Visiting Kafue National Park in Zambia and Hwange National Park in neighbouring Zimbabwe, this adventure takes in some of Africa’s finest wilderness where wildlife thrives on vast savannah plains. The stunning Victoria Falls provide a fabulous end to a great trip.
Kafue National Park is one of the best kept secrets in Africa and it is home to an incredibly diverse range of wildlife, including red lechwe and the elusive sitatunga. After walking safaris and wilderness walks at Kafue, the itinerary then moves to Zimbabwe to enjoy some of the impressive flora and fauna of Hwange National Park. For the past couple of decades Zimbabwe has made the news for the wrong reasons, but the country is starting to find its feet again and is quickly regaining its position as one of the best wildlife destinations on the continent.
A fitting finale to this fabulous itinerary is a night at the impressive Victoria Falls, where you can't fail to be mesmerised by this incredible natural wonder.
Day1: Depart the UK
Day2: Arrive Lusaka
On arrival in Lusaka, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free to spend as you wish.
Following breakfast you will be transferred to Lusaka airport’s domestic terminal to take a charter flight to Lufupa airstrip in Kafue National Park. From there, you will taken by boat along the Kafue River to your camp. In the afternoon, head out on a vehicle safari, which ends with the safari essential - a sundowner.
For the next couple of days explore Kafue National Park on a series of vehicle safaris and wilderness walks to see the region’s diverse wildlife and to learn more about the animals and their environments. Some of the species to keep an eye out for are yellow-backed duiker, African wild dog, Pel’s fishing owl and impala. Kafue is also the best places in Zambia to see cheetah.
Day6: Transfer to Hwange National Park
In the morning, travel to Livingstone, from where you cross the border into neighbouring Zimbabwe and Hwange National Park, stopping on the way to look at any wildlife that may appear.
For two full days you set out on a series of vehicle safaris and guided walks to explore the wilderness of Hwange National Park. You will need as many excursions as possible because the abundance of wildlife is, at times, unbelievable! Despite the incredible diversity, Hwange is particularly renowned as a location for African elephants, as it is home to one of the largest populations in Africa with some estimations suggesting the numbers are as high as 40,000 individuals.
Day9: Transfer to Victoria Falls
The drive to Victoria Falls will give you a final chance to see some of the wildlife in Hwange, arriving at your accommodation by the early afternoon. The rest of the afternoon will be free to visit Victoria Falls and the surrounding national park - an excellent end to a scenic journey though Africa’s sub-Saharan interior.
Kafue is one of the world’s largest national parks. It’s has a rich variety of wildlife and a profusion of game who are attracted by the diverse habitats, which range from woodland opening onto wide, grassy dambos. The vast, rolling Busanga Plain, fed by the Lufupa River, attracts large herds of red lechwe and buffalo.
Where: North Western Province
Ideal for viewing: Cape buffalo, defassa waterbuck, lion, red lechwe, sable
Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, River safaris
Bordering Botswana, Zimbabwe’s largest park is a haven for over 100 mammal and 400 bird species. Formerly occupied by San bushmen, it became a national park in 1928. The diverse landscapes of teak forests, sandveld, ilala palm islands, savannah and woodland offer a rewarding and interesting wildlife safari.
Where: Matabeleland North Province
Ideal for viewing: African wildcat, honey badger, leopard, sable, wild dog
Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris
Combining perfectly with a safari in Zambia, Botswana, Namibia or Zimbabwe, the Victoria Falls are not only a wonderful place from which to begin or end a trip, but offer enough interest to be a safari destination in their own right. The wildlife in the tributaries is active all year round, and the birdlife is superb.
Where: Matabeleland North
Ideal for viewing: waterbuck, African elephant, hippo, black eagle, Taita falcon
Excellent for: Vehicle safaris, River safaris
Starting life as a village, Zambia’s capital city was expanded by colonial settlers and is now very much the beating heart of the country. With vibrant market stalls and tree-lined boulevards, it offers an authentic African experience as well as a variety of good quality accommodation and a cosmopolitan sensibility.
Where: Southern region of the Central plateau
Excellent for: City stopover
Suggested accommodation options are shown below.
for further recommendations.
Taking its name from the local Kaonde name for the monkey-bread tree, Musekese is a small camp situated on the Kafue River, with superb views over the floodplain. Four chalets are surrounded by the sounds of the bush, with leopard coughing at night, hippo snorting and the eerie call of the scops owl.
This conveniently located hotel is close to both the city centre and the airport in Zambia’s capital city, Lusaka – the perfect stop before or after your safari. It has 142 modern en suite rooms and suites, all with balcony and air conditioning, and a variety of leisure facilities are available.
This intimate camp lies in the Somalisa concession in Hwange, Zimbabwe's foremost national park. Tucked away on an island, its location virtually guarantees encounters with African wildlife from the moment you step out of your tent – you may even find elephants drinking from the plunge pool!
This stately Edwardian-style hotel was built in the early 20th century, and all 161 rooms are decorated to suit the grandeur of the hotel’s architecture. Located just a ten minute walk from Victoria Falls, beautiful manicured gardens offer fine views of the infamous bridge and the rising mists from the gorge.