the Luangwa River. It’s also the home of the Coppinger family, who are well-respected, long-time residents of the Luangwa valley, who make their guests feel very welcome. It’s genuinely friendly, relaxed and unpretentious.


Unlike in the Chikoko Trails camps, which you will move on to, Tafika offers the chance to undertake day and night game drives and this will be the main activity for the couple of days you will stay here. Although you will likely encounter big 5 animals on a walking safari, game drives increase the chance of encounters with larger animals and predators and ensure you can get close – it’s worth noting that the Nsefu sector, where drives take place, is a fantastic game area and is well-known for Leopard sightings.


Overnight at Tafika Camp on a fully inclusive basis

DAYS 5 & 6 - Walking safari at Chikoko Tree Camp (Chikoko Trails)

Following a final morning safari activity and brunch at Tafika, you’ll move on to Chikoko Trails, a unique walking safari operated from two refreshingly simple bush camps, named Chikoko Tree Camp and Crocodile River Camp, located in an un-spoiled, game rich, walking-only concession of the South Luangwa National Park. This truly means no vehicles – you cross the Luangwa river in a canoe and then walk in to the first camp on foot, with your luggage portered ahead of you. The camps are built from natural grasses laid and tied on to wooden frames, refreshed each season, and reed mats are spread on compacted earth floors. This is bush living in the style of Tarzan and Jane, bolstered by good, fresh food, comfy cushions to flop on, cold drinks from the gas fridge, en suite hot bucket showers and flushing loos. Each camp accommodates a maximum of 6, ensuring intimacy and flexibility, and guiding and camp hosting is of a high standard. You’ll spend two nights at Chikoko Tree Camp, followed by two at Crocodile River camp.


Morning walks normally last a leisurely 4 hours, with a mid-morning break for refreshments, and a shorter afternoon walk takes place after siesta time and tea. When out walking you’ll be led by an experienced walking guide, accompanied by a Zambia National Parks’ scout who will be armed. A tea bearer will bring up the rear. You’ll pursue walks on the maze of animal footpaths that cover the area, frequently linking lagoons, dambos and small floodplains that provide a draw to wildlife. It’s a beautiful area and the proximity to the perennial Luangwa River ensures good densities of wildlife in the dry season.


Chikoko Tree Camp is situated 8km upstream of Tafika, beside a small, seasonal channel that’s a 10-minute walk away from the Luangwa river. As the name suggests the 3 twin, reed and thatch chalets are raised above the ground, within the tree canopy. This enhances the view of the acacia grove in front of camp where a constant array of wildlife activity unfolds throughout the day. There are en suite flush loos and hot (on request) open air showers.


Overnight at Chikoko Tree Camp on a fully inclusive basis


For more detailed information on Chikoko Trails click HERE.

DAYS 7 & 8 - Walking safari at Crocodile River Camp (Chikoko Trails)

Having spent two nights at Chikoko Tree Camp, you’ll move to Crocodile River Camp, which is located on the western side of the concession. When transferring between the two camps, all luggage is portered ahead by camp staff whilst guests enjoy a 3-4 hour morning walking safari between the two. En route, you’ll pass through an extensive stretch of beautiful Cathedral Mopane woodland. Lunch will be ready for you at Crocodile River Camp, after which you can retire to your grass and reed chalet for a well-deserved siesta. Over the next couple of days you’ll continue your walking safari in the same format, exploring the area around the new camp.


As with Chikoko Tree Camp, Crocodile River Camp is similarly constructed of reed, thatch and wood, this time on one level – chalets are again delightfully simple yet perfectly comfortable. The camp is in a beautiful setting, strung along a river bank shaded by a line of magnificent ebony trees – the dry Crocodile River is a corridor for wildlife and there is a small water hole that tempts animals close to camp.


Overnight at Crocodile River Camp on a fully inclusive basis

DAY 9 - Travel to the Lower Zambezi National Park

After an early breakfast you’ll leave Crocodile Camp on foot and enjoy a final walk-out through the bush to the Luangwa River. You’ll be ferried across by boat and then jump straight into a vehicle to be taken to Mfuwe Airport (about 1.5 hours) in time to board a direct flight to Jeki Airstrip in the Lower Zambezi National Park. You’ll be met and transferred into Old Mondoro Camp (or alternative if you prefer), where you’ll have time to settle in, take refreshments and relax before going out on your first safari activity in this beautiful park.


The Lower Zambezi National Park is very different from South Luangwa and is one of Zambia’s most beautiful safari destinations; its dominated by the Zambezi River, which is very wide and shallow at this stage in its course. The river is bounded by the Lower Zambezi National Park on the northern bank (Zambia) and the Mana Pools National Park on the southern bank (Zimbabwe). It is the life blood of these two wonderful parks and a draw to constant wildlife. On the Zambian side, the Zambezi valley’s northern escarpment looms over the park and provides a beautiful and distinctive backdrop.


Overnight at Old Mondoro Camp on a fully inclusive basis

DAYS 10 & 11 - Safari in the Lower Zambezi National Park

Enjoy two full days of safari in the Lower Zambezi National Park. Of all the camps contained within its boundary, Old Mondoro is arguably the most traditional and authentic in feel. It’s tempting to call it rustic, but this can imply rough-shod, which it is definitely not. Its constructed in an unfussy way, using materials that blend in and fit with the bush – wood, reed and canvas – but this is essentially a luxury camp with a genuine, unpretentious bush atmosphere. Luxury is derived from the oodles of room space and privacy, an intimate number of guests (just 5 tents), attention to detail, award-winning guiding, excellent food, and of course the wonderful wild location, tucked beneath beautiful mature Winterthorn trees on the banks on the Zambezi River.


The river is broken by numerous islands in the vicinity of the camp, dividing the river’s course into safe, shallow channels that can be navigated in relative safety by canoe – one of the real pleasures of a visit here. If you are uneasy with canoeing, river safaris are also offered on stable, pontoon boats with canopies. On dry land, game drives are of course offered, but this is also a great area for walking too, either on the main land mass, or you can get dropped off to explore one of the Zambezi’s larger islands with your guide.


Overnight at Old Mondoro Camp on a fully inclusive basis

DAY 12 - Travel to Victoria Falls

It’s easy to travel from the Lower Zambezi National Park to Livingstone Airport, the gateway to Victoria Falls on the Zambian side. You’ll depart camp after breakfast and be driven the short distance to Jeki Airstrip to fly to Lusaka. Once there, connect with an onward flight to Livingstone. 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 Victoria Falls environs

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 the 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.



We would recommend Walks in Africa to anyone thinking of a planning a “once in a lifetime” holiday, in our case a walking safari in the Luangwa Valley followed by a three night trip to Victoria Falls – the company mapped out a great itinerary, put everything into place and gave sound advice on which extras to book at the falls so that we could enjoy our time to the full

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