Zambian Walking Safaris with the Bushcamp Company | Fauna Travel

Zambian Walking Safaris with the Bushcamp Company

Bushcamp Walking Safari, Zambia / Courtesy of Classic Portfolio

By: Scott Dubois, Fauna Travel Designer

Zambia is one of the most authentic and exceptional wildlife destinations in Africa. Victoria Falls is the country’s most famous attraction. However, you can combine Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa National Parks for an incredibly diverse safari, including game drives, walking, canoeing, fishing, and sunset cruises. South Luangwa is the birthplace of the walking safari and is particularly good for immersion into the wild. There is nothing like seeing an elephant or leopard on foot!

South Luangwa is the birthplace of the walking safari and is particularly good for immersion into the wild. There is nothing like seeing an elephant or leopard on foot!

The Bushcamp Company is one of our favorite safari operators in South Luangwa. They are best known for Mfuwe Lodge, where elephants roam the lobby each November in search of ripe mangoes. However, we love them most for their six remote yet stylish bush camps in the far south of the park, where few other travelers visit. The camps are all surprisingly affordable (starting at $630 per person per night) and employ some of the best guides in Africa. They lead all of the walking safaris, which can be done at your own pace. Game drives are also available if you don’t want to be on foot the whole time.

We’ve created this short introduction to the six bush camps in South Luangwa along with our favorite itinerary to inspire your Zambian adventure.

The Six Bush Camps

We recommend walking between one or more of these camps on your visit to Zambia. With enough time, you could walk between them all except Kuyenda, which is more remote. The camps operate in the dry season from April to January, with dates varying slightly based on location. We like October and November for the fewest crowds and the drama of the first rains.

Bushcamp Map of South Luangwa / Courtesy of the Bushcamp Company
Bushcamp Map of South Luangwa / Courtesy of the Bushcamp Company

1. Kuyenda Camp

Kuyenda Room, Zambia / Courtesy of Classic Portfolio
Kuyenda Room, Zambia / Courtesy of Classic Portfolio

Kuyenda is one of the simplest camps, but it is also one of our favorites because of its excellent game viewing and guiding. It’s also the largest bush camp, with six rooms, but it has a relaxed vibe. Two of the rooms have sleep-out decks, and natural springs next to the camp attract lots of wildlife. Kuyenda is an excellent option if you want a great wildlife experience and don’t want to walk between camps.

2. Chamilandu Camp

Chamilandu Treehouse, Zambia / Courtesy of Classic Portfolio
Chamilandu Treehouse, Zambia / Courtesy of Classic Portfolio

Chamilandu is the smallest camp but one of the more interesting because it comprises three treehouses stilted in a prime location on the Luangwa River. The thatched bar area is perfect for sundowners watching wildlife on the river.

3. Chindeni Camp

Chindeni Deck, Zambia / Courtesy of Classic Portfolio
Chindeni Deck, Zambia / Courtesy of Classic Portfolio

Chindeni has a fantastic view that overlooks an oxbow lake, and its four tents are stylishly decorated. We love a morning walk here, ending with lunch and swimming in the river. This camp makes an excellent finish to a multi-day walking safari down the Kapamba or Luangwa Rivers.

This camp makes an excellent finish to a multi-day walking safari down the Kapamba or Luangwa Rivers.

4. Bilimungwe Camp

Bimilungwe, Zambia / Courtesy of Classic Portfolio
Bimilungwe, Zambia / Courtesy of Classic Portfolio

With its dark hardwoods and rain showers, Bimilungwe Camp has a wild elegance that invites relaxation. This is ideal because the camp makes for a perfect armchair safari and break in your walking safari itinerary. The camp flanks a sizable waterhole that wildlife frequents, so you hardly have to leave camp to enjoy great sightings here.

5. Kapamba Camp

Kapamba Pool, Zambia / Courtesy of Classic Portfolio
Kapamba Pool, Zambia / Courtesy of Classic Portfolio

Kapamba has a fantastic location on the Kapamba River. The camp also has many stylish touches and is the only remote bush camp with a pool. It also operates on a more extended season than the others and is open from April to January. Two rooms have raised sleeping salas with bathrooms for a night under the stars.

6. Zungulila Camp

Zungilila Tent, Zambia / Courtesy of Classic Portfolio
Zungilila Tent, Zambia / Courtesy of Classic Portfolio

Zungulila is a remote camp with four classic Meru-style tents and a lovely view across a grassy plain. This is a good starting camp for a walk down the Kapamba River because of the immersive experience that it gives you to start your safari.

Our Favorite Bushcamp Company Zambia Itinerary

Part 1: South Luangwa National Park

Arrive on your international flight into Lusaka, Zambia. From there, fly to Mfuwe Airport near South Luangwa and road transfer to the park. Depending on your arrival time, we recommend a night at Kukaya or Mfuwe Lodge because of their comfort and proximity to the park gate. The elephants will be visiting the mango trees at Mfuwe in November.

Mfuwe Lodge Pool and Dining, Zambia / Courtesy of Classic Portfolio
Mfuwe Lodge Pool and Dining, Zambia / Courtesy of Classic Portfolio

Once settled in, you’ll want to venture deeper into the park to one or more bush camps. Walking safaris can be done daily, and you can walk between camps. If you want to visit one camp we like Kuyenda, but here are a few options for camp-to-camp walks based on how much time you have:

Option 1: Luangwa River Walk

Five nights on the Luangwa River with one camp-to-camp walk.

  • 2 nights – Chamilandu
  • 3 nights – Chindeni

Option 2: Kapamba River Walk

Seven-night river to river walk.

  • 2 nights – Kapamba
  • 2 nights – Bilimungwe
  • 3 nights – Chindeni

Option 3: Kapamba to Luangwa Full Circuit

Nine nights, including both rivers and all walkable bush camps.

  • 1 night – Zungulila
  • 2 nights – Kapamba
  • 2 nights – Bilimungwe
  • 2 nights – Chindeni
  • 2 nights – Chamilandu

Part 2: Zambezi River

Finish your Zambian adventure with three to four nights at Anabezi, a luxury camp on the banks of the Zambezi River. You can continue your adventure with canoe and walking safaris or sit back and enjoy a cocktail cruise or the private plunge pool.

Contact us to start planning your journey into the wild.

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