On arrival at Lusaka International Airport, you will be met by a Robin Pope Safaris’ representative who will have a name board with your names. He/She will assist you with immigration and customs clearing then check in for your flight to Mfuwe, South Luangwa. The flight is on average one hour. At Mfuwe International Airport a guide from Robin Pope Safaris will meet you. The drive toNkwali Campis 1 hour through colourful local scenes of villages, agriculture as well as bush. Nkwali Camp has a wide view of the Luangwa River. On Robin’s private land, and overlooking the South Luangwa National Park, Nkwali is ideally situated for the start of your safari. The six rooms all look out over the river and have open air bathrooms. Depending on your arrival time in the day you will enjoy a lunch looking out over the lagoon to the back of Nkwali or if in the afternoon for tea and the afternoon and night game drive.
Day 2 : Nkwali Camp
At dawn breakfast is served around the campfire. The porridge heated on the fire and toast cooked by the coals. The morning walk or drive will leave soon after, entering the park by boat from the camp or by the nearby pontoon. The game in the area is excellent – and includes many family herds of elephants and the endemic species of giraffe, the Thornicroft Giraffe. A mid morning break of tea, coffee and cake will be taken at a scenic point on a lagoon or the Luangwa River. Return to camp for lunch around mid day. After lunch you can cool off in the swimming pool or siesta. Following tea you will go out on an afternoon game drive that continues into the early night giving the chance to see the nocturnal world, returning to camp about 20.00 hrs with dinner generally at 20.30.
Day 3 : Nsefu Camp
After an early breakfast, a transfer game drive through the park into the Nsefu Sector of the park and ontoNsefu Camp. Nsefu was the first game camp in Zambia and dates back to the early fifties. The Nsefu Sector was recognised then as a phenomenal area and it still is. Robin Pope Safaris owns the only two camps in this sector of the Park. There are six round rondavels with luxurious en suite facilities and each room has a clear view of the sweeping bend of the Luangwa River through large windows and from the wooden verandahs. On arrival you will be shown to your rondavel and then lunch will be served followed by a well deserved siesta before the afternoon and evening game drive. (Note: option of booking Tena Tena for the 3 nights).
Day 4 – 5 : Nsefu Camp
You have a chance to drive or walk through the ebony groves. Or you may decide this is an ideal day, depending on the heat and time of year, to explore the Nsefu Sector of the National Park possibly with an all day picnic drive to the salt pans that will cover different habitats and is an exceptional day’s safari.
Perhaps a visit to Kawaza village. This community tourism initiative is a great opportunity to meet local people and experience life in a real non-tourist village.
Day 6 : Chiawa Camp
After an early breakfast, transfer to Mfuwe Airport (1.5 hours) for the flight to the Lower Zambezi. As you fly into the area, you will see the wide Zambezi River, dotted with islands. Buffalo and elephant are always seen feeding along with the pods of hippos that rest on the edge of the sandbanks. The transfer to Chiawa Camp is through the park and there is the chance of game viewing along the way. Resting on the banks of the Zambezi under a lush grove of mahogany and acacia trees, eight spacious tents on elevated wooden platforms with en-suite facilities offer Chiawa’s guests ample comfort and stunning views. Game-viewing in the pristine Lower Zambezi National Park is superb and big game, such as elephant, hippo, buffalo and the big cats are even seen regularly in and around the camp! After a late lunch there will be a chancefor an afternoon activity – be it on the river or by vehicle.
Day 7 – 8 : Chiawa Camp
At Chiawa there are various activities to choose from. Not only on offer are exciting day and night drives and bush walks, but Chiawa’s guests can choose their own day’s itinerary from a selection of canoe trips, river safaris on safe, stable pontoon boats and catch & release angling for the infamous tiger fish.
Day 9 – 10 : Tongabezi Lodge
Today (usually in the morning) you will take a flight transfer onto Livingstone via Lusaka (1.5 hours’ flight). On arrival you will be met and transferred to Tongabezi Lodge where you will settle into your accommodation and be served a delicious lunch. Accommodation at Tongabezi Lodge is set in a tranquil grove of ebony on a sweeping bend of the Zambezi River, and consists of colonial-style river cottages and spacious open-planned stone and thatch houses. There is a wide range of activities on offer at Tongabezi including fishing, canoe trips on the river, game drives in the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park. For the more adventurous, Livingstone boasts a whole host of adrenaline filled activities including whitewater rafting, bungee jumping and microlighting. Or you may just wish to rest in camp and enjoy the spectacular scenery and peaceful atmosphere.
Day 11 : Transit
After breakfast you may have a morning activity, time permitting or a transfer to Livingstone Airport for your onward connection.
Each chalet building has a downstairs double room with en suite bathroom and an upstairs twin or triple room with their own private bathroom just downstairs. Each chalet room is completely separate to any of the other rooms. The name ‘chalet’ has confused more than a few people (it’s a weird safari habit!). However, they are separate buildings with two rooms in each building, the downstairs room being a double room with en suite bathroom and gauzed verandah all downstairs, the upstairs room being a twin or triple room with bathroom and gauzed verandah downstairs from the bedroom.
We have eight en suite chalet rooms split into four chalets. Three of these have a downstairs double room surrounded by a gauzed veranda and an upstairs twin room with a high thatched roof and views of the river. Both rooms have a day bed which can be converted into an extra single bed when needed.
Electric fans cool the rooms and there are large mosquito nets surrounding the beds. We are on mains electricity and have a standby generator for emergencies.
The family chalet has three bedrooms in total. The two downstairs bedrooms are both en suite; one room has a double bed and a single bed, the other has three single beds, all with large mosquito nets. There is a kitchen area between the two bedrooms with a spiral staircase leading up to the “loft room”, sitting area and upstairs viewing deck. The viewing deck looks out towards the Luangwa River, and while it is not ideal for very small children, it is a wonderful place to relax and watch the sun set. The loft room has two more single beds but has no en suite bathroom. People sleeping here would need to share the bathrooms downstairs.
All our rooms are cleaned each day by “the ladies” Ellyzed and Judy, who will also put your mosquito net down in the late afternoon whilst you’re out on a night drive. Laundry is done daily and for those who are keen to cook for themselves, each chalet room shares a kitchenette with a hob/oven, microwave, kettle and fridge-freezer.
The chalet rooms normally sleep 16 guests, but with the option of extra beds and triple rooms we are flexible enough to be able to take up to 22, if part of a group.
Luxury En Suite Safari Tent
On the banks of the Luangwa with the best views in camp, we have sited our six luxury en suite safari tents. These tents are spacious enough for full-sized beds, hanging rack for clothes, and bedside tables and lamps, and a door leads into a shaded open-air bathroom with hot shower, flush toilet and basin. The luxury tents also have mosquito nets and electric fans as well as fully-gauzed windows.
Standard En Suite Safari Tent
Slightly smaller and with bush views and settings, the standard en suite safari tents offer a cheaper option but still have all the necessary comforts! One tent looks over a lagoon where elephants, giraffe, hippo, puku and bushbuck regularly visit, two look onto the river, and two have secluded bush settings where you can witness animals going about their daily business. All have full sized beds, hanging rack for clothes and an open air bathroom with hot shower, flush toilet and basin. The standard tents have fully-gauzed windows but no mosquito nets.
Mains electricity and plug sockets are found in all the safari tents.
The Jackal-Berry tree house is built around three live African ebony trees (Diospyros mespiliformis) with unspoilt views out across the a dambo and lagoon system which is regularly visited by elephant and giraffe.
The tree house has three main decks which are around six feet off the ground with wooden stairways to reach the spacious sitting area and open-plan bedrooms. Each bedroom has open air en suite bathroom facilities, with hot shower, WC and basin. One bedroom has a queen-sized bed, the other bedroom has either two single beds or these can be converted to a king-sized bed if there are two couples sharing the house.
A comfy sofa, easy chairs and floor cushions on the middle deck are ideal for watching the game wandering past the house, oblivious to your presence. A fridge and bar are provided in the tree house as well as tea- and coffee-making facilities. If honeymoon couples and romantic souls fancy a candlelit dinner for two, alone under the stars, we are happy to oblige.
