Zambia-Liuwa Plains & Kafue
11 night / 12 day (Tented accommodation)
Not much has changed along the banks of the Mighty Zambezi since the great hunter-explorer, Frederick Courtenay Selous wrote in his journal about his travels in this wild and beautiful country, "As I travel up this great vein of water, I feel sure that this must be the lifeblood of Southern Africa and its most powerful water mass."
Our route takes us from Katima Mulilo in Namibia, where we catch our first glimpse of the Mighty Zambezi. Following the course of the Zambezi past the Sioma Falls we cross the Barotse Floodplains and on through the town of Kalabo in Western Zambia. From Kalabo, we enter the Liuwa Plains National Park where we will encounter the second biggest wildebeest migration in Africa. At times, wildebeest and their calves can be seen in their hundreds, followed by the predators that stalk them. We then return to Livingstone through Zambia's biggest and oldest National Park, Kafue National Park.
Though this off-road safari will be "tough going" at times and will put your sense of adventure to the test, the rewards will far outweigh the hardships you might encounter.
We meet at our camp in eastern Caprivi, on the banks of the Zambezi River, near the Namibian town of Katima Mulilo.
By the time you arrive, your tents would have been pitched and our bush chef will be preparing the first of the culinary delights you will be enjoying on this safari. The evening will be spent socialising around the fire and getting to know each other as the sun sets over the Zambezi River, with the sound of hippos snorting and grunting in the background. During the course of the evening, the Bhejane guide will elaborate on the adventure that lies ahead.
Making an early start after a hearty breakfast, and after you have all been issued with two-way hand held radios, we take to the road and leave for Katima Mulilo in Namibia. After refuelling our vehicles in Katima we cross the border into Zambia. As the border post procedures here can take a while, we will only be travelling a further 115 kilometers to our next overnight stop. Situated on the banks of the Zambezi, the lodge boasts good clean facilities and, once again, the crew will have set up camp and the pots will be on the fire when we arrive.
Before dinner, we enjoy an evening sundowner boat cruise on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River.
Today we visit a great well-kept secret of the Zambezi River, the Ngonya Waterfall. It is not as big as the Victoria Falls but wilder and a thousand times less commercialized. We spend another night at our campsite.
Day 4: Liuwa National Park
Today we see the last of civilization for a while as we head into Mongu to shop and refuel - believe it or not the town has a very well stocked Shoprite. With all refills done we move west onto the 50 kilometer wide flood plain of the Zambezi. In the late summer months this area is completely under water. En route we pass the winter residence of the Lodzi King and see his Royal Canoes that are part of the colourful Kambuka Ceremony when the king paddles from his winter home to drier land for summer. We cross the mighty river again via ferry and then make our way to the town of Kulabo.
Whilst in Kulabo there will be a few formalities to sort out at the Migration Office regarding passport checks and permits to enter the Liuwa Plains National Park.
Heading north we make a ferry crossing of the Luwangina River into the southern plains of the Liuwa National Park where, as we head deeper into the park, we will encounter our first herds of wildebeest.
Our accommodation for the next three days is once again, a rustic bush camp in the great outdoors. Our camp has cold water showers and flush toilets.
Days 5 & 6:
After a good night’s rest and a hearty breakfast, we make our way into the endless expanse of the park. We break our convoy into smaller groups to facilitate better game viewing.
We spend our three days in Liuwa Plains enjoying all that the park has to offer, panoramic landscapes, wildebeest in their thousands and, with luck, the predators that prey on them. In recent years the lion, hyena and wild dog populations have increased, the result of a wonderful conservation success story.
For the birders there are large groups of crowned and wattled cranes and numerous secretary birds and a host of new lifers.
Sadly. today we have to say goodbye to the Liuwa Plains National Park after a morning game drive. However we have more adventure in store, as we head west to Kafue National Park our home for the next four nights. We once again restock and refuel in Mongu.
Day 8, 9 and 10: Kafue National Park
We spend the next three days exploring Kafue National Park. You will have the opportunity to take a packed lunch and enjoy the parks splendour and beauty at your own leisure. We will spend two nights in two of the parks campsites exploring the southern part of Kafue National Park. We will also do a boat cruise on the Kafue River.
We travel south in the National Park making our way to the popular tourist town of Livingstone for our last night together. Over a good supper we will reminisce about the adventure and fun we have all had.
After a lavish breakfast, we must sadly say goodbye to our new friends and travel companions as we pack up and head for home.