Zambia: Victoria Falls, Chongwe River Camp, South Luangwa Nkwali Camp and South Luangwa Tafika Camp
Fly in/out: Johannesburg, South Africa
Recommended ages: 10 and up
Ball Park Price: $7,800 per person for 4 travellers. Does not include airfare.
Best Season: April to November
Time Zone South African Standard Time (7 hours ahead of CST)
Currency: In South Africa, the Rand although US dollar widely accepted, In Zambia, Zambian Kwacha
DAY ONE & TWO: Depart Chicago on Swiss Air and arrive arrive in Zurich for a connecting flight to Johannesburg, O.R. Tambo International Airport. (Point A)
DAY FOUR: Depart Johannesburg in a.m. and take short flight on British Airways to Livingstone, Zambia. Purchase entry visa upon arrival. Check in at Zambezi Sun Hotel. (Point B)
DAY FIVE: Tour Victory Falls using guide with transport by Wilderness Safaris
DAY SEVEN & EIGHT: Stay at Chongwe River Camp, Lower Zambezi, Zambia. Schedule includes a morning safari (walk, canoe and vehicle options) an afternoon siesta, late afternoon safari and dinner.
DAY NINE: Depart LX Royal Airstrip in a.m. on Proflight via Lusaka and arrive at Mfuwe Airport. Robin Pope Safaris will meet us and take us to Nkwali Camp, South Luangwa, Zambia. (Point D)
DAY TEN: Stay at South Luangwa Nkwali Camp-take a special visit to Kawaza Village and the schools for the kids to get a more holistic experience of the Luangwa Valley.
DAY ELEVEN & TWELVE: Stay at South Luangwa Nkwali Camp for morning and evening safaris.
DAY THIRTEEN: Travel by road from Nkwali Camp to Tafika Camp. Stay at South Luangwa Tafika Camp. (Point E)
DAY FOURTEEN to SIXTEEN: Stay at South Luangwa Tafika Camp
DAY SEVENTEEN & EIGHTEEN: Travel home via Mfuwe Airport, Lusaka, Johannesburg, Zurich and Chicago.
- No wonder Victoria Falls is among the Seven Wonders of the World. Aptly named “Mosi-oa-Tunya”…”The Smoke that Thunders,” as the plume of spray does indeed looks like smoke. The Zambian side of the falls has a more impressive view overlooking the waterfalls with access to the fabulous Livingstone Island. The nice part about this at the front end of our trip is it gives us time to adjust and enjoy a slower start.
- Zambia was an ideal location for our trip. The safaris tend to be less expensive comparatively to other areas of Africa, and we found Zambia less crowded with small outfitters operating intimate little camps in beautiful reserves. We booked three independent safari companies for our trip through Africa Travel Resource to explore three highly acclaimed areas of Zambia. The safari companies were spectacular and had something unique to offer. Felt like we had our own private and personal safaris.
- Our schedule at all the camps included a morning safari, early afternoon siesta and a afternoon/evening safari and dinner. Safaris included driving, canoeing, motor boats and walking safaris. Must be 12 to do canoeing and walking.
- Our first tour operator was Chongwe Safaris, one of the oldest and most established companies in Lower Zambezi. Their philosophy is that it is the staff who make or break a safari experience and we found that to be true.
- Our second portion of our adventure was with Robin Pope Safaris. The guides were exceptionally informative and personable for the whole family. The Luangwa Valley provides one of the best game viewing locations in the continent which provides an exceptional wildlife experience.
- The third safari group, Remote Africa, in addition to great accommodations, had fabulous meals. The camp also offers safari flights and has two walking satellites at Chikoko Tree Camp and Crocodile River Camp.
- With each of the three camps, we had a variety of game safaris, walking safaris (must be 12), canoeing, motor boating and drives. It provided wonderful variety for spotting wildlife.
- Exploring the local Kawaza Village and school of the Luangwa Valley was meaningful to kids.
Places to stay
- With Chongwe Safaris, Chongwe River Camp, we stayed in beautifully furnished “classic tents,” to have the complete indoor-outdoor feel.
- Nkwala, South Luangwa, Zambia is located in the premium national park of Zambia, South Luangwa Park. The six chalets with bamboo walls offer wonderful river views. swimming pool and dining rooms often visited by local elephants.
- In Tafika, South Luangwa, Zambia there are a total of six spacious en-suite chalets, with its own outdoor shower.
- All camps had electricity, running warm showers, and comfortable sleeping tents. Each camp offered to do laundry which was key as our clothes were dusty and we had to pack light.
- The best part of the dining included the fact that all camps worked with us to provide a complete peanut allergy free experience! All meals were included.
- This takes two full days to arrive at your destination. Johannesburg has a health screener in the airport. For safety, pack medicine on your carry on just in case.
- Pack light! It’s a requirement for smaller planes within Zambia. Thirty three pound maximum! Good news is all planes we used were brand new.
- Suggested special packing items: Pants that zipper and can convert to shorts, sun hat, fleece and gloves for night safaris, Keens, hiking tennis shoes, casual clothes with muted colors to blend in the background, insect repellent containing 30% DEET, and Permethrin insect repellent to spray net at night. Full packing lists
- You can purchase visas for Zambia at airport. Must have two empty pages in passport for your visas.
- We were recommended to play it on the safe side and receive vaccines including yellow fever vaccinations for both S. Africa and Zambia. We used local travel clinic.
- Of course, for kids, have them watch Lion King, but for a non-animated film to learn about wildlife in africa, watch African Cats. (Although filmed mostly in Kenya)
- Research Conservation Lower Zambezi and Project Luangwa both charitable organizations for giving back to the local communities and for preserving and sustaining wildlife on these beautiful preserves.