Join wildlife photographer Bret Charman on our small group tour to the South Luangwa National Park – one of the finest wildlife locations in Southern Africa.
This wildlife photography tour to Zamiba has been designed specifically to maximise photography opportunities and to make the most of the exquisite light and stunning wildlife for which the South Luangwa is famous. At over 9,000 square kilometres, the park is one of Zambia’s key areas for wildlife and provides a variety of different habitats, home to over 60 species of mammal and around 400 bird species.
Some of the wildlife that we will hope to see and photograph during our time in Zambia includes the endemic Thornicroft giraffe and puku (an antelope which is a close relation of the Ugandan kob), zebra, greater kudu, elephants, hippo and impala. The area is home to many sought after predators and is renowned for its reliable sightings of both lion and leopard. Wild dogs are more transient, but can be seen with some reliability and there are also good numbers of spotted hyena.
The opportunity for night drives open up a whole new world and, although the photography is particularly challenging (no flash allowed), there are countless species to discover. Most commonly seen are the African civet and the beautiful genet, however bushbaby, several species of owl and the occasional honey badger can all be seen at times. It is not unheard of to come across lion or leopard on a night drive too.#
“I’ve been visiting the Luangwa Valley for the past 35 years - it’s my second home! – and it is fantastic to be able to offer such a great value small group safari to this truly spectacular wildlife location, staying in really beautiful camp with fabulous guides.” Chris Breen, Founder
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 internal flight to Mfuwe. The flight to Mfuwe is only about an hour long and we should arrive in Mfuwe late in afternoon. We then take a short transfer by road to our lodge close to the South Luangwa National Park.
Each morning we will have an early wake up call before heading out on a morning safari. These morning game drives should last for at least four hours, providing plenty of time to photograph the wildlife to our hearts’ content. The light in this part of Africa is particularly good earlier in the morning and this should provide us with plenty of good photography opportunities. If we come across a subject that we want to stick with, we can spend the necessary time to allow the sighting to develop and provide different situations to capture.
Bret, our photographic leader, will be on hand throughout the drives to offer any guidance and help you get the very best out of your safari, whilst expert local guides will be able to share their superb knowledge regarding the local wildlife.
The open-sided vehicles are perfect for all-round visibility and photography. With a maximum of six photographers per vehicle (excluding local and photographic guides), there will be plenty of space to spread out and photograph freely.
Typically, we have a relaxed lunch in the comfortable surrounds of the lodge, where we can enjoy whatever wildlife decides to show itself; you can also sit down by the river and watch the world go by before our afternoon game drive. The evening light is usually the best of the day and maximise this for some truly wonderful photography and unrivalled wildlife encounters. There is also the possibility of night drives in the evenings.
Day9: Morning safari; fly back to Lusaka & onward to the UK
Today marks the last day of this fantastic safari in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park. After a final early morning wake up, we head out for one more game drive. We will return to the lodge later in the morning, allowing us to pack our things before lunch and our transfer to Mfuwe airport. After a short flight to Lusaka, we continue on our overnight flight back to the UK.
Day10: Arrive UK
You should note: This tour runs in November, the very end of the dry season in Zambia and we may experience some rainfall during the tour. However, this should only add to the photographic opportunities if it does occur.
Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 10 daysfrom £3,395 pp
Duration and price excluding international flights: 8 daysfrom £2,745 pp
Bret is an award-winning wildlife photographer with a background in the wildlife travel and safari industry.
After spending a year in Australia to pursue wildlife photography, he was rewarded with success at the prestigious Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition, as well as making the shortlist in Bird Photographer of the Year and Outdoor Photographer of the Year. Bret has experience leading groups in Europe, the Americas and in Africa – and has a real passion for African wildlife in particular.
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.