Rivers and Rainbows
Road Travel is excited to offer this 7 night safari in the South Luangwa at it’s most dramatic and beautiful. The package is fully inclusive of airport and camp transfers, all activities, national park fees, bar and laundry. The only additional costs would be your flights, departure taxes and any visa costs. The safari combines 4 nights at Kapani Lodge and 3 nights Kakuli camp. Contact us to find out more.
The bush is in its fullest flush of growth, rivers and lagoons are brimming and boating safaris take you eye to eye with hippos and crocs. Magnificent skyscapes and sunsets, a wealth of migratory birds, crystal clear night skies and occasional dramatic tropical downpours provide the back drop for a safari during the most exciting time to be in the South Luangwa Valley.
Experts have dubbed South Luangwa as one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, and not without reason. The concentration of game around the Luangwa river and it’s ox bow 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 the park’s 9050km2. The Park hosts a wide variety of wildlife birds and vegetation. 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. On your safari the guides will ensure you have every opportunity to see all that the valley has to offer of its wildlife, birds and varying vegetation and habitats. The hippopotamus is one animal you won’t miss, there is estimated to be at least 50 hippos per kilometre of the Luangwa River! Zebra can be seen running in small herds of about a dozen. The difference between Zambia’s zebras and those in the south and east of Africa are in the stripes. Here they are evenly spaced as opposed to broad light stripes with a faint shadow stripe in-between. Thornicroft’s Giraffe, unique to Luangwa Valley should be easily spotted.
South Luangwa has 14 different antelope species, most of which are easily seen on game and night drives. Watch out for the elusive bushbuck, preferring to inhabit densely covered areas. The common duiker is not that common near the Luangwa river but inhabits the back country of the Luangwa Valley. The largest of the antelope is the eland, usually near the Nsefu sector of the park. The most numerous antelope is the impala, these gregarious animals can be seen in herds all over the park. Not to be confused with the Puku, of similar size but a much fluffier buck with a rich orange coat and also prolific. Perhaps the most beautiful is the Kudu, with its majestic spiral horns and delicate face. Although fairly common, they’re not always easy to find due to their retiring habits and preference for dense bush. Reedbuck, roan, sable, hartebeest, grysbok, klipspringer and oribi are all here but not prolific in the central tourist area of the Park. They tend to stay deeper in the remote parts towards the Muchinga escarpment.
Of the primates, baboons and vervet monkeys are prolific. More scarce is Maloney’s monkey. Present, but unlikely to be seen except on night drives is the night ape, and the nocturnal bushbaby. Hyenas are 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 leopard but they are not that easy to spot and tend to retreat when they hear vehicles. Your 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.
Lions are 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. Of the other carnivores present but not often seen is the caracal, wild dog, serval and side striped jackal. The Luangwa river also has an extraordinarily high number of crocodiles. It is not uncommon to see several basking on the riverbanks or even floating down the river tearing at a dead animal.
Kapani Lodge is a beautiful, permanent lodge, situated on one of the many ox-bow lagoons in the South Luangwa. Accommodation at the Lodge consists of eight standard suites and two new Lagoon Houses, 20 beds all in all. The brick chalets have thatched roofs, spacious living areas, luxurious interiors and walk-in mosquito nets. The Lagoon Houses offer more spacious rooms, private views and elegant furniture. It is the ideal place for people to spend their first night in Africa, before moving on to the more rustic bush camps. There is a main chitenge with a bar and lounge area. Activities at Kapani Lodge include The Luangwa Valley walking safaris, morning walks from Kapani, Game viewing is in open 4 wheel drive vehicles and Night drives with a spotlight.
Kakuli Camp is a seasonal camp on the confluence of the Luwi and Luangwa rivers. There are five spacious tents with en suite facilities under a shady thatch roof. All of the tents overlook the river and have modern en suite bathrooms in the shade of huge trees. There is a lovely chitenge overlooking the grazing lawn that leads down to the rivers. The camp is on a raised ridge allowing extensive views of the Luangwa for up to a mile. Several hundred hippo live in this stretch of the river. Activities at Kakuli Camp include walking safaris and night game drives.