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A private Journey through Zambia

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Itinerary Highlights

All Local Flights Included! 
2 Nights on Safari at Bilimungwe Bushcamp (South Luangwa National Park), Zambia 
2 Nights on Safari at Chindeni Bushcamp (South Luangwa National Park), Zambia 
3 Nights on Safari at Chamilandu Bushcamp (South Luangwa National Park), Zambia
3 Nights on Safari at Chiawa Camp (Lower Zambezi National Park), Zambia   
2 Nights Exploring Victoria Falls at Thorntree River Lodge, Zambia  

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Sample Itinerary

Day 1

  • Arrive in Zambia

    Today you will arrive into Zambia, one of Africa's most incredible safari destinations. From Kenneth Kaunda International Airport you will board a short flight to Mfuwe Airport (the cost of this flight is included). Here you will be met by your driver and together you will travel into the world-famous South Luangwa National Park!

    Bordering the Luangwa River, the northern and southern Luangwa National Parks contain some of the most breathtaking and untouched wilderness available anywhere in Africa. Thanks in large part to the governments successful anti-poaching campaigns, the area has developed into a world-renowned wildlife haven. While offering incredible safari drives, the South Luangwa National Park is also famous for its walking safaris. This style of safari allows travelers to pass silently through the African wilderness creating amazing opportunities for some incredible wildlife sightings, all while under the supervision of a professional and knowledgeable armed guide.

    You will begin your African safari adventure with 2 nights at the wonderful Bilimungwe Bushcamp. Overlooking 3 busy waterholes, and shaded by enormous mahogany trees, Bilimungwe Bushcamp is one of the regions hidden gems. Each of the 4 large thatched chalets sits on stilts and boasts magnificent views over the surrounding watering holes. 

    Having checked in to your lodge and taken some time to get settled you will then set off on your afternoon game drive. Your friendly and knowledgeable guide will ask you about your favorite wildlife and they will then do their best to ensure that your preferences are met, whether it is tracking a particular species or spending more time enjoying each sighting, getting to know the habits of the animals. They will also teach you all about the vegetation of the region and will explain the unique behavior of the animals that you come across. In some cases, the guides will be able to identify individual animals and let you know about their history and habits.

    Following your evening drive, you will return to your lodge to be met by pre-dinner cocktails and a delicious feast often set up under the stars, weather permitting.   

    Meals Included: Full Board (including local beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks)

    • Bilimungwe Bush Camp, The Bushcamp Company

Day 2

  • On Safari in the South Luangwa National Park

    This morning you will wake up shortly after sunrise and following a quick cup of tea or coffee in the lodges communal area, meet your guide for another spectacular safari drive. Returning to the lodge in the mid-morning, you will be met with an enormous brunch followed by a few hours to relax around the lodge, or perhaps squeeze in a nap to make up for your early morning. 

    This afternoon you have the option of going out on another amazing safari drive or you could choose to remain at the lodge and simply let the animals come to you. Alternatively, you may want to consider embarking on a nature walk. A safari on foot is an entirely different experience as you learn all about the fauna and flora of this unique area with the help of your guide. 

    Regardless of how you choose to spend today your day will end with a wonderful farewell dinner as you prepare for the next leg of your African safari adventure.

    Meals Included: Full Board (including local beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks)

    • Bilimungwe Bush Camp, The Bushcamp Company

Day 3

  • From Bilimungwe Bushcamp to Chindeni Bushcamp

    This morning you will bid farewell to Bilimungwe Bushcamp and enjoy a short transfer to Chindeni Bushcamp. This transfer could either be a short drive or instead can be done as a mornings walking safari. Rest assured your luggage would be taken ahead in a vehicle and would not need to carry your suitcase with you! 

