Ultimate Predators of South Luangwa

At a Glance

Schedule Overview

DAY 1

  • Meet at Lusaka International Airport
  • Domestic flight to Mfuwe Airport
  • Road transfer to Chindeni Bushcamp
  • Afternoon game drive
  • Accommodation at Chindeni Bushcamp

DAY 2 – 5

  • Morning game drive
  • Afternoon game drive
  • Accommodation at Chindeni Bushcamp

DAY 6

  • Morning game drive
  • Road transfer to Mfuwe Lodge
  • Afternoon game drive
  • Accommodation at Mfuwe Lodge

DAY 7 – 8

  • Morning game drive
  • Afternoon game drive
  • Accommodation at Mfuwe Lodge

DAY 9

  • Morning game drive
  • Road transfer to Mfuwe Airport
  • Domestic flight back to Lusaka
  • International flight home

South Luangwa is most famous for high predator action that takes place in the dry season when all the animals are forced to come down to the river to drink. You stand a good chance of seeing lions take down buffalo and leopard using the cover of the deep gulleys of the dry lagoons to hunt puku and impala. Known as the “Valley of leopards” the park boasts some of the highest densities of leopard and the highest confirmed population on wild dogs in Africa. With a good number of lions and hyena added to the mix, it is no surprise that this is a safari aimed at the ultimate predators.

We designed this safari specifically to show you the best of the wildlife rich central game viewing area of the Park first, and then to take you away to the remote and exclusive Bushcamp Company camps in the south. Our aim is to photograph predator action and interaction, but with the number of endemic mammals, we would definitely not look past Crawshay’s Zebra, Thornicroft Giraffe, and Cookson’s Wildebeest. It is not only the beautiful backdrops of ancient riverine forests and the winding Luangwa river that will make your photos unique, but South Luangwa is one of the only National Park that allows night drives to extend long into the evening. This allows for stunning night photography of predators and nocturnal animals through creative side lighting with our spotlights.

South Luangwa hosts large populations of elephants, buffalo, hippopotamus and (Thornycrofts) giraffe. Leopard and Lion are exceptionally well represented – indeed. Birds are also a major attraction in Luangwa- with over 420 species recorded. The highlight of the birding experience here is seeing the various storks and herons flocking to feed on the fish in drying pools- which you can expect to see at this time of year.

Zambia’s South Luangwa is a wild and untamed land, where the unexpected happens and the old spirit of safari still lingers. Here you will experience a safari which delivers beyond the norm and brings you right into the heart of Zambias wilderness. With Isak as your host and photo guide, you will be assured to walk away form this safari with some excellent images, made possible by his help and tutelage.

Be careful, once you experience this beautiful wilderness, you would never want to go anywhere else again on safari.

DESTINATION

South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Experts have dubbed South Luangwa to be one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, and not without reason. The concentration of animals around the Luangwa River, and its oxbow lagoons, is among the most intense in Africa. The Luangwa River is the most intact major river system in Africa and is the life-blood of this 9059 km2 Park. The Park hosts a wide variety of wildlife, birds and vegetation. 

Experts have dubbed South Luangwa to be one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, and not without reason. The concentration of animals around the Luangwa River, and its oxbow lagoons, is among the most intense in Africa.

The Luangwa River is the most intact major river system in Africa and is the life-blood of this 9059 km2 Park. The Park hosts a wide variety of wildlife, birds and vegetation. The now famous ‘walking safari’ originated in this Park and is still one of the finest ways to experience Africa’s pristine wilderness first-hand. The changing seasons add to the Park’s richness, ranging from; dry, bare bushveld in the winter, to a lush, green wonderland in the summer months. There are 60 different animal species and over 400 different bird species in South Luangwa National Park. The only notable exception is the rhino, sadly poached to extinction.

With about 400 of Zambia’s 732 species of birds appearing in the Park, including 39 birds of prey and 47 migrant species, there is plenty for the birdwatcher to spot, whatever the season. An interest in the vegetation of Zambia will enhance your experience of the bush. Some magnificent trees and plants grow in the Luangwa Valley and it certainly adds to the richness of one’s experience to be able to recognize the different tree species and to discover exotic wildflowers. Among the more common trees in the valley are the mopane, leadwood, winterthorn, the tall vegetable ivory palm, the marula and the magnificent tamarind tree. The are some magnificent baobab specimens and a few large ebony forests to admire.

Seasonal changes are very pronounced in Luangwa. The dry season begins in April and intensifies through to October, the hottest month, when game concentrations are at their height. Warm sunny days and chilly nights typify the dry winter months of May to August. The wet season begins in November as the leaves turn green, and the dry bleak terrain becomes a lush jungle. The rainy season lasts up until the end of March and the migrant birds arrive in droves. Each lodge stays open for as long as access is possible, depending on its location in the area. There are several lodges that remain open all year in the central area of the park.

