Curated exclusively for National Geographic
Encounter the raw essence of Africa in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park, a hidden gem of floodplains, grasslands, and forests. Get orientated at the main lodge, then venture among a collection of remote safari camps that put you right in the heart of wildlife-rich landscapes. Spend your days on walking and driving safaris, enjoying sundowners and stunning views, and dining and sleeping under the starlit African sky.
Your experience at the lodge will be tailored to your interests. The sample itinerary below was designed for National Geographic travelers and can be customized as you wish.
Transfer to Mfuwe Lodge by safari vehicle, viewing game on the 45-minute drive from Mfuwe International Airport. Get settled in your thatched chalet and, from your private covered veranda, look out over hippos wallowing in the lagoons. Go on a private excursion to local schools supported by The Bushcamp Company, and meet with students. Then join experienced guides in an open safari vehicle to view giraffes, buffalo, antelopes, crocodiles, and more wild residents of remote South Luangwa. Stop for a cocktail and take in the legendary African sunset as you listen to the sounds of the bush change with the fading light. After dark, spotlights on the safari vehicles help search out nocturnal creatures, such as lionesses and leopards on the hunt.
Rise early for a light breakfast, then set out on a guided game drive to Bilimungwe Bushcamp, your base for the next two nights. Upon arrival, enjoy brunch at the lounge, built around a termite mound and set beneath a towering winter thorn tree, and enjoy the company of local warthogs, elephants, and other game that gathers here at the shady waterhole. Spend some quiet time in your raised chalet or on your private deck before afternoon tea. Head out on safari, and stop for sundowners and snacks at a remote spot. Return to camp for dinner.
Grab a light breakfast before heading out on a guided walking safari. Join an expert guide on foot, and learn to track footprints and other signs of wildlife. Encounter smaller creatures of the bush, learn about the diverse flora of South Luangwa, and observe giraffes and other large animals from a safe distance. Along the way, stop for tea and biscuits. Return to camp for brunch, and lounge in the shade during the hottest part of the day. Later this afternoon, as the animal activity picks back up, venture into the bush on a game drive.
After breakfast, set off on a walking safari to secluded Kapamba Bushcamp, located on the edge of the shallow river of the same name. Spend mid-day soaking in your sunken stone plunge pool or simply taking in the river views from your open-fronted chalet. This afternoon, head out on safari to encounter some of the park’s most diverse wildlife. Back at the camp, dine under a cluster of matumi and sausage trees overlooking the Kapamba River. Fall asleep to the sounds of the African night from inside your chalet.
Rise early for a guided morning walk or drive to track wildlife in the bush. Return to camp for lunch and a refreshing swim in your plunge pool. Dip your feet in the crystalline shallows as you sip a sundowner from a chair right in the river. Discover this part of South Luangwa after dark on a night game drive.
After breakfast, stroll along the river to Zungulila Bushcamp, where you will stop for lunch and stay the next two nights. Experience old Africa at the newest of the Bushcamps, with thatch-roofed tents situated on a quiet bend of the Kapamba. Here, natural springs attract a range of game, and private bamboo verandas offer sweeping views of the action.
On this morning’s walking safari, explore some of the park’s most untouched wilderness on foot. Find large herds of buffalo roaming the grassy plans and elephants drinking at natural springs. This afternoon, wade through the river and join your camp hosts for sundowners in the water, or toast the sunset around the campfire. After a night drive that ventures even further afield, sit down to a starlit supper along the river.
Return to Mfuwe Lodge on one final game drive. Transfer to the airport for your flight home.