Zambia’s Best Walking Safari - Fauna Travel

Zambia’s Best Walking Safari

Walking safari at Chinzombo / Courtesy of Time + Tide

11 Days

Norman Carr pioneered the walking safari in Zambia in the 1950s, and his original camps in South Luangwa National Park remain some of the best places to explore Africa on foot. They are now owned by Time + Tide, a stylish and forward-thinking safari company with award-winning guides. Walking between their four camps within the park will be the wildlife experience of a lifetime for adventurous and active travelers.

The walking season aligns with the dry months of May to November. Walks are led by an expert guide and are done at your own pace–usually lasting around three to four hours. Game drives are also available at all of these camps if you need a break or prefer a Land Rover.

There are multiple camp to camp walking safari options in Zambia, but this one may be our favorite. It promises to be the wildlife experience of a lifetime for the adventurous luxury traveler.

Your custom travel playlist includes Amanaz’s “Khala My Friend”
Amanaz is a Zamrock band that released only one album, “Africa” in 1975. Their melancholy ballads are a blend of 1960s rock and traditional Zambian styles, and it makes for great travel music. If my Land Rover had a sound system, this is what it would be playing.

Day 1-2: Luwi

Fly to Mfuwe International Airport in eastern Zambia via Lusaka, where you will be met and driven two hours to Luwi Camp in South Luangwa National Park. Luwi is a classic tented camp and the perfect place to start an epic walking safari.

Time + Tide Lewi, Zambia / Courtesy of TIme + Tide
Time + Tide Luwi, Zambia / Courtesy of Time + Tide

Set amid a verdant landscape of sprawling savanna and towering mahogany trees, Lewi camp provides a peaceful retreat for those seeking to connect with nature. Its four cozy tents stand in the shade of the trees, affording spectacular views of the grassy floodplain that attracts a wide variety of wildlife including hippos and elephants.

Time + Tide Luwi is far away from any other camps. Its location along the ephemeral Luwi River makes it an amazing place to explore, with unique opportunities for safari walks and a wildlife hide overlooking an oxbow lake that is perfect for photography.

Day 3-4: Nsolo

Depart camp in the morning to walk approximately three hours to Nsolo Camp.

Time + Tide Nsolo, Zambia / Courtesy of TIme + Tide
Time + Tide Nsolo, Zambia / Courtesy of Time + Tide

Time + Tide Nsolo is comprised of five luxurious accommodations situated on stilted platforms that overlook a winding bend in the seasonal Luwi River. Each room is equipped with a plush feather-top bed, an open-air en-suite bathroom, and a private deck offering stunning views of the permanent river lagoon. The nearby bar serves ice-cold local beers which are perfect for taking in the beauty of your surroundings while enjoying a pleasant evening outside.

Elephants, wild dogs, and warthogs use the riverbed as a thoroughfare, and walking safaris around the camp make for epic wildlife viewing. We recommend a sleepout under the stars during your stay here. You can fully immerse yourself in nature while sharing stories around the campfire and falling asleep to the sounds of hyenas and distant lions.

We’ve sent you some reading material including, The Lion Tracker’s Guide to Life
Boyd Varty, life coach and co-owner of Londolozi game reserve, takes us through a day of tracking lions on foot in the South African bush and describes how to apply this ancient art to your life. The land has a lot to teach us if we only pay attention, and the same goes for ourselves. View on Amazon

Day 5-6: Kakuli

Depart Nsolo Camp in the morning for a four-hour walk to Kakuli Camp. 

Time + Tide Kakuli, Zambia / Courtesy of TIme + Tide
Time + Tide Kakuli, Zambia / Courtesy of Time + Tide

Kakuli, meaning old buffalo bull, was an affectionate name given to Norman Carr by locals. The camp is an excellent location for walking and has a resident lion pride, a seasonal colony of carmine bee-eaters, and a large leopard population.

The camp’s five thatched rooms feature a luxurious feather-top bed, along with both indoor and outdoor showers. The elevated main lounge has a tranquil setting overlooking looking out over the glimmering Luangwa river and a permanent lagoon. From here, you will have a unique view of the wildlife that visits for a drink. You can enjoy a drink yourself and traditional Zambian cuisine while you watch.

Day 7-8: Mchenja

Your last big walk will be two hours along the Luagwa riverbank from Kakuli to Mchenja. The camp is tucked into an ebony grove about a two-hour walk north of Kakuli, and it’s a great place to unwind.

Time + Tide Mchenja, Zambia / Courtesy of TIme + Tide
Time + Tide Mchenja, Zambia / Courtesy of Time + Tide

The camp’s five safari rooms have picture windows and an open-air bathroom with a large soaking tub overlooking the river. Spend your two days here tracking big cats or watching the carmine bee-eaters. Unlike the previous camps, Mchenja has a pool overlooking the Luangwa river, where you can enjoy a drink and watch hippos.

Day 9-10: Chinzombo

Your walk is over and you’ve earned a bit of relaxation. Chinzombo is the best luxury safari camp in South Luangwa. Transfer here from Mchenja by Land Rover for the last two nights of your stay.

Bath at Chinzombo / Courtesy of Time + Tide luxury Zambia safari
Bath at Chinzombo / Courtesy of Time + Tide

Chinzombo combines modern style with the rustic charm of a traditional bush safari camp. This extraordinary camp includes six spacious tents, perched beneath the shade of ancient msizi trees, each with a private pool and soaking tub. As this is your final day on safari, you can enjoy the camp’s extra amenities, such as wifi, yoga, and in-room spa treatments.

This is also a great opportunity to take a night game drive if you haven’t yet. However, you may be happy to simply unwind and watch the wildlife pass by from one of the camp’s many spacious decks.

Day 11: Departure

After breakfast, travel back to Mfuwe Airport and then on to Lusaka for your return home.

Extension: Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls near Toka Leya / Dana Allen / Courtesy of Wilderness Safaris luxury Zambia safari
Victoria Falls near Toka Leya / Dana Allen / Courtesy of Wilderness Safaris

If you have the extra time, we recommend starting your trip in Livingstone, Zambia near Victoria Falls. You can unwind from your long flight in a plunge pool with the thundering sounds of the falls in the distance. We like both Thorntree River Lodge and Toka Leya near Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park on the Zambian side of the Zambezi River.

✧ South Luangwa Walking Map

Contact us to start planning your journey into the wild.

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