    Each of Chindeni's four spacious tented chalets overlook a beautiful lagoon and the Chindeni Hills in the distance. Like Bilimungwe, during your stay at Chindeni you will have the opportunity to join two safari drives daily. One in the early morning and then another that leaves in the late afternoon and returns shortly after dark. Please note you are in no way obligated to join both drives every day and if you would prefer to sleep in one morning and simply join the afternoon drive (or vice versa) you are of course welcome to do so. As the lodge is in the middle of the National Park you will enjoy fantastic game sightings from anywhere around the property, including the communal areas or even right from your private deck! 

    Returning from the evening game drive you will enjoy a splendid African inspired meal prepared by the lodges talented team of Chefs. After dinner you are welcome to either relax on the deck overlooking the lagoon, sipping your choice of beverage, or retire to your room in preparation for the next day’s early start.

    Meals Included: Full Board (including local beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks)

    • Chindeni Bush Camp, The Bushcamp Company

Day 4

  • On Safari in the South Luangwa National Park

    Today you have at leisure to enjoy whichever safari activities you prefer. Whether you are in the mood for intrepid exploration, or perhaps some more sedentary wildlife viewing, Chindeni will deliver. Avid game viewers and birdwatchers can set out on a superb walking safari, or alternatively you can simply just park yourself in a deckchair at camp and watch the abundance of game that is drawn to the lagoon.

    Meals Included: Full Board (including local beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks)

    • Chindeni Bush Camp, The Bushcamp Company

Day 5

  • From Chindeni Bushcamp to Chamilandu Bushcamp.

    This morning you will check out of your lodge and continue your journey North up the Luangwa river. This transfer can again either be done via vehicle or as a morning hike through the wilderness. 

    Your next stop will be Chamilandu Bushcamp, a breathtaking camp on one of the South Luangwa’s prime river locations offering a bird’s-eye view of the wildlife that the river and its lagoons attract. There are just three stilted chalets at this exclusive camp, set on the riverbank beneath a soaring ebony grove. Each has its own raised veranda and an open-fronted en-suite bedroom with the same magnificent views over the tranquil waters. Here you can enjoy a sundowner cocktail from the comfort of the thatched bar and dining area as you watch the wildlife saunter down to the river.  

    Meals Included: Full Board (including local beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks)

    • Chamilandu Bush Camp

Day 6

  • On Safari in the South Luangwa National Park

    Game drives and safari walks in the area around Chamilandu are an ideal way to explore the incredible range of habitats in the area. With no fewer than seven oxbow lagoons behind the lodge, there are always a plethora of thirsty animals nearby seeking refreshment. 

    The lodge also boasts a wonderful hide that looks out over one of these lagoons, a great place from which to while away the afternoon to the soundtrack of a herd of bathing elephants and snap some amazing photographs. 

    Meals Included: Full Board (including local beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks)

    • Chamilandu Bush Camp

Day 7

  • On Safari in the South Luangwa National Park

    Today your safari adventure continues. Spend the day as you wish whether that means jumping on board the twice daily safari drives, embarking on a nature walk with your knowledgeable guide or simply relaxing around the lodge soaking in your peaceful surroundings.

    Meals Included: Full Board (including local beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks)

    • Chamilandu Bush Camp

Day 8

  • From the South Luangwa National Park to the Lower Zambezi National Park

    This morning you will check out of your lodge and say farewell to the South Luangwa National Park. You will then enjoy a transfer back to Mfuwe Airport where you will meet your light aircraft. This short flight will take you over the Zambian wilderness and into the Lower Zambezi National Park. Note this flight is included in the cost of your program.

    Arriving into Jeki Airstrip you will be met by a member of staff from your lodge and together you will travel around an hour to your new home for the next 3 nights, Chiawa River Camp. 

    The Lower Zambezi National Park is one of Zambia’s most exceptional, undeveloped wildlife areas and together with Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools Reserve, the area provides a massive trans-frontier wildlife sanctuary. Most safari activities are concentrated along the Zambezi river as this enormous body of water draws the surrounding wildlife animals and aside from spectacular safari drives the area also offers incredible boat safaris, canoe trips and tiger fishing experiences. 

