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Zambia Wildlife Safari

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Day 1 - Flight to Zambia

An overnight flight with South African Airways takes you from London, via Johannesburg, to Lusaka: Zambia's capital city.

Includes dinner on the flight.

Days 2, 3 & 4 - Lufupa, northern Kafue

Upon arrival at Lusaka airport you are met and assisted with immigration procedures, including help purchasing your visa if you haven't arranged one in advance. There may be a short wait here whilst your travelling companions arrive on later flights to join the safari. The safari operator has a small lounge where you can relax or you might spend the time browsing in the airports few curio shops. Once the group is all together, you board a light aircraft for the 1-hour flight to Kafue National Park where your safari guide awaits you.

After landing at a remote airstrip in this wild park, you'll begin your safari with a game drive transfer to Lufupa Bushcamp. This transfer is done at a relatively slow pace and takes about two hours - longer if you have interesting wildlife sightings along the way! The camp is centrally situated in Kafue National Parks northern sector, downstream of the confluence of the Lufupa and Kafue Rivers and overlooking the attractive Kafwala rapids. Accommodation whilst at Lufupa Bushcamp is in one of four rondavels - traditional round thatch and brick chalets. Shaded by tall jackalberry trees and palms, each of these comfortable en suite chalets overlook the Kafue River and have a private verandah. The main building, which also overlooks the river, is thatched and houses a dining area and bar.

During your stay in this corner of the 22,500km2 Kafue National Park which sees few other visitors, your knowledgeable safari guide will take you out on day and night safari drives. You'll explore a diverse range of habitats including floodplains, miombo woodland, riverine vegetation and open grassy areas known as dambos. Along the way you may encounter large antelope species including kudu, Lichtenstein's hartebeest and sable; herbivores such as elephant and hippo; and occasionally predators such as lion. Leopards are spotted here reasonably regularly, especially on spot-lit night drives. The birdlife in this area is colourful and varied and you are likely to see an array of species on a boat trip along the Kafue River.

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner - except lunch at Lusaka Airport on day 2.

Days 5 & 6 - Musanza, northern Kafue

After a light breakfast the group departs Lufupa Bushcamp for game drive towards your next destination: Musanza Bushcamp. The drive will last most of the morning, depending on what wildlife sightings you see along the way.

Whilst at Musanza Bushcamp, you'll stay in one of six en-suite tents set up under a grove of shady trees and overlooking the Lufupa River. These tents are simple rather than basic in style with large cosy beds, hanging canvas wardrobe and bedside tables. A rolled up canvas door leads through to the en suite bathroom with flush toilet and a bucket shower which is filled with warm water on request. A simple central marquee tent is used as a small lounge and most meals are enjoyed around a dining table set up under the stars. Musanza offers a real bush camping atmosphere without scrimping on comfort.

Musanza is located in a woodland area a relatively short drive from the renowned Busanga Plains. During your time here your guide will lead you on forays into the surrounding woodland and out onto the southern section of the plains, giving you the chance to experience a variety of habitats. The area's dominant antelope species are red lechwe and puku (the latter only found in a few areas of northern Botswana and Zambia). Buffalo, bushbuck, roan and the diminutive oribi antelope are just some of the many other species regularly viewed here. Lion and hyena are the predators most often seen but leopard can be spotted on night drives and this is one of the only areas in Zambia where cheetah reside.

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Days 7 & 8 - Busanga Plains

Your early morning game drive takes you through woodland and out onto the impressive Busanga Plains. This 750km2 plain is a wide, open grassland which floods seasonally (Nov to June). Large herds of red lechwe and puku antelope graze here whilst flocks of pretty crowned cranes 'dance' and hippos wallow in the shallow pools.

Occasionally the plains can seem quiet and devoid of life, more usually though there are fascinating and exciting wildlife spectacles to be seen. In recent years, a herd of very relaxed roan antelope have been found here - an antelope usually so shy that it is almost impossible to catch more than a glimpse of. The diminutive oribi antelope is often seen on the plains and herds of buffalo, zebra and wildebeest can attract predators such as cheetah (not often seen elsewhere in Zambia) and wild dog. Three different prides of lion make these plains their home - these lion are particularly renowned for their tree climbing antics.

A complimentary balloon flight will be added for all safari departures between August and October 2011. A balloon ride is a memorable way to safari as you seek out wildlife whilst gliding silently over the Busanga Plains.

Your base for your time here is Busanga Bushcamp situated on a tree island in the north-western section of the plains. Tucked away under a lush canopy of giant sycamore fig trees and date palms, each of the four lovely wood and canvas chalets looks out over the surrounding grasslands. The chalets have an open-air en suite bathroom with large walk-in shower, flush toilet and wardrobe hanging space, complete with cotton robes. The director's chairs on each private deck offer a great spot from which to spot birds in the leafy canopy.

Includes breakfast lunch and dinner.

Day 9 - Flight to London

After an early breakfast a short helicopter flight takes you low over the Busanga plains to an airstrip at their edge. You'll then swap to a light aircraft for your flight back to Lusaka airport and the end of your safari. You arrive at Lusaka airport in time to check in to your international flight, via Johannesburg, back to London.

Includes breakfast. Dinner is on the flight.

Day 10 - Arrive in London

Zambia Wildlife Safari

© Wild about Africa 2009