Valley of the Leopard
"Join Gesa & Frank in South Luangwa!"
"Join Gesa & Frank in South Luangwa!"
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
MINIMUM 8 PAX / MAXIMUM 10 PAX
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
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.
Join Gesa and Frank on this incredible journey through the Zambian wilderness!