    At Chiawa River Camp safari drives are conducted in open 4-wheel drive vehicles that have been specially adapted for safari use with comfy seats, pockets to stow your gear and bean bags to steady your camera for those all-important photos. Usually departing in the early morning, drives can last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours depending on the overall conditions and the preferences of the guests.

    In the late afternoon safari drives set off for an hour or so before stopping at a scenic point for sundowner drinks. Once the sun has set you will again move on and the night drive will commence. Zambia is one of the few countries that permit night drives, perhaps the most interesting of all safari activities.

    Using filtered spotlights, which do not interfere with the wellbeing and behavior of the animals, night drives provide an opportunity to see nocturnal creatures such as civet, porcupine, genet, and also to see some of the larger predators on the move. It is not uncommon to see a pride of lions on a kill or a leopard stalking through the bush. These drives last as long as they need to before returning to the lodge.

    Arriving back you will enjoy pre-dinner cocktails followed by a lavish African feast created by the lodges talented team of Chefs.

    Meals Included: Full Board (including local beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks)

    • Chiawa Luxury Tented Camp

Day 9

  • On Safari in the Lower Zambezi National Park

    In place of one of the twice daily guided safari drives you may want to inquire about including a safari on foot. Pioneered in Zambia, bush walks in the Lower Zambezi National Park are essentially a "micro-safari". An armed ranger along with your experienced guide will take you through the wilderness on foot, interpreting spoor, identifying the various flora and fauna, and highlighting conservation issues.

    Elephants, antelope and buffalo are the most common animals seen during walks however sometimes big cats such as lion and leopards make unexpected appearances and so it is best to always have your camera ready! The pace of these walks is leisurely, and the duration is determined by your requirements, and what is seen on the walk. Typically, a few hours are enough.

    Meals Included: Full Board (Including local beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks)

    • Chiawa Luxury Tented Camp

Day 10

  • On Safari in the Lower Zambezi National Park

    One of the great aspects of a visit to Chiawa Camp is the variety of activities offered by virtue of your presence on the Zambezi river. Chiawa is one of the few camps permitted to conduct waterborne safaris within the National Park, and their custom built, motorized pontoons are ideal to take advantage of this. Here you will have the opportunity to spend a morning or afternoon cruise exploring the numerous channels, viewing hippo, buffalo, elephant and immersing yourself in the prolific bird life of this region. Also on offer, are sunset and sundowner cruises, often completed with a night drive back to camp.

    Although the Zambezi offers many activities, one of the most unique is its canoe trips. Nowhere else is there such a combination of breathtaking scenery, varied wildlife and interesting geological formations to paddle through. Six-meter-long Canadian canoes are used and these trips may last anywhere from 1 hour to 1 day.  One of the most popular canoe safaris takes around 90 minutes and will see you paddle downstream from the lodge ending at "Sunset Strip" where you would enjoy a well-deserved sundowner drink. You would then enjoy a night drive back to Chiawa Camp.

    If you are interested, Chiawa Camp is internationally acclaimed as one of the world’s leading fishing destinations. Recommended by authoritative anglers and in publications such as The Best Fly Fishing Trips Money Can Buy and Forbes Traveler, expert guides are on hand to assist you in finding the fearsome tigerfish which are caught on fly or conventional tackle. Please note all tigerfishing is strictly catch and release.

    Meals Included: Full Board (Including local beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks)

    • Chiawa Luxury Tented Camp

Day 11

  • From the Lower Zambezi National Park to Victoria Falls

    This morning you will check out of Chiawa River Camp and enjoy short transfer back to Jeki Airstrip. From here you will board a short flight to Livingstone's Harry Mwanga Nkumbulu International Airport. Please note this flight is included in your program cost. At Livingstone Airport you will be met by your driver and transferred to Thorntree River Lodge, set in Zambia’s Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, just a short distance from the mighty Falls.

