Our specialist says:
Get away from the crowds in the wildlife rich, but much under visited National Parks of Western Zambia. Enjoy exceptional guiding, unique wildlife encounters and some of the finest lodges the continent has to offer, all rounded off with a few days relaxing at Victoria Falls
Getting off the beaten track in many countries can mean compromising on the quality of experience – lodges can be a little on the “rustic” side and wildlife experiences can be middling, which puts even the most ardent safari enthusiast off dipping their toe in little-known areas. Western Zambia bucks this trend dramatically, offering an unrivalled wildlife experience away from the crowds in lodges that are the envy of their contemporaries across Africa.
Start off with an overnight in Lusaka, Zambia’s bustling, modern capital city. Here you can relax by the pool and prepare yourselves for the incredible adventure that awaits. The following morning you will be taken back to the airport for a flight to the Kafue National Park, a vast expanse of wilderness that few have heard of and fewer visit. Enjoy incredible wildlife encounters, on foot, in boats and in vehicles, as your guides get you up close and personal with some of Africa’s most iconic beasts. From there a plane and short helicopter flight will take you in to the heart of the Liuwa Plain National Park, a hidden gem of a park with only one permanent lodge which will be your home for the next few nights. Explore at your heart’s content, safe in the knowledge that you will be one of just a handful of people who visit the park in any given year Enjoy unique wildlife encounters in a park where, despite a sizeable lion population, hyena are the apex predator. After your time exploring Liuwa fly down to Livingstone for a few days relaxing on the banks of the Zambezi River. Your base will be one of Zambia and indeed Africa’s most beloved lodges which boasts amazing river views and has the Victoria Falls in easy striking distance.
This trip offers a unique blend of iconic experiences, outstanding lodges and an absence of crowds – if you are looking for something truly unique then this is definitely the trip to take and will make you the envy of safari enthusiasts the world over.
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Day 1: Flying to Zambia
Fly overnight from London to Johannesburg with British Airways.
Day 2: Destination Lusaka
Connect through Johannesburg on to a morning flight to Lusaka, landing there in the early afternoon. A driver will be waiting at the airport to transfer you in to the city where you will be spending the night at the lovely Latitude 15, an oasis of tranquillity in the heart of this bustling metropolis. Spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool and admiring the significant art collection before enjoying dinner and drinks in the cozy bar and restaurant area.
Day 3: On to the Kafue National Park
After breakfast your driver will transfer you back to Lusaka airport for a flight up to the Kafue National Park. From the airport you will enjoy a game drive transfer through the park where you will be staying at the lovely Ila Safari Lodge for the next 3 nights. Nestled on the banks of the Kafue River it is the perfect modern interpretation of a traditional safari lodge and the ideal base for exploring this mighty National Park – one of Zambia’s under visited gems.
Day 4: Exploring with your guide
Having got a taste of what Kafue offers yesterday afternoon, today is the chance for you to really get under the skin of what the park offers with your guide. As well as traditional game drives the lodge takes advantage of its proximity to the Kafue River to offer boat cruises, which are a great way to spot wildlife, as well as guided walks and fishing. Lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and varied antelope, including rare roan and sable are amongst the wildlife you will see as you explore.
Day 5: Relax and enjoy Ila
As well as boasting access to amazing game viewing areas, Ila is amongst the most luxurious lodges in Kafue and offers an incredible all-round stay experience. The tented suites are very spacious and luxurious with their own private decks, whilst the swimming pool is one of the most enviably-located in all of Zambia with commanding views of the Kafue River. The food is outstanding and when relaxing in the lodge between activities you will be impeccably well looked after by the charming staff.
Day 6: Time to head to Liuwa Plain
This morning you will enjoy a final safari activity from the lodge and breakfast before being transferred back to the airstrip for a flight on to Kalabo in the west of Zambia. There a helicopter will be waiting to whisk you over the Liuwa Plain National Park to the beautiful King Lewanika, the only lodge in the park and a simply stunning place to spend a few nights. Spend the afternoon revelling in the majestic location of the lodge with its breathtaking views out over the plains.
Day 7: Time to explore the park
Being the only permanent camp in the park offers King Lewanika’s guests a unique combination of privacy and flexibility, allowing you to explore as you please with your guide. Game drives are the ideal way to explore the vast open expanses of the park as they allow you to cover the most ground, but the open terrain is also ideal for walking safaris. Visitors in the early months of the year will also be able to enjoy boating safaris on the floodplains.
Day 8: Wildlife and wide open spaces
Whilst Liuwa has in the past been known for its lion sightings, which are still a huge draw, it is the chance to see huge clans of hyena, up to 50 strong, roaming the plains. Their place as the apex predator makes this a unique ecosystem and one that draws safari enthusiasts from all over the world. A little known feature of Liuwa is that it also plays host to Africa’s second largest wildebeest migration – an incredible sight to see away from the crowds of the Serengeti.
Day 9: Revel in spending isolation
As well as the amazing views an abundant wildlife, it is the peace and tranquillity of Liuwa that makes it such a special place. Sit back and relax in the lodge with a good book and take in the views out across the plains. They offer in-room spa treatments throughout the day as well as outstanding cuisine which belies the remote location of the lodge. Evening drinks under the stars with the guides telling stories of Lady Liuwa – the park’s legendary lioness – are also a highlight of any stay.
Day 10: To Victoria Falls
Of course, no visit to Zambia would be complete without a visit to one of Africa’s true icons, the mesmerising Victoria Falls, which is where you will be heading today. A helicopter will take you back to Kalabo and from there fly down to Livingstone, where a driver will be waiting to drive you upstream to Tongabezi, another icon of the continent. Spend 3 nights here relaxing and enjoying the myriad of activities that it has to offer.
Day 11: Exploring The Falls
Spend today exploring around The Falls and on the mighty Zambezi River. Early morning visits to The Falls mean they tend to be quieter and the light is amazing for photography and also leaves the bulk of the day free for exploring. The Tutajane Trust School is an amazing project run by Tongabezi and well worth a visit, whilst their sundowner boat cruises on the Zambezi River are the perfect way to round off the day in this little corner of paradise.
Day 12: Relaxing at Tongabezi
Given Tongabezi’s reputation for luxury, amazing food and service, it would be foolish not to spend a day in the lodge revelling in what it is best-known for. Sit back in your private house, take a dip in the pool or sit in one of the coxy “hides” that overlook the river. Mealtimes are a real treat for the senses here and are one of the reasons why many visitors come back year after year and rave about the many charms of “Tonga” to anyone who will listen.
Day 13: Time to head home
After a morning relaxing and enjoying the lodge you will be collected for a road transfer down to Livingstone airport for a flight to Johannesburg and the overnight connection to London Heathrow with British Airways.
Duration: 13 Days
Location: Zambia, Africa
This WIld Western Zambia itinerary cots from £12,500 per person and includes:
- International and regional flights
- Domestic flights - a combination of scheduled and charter services
- Helicopter flights betweeen the Kalabo airstrip and King Lewanika
- All applicable transfers
- 1 night with Breakfast at Latitude 15 - Original Side Room
- 3 nights Fully Inclsive at Ila Safari Lodge - Tented Suite
- 4 nights Fully Inclusive at King Lewanika - Villa
- 3 nights Fully Inclusive at Tongabezi - Dog House
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