Valley of the Leopard | SafariFRANK
Scheduled safari

Valley of the Leopard

"Join Gesa & Frank in South Luangwa!"

Price $4970 USD
8 Nights
7 Aug 2019 - 14 Aug 2019
16 Aug 2019 - 23 Aug 2019
Safari Type
Kids Min Age

A safari focussed on exploring the undiscovered secrets of the South Luangwa National Park along with Gesa and Frank

Zambia is an undiscovered gem in Southern Africa that is rich in both wildlife and natural beauty. It is the place to go for a traditional and authentic African safari with a personal and rustic touch. Zambia is a country full of colour and life, and South Luangwa is the most iconic and famous wildlife hotspot found within the country.

South Luangwa is a National park which boasts not only an impressive diversity of life, but also large concentrations of some of the more iconic animal species, which Africa is so very famous for. On the eastern boarder of the Park lies the Luangwa River, which in August is usually one of the last water sources for all wildlife living in the area, making this the absolute best time for game viewing. We should expect to see many herds of elephants frequenting the river, huge concentrations of hippos (the highest density of any park in the world!) as well as the many big cats which hunt along the banks of the river. The Luangwa Valley is also known as the VALLEY OF THE LEOPARD and is one of the best areas in the world to find and view these magnificent cats in the wild!

This CLASSIC LUANGWA SAFARI is aimed at those whom have heard or seen some of the beauties that the Luangwa has to offer and would like to not only visit the area, but really experience it in all its different forms. Gesa and Frank’s goal for this trip is take you on a journey through three different areas along the river, explaining in detail the complexities and intricate relationships of all that is natural, while still exposing you to the incredibly warm and welcoming locals who work in the carefully selected camps you will visit. The trip will see you comfortably accommodated, well fed and well looked after. However, the core of this safari is centred around the wildlife and wilderness the valley has to offer. We start off in the busier Mfuwe area of the park for a strong dose of wildlife, but soon after – we venture far south into more remote parts of the valley where we don’t expect to find many other tourists but rather a more authentic and real wilderness experience.

Safari Rating



  • Travel with Frank & Gesa to their favourite park in Zambia.
  • Excellent wildlife sightings and great photographic opportunities –  bring cameras if you have!
  • Accommodation in 3 different but authentic Zambian Safari camps – all inclusive!
  • Vehicle based and walking safaris as activities
  • Travel around as one exclusive small group but split into two vehicles so everyone has a window seat and space
  • Explore 3 vastly different areas of the famous Luangwa Valley
  • Spend most of the tour away from the other tourist crowds
  • Spent 2 nights in an authentic reed-constructed Zambia Bush camp
  • Have you own private sleep-out deck attached to the rooms at Three Rivers Camp

map and overview

Day 1  Arrive in Mfuwe in the afternoon, meet Gesa and Frank, set-off to the Lodge!

Day 2  Game viewing drives in the Mfuwe area of the South Luangwa National Park

Day 3  Morning drive followed by transfer towards the Island Bush Camp for 2 night’s stay

Day 4  Morning and afternoon walks in the area

Day 5  Morning walk/drive from Island Bush Camp to Three Rivers Camp for 2 nights stay

Day 6  Game viewing activities in the area

Day 7  Morning drive and transfer back to Kafunta River lodge for 1 night stay

Day 8  Final day -Morning drive depending on the onward movements of individuals


Frank Steenhuisen

  • Born in South Africa, Frank spent his childhood in the African bush before his parents Johan and Welna decided to fly their son around the globe and raise him in Australia instead. But Frank didn’t last long in “Down Under” – he fledged and returned straight to Africa. “There are no lions in the outback” says Frank, now a trained ranger and Lead Trails Guide in southern Africa, who has developed a weakness for scorpions and would always prefer a cup of coffee in the African bush to any drink in the urban jungle…
  • Frank, since having become a nature guide, privately guides guests in Southern Africa on custom designed safari itineraries. He travels nowhere without his camera and has since developed a passion for wildlife photography, but more importantly to teach others and help them capture the perfect image whilst on safari.

Gesa Neitzel

  • Gesa worked as a television editor in Berlin before the call of the wilderness lured her to the African continent. After several long-term trips around the globe, she discovered her love for the African bush and decided without further ado to dare being trained as a ranger in South Africa. Her book about this bold career change “Breakfast with Elephants” became a bestseller shortly after publication. Gesa is now a photographer, author and freelance tour leader exclusively for safariFRANK, who films her life every week in her “SAFARI SUNDAYS” and definitely has not seen enough baby elephants yet …

start dates

Both dates are fully booked!
7 August 2019 - 14 August 2019
16 August 2019 - 23 August 2019

detailed itinerary

First Day

Flight Lusaka-Mfuwe with Proflight (70 min).