    Livingstone is home to what is arguably the most impressive natural wonder of the world, Victoria Falls. Known locally as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’ this spectacle is accessible from both Zambia and Zimbabwe and it is an ideal region to combine game viewing and water sports. There is excellent fishing, a terrifying bungee jump and arguably the best commercial white water rafting anywhere in the world. 

    Thorntree River Lodge was designed and built with eco-friendly principles in mind and draws on inspiration from local customs and culture. It is a modern contemporary design, yet the tented roof structures ensure it maintains the feel of authentic Africa. The communal deck is set on the edge of the stunning river and is home to a sunken boma area and an infinity pool. 

    Due to its proximity of Victoria Falls, the lodge offers daily excursions to the Zambian side of the falls where complimentary activities include guided walking safaris, game drives, canoeing, catch and release fishing and boat cruises. Many of these activities take place on a secluded section of the Zambezi River and all are led by qualified and passionate guides who will share their knowledge and love of the bush with you. 

    Meals Included: Full Board (Including local beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks)

    • Thorntree River Lodge

Day 12

  • Exploring Victoria Falls and Surrounds

    Today you have at leisure to explore this incredible area. Aside from the more standard activities offered by the lodge, there are also a number of other unique activities available. The African Bush Camps Foundation works with local communities with the goal of community upliftment through tourism. In Livingstone, Thorntree River Lodge has partnered with the Maunga Community and together they have identified two focus areas; building a much-needed clinic and providing scholarships to children in need. If you are interested, you could spend half a day visiting this community and experience firsthand the impact of the Foundations work. 

    Another unique experience involved learning all about the endangered White Rhinos of the region.  The Southern White Rhinos are listed on the WWF's Near Threatened list and therefore the herd in the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park are under constant protection by the local rangers. During your stay at Thorntree River Lodge, you'll have the remarkable opportunity of being able to visit these majestic animals. The activity involves a short drive into the park to meet up with the rangers who will then accompany you on foot to view the rhinos.

    Meals Included: Full Board (Including local beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks)

    • Thorntree River Lodge

Day 13

  • Depart Africa

    This morning you will check out of your lodge and meet your driver for a short transfer back to Livingstone Airport. Here you will meet your onward flight home. 

    Meals Included: Breakfast

Download The Full Itinerary

Estimated pricing for a private journey through Zambia:

Classic Program

Includes more basic accommodation than that mentioned in the Program above: $8,900 per person.

Luxury Program

Includes the accommodation mentioned in the Program above (or equivalent): $11,785 per person.

Premium Program

Includes more luxurious accommodation than that mentioned in the Program above: $15,235 per person.

Please note while the cost of all regional flights have been included in your itinerary, the cost of your international flights to and from Africa have not. Please let us know if you would like assistance in booking your international airfare.

Please note due to the bespoke nature of our itineraries combined with profound seasonal variations in accommodation costs and availability the above pricing estimates should be used only as a guide. An exact cost can be provided once exact dates and logistics have been discussed.

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Please tell us your questions about A private Journey through Zambia and we'll be in touch to get the ball rolling!

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Why go through a company such as the Exeter Safari Company?

An African safari is, for many people, a once in a lifetime trip and for that reason you will want to be sure the arrangements are flawless. A safari incorporates many different elements including airport arrival and departure services, transfers, light aircraft flights, the routing to remote lodges and the most knowledgeable local guides. Coordinating all these different services, often throughout multiple countries, languages and currencies can be daunting.

By going through an experienced safari company which has a wealth of local knowledge, local connections and years of experience in the region you can be sure you will be receiving the highest possible level of service before, during and after your travels. At the Exeter Safari Company we work with only the best guides, highest quality lodges at every price point, and the most reliable transportation providers in Africa. Our extensive experience and connections throughout the continent will ensure your trip goes off without a hitch.

In addition, you will enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you have access to 24/7 support both before your departure and during your time in Africa.

What should I wear on safari?

