This journey will take in some of Africa’s finest wilderness where wildlife thrives on vast savannah plains, and the mesmerising Victoria Falls provide a suitable end to this stunning trip.
Kafue National Park in Western Zambia is one of the best kept secrets in Africa and it is home to an incredibly diverse range of wildlife. This itinerary also takes in the impressive flora and fauna of Hwange National Park in neighbouring Zimbabwe. 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.
Day1: Depart the UK on an overnight flight to Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city
Day2: Arrive Lusaka; 1-night at Radisson Blu
On arrival you will be greeted and then transferred to the Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka for an overnight stay. The rest of the afternoon is free to spend as you wish.
Day3: Fly to Kafue National Park; 3-nights at Musekese Camp
Following breakfast you are transferred to Lusaka airport’s domestic terminal to take a charter flight to Lufupa airstrip in Kafue National Park. When you have landed, you and your luggage will be taken by boat along the Kafue River to Musekese Camp, where you spend the next three nights. In the afternoon, head out on a game drive which ends with the safari essential, a sundowner.
Days4-5: Game viewing in Kafue National Park
For the next couple of days you explore Kafue National Park on a series of game drives 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; 3-nights at Somalisa Camp
In the morning, travel to Livingstone. From here you will cross the border into neighbouring Zimbabwe and make your way to Hwange National Park. You continue driving to Somalisa Camp stopping on the way to look at any wildlife that may appear. Somalisa Camp is sheltered in a thicket of acacia trees on an island between ancient riverbeds. This location almost guarantees encounters with the wildlife and you will be based here for three nights.
Days7-8: Explore Hwange National Park
For two full days you set out on a series of game drives and guided walks to explore the wilderness of Hwange National Park. To be honest, you will need as many excursions as possible because the abundance of wildlife is, at times, unbelievable. Despite the incredible diversity, Hwange is renowned as a location for African elephants because 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: Travel to Victoria Falls; 1-night at the Victoria Falls Hotel
The drive to Victoria Falls will give you one more chance to see some of the wildlife in Hwange, and you arrive at the Victoria Falls Hotel for an overnight stay by the early afternoon. The rest of the afternoon will be free to visit Victoria Falls and the surrounding national park. All in all this is excellent end to this scenic journey though Africa’s sub-Saharan interior.
Day10: Transfer to Victoria Falls airport for an overnight flight back to the UK
Day11: Arrive UK
Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.
Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 11 daysfrom £5,695 pp
Duration and price excluding international flights: 9 daysfrom £4,495 pp
Single supplement: From £190
When to go: Jun-Oct: Travelling during the dry season will increase your chances of seeing wildlife
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 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 safari, 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: common 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!