Can I go now – Zambia
Zambia has reopened her doors and with so many of our team having lived and worked here it’s one we feel particularly close to. Here’s a real ‘escape from it all’ suggestion.
One of Africa’s oldest safari destinations, Zambia is where walking safaris were pioneered with safari legends Norman Carr and Robin Pope striding out into the wilderness to explore. Today it’s still a fascinating and powerful place, little visited compared to some of its neighbours. Walking is an incredible way to way to experience everything from elephants and towering trees, to the tiniest insects and plants. Some walking safaris are truly mobile and involve walking to a new camp every day, while others entail just a couple of hours walking from camp in the early morning or late afternoon. We’ve suggested the ‘in between model’ here where you split your time between four lovely traditional bush camps in the South Luangwa Valley National Park, walking from one to the other over the course of your safari.
It’s an incredibly intimate experience with the bush which allows you to feel, hear and smell Africa. You wake in the morning and walk to the next camp, arriving in time for lunch and a cold drink. There are several camp combinations you could use but we’ve suggested those owned and run by The Bushcamp Company for this example.
The start point is Chindeni, set on the banks of an oxbow lagoon frequented by wildlife all year round. The four en-suite tents are on raised private decks which are great places to sit and watch the animal goings-on or to enjoy the extensive birdlife and serene lagoon.
From here it’s a three and a half hour walk to Bilimungwe, a hidden gem under huge mahogany trees and a fabulous spot for elephants. The thatched chalets sit on stilts with magnificent views over one of the three nearby water holes.
Next stop, and a leisurely three hour stroll, is Kapamba where the stone and thatch chalets are just metres from the Kapamba River. The wonderful wildlife sightings in this remote corner of the South Luangwa are accompanied by a hint of luxury, with a private plunge pool for each chalet the ultimate in bush indulgence. The river is crystal clear too and wading out for a sundowner is a really special experience.
Just over two hours further down the river is Zungulila, a charming spot with breathtaking views and where natural springs draw huge herds of wildlife. The four thatched chalets are raised on wooden decks with full outdoor en-suite facilities evoking the safari style of days gone by.
If there was ever a safari to restore the soul this has to be right up there. No traffic, no WiFI, no people – just you, your guide and the wildlife. Lucinda, one of our senior sales staff, is planning to host a Zambian walking safari in 2022. Let us know if you would like the details or for more general information on Zambia see our ‘how to do Zambia’ blog.
Update 15 September
The UK Foreign Office’s current advice for Zambia is similar to much of the globe and ‘against all but essential travel’. The US State department’s advice isn’t quite as forthright, but at Level 3 where they suggest travellers ‘reconsider travel’. We have arranged for clients to travel in such circumstances, but understanding the situation and having the right travel insurance in place is key. Please do talk to us if you’d like to:
- Know more about travelling now
- Have us contact you when the travel advice changes
Let us know if you would like further itinerary ideas and we’ll put something together for you. Email is probably the best way to contact us right now and we’ll respond as quickly as we can – usually on the same day. We very much look forward to talking to you.