When deciding what clothing to pack for a safari trip your main priority is going to be comfort, coverage, durability and ease of packing. Keep in mind safaris often include light aircraft flights on to which normal hard sided suitcases are not allowed. You will therefore want to pack your clothing and other items into a soft sided duffel style travel bag (no larger than 24 inches long and 15 inches wide) that can be easily stored along with other travelers’ bags in the small luggage compartments on board. Note there is also a strict 15KG (33lbs) weight limit for your luggage.

Regardless of the time of year you are traveling, or the expected temperatures, you will want to be prepared for some cooler occasions. In order to find animals while they are at their most active, safari drives generally take place in the early morning and late afternoon/early evening. You will therefore often be out and about during the cooler parts of the day and this combined with sitting in the back of an open sided safari vehicle means it can get chilly - even in the middle of Summer. Accordingly, you will want to bring one or two light jackets, preferably that can be layered, so when it does start warming up you are able to shed layers and maintain a comfortable temperature.

It is also important where possible to wear long-sleeve shirts and pants to help with both sun and insect protection (fleece is great as insects can’t bite through it). Mosquitoes, Tsetse flies and other small flying insects can be bothersome during certain parts of your safari and preparing for them ahead of time will make your trip that much more pleasant. You will want to avoid bringing dark blue and black clothing as this color is known to attract certain flying insects such as Tsetse flies. You may also want leave behind your favorite white clothing as they can quickly become dirty from the dust in the air and climbing in and out of the safari vehicle. Last you will want to keep in mind you are trying to remain inconspicuous while on safari and so bright colors and loud prints should be avoided. Instead opt for more neutral tones in greens and browns that will help you blend into your surroundings.

When it comes to footwear you will again want to choose an option that covers as much of your bare skin as possible, think hiking boots or closed shoes with long socks rather than flip-flops or sandals. You will also be climbing in and out of vehicles and walking on uneven terrain that could have sharp rocks or thorns and so you will want footwear that is relatively durable. Your safari may include bush walks and so you will want to wear sturdy hiking boots on these occasions. Around the lodge area you will be able to wear more casual and lightweight footwear including flip flops or sandals, assuming you have bug-spray to stop any pesky mosquitoes that may be in the area. While in your rooms you will normally have mosquito nets over the bed area however you may still want to bring some full-length pajamas to ensure you have less skin exposed to any mosquitoes that did manage to sneak in.

When is the best time to travel to Africa?

The short answer is anytime! While there are better and worse times to be on safari throughout the various regions of Africa because the continent is so large and so diverse whenever you are looking to travel there will be a destination that is right for you.

Traditionally, the best time to go on safari is during the dry season that broadly runs from June through October, however this season does vary significantly depending where in Africa you are considering. During the dry season the vegetation is much less dense and because the grass is shorter it is much easier to track and locate wildlife. Additionally, when there is less rainfall there are fewer available water sources for wildlife to gather around. This results in the animals tending to congregate around the same lakes, pans and rivers which again makes for great game viewing (and leads to some interesting herbivore/predator encounters!).

Often during the wet season, also called the green season, when water sources are abundant, the wildlife tends to spread out over an enormous area. Many camps and lodges close during this time of year, often December through February as the dirt tracks that surround the lodges become impassable.

Another aspect to consider, especially if visiting East Africa, is the great migration. Please visit our page that explores this topic at length as it will give you a good idea as to where the migration is located at any particular time of year.

What About Yellow Fever?

Yellow Fever is a disease found in many parts of sub-tropical Africa transmitted into humans through Mosquito bites. As it can be quite a serious illness it is essential you receive a yellow fever vaccination before embarking on a trip to an effected country.

The main safari destinations where Yellow Fever vaccinations are required are Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda and Rwanda. Other countries such as South Africa and Botswana require you to arrive with a yellow fever vaccination even if you have only transited through or visited a country where yellow fever exists within the past 6 months (keep in mind many of the countries on this list are in South America).

Check with your Exeter Safari Company expert for the specific requirements regarding the destinations included in your program. It is important to note the Yellow Fever vaccine requires 10 days before it becomes effective and so don’t leave it to the last minute!

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