Guests at the tree house are provided with a hand-held radio, as the secluded nature of the house means that a vehicle is needed after dark and when elephant are feeding close by. The tree house is also on mains electricity and has 3-pin square plug sockets for recharging cameras and batteries.
From 1st February 2012, Emirates will be flying 5 times a week (Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri & Sun) from Dubai to Lusaka and Harare.
From 15 May 2012, KLM will be flying three times a week (Tues, Thurs & Sat) from Amsterdam to Lusaka. As well as these flights KLM also have codeshare flights with Kenya Airways via Nairobi. Please see www.klm.com for fares and availability.
There are daily flights from Lusaka and Livingstone to Mfuwe with Proflight Zambia.
Travelling by RoadBy road Lusaka to Chipata will take you 6-7 hours, Chipata to Flatdogs from 2 1/2 to 3 hrs. Please do not drive at night in Zambia, it is very unsafe due to the high proportion of vehicles and bicycles with no lights, aimless unfenced animals and drunks sleeping it off on the warm tarmac!
Directions for Driving to Flatdogs
Flatdogs Camp is the closest camp to the Mfuwe main gate. Our access road starts just before the park gate and we are five minutes drive from there. Please drive very slowly into and out of the camp; animals have the right of way!
From Lusaka, take the Great East Road to Chipata. You can get fuel in Petauke and Chipata on the way. Best to fill up before you head here, as fuel here in Mfuwe is much more expensive due to the monopoly BP has here.
The directions here are:
Turn left to Mfuwe just before Fast Wheels motor parts (on your right). If you go into the town of Chipata, then you’ll need to head back along the Great East Road heading west (back towards Lusaka), then turn right 200m after Fast Wheels.
Continue on the tarmac until road turns to dirt. The roads authority are working on the road so there should be more tarmac laid all the time.
Follow the dirt for further approx 60 km. There is one stretch of tar road over the escarpment, but I’m afraid it doesn’t last long! Turn left at the sharp corner where there are signs for Mfuwe including one for Flatdogs! It looks as though the road continues straight on, but this is just because it has been graded better in the past; in fact the straight on road takes you to Luambe. There are a couple of blind sharp corners on this road, so take it easy where you can’t see what’s ahead of you as some of the NGO vehicles and cotton trucks take the road at about 100 km/hr with no sense of self preservation!
Carry on through Jumbe, where you will see the council offices (and a flag) on your right, past Kamoto Hospital on your left, over a small bridge which was slightly washed away at the edges, then over a second stretch of tarmac on Mphata Hill.
Carry on for a further 4 km and you will see a large green sign on the left for the Zambian Wildlife Authority. You can either turn left here down a much smaller dirt road which takes you to the airport (bank and post office) and brings you onto the (relatively) good tar road earlier. Or, you can also continue straight on on the main dirt road as this will just bring you out on the same tar road around 5 km closer to Mfuwe. We recommend you take the first option.
Turn right onto the tar road whether you are at the airport or at the T-junction opposite the Zesco (electricity) sub-station. Please drive slowly past schools and bicycles. If you see some green branches lying in the road, this either means that there is a vehicle with a breakdown or that there is a funeral in progress. If it is the latter, please go dead slow in first gear (you will notice that even cyclists dismount) until you come to more branches. Proceed on tarmac for approx 25 km and you will pass a fuel station on your left and a sign for the South Luangwa Conservation Society on your right. Continue straight on, you will pass a sign for Flatdogs, then after a further kilometre or so, you will see our entrance ramp on your LEFT. Please engage a low gear and drive down the ramp very slowly, then follow the road for another 750 m and you will arrive at reception. Be aware that you might meet wildlife on any of the roads, so please drive slowly.
Flatdogs conducts professionally-guided game viewing activities in the National Park, including morning and night drives and walking safaris. (Walking possible during the dry season.)
Each drive or walk is accompanied by a fully-qualified guide, and for the drives a fully-equipped 4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser with radio so they are in contact with Flatdogs in case of emergency. All our guides carry toolboxes, and a first aid kit. Most of our vehicles can carry nine guests but we limit numbers to six per vehicle unless larger groups or families prefer to go out together.
Our morning drives leave camp at 0600 hours and last for at least four hours. Night drives depart at 1600 hours and return at around 2015 hours when the National Park is closed to all vehicles. Private vehicles may enter the Park from 0600-1800 hours daily.
Between 1st June and 31st October each year (and for a few weeks either side, depending on rainfall) we are able to offer walking safaris. These are a fascinating, more personal view of the park and its wildlife. Walks usually last four hours and are commonly taken in the morning when it’s cooler. We also offer a drive/walk combination of a 2-hour walk and a 2-hour drive.
Other combinations are available, and this year in the winter months all-day drives with some walking and taking a picnic lunch with you into the park proved to be very popular. Please chat to us when you get here if you are interested as these can be organised with a day’s notice (for a minimum of 4 guests).
We also offer nature walks in the area around Flatdogs Camp, particularly for children who cannot join a full walk inside the park, but who are keen to learn more about the dung and tracks and signs found in and around camp.
The Luangwa River – the lifeblood of one of the world’s greatest parks. Home to 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 this 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. The only notable exception is the rhino, sadly poached to extinction.
Thornicroft’s Giraffe, unique to Luangwa Valley should be easily spotted. Antelope species comprise 14 includingbushbuck, common duiker, eland, impala, kudu, reedbuck, roan, sable, hartebeest, grysbok, klipspringer and oribi.
Primates such asbaboonsandvervet monkeysare prolific. More scarce isMaloney’s monkey. Present, but unlikely to be seen except on night drives is thenight ape, and the nocturnalbushbaby.
Predators Hyenasare fairly common throughout the valley and their plaintive, eerie cry, so characteristic of the African bush can be heard on most nights.
South Luangwa has a good population of leopardbut they are not that easy to spot and tend to retreat when they hear vehicles. Many of the Lodge’s game trackers are skilled in finding leopards on night drives however, and often visitors are rewarded with a full view of a kill.
Lionsare as plentiful in the Luangwa as anywhere else in Africa, but when a kill is made away from the central tourist area, the pride may stay away for several days and may not be seen by visitors on a short stay. Very often they roam in prides of up to thirty.
Caracal, wild dog, several and side striped jackal make up thecarnivores. The Luangwa river also has an extraordinarily high number of crocodiles.
Birdwatching is superb in the Valley. Near the end of the dry season, when the river and oxbow lagoons begin to recede, hundreds of large waterbirds can be seen wading through the shallows. The red faced yellow billed storks move along with their beaks open underwater, disturbing the muddy liquid with their feet until the fish flop into their mouths.
The pelicans tend to operate in lines abreast, driving the fish before them into shallows before scooping them up into their beak pouches. The striking 1.6m saddle bill stork makes quick darting movements into the water.
Then there’s the marabou stork, great white egrets, black headed herons, open billed storks and the statelygoliath heron that can stand in the same position for hours before pouncing. Of the most beautiful are the elegant crowned cranes, with their golden tufts congregating in large flocks at the salt pans.
Around the same time, just before the rains set in, in November, the palearctic migrants from Northern Europe and the intra-African migrants arrive to exploit the feeding opportunities that the warm rainy season brings.
These include the red chested cuckoo, white storks, European swallows. Swifts, hobbies and bee-eaters, as well as birds of prey such as the Steppe eagles and Steppe buzzards that come all the way from Russia. A special sight is the hundreds of brightly coloured carmine bee-eaters nesting in the steep sandy banks of the river.
The ever-present sounds of the birds in the Valley takes some getting used to. An early caller is the ground hornbill, looking like a well-dressed turkey, but emitting the sound of a deep base drum. The melodious Heuglin’s robin, the shrill cry of the fish eagle and the background cooing of doves and larks.
