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Classic Luangwa Walking Safari in Style, Zambia
Our Product Manager, Jude Limburn Turner, travelled to the original home of the walking safari in Zambia to discover for herself the benefits of a safari on foot rather than in a vehicle. She initially visited South Luangwa National Park in the northeast of the country where the beautiful Luangwa River runs through an ancient rift valley. Here she spent eight days walking between luxurious camps enjoying a plethora of wildlife encounters without the hum of an engine or the sense of detachment that comes with a more traditional jeep safari.
A typical day on a walking safari in Zambia brings an early breakfast before heading out in the company of a well-trained guide to track and observe animals and birds in their natural environment. As Jude describes, the reassuring presence of a professional armed scout meant that she always felt safe even when lions or buffalo were nearby. Hiking for around 8-12 kms a day she saw many of the ‘big 5’ that top most visitors’ wish lists but she also saw the ‘little 5’ as well; In fact, one of the great pleasures of a walking safari is to see creatures both great and small and to discover things you’d never notice if you were in a vehicle. However, for an evening or night safari you do need to be in a jeep as the lights reveal hidden beasts including the amazing sight of a leopard on the hunt.
In contrast to the exhilaration of Jude’s time in the bush, she found life in camp to be a very relaxed affair. Rooms are built each season from traditional, sustainable materials and suites come with big, comfy beds and en suite bathrooms where you can shower under the stars. As the video shows, there are copious amounts of delicious food to enjoy with generous lunches and three course evening meals accompanied by good quality South African wine. You’ll also enjoy some lovely extra treats such as canapes in the bush, sundowners and afternoon tea. But Jude’s favourite time was at the end of each day, sitting round the campfire and listening to the call of the wild.
From Luangwa, Jude flew south to the Lower Zambezi River for a three-night extension at Chongwe River Camp. Chongwe is home to several prides of lion so sightings are virtually guaranteed, along with those of Wild dogs and hungry crocodiles. In addition to jeep safaris and walks, Chongwe offers the opportunity to see the colourful birds and wildlife of the region from a different perspective on a river cruise. But it’s the wild elephants in camp that provide the most entertainment, playing havoc with the eating arrangements as they unexpectedly join the guests for breakfast or lunch!
Reflecting on her Zambian walking safari Jude sums up her time in South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi: “It was unlike any other safari I’ve experienced; a multitude of amazing wildlife encounters and the best bit was I didn’t have to share them. There were no noisy vehicles, no distractions, just me and the incredible Zambian wilderness.”
If you’d like to follow in Jude’s footsteps find out more about our Classic Luangwa Walking Safari in Style, or call Jude to discuss your holiday plans.