Arrival in Mfuwe where Gesa and Frank will meet you at the airport and transfer you to Kafunta River Lodge (45 min) passing through various villages along the way. You will be given an introduction to the lodge as well as settled into your rooms.

Depending on time, you will either participate in the afternoon safari leaving the lodge at roughly 15h30 or relax and get to know everyone while watching the sunset from the beautiful setting at the lodge.

Day 2: Kafunta River Lodge

Enjoy an early breakfast and depart for your morning game drive at around 06h30. You will be back at the lodge around 10h30. Relax at the pool, book a spa treatment or enjoy a siesta on your viewing deck before meeting for afternoon tea at 15h00. The afternoon game drive departs at roughly 15h30 and returns at 19h30.

This day’s game drives will be focused on getting the most out of the area and trying to find and have great sightings of some of the very relaxed leopards that call the Mfuwe area home. Although nothing can be guaranteed in the bush we will most certainly have the best chances to view these cats here.

Mfuwe Area: This is the busiest area of the South Luangwa National park which has its advantages in that there are more vehicles out that we can work with for locating the animals we wish to find and also the animals are very accustomed to being viewed so generally the sightings are of higher quality. It is an incredibly scenic area with an abundance of wildlife and we will truly start the tour off with a bang!

Day 3: Kafunta to Three Rivers Camp

Today you participate in the morning game drive at Kafunta River Lodge. After brunch at the lodge, you will depart for the 2 1/2-hour transfer to Island Bush Camp. Upon arrival, you will be welcome by our camp staff and given the chance to tour the camp and settle in your chalet.

For the afternoon, because we have had a long days’ worth of driving, we will rather be taking it slow and easy by relaxing with a sundowner at the spectacular setting of camp itself, around the fireplace, before an early dinner. We can expect to hear great sounds of the wildlife around us as we enjoy the simplicity of this authentic bush camp setting.

Day 4: Island Bush Camp

An early continental breakfast is served by the fireplace, alongside a strong cup of coffee, before heading out on your morning walk at 6h00. This is the time we stretch our legs and explore the area by foot. South Luangwa is the birthplace of walking safaris and lends itself perfectly for walking safaris.

You will be back at the lodge around 10h00. The afternoon walk departs at 15h30 and will be accompanied by a shorter night drive as we make our way back to camp.

Walking safaris: The walks we will be conducting are focused on the smaller aspects that one often misses whilst out on a game drive. We will be going much more in-depth on topics such as tracking, birding, trees as well as the big 5 and whatever else we come across. It is a much more traditional way to experience the surroundings and feel as though we are all a part of it. We will be accompanied by our local guide as well as being kept safe by an armed Scout who walks in front.

Day 5: Island Bush Camp to Three Rivers Camp

This morning will start with an early coffee and light breakfast followed by either a walk or drive, depending on how we feel. It will be our last activity in the area before we return to the bushcamp for a quick brunch and to pack the bags.

We will then be getting transferred to Three Rivers Camp which is further north along the Luangwa Valley. Upon arrival, you will be welcome by our camp staff and you can choose to jump on the departing game drive, or rather settle nicely in camp at your leisure and enjoy the sunset from the privacy your viewing deck while sipping your sundowner.

Day 6: Three Rivers Camp

An early continental breakfast is served by the fireplace before heading out on your morning activity, either a walk or a drive. You will be back at the lodge for brunch and a siesta. The afternoon game drive departs around 15h30 and return in time for dinner. Decide to spend your night in your tent or under the stars on the appointed platform next to your tent.

Three Rivers Camp will be slightly fancier than the Island Bush camp so we can expect this to be the highlight of our accommodation during the

Day 7: Three Rivers Camp to Kafunta

This morning you will have walk or game drive followed by an early brunch at Three Rivers Camp, before the transfer back to Kafunta River Lodge. You will be arriving at the lodge around 12h30, and you can relax before joining afternoon tea and the afternoon game drive.

This will be our last evening and sundowner together as a group, so we intend in finding a great location for sunset and spending some more time as one group.

Day 8: Last Day

Today will sadly be the day of departure for us all and depending on what time that will be, we have the option of doing a morning drive or rather just relaxing at the lodge for one last time before being transferred to the onwards flights from there.


The 7 nights of accommodation will be in the form of 3 vastly different lodges/camps. The first of which – Kafunta River lodge is largest and considered their main lodge. The rooms are large and spacious with everything one needs for the comforts to begin and end the safari. We will be sharing this Lodge with other guests.