Among the more common trees in the valley are the mopane, leadwood, winterthorn, some beautiful specimens of baobab, large ebony forests, the tall vegetable ivory palm, marula and the magnificent tamarind tree.
When to Go
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.
The Lower Zambezi National Park (4092km²) is the most recent of Zambia’s National Parks and was for many years a forgotten wilderness. This extraordinarily beautiful reserve lies between the rolling hills of the Zambezi Escarpment and the Zambezi River, opposite Mana Pools in Zimbabwe.
The park is totally underdeveloped with only one track accessible during the dry season. The park has a river frontage of 120km starting at the Chongwe River mouth and ending at the Mpata Gorge. The waters of the Zambezi are a focal point for the wildlife, which includes elephant, hippo, buffalo, zebra, lion, leopard, various antelope species, baboon and vervet monkey, together with a great variety of birds.
It is a truly stunning location with a perfect combination of open plains, dense palm groves, thickly wooded clusters and deep sandy riverbanks. The wildlife in all its splendid forms punctuates this landscape perfectly, leaving the visitor often at a loss as to which to admire more, the scenery or the animals.
Bar accounts– will be tallied up at the bar on the morning of departure, and sent through to reception for you to check out.
Check-in and check-out– Check in is normally after 13h00. Checkout is normally at 10h00 and is done at reception. We are negotiable on these times, should your room not be needed for arriving guests, or should previous guests have departed early.
Children– Are always welcome at Kiambi, but for their safety and for the enjoyment of all our guests, we ask you please to supervise them.
Climate– Zambia’s elevation (1300m above sea level) on a plateau gives it a moderate climate, despite the fact that it is within tropical latitudes. There are 3 seasons:
Warm and wet from December to April:The first rains begin late December and last until mid-March. During this time, rain lasts one to two hours, mainly at night. Only during the wet season is there noticeable humidity. After the first rains the weather becomes warm and pleasant.
Cool and dry from May to August:The winter nights – July and August – are cold, with warm, pleasant days.
Hot and dry from September to November:September to December brings hot days and warm nights. October is hot both during the day and night, and is the best game viewing period.
Communication– The Lodge has a radio communication system and also mobile phone coverage. Kiambi also has a v-sat installed to provide twenty four hour internet access.
Dress Code– We are a very informal lodge. We believe our guests come here to relax, enjoy the scenery and for the fishing, so please feel free to pack shorts and T-shirts, which are most acceptable at any time of the day or night at Kiambi.
Electricity– We are on ZESCO power and therefore have 24 hour electricity at 220 volts and do not have any problems with charging equipment. In your chalet, you will find adaptor plugs for your use.
Fire– in the unlikely event of fire, please leave your room immediately and congregate in the parking area outside reception.
Health– We strongly suggest that malaria prophylactics be taken. Please ask your GP before your departure for Kiambi. Kiambi is the fortunate position to be only 20kms from Chirundu with two excellent hospital facilities, Mtendere Mission Hospital and Chirundu Hospital.
Housekeeping– We would appreciate your help in notifying us of any problems you may encounter in your chalet.
Insect control– The camp is sprayed regularly against mosquitoes, with an environmentally friendly agent. Please ensure that your chalet doors are closed and that all lights are switched off when you leave the chalet, to avoid attracting insects. An insecticide is available at reception should insects be a problem.
Malaria– is a serious problem in Africa. Take your tablets as recommended by your General Practitioner. Mosquitoes usually bite between dusk and dawn. The best prevention is avoidance:- Keep your chalets doors closed. Cover up by wearing long sleeves, long pants, socks and closed shoes. Wear mosquito repellant.
Mini Bars in rooms– This bar will be restocked every morning. If you need this bar restocked again in the afternoon, please ask the barman at the lodge bar.
Payments– KKiambi Lodge accepts US$ and Zambian Kwacha cash , local cheque as well as credit cards payments.
Security– Kiambi Lodge has not experienced any crime in the past. At night, in the event of any emergency occurrence, please contact any security person patrolling the grounds, who will in turn contact management.
Septic tanks– Water disposal is via septic tanks. Please do not dispose of anything other than toilet paper in the toilets to avoid the natural process of biodegradation from taking place.
Smoking– For the comfort and safety of all clients, we have a “no smoking” policy in all of our chalets, vehicles, boats and canoes. Please note that it is extremely dangerous to smoke or light any mosquito coil inside your chalet. Please do not dispose of your cigarette butts in the camp gardens, the bush or in the river. Dispose of butts in the fire, ashtrays provided or in the 3 legged cast iron pots positioned on the verandah of the chalets.
Tipping of staff– Tipping is entirely voluntary and at your own discretion. If you wish to leave a gratuity for the staff, please remember that all the staff at Kiambi work to make your stay enjoyable, therefore we ask that if you wish to leave a tip, you do so in the general tip box on check out at the reception desk. This tip is divided equally amongst all staff once a month. If you wish to tip a particular staff member for excellent service, please do so at your own discretion.
Valuables– If staying in our Luxury Tented Chalets, we recommend that you store your passport, air tickets, money and jewelry in the reception safe at Kiambi Lodge. Please do not leave valuables or money in your chalet. Our air-conditioned chalets 9, 10 and 11 have built in safes. Please remember to retrieve your belongings from the safes, before check-out.
Water– Our water is filtered borehole water, and fit for consumption. It is safe to brush your teeth with and to drink. However if you feel that you may suffer from a sensitive stomach, please drink only bottled water. Even though we are situated on the Zambezi River, water is a precious commodity in Africa, so please do not waste water.
Walking– Kiambi is not situated in a game reserve, but within the Chiawa Game Management Area. Therefore we do have villages around us, as well as some wildlife. If you wish to walk outside of Kiambi’s property, although, we can safely say there is no risk, we are however not held responsible. We would suggest that if you do wish to walk outside of Kiambi’s property, that you leave all valuables at the camp.
What to pack– Hats, sunscreen, mosquito repellant, walking shoes and appropriate clothing should be packed. For those memorable moments, bring along your camera and binoculars.
Your safety– We are situated high above the river and do not get visited by hippo’s or crocodiles. However, we are still situated in a bush environment, so please take care of where you step. Be on the look out for snakes in the bush or gardens. Do not walk in the bush unaccompanied by a guide or tracker. Do not swim in the rivers, lakes, pools or lagoons- it is dangerous due to the presence of hippo’s and crocodiles.
By Air Charter –flights can also be organized in conjunction with one of our local charter flight companies to our closest airstrip which is a mere 5kms away. For larger aircraft a further away airstrip is used. Kiambi Lower Zambezi’s closest airports are Lusaka or Royal airstrip, near the Lower Zambezi National Park. Cessna 210’s can land on the Mastock Farm 5kms from Kiambi Lower Zambezi, only by permission from the farm owner. Some of the scheduled and charter airlines that fly into Lusaka include British Airways, Kulula, Zambian Airways, South African Airways and Air Zimbabwe.
By Boat Transfers–Transport and transfers are available by boat and can be arranged, to and from most places, in the Lower Zambezi area. If flying into Royal airstrip, a boat transfer can be arranged by Kiambi Lower Zambezi. Transfers are not included in the fully inclusive and full board rates at Kiambi Lower Zambezi.
By Road Transfers–Kiambi Lower Zambezi is 160km/ two and a half hour drive, from Lusaka, on the main Lusaka- Chirundu road. Guests can be met at the airport, and transferred to the lodge by the lodge’s vehicle and driver. Kiambi Lower Zambezi’s transport and transfer service is not limited to guests staying at Kiambi Lower Zambezi. This service is extended to the surrounding camps and lodges as well as any passengers that are in need of transport to their desired destinations within and around Zambia. Transfers are not included in the fully inclusive and full board rates .
