Explore on foot, tracking big game in a way unique to this park.
Explore on foot, tracking big game in a way unique to this park.
Benefit from some of the best walking guides in Zambia.
Set out after dark in search of nighttime predators.
Stay at intimate bushcamps, where staff outnumber guests.
When you leave Mfuwe (the central sector) behind and drive south into this wilderness area, it feels like you are entering an entirely different park. The beautiful scenery stays the same, as does the fantastic wildlife, but the telltale signs of humanity fade away, leaving behind the Luangwa Valley as it should be – free from intrusion.
The Luangwa Valley, which marks the end of the Rift Valley, covers a vast area through which the meandering Luangwa River runs. The oxbow lagoons, woodland and plains of the valley host huge concentrations of wildlife.
One of the best places in Africa to see leopards, this riverine landscape is alive with predators and prey. Crocodiles and hippos fill the river, whilst its grassy floodplains are grazed by pukus, impalas and zebras. Over 450 species of birds, both endemic and migratory, are found here.
Set out from secluded, intimate camps on foot for an unrivalled wildlife experience. This is the home of the walking safari and there is no better way to explore South Luangwa. Whilst walks elsewhere are more nature-focussed, a walking safari here is far more intense.
As well as the up-close, holistic unveiling of the ecosystem that you might expect, be prepared to follow animal tracks, actively searching for big cats and other large mammals. On foot, encounter herds of elephants or get close to towering Thornircoft’s giraffes – endemic to South Luangwa.
It is the guides that make a walking safari. And South Luangwa has some of the best. Expect fantastic sightings and in-depth knowledge, whilst simultaneously feeling you’re in safe hands.
This trip focuses on the southern part of the park, where a number of small bush camps are scattered, overlooking the Luangwa River or one of its tributaries. This hard-to-reach region is one of the wildest parts of the Luangwa Valley – a real wilderness.
Whilst this remoteness brings with it challenges, the benefit is a complete lack of other visitors. There is a wealth of wildlife, but you are unlikely to see another vehicle in most places. Exploring this beautiful ecosystem, especially on foot, gives a real feeling of exclusivity and discovery.
This wild region is home to six bush camps in total, all of which can be combined in various ways, usually including no more than three or four of the camps. You can either drive between the camps or – and we recommend this – walk some of the way, with your luggage transported separately.
All of the camps have slightly different styles, making for a subtly varied experience – albeit one that centres on being immersed in nature throughout. With no more than four tents at each of the camps, the experience is a highly personal one, with staff usually outnumbering guests.
Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.
Chamilandu Bush Camp nestles in splendid isolation overlooking both the Luangwa River and the rugged Nchindene range of hills bordering the valley. Accommodation comprises three grass and thatch chalets with comfortable beds, mosquito nets and en suite facilities. The camp is ideal for small groups seeking a heightened wilderness experience and the opportunity to explore this magnificent wildlife sanctuary on foot. Open to a 180-degree vista, Chamilandu is a small classic safari camp which is situated in a cool ebony grove high on the banks of the Luangwa River, with breath-taking river views across to the Chindeni Hills in the distance.
Set in a remote corner in the southern region of the South Luangwa National Park, is Kapamba Bushcamp. Lying on the banks of the shallow, spring-fed Kapamba River in a peaceful, secluded area Kapamba is surrounded by some of the park’s richest wildlife with fabulous views over the watercourse. The camp has four spacious and comfortable river-facing open-fronted thatch and screed guest chalets. With en-suite bathrooms that include hot and cold running water, a double-size indulgent sunken stone bath and twin showers all perfectly positioned to enjoy river views chalets also include mosquito nets as well as a verandah.
Each of Zungulila’s shaded tents has its own private bamboo veranda with immense views over an impressive variety of wildlife, from thirsty elephants at the springs and flocks of birds on the river to prowling lion and large herds of buffalo on the grassy plains. With stylish interiors, ensuite bathrooms, hot-and-cold running water, outdoor showers and sunken plunge-pools you can enjoy your creatures and your creature comforts in this classic tented bush camp.
Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.
There are three seasons in Zambia – the cool, dry winter season, the hot, dry summer season and the rainy season, which is in fact even hotter. It will depend on your activity preferences and the destinations in Zambia you are travelling to as to the best time to visit the country.
Similarly to January, February will experience heavy rainfall throughout the country. Some destinations and accommodation will be open to a variety of outdoor activities, but it should be noted that the majority will remain closed.
Throughout the winter months, it can be a perfect opportunity for bird watching although some wildlife may be more difficult to spot with the thick vegetation flourishing after the rainy months. You can expect temperatures of 23°C with heavier rainfall at the start of the month.
As the rainy season comes to an end, both April and May are the best months to visit Victoria Falls, where temperatures are marginally cooler, averaging 21°C and there is less rainfall than previous months.
Zambia will experience the cool, dry winter season from May until September making it the best time to travel to Zambia as the wildlife is in abundance. Temperatures are pleasant at the beginning and end of this season and there is considerably less rainfall.
For the best game viewing in Zambia, it is suggested to travel from June to October although safaris are an all-year-round activity. In June temperatures will average 25°C during the daytime and remain cooler through the evening.
July is one of the peak months to travel to Zambia as temperatures range from 22°C to highs of 30°C. Zambia will experience the least rainfall during July and all accommodation and destinations throughout the country will be fully open, with opportunities to partake in all the activities.
From June to September, Zambia will experience its peak season as it can be one of the best times to visit the country when both travelling for the wildlife viewings and to see Victoria Falls. It is a popular time to travel to Zambia and so accommodation should be booked well in advance.
During the month of September, temperatures will begin to rise and can reach highs of 28°C in certain regions of the country. Like July and August, September can be an ideal month for safaris in Zambia, with higher chances of regular wildlife viewings on game drives.
During the months of October and November, Zambia will experience the hot, dry season, particularly in the river valleys of the Zambezi and Luangwa where it will become very hot. Game drives during the day can sometimes become uncomfortable due to the humidity and high temperatures.
As the dry season comes to an end in the months of October and November, water levels are low and so can be an ideal time to visit Zambia to see the magnificent rock formations yet not the most ideal time to visit Victoria Falls, which is better viewed in April and May.
From the month of December until April, Zambia experiences the rainy season, which is in fact much hotter than the summer months of October and November. Temperatures can rise to highs of 28°C in December and as rainfall becomes more regular, Zambia will start to experience the lush, green vegetation – harder for spotting wildlife!
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