Trip reference number: ITN-ZMB017
Trip Operator: Rainbow Tours
Celebrate 25 years of Robin Pope Safaris' innovative mobile walking safaris in the Luangwa Valley, a speciality of the country and one of the best safari experiences. For over three decades, Robin Pope has aimed to give their guests an amazing African experience, achieved with the mobile walking safari. It's an incredible opportunity to explore and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of the African wilderness. Outside the confines of a safari vehicle, all your senses become alert and heightened to every sound and movement around you.
This two week itinerary is a wonderful way to honour and appreciate this special safari expedition with the generous offer to extend the mobile walking safari to seven nights instead of the usual five and the addition of a magical night out under the stars.
Enjoy up close encounters with the flora and fauna of the Luangwa Valley, Africa's best kept secret. Found at the end of the Great Rift Valley, the 9,000 sq km of land is an unspoilt wildlife sanctuary supported by a vital river system, lush vegetation and fertile soils. This tropical and beautiful land is home to a plethora of big game, including elephant, buffalo, giraffe, kudu and antelope, as well as the ferocious predators of lion, leopard, hyena and wild dog.
Your intrepid adventures will be led by one of Robin Pope's incredibly experienced guides, their passion infectious and their knowledge fascinating. Your expert guide will point out the surrounding wildlife and birdlife, teaching you to sharpen your senses and refine your tracking skills to spot the clues left by the animals around the bush. During your adventures you will be staying in a selection of both permanent and mobile camps, all of them intimate and comfortable. Overlooking the majestic Luangwa River and the tempting South Luangwa National Park, Nkwali camp is the perfect place to start your safari.
As you will be spending most days discovering the bush on foot, Robin Pope has recommended you should be able to run 50 metres. This is a suggested fitness level as you will be walking 10km over a four hour period each day on varied ground.
Day 1 Depart from London Heathrow on your overnight flight to Zambia with Kenya Airways. Please enquire about flights from your regional airport.
Day 2 On arrival at Mfuwe International Airport, after your connecting flight in Lusaka, you will be met by a guide from Robin Pope Safaris and driven to Nkwali Camp. Your first impression of Zambia on the hour drive will include vibrant scenes of the local villages and the thriving bush. Check into one of the six open-front chalets, a delightful bolthole with high thatched ceilings and cool flagstone floors. Freshen up in the open air bathrooms before, depending on the time of your arrival, enjoying lunch or afternoon tea looking out over the neighbouring lagoon. After your revitalizing food, head out for an afternoon game drive. Watch the sun fall behind the horizon of the river with a drink in hand leaving for the drive back to camp with a spotlight illuminating the nocturnal world of the bush including owl, genets, hunting lion and elusive leopard.
Day 3 After an early wake up call and breakfast, leave Nkwali Camp and head north for the start of your exciting walking safari. Drive 90 km along a bush road, through the remote untouched parts of the park, stopping off to eat your packed lunch along the way. Arrive at Mupamadzi River, greeted by lovely cold drinks and siesta time. Part of Robin Pope’s anniversary celebration package is the night out under the stars. Resting on the laid out bedrolls underneath mosquito net cubes, this night promises to be unforgettable spent in the middle of the secluded wilderness underneath a dazzling sky of constellations and star clusters.
Day 4 Wake at sunrise for your morning walk across the remote and wild area, the terrain and habitats untouched by man and the animals unaccustomed to your presence. During your walk, you will come across the big and small creatures of the land, from ant to buffalo, crowned crane to giraffe. The mobile camp will be set up as you arrive for lunch, your walk-in tent ready for your reviving siesta. Upon waking up, enjoy tea time before an afternoon walk around the camp. Return to the camp in the evening for a traditional sundowner and dinner under the stars.
Day 5 Another early morning to ensure you make the most of your time in this intriguing and awe-inspiring land. Return to the mobile campsite, in the same location, for another entertaining evening of sundowners, delicious drinks, fine cuisine and great company.
Day 6 This morning your camp will move location following the clear waters of Mupamadzi River, a major tributary of the Luangwa. Spend the next two days in your new position within the national park appreciating the fascinating land and all it has to offer, maybe even coming across the two endemic species to Luangwa Valley: Thornicroft's Giraffe and Cookson's Wildebeest. All of your walks are led by an experienced naturalist and accompanied with an armed game scout.
Day 8 Depending on the movements of the game, tracked and followed by the expert guides who are eager to fill your walking safari with wildlife encounters, you may move camp location one more time. Wherever your campsite is constructed, your days in this wilderness will be exceptional and exhilarating.
Day 10 After an early breakfast you will be taken on a game drive, the game-viewing seats of the safari vehicle providing you with excellent viewing and photo opportunities. The game drive will finish at the Luangwa River crossing point where you will be met and transferred by boat across the water to your camp for the night, Tena Tena. Settle into your spacious tent for a well-earned siesta, waking for afternoon tea. Spend the afternoon resting your legs and watching the wildlife from the camp’s comfortable seats, the river waters littered with hippo and crocodile and surrounded by concentrations of elephant, antelope and buffalo. For those with bundles of energy, heading out for another walk is always an option.
Day 11 During your last day in the awe-inspiring location you have the option to drive or walk through the ebony groves. Depending on the time of year, you may be lucky enough to venture further afield to the salt pans for an exceptional day out exploring a completely different habitat to the ones you have experienced over the last few days. You will also have the opportunity to visit the community of Kawaza Village, a charming insight into the life of a non-tourist village and a chance to purchase tribal textiles for friends and family.
Day 12 After an early breakfast, you will be driven the one and a half hours to Mfuwe Airport for your flight home.
Day 13 Arrive back home in London Heathrow or your regional airport.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
** If you see this next to a price, a specific price in your currency has not been provided, this is an estimated-only price based on a currency conversion, the price you pay may be different to that shown
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