By Road (Self-drive) Lower Zambezi is accessible by road all year round, a 4WD is not necessary, but a high clearance vehicle is recommended. From Chirundu there is an 11km gravel road to the pontoon across the Kafue River, and thereafter, another 11km of gravel road to Kiambi Lower Zambezi. If traveling on your own, please take into consideration that there is a payment pontoon crossing over the Kafue River. The pontoon opens at 06h00 and closes at 18h00, so one has to ensure to arrive at the pontoon before the 18h00. Alternatively for the more adventurous, there is the Leopard Hills road from Lusaka to Lower Zambezi. This road is definitely for 4×4 only and if possible traveling in convoy. It is a spectacular and breathtaking road through the Zambezi Escarpment down to the Lower Zambezi Valley.
Directions to Lower Zambezi From Lusaka on the main road: Travel towards the Chirundu border post. At the border post, turn left onto a gravel road traveling towards the pontoon on the Kafue River. After the pontoon, take the 1st turn-off to the right and drive +- 12km to Lower Zambezi Safari Camp
From Lusaka on the secondary 4×4 road: Travel out of Lusaka on the Leopard Hills Road, and continue where the road splits to the right. Continue straight down the escarpment. At the T junction on the Lower Zambezi Road, turn right and travel about 4 kilometers to the lodge
From Kariba: Cross the border at Siavonga and travel towards the Lusaka / Chirundu road. Turn right at the T-junction towards the Chirundu border post. At the border post, turn left onto a gravel road traveling towards the pontoon on the Kafue River. After the pontoon, take the 1st turn-off to the right and drive +- 12km to the lodge
Tiger Fishingat Kiambi is fantastic! The ideal Tiger fishing period is from September to April, but hooking a tiger during the winter months is not impossible. Fish tend to feed more during the summer months rather than the winter months. Due to the ever conscious implications on the environment of the Zambezi River, fishing for Tiger Fish is strictly catch and release.
Canoeingfrom Kiambi is unbeatable and if you truly want to experience nature at its best, what better way to do it than from a canoe. Kiambi generally works on a 1 to 3 day canoeing safari, but tailor made trips can be arranged to suit your interests. Our canoe safaris include a visit to one of our local villages to exchange traditions and meet the friendly population of Zambia.
Birdlifeis abundant around Kiambi with a variety of raptors, water birds, and smaller birds commonly sighted. Trumpeter hornbill, Meyer’s Parrots, Lilian’s Lovebirds and Narina Trogon are but a few of the bird species which can be observed in the Zambezi Valley. Bird watching is excellent from December to April, and good from May to November. Kiambi has a Roberts Multimedia Bird’s of Southern Africa program on computer in the office, as well as many birding books. Please feel free to use these at your leisure, although they remain the property of Kiambi.
Sunset cruisesdepart in the late afternoon, and are included in a 2 night stay in our fully inclusive rates for our luxury tented chalets and our luxury air-conditioned tented chalets.
For those not on a fully inclusive rate, it is a small extra charge, but well worth it, as there is the possibility of seeing elephants, crocodiles, hippo, as well as many different bird species found in the Zambezi Valley. Drinks are served on board, often accompanied by spectacular African sunsets.
Lodge Information Number of Tents – 15 Children – Under 8yrs on request Triples – No Twin Rooms – Available Minimum Stay – 2 nights Activities – Game & night drives, canoeing safaris, fishing, walks Air-conditioning – Evaporative cooling – a mist Room Fans – Yes Laundry – Additional Charge Mosquito Nets – Yes Swimming Pool – Yes Bath – In deluxe suites only Showers – Yes In-room safe – Yes Private bars – Cool box on request Telephone – Only in emergency Internet access – WIFI Available Hairdryers – on request Suitable for disabled guests – Yes, with assistance Check-out – 10h00 Power – 240v Generator power Private 4×4 vehicle – At extra cost if available Credit Cards – Yes Visa or Mastercard with a 3% Charge
There are ten Classic Suites and four Deluxe Suites at Royal Zambezi Lodge. The entry level Classic Suites stand alone and are complete with shady verandas and en-suite baths with flush toilets and large showers. The large canvas tents nestle under mature trees and are all positioned for the maximum enjoyment of the surrounding views and complete privacy. The tents are impeccably furnished with a contemporary, understated elegance. Natural tones, luxurious textures and comfortable armchairs create the perfect retreat after a morning game drive while extra length sprung mattresses with pure cotton linen and feather pillows ensure a blissful night’s sleep.
The Deluxe Suites are the epitome of the luxury safari experience. Two of the suites offer the same tented interior as the Classic Suites whilst also offering an outdoor bath and shower and plunge pool. A further two Deluxe Suites push luxury to an even higher level. These suites are not tented and due to a larger surface area they also have an indoor lounging area. Outdoors they offer a sala overlooking the river in addition to a shower and copper roll-top bath, sunloungers and private plunge pool. In all, the Deluxe Suites provide ultimate luxury whilst allowing guests to interact with the wilderness that surrounds them. Ideal for honeymoon couples, special occasion holidays, or for those who simply want to experience Zambia’s finest safari accommodation.
Royal Zambezi Lodge finds the perfect balance between contemporary, simplistic style and extreme comfort offering a completely unspoiled wilderness experience. With lions roaring in the distance and hippos snorting nearby, the luxurious thatched suites, elegant design and gourmet cuisine of Royal Zambezi Lodge provide a perfect base from which to explore this wild and beautiful area.
With its classical architectural lines and lofty thatched roofs the open plan reception area, dining room and lounge offers a welcome refuge and a place to relax with its comfortable sofas, enormous fireplaces and cheerful personalized service.
The spacious veranda provides shade from the midday sun and wide timber decks extend over the shallows of the Zambezi River, perfect for fine dining under clear night skies laden with stars and absorbing the sounds of the African night.
In the evening guests gather at the stunning Sausage Tree Bar, where drinks and aperitifs are served on the suspended deck whilst the Zambezi River flows beneath and the sun sets behind the distant escarpment. Enjoy a lively exchange of the day’s adventures, listen to the guides regale their stories of memorable encounters or just take time to sit quietly and enjoy the magic of sunset in the Lower Zambezi Valley.
Cuisine –Enjoy a delicious breakfast overlooking the Lower Zambezi River, where our team of expert chefs will prepare dishes to order or simply whizz up a healthy smoothie.
Lunch need not interrupt a good day’s fishing or game drives. With the option of a gourmet picnic lunch or a full outdoor buffet in the National Park, complete with white linen tableware, the concept of outdoor dining takes on a new dimension.
Dinner is served at private tables under the stars, or by a roaring fire on a cooler night. Alternatively guests may relax in their rooms and have dinner brought to them on their private deck. To celebrate special occasions, guests may enjoy drinks by a campfire and a candlelit dinner on a deserted island on the Zambezi.
Access –Royal Zambezi lodge is accessible by regular scheduled flights and chartered flights from Lusaka (25mins). All flights land at the propriety royal air strip which is ten minutes drive from the lodge. Access by road and boat takes a minimum of five hours from Lusaka requiring a four wheel drive.
Recommended Length of Stay To take full advantage of everything on offer, stays at the Royal Zambezi Lodge should be a minimum of 4-5 nights. Climate –The climate of the lower Zambezi can vary greatly. It is generally cool and dry from April to August, hot and dry from September to December and wet and humid from January to March. Temperatures Minimum temperatures around 14 degrees Celsius, maximum 40 degrees Celsius.
Recommended Equipment & Attire The atmosphere at Royal Zambezi Lodge is informal, so casual neutral colored clothing is both practical and acceptable. During the hot summer months of September to December cool clothing is essential, with long, loose clothing for evenings. From May to August it can be quite cool at night and in the early mornings, so warmer clothing is advised. Hat, sun screen, binoculars, camera & extra film, walking shoes and shoes suitable for boating are essential.
Medical –The lodge is covered by medical air rescue services, boats and vehicles are equipped with medical aid kits and the lodge managers are paramedic qualified. As the lodge is situated in a malarial area, it is strongly advised that clients take malaria prophylactics before and after they stay at the lodge.
