Join our exclusive small group safari to the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia where we spend the whole week looking for wildlife, accompanied by some of the finest local guides in the park.
The South Luangwa National Park covers an area of more than 9,000 square kilometres and encompasses a range of habitats – it is undoubtedly the jewel in the crown for Zambia’s national parks. During this classic small group safari we will have plenty of opportunity to see much of the iconic wildlife against a stunning backdrop of verdant and fresh vegetation as we explore the park in our private vehicles.
By exploring the region during the month of June we should be able to enjoy a multitude of wildlife sightings. More than 60 species of mammal are found in the park, in addition to around 400 bird species.
The African elephant is one mammal that is hard to miss because these endearing creatures are often seen close to the camp where we stay. The many other species found here range from the endemic Thornicroft’s giraffe and puku, to zebra, greater kudu and impala. The area is home to many sought-after predators, with reliable sightings of both lion and leopard; wild dogs are more transient, but June is a good time of year to try and spot these enigmatic mammals and there are also good chances of seeing spotted hyena as well. The Luangwa River is the life-blood of the Luangwa Valley and is home to large numbers of hippopotamus and crocodiles.
During our stay, we will also enjoy night drives to see some of the nocturnal species that frequent the park, such as African civet, genet, bushbaby and the occasional honey badger if we are lucky.
Day1: Depart UK
Depart the UK on an overnight flight to Lusaka, Zambia.
Day2: Arrive Lusaka & fly to Mfuwe
We arrive in Lusaka after lunch and have a short wait before our domestic connection to Mfuwe. This flight takes only around one hour and – provided the skies are clear – offers spectacular views over the landscape. On arrival in Mfuwe in the late afternoon, we have just a short transfer by road to the lodge that will be our base for the week.
Each morning we have an early wake-up call, followed by a light breakfast, before heading out on safari. These morning drives last for at least four hours, giving us plenty of time to search and spend time with the animals we encounter. The expert local guides will be able to share their extensive knowledge of the flora and fauna, and will work closely with us make sure that we enjoy the wildlife as much as possible. We will then usually return to the lodge mid morning to avoid the heat of the middle of day.
On some days it may be possible to take an all-day drive into the national park, so that we can visit different areas of the park, increasing our chances of seeing as much wildlife as possible.
On a more typical day, we return for a relaxed brunch in the comfortable surroundings of the lodge, where we can enjoy whatever wildlife decides to show itself, sit by the river and watch the world go by before heading out on our afternoon drive into the park in mid-afternoon. Alternatively, we may prefer to enjoy a walking safari to experience the South Luangwa in a different way and to see things that we may not have seen from the vehicles previously.
Night drives provide us with a completely different perspective on the South Luangwa as we encounter a whole range of different species. The wildlife scene changes completely after dark when the many nocturnal species become active.
Day9: Morning safari & fly back to UK
Today marks the last day of our safari in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park, and after a final early morning wake-up, we head out for our last wildlife drive. We return to the lodge later in the morning, with time to pack before brunch followed by a transfer to Mfuwe airport. After a short flight to Lusaka we have a brief stopover before an overnight connection back to the UK.
Day10: Arrive UK
Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 10 daysfrom £2,995 pp
Duration and price excluding international flights: 8 daysfrom £2,345 pp
Single supplement: From £370
Group size: 12: maximum 6 per vehicle, plus local guides
Comprising some 9,050 square kilometres of unspoilt African wilderness, South Luangwa is undoubtedly the jewel of Zambia’s national parks and a magnet to outstanding wildlife, particularly leopard. Its eastern boundary is the meandering Luangwa River whose regular changes in course leave scenic oxbow lagoons.
Excellent for: Walking safaris, Wildlife photography, Wildlife Art Safaris, Vehicle safaris, Walking with wildlife
Situated on the banks of the Luangwa River, Flatdogs Camp offers a good range of accommodation from safari tents with en suite facilities to luxurious chalet rooms. It is the closest camp to the Mfuwe main gate, providing easy access to South Luangwa National Park and its abundant wildlife.