Wildlife and Waterfalls in Zambia
Home to some of the friendliest people you may ever meet, amazing big game viewing and scenery so beautiful it makes the list of the natural wonders of the world, Zambia is a personal favourite destination of ours. Experience all of the above on this jam-packed nine-day adventure.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Cameras at the ready to spot lions, elephants, hippos, wild dogs and all manner of amazing wildlife on a safari in the South Luangwa
- Enjoy the most authentic of all bush experiences on a world-renowned walking safari
- Tick Victoria Falls off your bucket list with a guided visit
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When To Travel
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Day 1: International Flight
Your adventure begins as you board an overnight flight to Johannesburg. The flight takes 11 hours.
Day 2: Arrive
The flight lands in South Africa in the early morning and you connect (with your bags checked through automatically) on to a further two-hour flight to Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. Nearly there now, as you connect onto one final short (just over an hour) domestic flight to Mfuwe in the South Luangwa.
When you land a driver will be waiting to collect you with a board bearing your name. The driver will then escort you to your lodge in the heart of the national park, which is around an hour away. Spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing and getting familiar with your lodge surroundings before sipping on your first Zambian sundowner.
Day 3: South Luangwa
Wake up to the sounds of the bush this morning as you begin your safari adventure in earnest. The South Luangwa is widely regarded as one of the best safari destinations in the world and the guides here are as passionate as they are knowledgeable, with years of experience in the area.
Start the day with a morning game drive, spotting hippos and crocodiles in the Luangwa River and 'Big Five' game drinking from the riverbanks or roaming the 3,500 square miles of park. When the sun starts to get hot, head back to camp for breakfast and then a siesta under the shade of the lodge's thatched roof.
After a long lazy lunch, join the afternoon game drive and hopefully spot a pack of extremely rare wild dogs at a nearby hide. You'll then be back in camp in time for a sundowner overlooking the river and dinner under the stars.
Day 4: More Safari-ing
After an early start yesterday and a lot of flying the day before, get some rest and enjoy a lie in this morning, opting to forgo the morning game drive for a bush walk instead. Walking safaris are something of a speciality of the highly trained guides in this part of the world and are a really exciting way to explore the bush and spot game - there's nothing quite like getting up close (but not too close) to a lion on foot.
The afternoon is once again yours to spend leisurely at the lodge, perhaps practising your photography skills by the river's edge or getting stuck into a good book. Take the afternoon game drive for sunset and more game spotting potential and then enjoy dinner back at the lodge.
Day 5: Last Day in Luangwa
As this is your last safari day of the holiday we suggest trying to cram in as much wildlife spotting as possible; after all, it's not every day you get to see elephants playing in the wild or leopards chasing their dinner up a tree.
Start the day with a game drive and then go on a mid-afternoon stroll - perhaps focusing on spotting the smaller wildlife and birds in the area. Finally finish off your safari experience with the by now regular evening game drive and sundowners in the bush. For dinner, we have organised that you enjoy a special private dining experience; tucked in your own candlelit corner of the bush you'll be treated to a delicious three-course meal and can then spend a good few hours doing some stargazing.
Day 6: To Livingstone
Pack your bags up and meet your driver in the centre of camp to begin the drive back to Mfuwe this morning. You'll be dropped at the airport in plenty of time for your domestic flight to Livingstone - which connects through Lusaka en route and should take around four hours in total.
Once you land in Livingstone, collect your bags and then head into the arrivals lounge to meet your driver. Wherever you're staying, the transfer from the airport will be less than an hour, and the setting a glorious spot overlooking the Zambezi. Settle into your incredibly luxurious surroundings and take in the surrounding river views as you listen to the birds singing and watch the sunset light up the sky.
*Please note that if you are visiting the area during September or October we might suggest you stay on the Zimbabwean side of the falls to get a better chance of seeing the falls flowing with lots of water.
Day 7: To the Falls
Wake up to the sound of the river flowing and the birds calling, then wander down to the terrace for breakfast and get ready to visit 'The Smoke that Thunders'.
As one of the undisputed natural wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls has a combined width of 5,604ft and height of 354ft, making this the largest waterfall in the world. With a guide on hand to provide interesting facts and figures and show you the very best viewpoints, you'll get to experience the towering falls at their mighty and majestic best. Plus, with the sun (hopefully!) shining and the fall spray in the air there is nearly always a bright rainbow over the falls, so make sure you get that perfect insta-snap.
As you head back to the lodge enjoy a sunset cruise along the river and spot wildlife on the banks while you sip on a sundowner.
- Helicopter flight over Victoria Falls
- White water rafting, canoeing.
Day 8: Village Visit
Spend your last full day in Zambia getting more familiar with the rich culture and warm spirit that make the country one of the safest and most hospitable destinations in the world. On either foot or by mountain bike, make the journey to a local village and, alongside your guide, meet the residents at their homes and school. Spend some time chatting and laughing with the adults and playing with the children, who are always especially eager to interact with tourists.
Come afternoon you can enjoy a number of activities, such as fishing trips, guided nature walks and mokoro dugout canoe trips on the river. Alternatively, just sit back and enjoy the last of your time in the Zambian sunshine.
Day 9: Home Time
After a week of adventuring it's sadly time to go home. After a last lazy morning make the journey to Livingstone airport with a driver and then catch your one-hour-and-45-minute flight to Johannesburg. Connect across to your evening overnight flight back to the UK, and your bags will be checked straight through to London. The flight will take roughly 11 hours.
Day 10: Arrive Home
Arrive back into London in the early morning.
Charlotte C is our expert for this itinerary and, as a seasoned traveller, has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.