Location Zambia begins where David Livingstone was once led, feverish and disbelieving to Mosi-oa-Tunya “The Smoke that Thunders”. Now known as the world renowned Victoria Falls, the Zambezi River’s most famous feature descends to steep basalt-walled gorges and flows through Lake Kariba and onwards to the Mozambique coast. However, it is downstream of Lake Kariba that you will find Zambia’s best kept secret – the Lower Zambezi National Park.
Within the Lower Zambezi Valley, the river follows the trace of an ancient continental rift, between steep-sided escarpments. The vast flat area between the ranges forms an area of outstanding natural beauty, with a unique ecosystem. The relatively undeveloped Lower Zambezi National Park occupies 4092 square kilometres within this spectacular wilderness.
Mopane forest is interspersed with Winterthorn trees (Acacia albida), and provides a welcome sanctuary for the many lion and leopard, with the escarpment covered in broadleaf woodland. Teeming with fish, the Zambezi River supports an astounding and exceptional birdlife, whilst elephant, buffaloes, waterbuck, hippos and zebras roam in abundance on the islands and along its banks.
Royal Zambezi Lodge is located on the banks of the Zambezi River with over 3 kilometres of river frontage and lies on the edge of the Lower Zambezi National Park. It is situated on the Zambezi River at one of its broadest points and lies opposite the famous Mana Pools Reserve in Zimbabwe.
The location for Royal Zambezi Lodge was chosen particularly for the wide variety of activities available, including game viewing, fishing, fly-fishing, sunset river cruises, professionally guided canoeing trips, open vehicle guided drives, night drives, walking safaris, birding safaris and photographic safaris.
Spa & Treatments The Royal Zambezi Bush Spa has been inspired by the natural beauty surrounding the lodge and is Zambia’s first and only bush spa. Its minimalist design exudes an air of complete balance, peace and tranquility offering you the ultimate refuge to restore the mind, body and spirit.
We pride ourselves on the attentive team of qualified therapists who are on hand to provide you with a wide variety of massages, facials and a host of other therapeutic and beauty skin care treatments.
Many of these use local indigenous ingredients from the African bush further emphasising its beauty and enchantment.
The spa is positioned around the central courtyard where the inviting aroma of burning scented candles fill the air from the two treatment rooms. You are also invited to use the cooling plunge pool and outdoor jacuzzi with its breathtaking vista across the river – the perfect way to while away those lazy afternoons. There is also the beautifully appointed lounge area where you can sip fresh juices accompanied by the remarkable sights and sounds of the resident flora and fauna.
Departure is after breakfast at 09h00 to the top of the Island in front of Kiambi, by power boat.
From the top of the island, you canoe on the southern side of the island to the lower point of the island.
We canoe on this side due to good game viewing.
You are then returned back to Kiambi by power boat.
2, 3 or 4 night canoe safari down stream
Day 1 – arrival at Kiambi
Overnight: Kiambi with choice of Luxury Air-conditioned chalets, Luxury Tented
Accommodation, Self Catering Accommodation or Camping.
Breakfast is at 07h30 / 8am and then you meet your canoeing guide. Your canoe guide will then give you a brief run down of the canoeing days, dangerous animals, safety measures while on the river and at the campsites, and techniques on canoeing.
Departure is from our jetty and we proceed down river.
A stop is made for tea time, which is set up by our back up boat.
We stop for lunch, which is set up by our back up boat.
We continue downriver after lunch.
Our back up boat goes on ahead to set up the campsite
In the late afternoon we stop at our campsite at Buffalo Beans on an island.
Tents, Standard camping mattress, bedrolls, wash up facilities, a drop toilet, and
bucket shower facilities are all set up. Dinner, bore hole drinking water and juice are
Overnight: Buffalo Beans Island Campsite – all meals included (Buffalo bean island is located 20Kms down river from Kiambi)
Kindly note there are no pillows included on our canoe excursions.
Bath towels are not included in the canoe excursion, but should the clients not have
towels, a request for towels can be made at the lodge reception, this can be arranged at the lodge reception before departure.
Breakfast is enjoyed cooked over the fire.
We depart again on canoe downriver. Our back up boat follows close behind
We stop to visit a local village on the banks of the Zambezi. Here we can visit the school, the shops and view the local way of life.
A stop is made again for tea, set up by our back up boat
Stop for lunch, set up by our back up boat and continue downriver after lunch.
Arrive at our campsite, already set up by our back up boat and overnight as above.
Overnight at MUTONDO ISLAND– all meals included (Mutondo Island is located 40Kms down river from Kiambi)
Day 4– Return to Kiambi or proceed another day
Breakfast is enjoyed cooked over the fire.
We depart again by canoe downriver. Our back up boat follows close behind
A stop is made again for tea, set up by our back up boat
Stop for lunch, set up by our back up boat and continue downriver after lunch.
Arrive at our campsite, already set up by our back up boat and overnight as above.
Breakfast and canoe downriver again.
Overnight at our campsite, already set up by our back up boat team
Overnight at the CHONGWE COMMUNITY CAMPSITE- all meals included (Community campsite is located 65Kms down river from Kiambi)
Breakfast and transfer by motorboat back to Kiambi.
You are welcome to spend another night with us at Kiambi Lower Zambezi before your departure.
Temperatures in the area are generally very warm through out the year and so please feel free to pack shorts and T-shirts, which are most acceptable at any time of the day or night on the Lower Zambezi.
Depending on the time of year the winter nights in June, July and August are cool, with winter days being warm and pleasant. September to December brings hot days and warm nights.
October is the warmest month of the year and is hot during the day as well as at night.
Hats, sunscreen, mosquito repellant, walking shoes and appropriate clothing should be packed, that being apart from the above mentioned a warm jumper for the cool winter evenings as everyone’s idea of cold is different. For those memorable moments, bring along your camera, a book to read while on the excursion and binoculars should you require
Tailor made trips can be arranged to suit your interests.
Wildlife –The Canoe Trail passes through the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, where clients have a good opportunity of viewing the endangered White Rhino, the only concentration on the Zambezi River.
There are at least 50 common species of bird that can be seen from your craft.
Equipment –Sixteen-foot inflatable rafts and crocodile canoes are used. America’s Cup high flotation life jackets are supplied to clients before the days canoeing.
Experience & Fitness–No previous experience is required and clients need not be proficient swimmers.
Minimum & Maximum Minimum number is 2 people and maximum of 24 people Larger groups on request using canoes and inflatable rafts. Minimum number on multi day trips – 2 pax. Maximum number on multi day trips – 20 pax.
Age Restriction : The minimum age for canoe trips using crocodiles is 12 years. There is no maximum age.
Clients Requirements:The appropriate dress required is shorts, T-Shirts, shoes and sunscreen and a wide brimmed hat. Dry bags are provided for cameras and valuables.
Videos & Photographs–Videos and photographs will be provided on request for group bookings only and will be shown the same evening.
Visa Requirements –Passports are required to cross the Zambian border. For overnight trips, clients are usually exempt from visa costs into Zambia,
Half Day Safari
The Canoeing Trail operates above Victoria Falls in Zambia on the 15km stretch of the Upper Zambezi River between Simonga and Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, running between the Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe and the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia. ¨ Tea, coffee and bacon and egg rolls are served at check in at the Waterfront.
Clients are transferred from the Waterfront (approximately 40 minutes) to the canoe start point, which is upriver opposite Chundu Island.On arrival clients are given a safety talk by a professional river guide. Clients then practise their paddling skills before setting off on their canoe safari. Clients are transferred from Thorntree to their hotels.
Please note that NO lunch is served on a half-day safari. Clients are dropped off at approximately 13h00-13h30. Half day safaris are only available in the mornings, unless by specific request for larger groups.
Full Day Safari
The Canoeing Trail operates above Victoria Falls in Zambia on the 15km stretch of the Upper Zambezi River between Simonga and Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, running between the Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe and the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia.
Tea, coffee and bacon and egg rolls are served at check in at the Waterfront. Clients are transferred from the Waterfront (approximately 40 minutes) to the canoe start point, which is upriver opposite Chundu Island.
On arrival clients are given a safety talk by a professional river guide. Clients then practise their paddling skills before setting off on their canoe safari.