  • Classic scenes of the Luangwa river meandering through the wide river banks
  • Hundreds of Hippopotamus in the pools and main river
  • Access to a number of very good hides built specifically for photographers
  • Large elephant herds in the woodlands, drinking at the rivers edge and in front camp
  • One of the only places to see Thornycrofts Giraffe, Giraffa camelopardalis thornicrofti
  • Excellent lion population
  • Very high density of leopard, with very relaxed individuals
  • Flocks of storks, herons and egrets feeding in the drying pools for fish
  • Excellent sightings of large water birds in the Luangwa River
  • Buffalo herds drinking at the rivers edge numbering into the hundreds
Booking Form

Complete this enquiry form to book

ITINERARY

Arrival at Lusaka International Airport. This photo safari starts and ends at this airport, so it is your responsibility to arrange your own international flights. If you need flights to be arranged for you please email me at isak@theafricanphotographer.com for a quote and options.

Your professional photographer and host will meet you at the Lusaka International Airport. We will depart Lusaka at 11:00 via a scheduled domestic flight, landing at Mfuwe Airport at roughly 12:00. From Mfuwe Airport, there will be a 40 minute road transport to Mfuwe Lodge. Once you’ve arrived at the lodge there will be a short orientation before enjoying a small lunch and a chance for you to get your photographic equipment ready. As soon as everyone is ready we will embark on a casual game drive to Chendeni Bushcamp with the aim to arrive there just before dinner.

The first drive is about enjoying, relaxing and to get familiar with the photography from the vehicle and to get familiar with the South Luangwa landscape and photographic opportunities. On this drive the aim is to take photos ‘as you are used to’, so that it sets the benchmark to measure the images taken at the end of the photo workshop against.

Before Dinner, the guide will give a short presentation showing a variety of images and how, by using specific aspects, you can alter and change an image dramatically.

During the next four full days the daily schedule will remain more or less the same. The times are flexible and might vary slightly depending on the sunrise times, the sightings and our activities (e.g. we might decide to have an extended morning drive). Generally we follow this schedule:

05:00     Wake-up and meet for coffee and a small meal

05:30     Morning game drive

11:00     Brunch

12:00     Rest and own time

14:30     Photo presentation, workshop and photo review (not compulsory)

15:30     Meet for high tea

16:00     Afternoon game drive

19:30     Dinner and then retire to bed for another day of more great photography

Depending on how the group feel, we might do a normal morning game drive in the direction of Mfuwe Lodge to arrive there in time for brunch, or alternatively still eat brunch at Chindeni Bushcamp and afterwards depart on the 3-hour drive to Mfuwe Lodge. We will then enjoy and afternoon game drive around Mfuwe Lodge where we will be based for the next three nights of the safari.

During the next two full days we will do morning and afternoon game drives around the Mfuwe Lodge area.

Our last day begins with a short early morning game drive after which we have breakfast. We will depart for Mfuwe Airport at roughly 10:30 from where we will catch a domestic flight back to Lusaka International Airport. This is unfortunately the end of your photo safari.

ACCOMMODATION

Mfuwe Lodge

Ease yourself into Luangwa life with a stay at the award-winning Mfuwe Lodge. Set inside the park, just five minutes drive from the main gate, the lodge’s allure is instantly obvious. Beneath a canopy of ebony and mahogany, its thatched buildings are arranged around the banks of two lagoons where an endless stream of wildlife will keep you enthralled as you lounge on the open deck or take a dip in the swimming pool. The airy interior of the lodge is an exquisite complement to its natural surroundings.

This region of the park is renowned for its prolific game – giraffe, hippos, buffalo, antelope, and crocodile are constant visitors to Mfuwe Lodge’s lagoon, whilst in November the local elephants regularly wander right through the lobby, lured by a nearby wild mango tree. Whether you stay overnight, or just have lunch en route to a Bushcamp, Mfuwe Lodge’s relaxed charm and enviable surroundings make it the perfect stopover. Voted Best Lodge in Zambia in 2009 Mfuwe Lodge also offers you the chance to relax at its Bush-Spa or buy a few mementos of your time in Zambia at our curio shop.

Chindeni Bushcamp

In an enviable location on the edge of a lagoon where hippo chortle and elephant wallow, stands Chindeni – undoubtedly one of the most beautiful tented camps in the South Luangwa.

There’s something about sleeping under canvas that ignites a sense of adventure in everyone. At Chindeni you can combine that thrill with style and comfort in one of its four opulent tents. 

Gaze out from your private veranda onto the lagoon which attracts birds and animals from miles around. Or settle back with a gin-and-tonic in the central lounge and dining area – a glorious expanse of varnished decking arranged on several levels around the surrounding ebony trees, boasting, of course, the same spectacular view of the serene lagoon and its inhabitants.

WHAT OUR GUESTS SAY

About this wonderful safari

5/5
GALLERY

Click on the thumbnails to get a glimpse of the photos you could be taking.

costs
  • USD 13,500 price per sharing person

  • USD 14,000 price per single person

30% deposit confirms your booking. Balance payable 8 weeks prior to your departure.

The above costs include:

Costs do not include:

Travel insurance

Is vital for any tour anywhere in the world. The foresight to protect not only the experimental investment of the safari i.e trip cancellation, travel interruption/ban, flight cancellation, but also the traveller themselves when in need of primary medical care, evacuation to the hospital of choice most of the time in nearby countries is one of the most important decision you can make to assist in a stress free trip. Please speak to your travel agent/insurer for available options that will best suite your needs. Please note that when travelling with C4 Photo Safaris, that Travel Insurance is mandatory for all of our tours.

Terms and conditions are clearly described in the PDF brochure under “Booking Information”