Island Bush Camp in the South is a much more rustic and traditional Zambian Bush Camp. The camp offers open-sided huts on stilts that ensure safety from wild animals while providing unlimited view of the Luangwa River. Great for hearing all the sounds at night! Each of the 5 Chalets has its own en-suite bathroom, with running water, flushing toilets and hot showers. The camp is the base for daily walking safaris. We expect to have the camp to ourselves.

Three Rivers Camp is the newest of their 3 camps and is located between the Luangwa River and a wildlife-rich lagoon. The camp features 5 sumptuous tents decorated in earthy tones, each with a private viewing deck and separate platform where you can choose to sleep out at night. The en-suite bathroom offers the choice of an indoor or outdoor shower.


USD$ 4970


Minimum Age 16

Single supplement USD-523 (441 EUR)

USD-332 (280 EUR) supplement per person when less than 8 pax travelling *see in additional information


  • Accommodation as stated above.
  • Mfuwe Airport and intra-camp transfers
  • Transportation in a safari vehicle.
  • Two Game viewing activities per day
  • Laundry
  • All meals and snacks
  • Services of Frank and Gesa as your personal safari guides.
  • Entrance fees and excursions as described in above itinerary.
  • A daily allocation of a selection of local beverages including beer, wine, waters and cold drinks.


  • International flights and airport taxes.
  • National flights (we will book these for you once we know the group size and send you an extra invoice)
  • Pre and post safari extensions/accommodation.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Any entrance fees and excursions not included in the above itinerary.
  • Gratuities.
  • Items of personal nature (telephone expenses, curios, medicines etc).
  • BANK CHARGES (as per bank or 3.5% commission for VISA/MASTER and 4.5% commission for AMEX).

additional information


Note that there are no internal flights included in the cost of the tour – as once we know how many people are going on this safari, we will then – closer to the date – organize and book the appropriate flights so as to be cost effective and also co-ordinate everyone’s arrival times.

It is important to note that the starting point for this safari will be an internal flight from Lusake – Mfuwe. This is so to ensure everyone arrives on the same flight and for it to be cost effective. Please ensure that all international flights arriving to Lusaka arrive before 15h00. The connecting flight will be leaving Lusaka at roughly 16h00, so the earlier you arrive in Lusaka, the better.


  • Services subject to availability at the time of booking.
  • Times of activities, meals, transfers is subject to change.
  • Given the nature of this safari, the age restriction is a minimum of 16 years paying full fare.
  • Maximum age is 65. Anyone older than this is required to produce a medical certificate proving that they are physically able to participate in the activities and terrain in which the safari tour will be conducted in.
  • PLEASE NOTE that whilst we endeavor to accommodate guests at the above stipulated lodges/camps, safariFRANK reserves the right to replace such with one of a similar standard and location.
  • As of paragraph 6 of our German T&C’s, safariFRANK has the right to cancel the trip latest 75 days before start of the trip (in this case 24.05.2019). The trip cannot be cancelled by safariFRANK later than 75 days before tour start.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
  • Rates are quoted as per person sharing, so clients booking under such rates must be willing to share with either of the two sexes. Although we try to accommodate the same sex per room (unless travelling together) this is not always possible. If we cannot find a suitable partner to share the room with, single supplement will be charged.
  • Should less than 8 people book this safari, there will be an additional cost of USD-332 (280 EUR) per person charged for each person below 8 travelling. The maximum extra cost for this tour is USD-664 (560 EUR) per person. The amount will be added to your rest payment invoice 60 days before departure.
  • This tour is priced on USD. The EUR price indicated above has been calculated with the exchange rate available at time of publication of this tour. safariFRANK reserves the right to recalculate the exchange rate at time of deposit and at time of rest payment due. Your invoice for the rest payment will be adjusted accordingly.
  • You shall receive a 2,5% discount on the overall tour price, if paying in total upfront. In case of a non-favorable exchange rate, you will be charged the difference 60 days before departure in case of a favorable exchange rate, we will grant a credit of the same kind.
  • Please note that we provide all our guests with insolvency insurance.

Handy tips

  • Visas/Passports: Please ensure: 1) that you have pre-arranged your entry visa if required; 2) that your passport is valid for at least six months after your scheduled departure date from Zambia; 3) that you have a minimum of 2 consecutive clear pages. If this is not the case, there is a danger of being turned away by the Immigration Service on arrival at the airport – assuming your airline has agreed to bring you and risk a fine in the first place.
  • Health: No vaccinations are mandatory but please consult your doctor for medical advice. Parts of Zambia are considered to be malarial so we recommend the use of anti-malarial prophylactics (normally Malarone/doxycycline), especially if visiting during the summer (December to April) – subject to advice from your own doctor.
  • Luggage: Is restricted to 15 kg (not including photographic equipment) per person in a soft, hold all type bag. Weight is generally less important than volume as everything is carried with you on safari.

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