Lunch is served on an island in the middle of the Zambezi and consists of cold meats and salads.
The trip ends at the Zambezi Waterfront. Clients are dropped off in Victoria Falls at about 16h30 or at their relevant drop off points in Livingstone.
Multi day safari –Overnight, 2 day / 1 night and 2 day / 2 night safaris are on offer on a request basis only unless pre-booked and are largely water level dependent
Guides & Safety –Guides are fully trained and all hold valid first aid certificates
Insurance –All clients are covered by Medical Air Rescue Services (MARS), however, this only covers them for emergency evacuation in life threatening situations. It does not cover their hospitalisation and medication.
Includes:Transfer, Full local bar and Snacks. Excludes:River usage fees
Guests are picked up from their hotel in Victoria Falls or Livingstone and transferred to the boat jetty. On arrival guests are welcomed onto the boat.
Upon seating, you will be given a safety briefing and a brief history of the river on the outset of the trip.
You then cruise on the Zambezi River downstream towards the Falls down to Palm Island before turning around and cruising back upstream.
You will get to view hippos, crocodiles as well as an abundance of birdlife.
Whilst on the cruise the guests are offered drinks from the fully stocked bar and a range of mouth watering snacks. After watching the sun set over the river, you will cruise back downstream to the jetty. After disembarking, you will be transferred back to your hotel
DINNER CRUISE – while docked at the jetty:
Guests are picked up from their hotel in Victoria Falls and transferred to the boat jetty. On arrival guests are welcomed onto the boat. Upon seating, you will be given a safety briefing and a brief history of the river on the outset of the trip. You then cruise on the Zambezi River downstream towards the Falls down to Palm Island before turning around and cruising back upstream. You will get to view hippos, crocodiles as well as an abundance of birdlife. Whilst on the cruise the guests are offered drinks from the fully stocked bar and a range of mouth watering snacks. After watching the sun set over the river, you will cruise back downstream to the jetty where you will dock on the jetty and enjoy your dinner. After disembarking, you will be transferred back to your hotel.
-A starter of butternut, carrot or mushroom soup
-Main course consists of chicken breast, beef or pork sausages and steak
-A election of three salads are provided mainly potato salad, green salad and coleslaw salad
-An apple pie and fruit salad with cream are served as dessert
-A full bar with local wines and beers are also provided
Transfers are included in the rate. Park fees are excluded in the rate Minimum of 6 clients
DINNER CRUISE – while cruising on the boat:
Min pax of two Max pax of twenty eight.
PICK UP TIMES Summer – 17.45pm from the hotel. Winter – 17.00pm from the hotel.
Guests are picked up from their hotel in Victoria Falls and transferred to the jetty. On arrival guests are welcomed onto the boat and given a safety briefing and a brief history of the river on the outset of the trip. You then cruise on the Zambezi River downstream towards the Falls down to Palm Island before turning around and cruising back upstream.
You will get to view hippos, crocodiles as well as an abundance of birdlife.
Whilst on the cruise the guests are offered drinks from the fully stocked bar and a range of mouth watering snacks.
After watching the sun set over the river, you will be served dinner while cruising on the river. After dinner, you will dock at the jetty, disembark and you will be transferred back to your hotel.
MENU: The dinner menu is a set menu Dry Snacks for sundowners
Main Course: Pan Fried Zambezi Bream – served with tartar sauce, baby potatoes in an herb butter sauce and fresh vegetables in season.
Apple pie and hot brandy custard (winter) Fresh Fruit Salad and Cream (summer)
Tea and Coffee Please note that dietary requirements are essential
DRINKS:Local drinks which are included in the price.(Specials can be requested at a surcharge)
Pick up Times: 11h45Duration: 2 hours Min number: 6
Includes:Transfer, Full local bar, cold meats and salads buffet Lunch, Tea/coffee, cheese and biscuits.
Guests are picked up from their hotel in Victoria Falls and transferred to the jetty. On arrival guests are welcomed onto the boat and given a safety briefing and a brief history of the river on the outset of the trip. You then cruise on the Zambezi River downstream towards the Falls down to Palm Island before turning around and cruising back upstream. You will get to view hippos, crocodiles as well as an abundance of birdlife. On this trip guests are offered drinks at the outset and during the course of the cruise. The tables are set out with condiments and a buffet meal. The bar on board is fully stocked with a range of local spirits, wine, beer, soft drinks, mineral water and cordials. After lunch, you will cruise back downstream to the jetty. After disembarking, you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Lunch cruise menu:
-A starter of butternut, carrot or mushroom soup
-Main course consists of chicken breast, beef or pork sausages and steak
-A election of three salads are provided mainly potato salad, green salad and causlaw salad
-An apple pie and fruit salad with cream are served as dessert
-A full bar with local wines and beers are also provided
Transfers are included in the rate
Guests are picked up from their hotel in Victoria Falls and transferred to the jetty. On arrival guests are welcomed onto the boat and given a safety briefing and a brief history of the river on the outset of the trip. You then cruise on the Zambezi River downstream towards the Falls down to Palm Island. Watch the sun rise over the horizon as you drift along the Zambezi River listening to the sounds of nature. After the sun rise, you will cruise back upstream close to the islands looking for an early rising game before proceeding to the jetty. After disembarking, you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Pick up Times: 05h30 (06h00 – winter) Duration: 1.5 hours Min number: 4
Includes:Transfers, tea, coffee, mineral water, rusks Excludes: National Park fees
Route:A’Zambezi jetty towards Palm Island return round Kalundu Island (birdlife)
Dock 07h30 (Winter – 08h00) Drop off hotel 07h45
Pick up Times:Duration: 2 hours Min Number: 4
Summer (Aug – April) – 06h30
Winter (May – Aug) – 07h00
Includes: Transfer, Tea/coffee, pastries and full English breakfast
Guests are picked up from their hotel in Victoria Falls and transferred to the jetty. On arrival guests are welcomed onto the boat and given a safety briefing and a brief history of the river on the outset of the trip. This 2-hour cruise usually goes upstream toward Kandahar Island. The tables are set out with condiments and a continental breakfast buffet. A full English breakfast with eggs, bacon, cereals, pastries and fruit is provided. After breakfast, you will cruise back downstream to the jetty. After disembarking, you will be transferred back to your hotel.
During the hot summer months, early morning departures are encouraged to make the most of the cooler time and also to cover a reasonable distance before the wind may pick up. Deep shade is sought in the hottest part of the day for lunch breaks and rest. Canoeing continues to overnight stops as it becomes cooler again in the late afternoons
Unless otherwise arranged, trips depart from the Chirundu launch site at Zambezi Breezes at 1030hrs on the morning of departure, after clients have been briefed by their guide. After an hour of canoeing there is a riverbank stop for lunch before paddling on to the first evening’s island camp site. This is a total canoeing distance of approximately 15km, mainly through the net work of channels visible on the above Google earth map. ETA at Kakomalala Island is around 1700 hrs and camp is then set up.
The full day of canoeing, approx 25km. Approx. 0630hrs tea/coffee and biscuits then depart
0730hrs downstream. Breakfast approx. 0830hrs – 0900hrs. Lunch approx 1230hrs – 1430hrs in shade out of mid day sun. Proceed to 2nd Island camp – Magurumeno Islands or beyond.
Canoeing is the same as Day 2 exiting the river by approx 1200hrs followed by lunch enroute.On the return road transfer a visit to a traditional village is made before crossing the Kafue river pontoon by barge before reaching the Zambezi Breezes Camp.
Three meals a day, with cordials and safe, treated water is supplied on every safari. However those wishing to bring their own bottled water may do so. Cooler boxes are provided should clients wish to bring their own selection of beverages for the duration of the safari.
Daily Meal Plan:
Unless notified, meals will follow the program below. Please note that we require prior warning of at least 2 weeks to cater for special diets or allergies to certain ingredients etc. The main dinners are in most cases part pre-cooked and deep frozen prior to the safari, so it is important to have sufficient notice of what is required.
