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Staying at three comfortable yet contrasting bush camps while walking in South Luangwa National Park, this small group trip makes the most of the prolific wildlife found along the banks of the Luangwa River.

Journalist and author Simon Barnes and Wildlife Worldwide founder Chris Breen first met in the Luangwa Valley when Chris was Simon’s wildlife guide on safari. Their shared experiences from that and other trips they have done together created a close friendship that has ensued ever since. 

After that first safari, Simon subsequently returned to The Valley for a much longer stay, during which he sent regular reports back to The Times, and his first novel, Rogue Lion Stories, is based on his time there. Since then - like Chris, who began his long relationship with wildlife travel in South Luangwa - he has returned at regular intervals.

On this trip, the two join forces to reveal their passion for this area and its wildlife, an experience that is guaranteed to be both illuminating and great fun!

Wildlife Worldwide has secured a 30% discount on Simon’s book The Sacred Combe. To claim the discount enter SACRED30 at the checkout on the Bloomsbury website.

Typical itinerary

  1. Day 1: Depart London

    Fly from London to Lusaka on an overnight flight, normally via Dubai.

  2. Days 2-4 : Arrive Lusaka and fly to Mfuwe; transfer to Tafika Camp

    On arrival at Lusaka airport, we transfer to a light aircraft for an onward flight to Mfuwe, then drive through colourful local villages and bush to Tafika Camp on the bank of the Luangwa River. 

    During our stay in South Luangwa National Park, we can enjoy morning, afternoon and evening game drives and walking safaris, and see some of Zambia’s finest wildlife, including huge concentrations of African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, giraffe, hippo, lion and an astonishing 450 species of bird. 

    Accommodation: Tafika Camp, 3-nights

  3. Days 5-8 : Chikoko Trails Camps

    Today the group divides, transferring around one hour’s drive further north up the Luangwa River to two tiny private camps: Chikoko Tree Camp and Crocodile River Camp, both of which have only three tents. Each group spends two nights at each camp - with Simon at one and Chris at the other - to enjoy walking safaris in the area. However the highlight is the walk between the two camps, which takes some three to four hours, on well-worn trails created by elephants and hippos, following in the footsteps of David Livingstone through the Luangwa Valley.

    Accommodation: Chikoko Tree Camp, 2-nights, and Crocodile River Camp, 2-nights

  4. Days 9-10 : Return to Tafika Camp

    The two groups meet up on return to Tafika, where another two nights on the edge of the Luangwa River provides a final opportunity to spot any wildlife missed previously. 

    Accommodation: Tafika Camp, 2-nights

  5. Day 11: Depart South Luangwa

    Depart for a domestic flight back to Lusaka, to connect with an onward overnight flight to the UK.

  6. Day 12: Arrive UK

Key info

  • Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 12 days from £7,375 pp
  • Duration and price excluding international flights: 10 days from £6,620 pp
  • Single supplement: From £875
  • Group size: 10
  • Departures:
    1. , Limited spaces
    2. , Limited spaces
  • Included in the price/package:
    • Return flights between Lusaka and Mfuwe
    • 5 nights at Tafika Camp
    • 2 nights at Chikoko Tree Camp
    • 2 nights at Crocodile River Camp
    • All meals
    • Transfers
    • National park fees
  • Activities available:
    • Boat trip
    • Nature drive
    • Photography
    • Walking
Featured location:

South Luangwa National Park

South Luangwa is undoubtedly the jewel of Zambia’s national parks. It lies in the north-eastern part of Zambia and comprises some 9,050 square kilometres of unspoilt African wilderness. Its eastern boundary is the meandering Luangwa River whose regular changes in course leave scenic ox-bow lagoons.

  • Where: Eastern Province
  • Ideal for viewing: leopard, Cookson’s wildebeest, Thornicroft’s giraffe, Crawshay’s zebra, African elephant
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Wildlife photography, Photography tours with Nick Garbutt, Vehicle safaris, Walking with wildlife, Just Conservation
Featured accommodation:

Chikoko Tree Camp

Consisting of only three chalets raised off the ground, this exclusive camp set amidst an acacia grove attracts an array of wildlife. Located right on the bank of the Luangwa River, the chalets all have en suite bathroom and offer views of wildlife throughout the course of the day.

Crocodile River Camp

This comfortable and intimate camp is situated beneath a grove of muchenja (ebony) trees in South Luangwa National Park. Constructed using a combination of natural materials, its three chalets have en suite bathroom and overlook a dambo, attracting an abundance of wildlife, which can be seen from the room..

Tafika Camp

Tafika is superbly situated just to the north of the Nsefu sector of the South Luangwa National Park on a magnificent stretch of the Luangwa River. The camp consists of six comfortable chalets and offers a highly personalised, friendly service and flexible wildlife-viewing activities.