Early mornings: Start with tea/coffee biscuits before setting off down stream after packing up canoes and clearing camp.
Breakfast: Generally after several hours of canoeing, the trip will stop for everyone to stretch their legs while the guide prepares an English breakfast of tinned fruit; eggs, bacon, sausages, fried tomatoes, toast with marmalade or jam; tea and coffee.
Lunch:An assortment of cold meats, green salads, rolls and cheeses are served, along with a variety of sauces and pickled onions or gherkins to complete the meal.
Dinner: Assortments of crisps or popcorn for snacks are served followed by a full dinner consisting of beef, chicken or mutton as main course options with two green vegetables and a carbohydrate of potatoes, rice or pasta.
Arriving at the takeout point, clients assist in loading the canoes and equipment onto the support vehicle and trailer for the return transfer to Zambezi Breezes/Chirundu. On the return journey lunch is had before crossing the Kafue River by barge approx 15km before the end of the road transfer.
Road transfers take approx two and a half hours back to Zambezi Breezes/Chirundu to the starting point of the trip.
Boat transfers take approx One hour back to Zambezi Breezes but at an additional cost when required.
Flights scheduled charters take approx 35 minutes to Lusaka after a short road transfer to Royal airstrip. Additional cost.
Experience & Fitness
No previous canoeing experience is necessary. This short island hopping canoe safari is generally relaxing with little physical exertion required. However, at certain times of the year strong winds may occur which makes paddling more difficult. Should this occur the guide will decide whether it is feasible to carry on canoeing or wait until it is safe to proceed. Guides have ultimate jurisdiction when determining the course of action required for the safety and welfare of the guests.
Fiber glass 18ft two man Canadian style Canoes are used for their robust structure, with single bladed paddles. Each canoe has five buoyancy chambers with fixed bucket seats allowing for a reasonable level of comfort. Each is fitted with containment nets to ensure safari and personal belongings are secure at all times.
Two-man industrial mosquito netted bow tents are used. These allow for a full view of the night sky and give maximum aeration. Sleeping bags, sheet liners and airline pillows are also provided along with fold out mattresses. Should guests wish to bring their own sleeping bags, this is also acceptable.
Other equipment includes: cooler boxes, tables, chairs, gas cookers, melamine crockery, along with a variety of other items to ensure a reasonable level of comfort is maintained for the duration of the safari.
Four-wheel drive vehicles are generally used as support vehicles for the return transfers. Depending on the weather and time of year boat transfers may be arranged.
As a guideline on what to bring on your safari, clients are asked to keep luggage to minimum of +/
– 7kgs. Excess baggage may be kept for safe keeping at our office for the duration of the canoeing
• Neutral coloured shorts and T-shirts, swimming costume for summer months.
• Personal Toiletries and small towel. Optional your personal pillow
• Canvas shoes or rafting sandals, a comfortable pair of hiking shoes where walks are involved
• Hat with a wide brim
• Jacket or sweater for the evenings
• Shirts (including a long sleeved one for sun protection)
• A kikoi (or sarong) to cover your legs to protect them from the sun
• Torch or flashlight and extra batteries
• Camera and accessories
• Binoculars, sunglasses
• Sunscreen, Insect repellent
• Warm clothes to sleep in for winter nights/light waterproof clothing for wet season
• Dry bags for personal items.
Luggage on Safari should be kept to a maximum of 7kgs p/person where possible. Excess luggage may be stored safely at our base for collection at the end of the safari.
• All guides are qualified through the governing bodies of both the Zambian & Zimbabwe wildlife and National Parks authorities qualifying them to lead canoeing and walking safaris having passed both practical and written exams.
• In addition, all guides have a minimum practical training period of two years with the company prior to becoming a trip leaders.
• H20 proof Pelican cases are carried as first aid boxes with the basic essentials.
• On the shorter canoeing trips we operate local cellular networks while satellite phones are used in the more remote regions of the lower Zambezi.
• All clients are briefed on the safety aspects of a canoeing safari prior to the trips departure while we always ensure everyone has time to familiarise themselves with their canoes and paddling techniques early on in the safari.
The Zambezi Valley is a malarial area, but your doctor can advise you on the appropriate prophylactics to protect you. Any health concerns or medical conditions such as allergies, epilepsy etc should be brought to the attention of the management prior to the start of the safari.
We recommend the use of insect repellents especially from dusk onwards, together with wearing trousers and long sleeved tops.
The use of wide brimmed hats and plenty of sunscreen are strongly advised on all trips, both in summer and winter months. Long sleeved shirts and kikois/towels also protect arms and legs from sunburn during canoeing.
All safaris carry medical boxes and the guide is trained in first aid.
Individual Health Issues
Any health concerns or medical conditions such as allergies, epilepsy etc should be brought to the attention of the management prior to the start of the safari.
On these semi participatory safaris, there are no ablution facilities.
Clients are provided with a trowel, toilet paper and matches.
For bathing, clients use a bucket of water from the river.
The minimum age of clients is 15 years. There is however no maximum age, although the client must be reasonably fit. The age limit may be flexible for a specific group booking with prior consent.
Travel and medical insurance is compulsory for all clients. All clients must have pre arranged insurance in their own country prior to leaving so as to cover any unexpected medical expenses and loss / theft of personal effects. Clients bring the details of these insurance policies with them as they will need to provide proof of insurance should they wish to claim for any losses or medical expenses.
Please check visa requirements with your agent or River Horse Safaris prior to departure. Most visas can be obtained at the point of entry into Zambia.
Year round – however, for those chartering flights in, we suggest pre flight checks on runway conditions to ensure the strip is serviceable.
Temperatures are at their highest in September and October with the onset of the rains from December through to April where light weight, waterproof clothing is required. Winter runs from May to August where warm clothing is necessary in the evenings
This safari is geared more towards the canoeing enthusiast looking for the added element of excitement.
This is the only trip of its kind in Zambia that takes one through the entire length of the floodplains of the middle Zambezi to the remote Mupata Gorge before ending at the confluence of the Luangwa River.
On the safari clients can explore the numerous subsidiary channels of the Zambezi and the confines of the spectacular basalt gorges as the river winds its way towards the Indian Ocean. As these trips involve more detailed organization, they only depart on a few selected dates every year and prices will vary according to the number of people taking part.
As this trip passes through both the entire Zambian Lower Zambezi National Park on the left and the full length of the Mana pools National Park on the right ending at the Luangwa confluence with the Zambezi we have the option of a 4hr 30min road transfer back to Lusaka or a 45 minute chartered flight out. The cost of the charter is not included in the price of this safari.
Style of safari semi participatory
Duration: 5 nights/6 days
Area: Zambezi National Park / Mana Pools National Park
Distance: 163km with overnights on remote island camps
Safari Ends: road transfer from Luangwa Junction to Lusaka
(NB -This safari can also be run in conjunction with the Zambezi Short Canoe Trail to make a total of 7 nights 8 days.)
These canoeing safaris are totally self-contained with all the safari equipment carried in the canoes for the duration of the trip. Guides prepare meals while the guests participate in erecting their tents, sorting out their bedding and help with the general loading and off-loading of their canoes.
This trip may be lengthened or shortened accordingly to suit specific groups i.e. bird watchers who need additional observation time on the river.
There are several options in getting to the start of your Lower Zambezi canoeing safari:
Public transport to Oasis (about 15km before Chirundu)
Pre arranged private Mini bus transfers from Lusaka
Charter flight to Kayila Airstrip and then road transfer to Kayila Lodge
Public Transport:We will meet you at “Oasis” a “café” about 15km before Chirundu – just ask the bus driver to drop you off at Oasis and our vehicle will collect you from Oasis at around 10:30/11:00 on the morning of departure of the safari).
Private Minibus:We will take you straight to Zambezi Breezers for the start of your safari. Transfers from Lusaka come down on the day of the safari’s departure.
Charter Flight:We suggest landing at Kayila Airstrip
Road Transfer Times: Lusaka – Zambezi Valley (130km. approx 1 hr 45 min)
Charter Aircraft:Lusaka – Kayila Airstrip, Zambezi Valley air 30min
We use two man 18-foot Canadian Canoes with containment nets and ropes to ensure both safari and personal belongings are secure at all times.
Each canoe has five buoyancy chambers, while the bucket seats are cushioned allowing a reasonable level of back support. Single blade paddles are used and life jackets supplied.
Two-man mosquito netted bow tents are used, which allows for a full view of the night sky and maximum aeration. Sleeping bags, liners (sleeping bags inners/personal sheets) and airline pillows are also provided along with roll out mattresses.
Other equipment includes: cooler boxes, tables, chairs, gas cookers, melamine crockery, cutlery and a variety of other items are provided, to ensure a reasonable level of comfort is maintained for the duration of your canoeing safari.
Four-wheel drive vehicles are used as support vehicles for transfers and game drives where included. Boat transfers may also be used depending on the weather and time of year.
FOOD AND DRINKS
Three meals a day, cordial soft drinks and safe, treated water is supplied on every safari. However those wishing to bring their own bottled water may do so. Cooler boxes are provided should clients wish to bring their own selection of beverages for the duration of the safari. Complimentary wine is served with evening meals.
EXPERIENCE AND FITNESS
No previous canoeing experience is necessary but a reasonable level of fitness is required for this longer safari. At certain times of the year strong winds may occur which makes paddling more difficult. Should this happen, the guide will decide whether it is feasible to carry on canoeing or wait until it is safe to proceed. Guides have ultimate jurisdiction when determining the course of action required for the safety and welfare of the guests.
DAILY MEAL PLAN
Unless notified, meals will follow the program below. Please note that we require prior warning of at least 2 weeks to cater for special diets or allergies to particular ingredients etc. The main dinners are in most cases part pre-cooked and deep frozen prior to the safari, so it is important to have sufficient notice of what is required.
Early mornings: Start with tea/coffee biscuits before setting off down stream after packing up canoes and clearing camp.
Breakfast : Generally after several hours of canoeing, the trip will stop for everyone to stretch their legs while the guide prepares an English breakfast of tinned fruit; eggs, bacon, sausages etc; then toast with marmalade or jam. Tea and coffee is served before starting off again.
Lunch : An assortment of cold meats, green salads, rolls and cheeses are served, along with a variety of sauces and pickled vegetables to complete the meal.
Dinner : Assortments of snacks are served followed by a full dinner consisting of beef, chicken or mutton as main course options with two green vegetables and a carbohydrate of potatoes, rice or pasta.
These canoeing safaris are self contained. All safari equipment is carried in the canoes for the
duration of the trip. Guides prepare meals while the guests participate in erecting their tents, sorting out their bedding and helping with general loading and off loading of their canoes.
As the Zambezi Valley can get hot in the summer months, we start early to make the most of the cool part of the day. The same applies for the late afternoons, while shade is sought during the hottest time of the day.
Meet at Zambezi Breezers at approx. 10h30 for connecting road transfer to downstream launch site. After a briefing and lunch on the banks of the river we start canoeing downstream toevening camp on Mtondo Islandarriving at around 5pm
Set up camp then snacks, dinner and discussion on the following days itinerary
Canoeing starts early after morning tea/coffee and biscuits, approx. 06:30
Depart Island camp for downstream breakfast stop approx. 08:30
Continue through to shaded lunch stop from approx. 12:30 to 14:00 out of mid day sun.
We then canoe through to our 2nd nights camp on or around Chikwenya island weather permitting.
This day we cover a good 25km of river through both Mana Pools and the Lower Zambezi National Park.
Full day canoeing as above
Again, the day is spent canoeing in the channels, rather than in the mainstream where possible
Part of this section is where the Zambezi is up to 3km wide in places.
It is through this area, flanked by the Mana Pools and the Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia,
that the safari is likely to see the highest concentration of game on the river.
Camp is set up at G. Campchannels for the night.
Here the safari exits both national parks into safari areas. The river begins to narrow down and the current becomes stronger as the river progresses into what is known as the False Mupata Gorge.
From this point the safari is confined to the mainstream. Canoes have to avoid the steep rock formations that jut out into the river, as well as the strong eddies and whirlpools that form off the back of those formations.
Camp on this night is selected from one of many sandy beaches on the mainland below the towering cliffs of the gorge.
This day is spent canoeing through the confines of the scenic Mupata Gorge observing the year old volcanic rock formations that form part of the Great Rift Valley.
In the mid afternoon the canoes exit the gorge and the guide locates a sand bank on mainland for the overnight camp.
Depending on the selection of campsite there is an early rise tea/coffee breakfast before the remaining paddle through to the end of the canoeing safari. The take out point is reached at approximately 1030hrs for the return transfer to Lusaka. This drive is in an open backed Land Cruiser
with a shaded canopy.
Alternatively, and depending on the group’s requirements and wishes, clients may continue to paddle on Day 5 through to the Feira take out point. This means the transfer will be able to leave earlier for the return 5 hour trip to Lusaka, but it also means that there will be no canoeing on the last day.
Clients are asked to keep their luggage down to a maximum of +/-7kg. Excess baggage and valuables can be kept safely at our office and collected on your return. Appropriate shirts, shorts, trousers etc in bush colours (preferably khaki, greens, greys or browns). Long sleeve cotton shirt suggested for fair skinned people including a light cloth to cover bare legs in summer months.
Water Bottle : Comfortable shoes (preferably worn in) they will get wet. : Warm clothing for winter mornings and evenings being June, July and August : Anti Malarial Prophylactics : Wide Brim Sun Hat
Sun Block : Insect Repellent : Personal Toiletries : Medications : Binoculars : Camera : Torch/Flashlight
Spare Batteries:Valid travel and health documents
Malaria: The Zambezi Valley is a malarial area, but your doctor can advise you on the appropriate prophylactics to protect you. Any health concerns or medical conditions such as allergies, epilepsy etc should be brought to the attention of the management prior to the start of the safari.
Nuisance Insects : We recommend the use of insect repellents especially from dusk onwards, together with wearing trousers and long sleeved tops.
Sun Protection : The use of wide brimmed hats and plenty of sunscreen are strongly advised on all trips, bit in summer and winter months. Long sleeved shirts and kikois/towels also protect arms and legs from sunburn during canoeing.
First Aid : All safaris carry medical supplies and the guides are trained in first aid.
Individual Health Issues : Any health concerns or medical conditions such as allergies, epilepsy etc should be brought to the attention of the management prior to the start of the safari.
On these semi participatory safaris, there are no ablution facilities. Clients are provided with a trowel, toilet paper and matches. For bathing, clients use a bucket of water from the river.
Minimum age is 15 years. There is no maximum age; however clients must be reasonably fit. The age limit may be flexible for a specific group booking with prior consent.
All canoe safari guides carry HF handheld radios. Each camp has an HF and VHF base set which allows communication between base camps, vehicles, canoes and Medical Air Rescue Services. Each professional canoe guide has passed stringent National Parks canoeing exams prior to leading a canoeing safari.
INSURANCE Travel and medical insurance iscompulsoryfor all clients. Please ensure clients have arranged this insurance in their own country prior to leaving so as to cover unexpected medical expenses and loss / theft of personal effects. Please ensure clients bring the details of their insurance policy with them. Clients will not be covered should they not have insurance.
NATIONAL PARKS ENTRY FEES – LOWER ZAMBEZI NATIONAL PARK
The Great Zambezi Canoe Safari enters the Lower Zambezi National Park (LZNP) and National Parks fees are payable in US Dollars cash by each client.
Please check visa requirements with your agent. All our safaris take place in Zambia. It is advisable for all clients to check with the Zambian authorities whether or not they need visas for Zambia, and if necessary obtain their visas prior to departure. SAFARI SEASON
These trips operate year round on pre –set departure dates. Temperatures are at their highest in September and October with the onset of the rains from December through to April where light weight, waterproof clothing is required. Winter runs from May to August where warm clothing is necessary in the evenings .