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11 Nights Valley & Lake – Zambia and Malawi Adventure

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Tour Details

The Luangwa Valley, which marks the end of the Great Rift Valley, is one of the last unspoiled wilderness areas and possibly the finest wildlife sanctuary in Africa. It covers an area of over 9000 sq. km. through which the meandering Luangwa River runs. The ox bow lagoons, woodland and plains of the valley host huge concentrations of game – including elephant, buffalo, leopard, lion, giraffe, and hippo – and over 450 species of birds.
Malawi is a landlocked country, running down the end of the Great Rift Valley. Dominated by Lake Malawi, the third largest lake in Africa, the surrounding country is wonderful with dramatic scenery that includes rocky outcrops, high mountains, plateaus and views across what is considered to be Africa’s most beautiful lake. Malawi is known as the “Warm Heart of Africa” and as a people, the Malawians live up to this name. They are extremely friendly and welcoming. There are many market scenes, roadside stalls, and cottage industries that a visitor can comfortably visit. With both the scenery and the culture Malawi is a great country to drive in.

Summary of your Trip
  • 3 Nights Nkwali Camp (South Luangwa) | Zambia
  • 4 Nights Nsefu Camp (South Luangwa National Park) | Zambia
  • 4 Nights Pumulani Lodge (Lake Malawi National Park) | Malawi
  • Best time to travel: April - January
Price Includes
  • Road & Air transfers as specified
  • Regional flight Mfuwe Airport/Lilongwe Airport
  • Accommodation, meals & drinks as specified
  • All scheduled safari activities & water activities (except motorized water sports) as per the itinerary
  • Laundry
Price Excludes
  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • Entry visas
  • Premium brands drinks
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Additional activities not included as scheduled by lodges or camp
  • National Parks entrance fee & conservation levies
  • Gratuities
  • Spa treatments

Day 1Lusaka – South Luangwa

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 to Nkwali Camp is 1 hour through colourful local scenes of villages, agriculture as well as bush. Seat, relax and enjoy the scenery and landscapes.

Nkwali Camp has a wide view of the Luangwa River and is set on Robin’s private land and overlooks the South Luangwa National Park. Nkwali is a luxury year around camp ideally situated for the start of your safari and the camp’s captivating facilities are set against a wide bend in the Luangwa River and conveniently shaded by abundant ebony trees. With easy access to the game-rich Mfuwe Sector of the park via bridge or pontoon, this camp offers spectacular sightings of elephants and leopards, baboons and banded mongoose, just to name a few. Captivating views of the lagoon and the river can be enjoyed from any spot of the camp: from the stone patio outside your room to the thatched roof dining area.
With only six chalets with bamboo woven walls and thatch roofs, Nkwali is a small intimate camp. All six rooms look out over the river and have open-air bathrooms. Depending on your arrival time you will enjoy lunch looking out over the lagoon to the back of Nkwali or if in the afternoon, decadent tea and the afternoon and night game drive.

Room Type: Luxury thatched Chalet
Meal Basis: Full Board, local drinks, all game activities (2 per day – game drives or guided walking safaris), laundry, transfers from/to Mfuwe Airport.

Day 2 - 3Explore the Luangwa Valley

During the following days, enjoy walking safaris, day and night game drives (advantages of staying in a private concession); cultural/village tours, the local market and more.
Depending on your travel date- if during the Emerald Season (from middle December to around April) with the Luangwa Valley full of water, explore the lagoons for enhanced game viewing and birding.

At dawn, breakfast is served around the campfire. The porridge was heated on the fire and toast was 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 you the chance to see the nocturnal world, returning to camp at about 20h00 hrs with dinner generally at 20h30.

Room Type: Luxury thatched Chalet
Meal Basis: Full Board, local drinks, all game activities (2 per day – game drives or guided walking safaris), laundry, transfers from/to Mfuwe Airport.

Day 4South Luangwa National Park

After an early breakfast, a transfer game drives through the park and takes you to a crossing point on the Luangwa River. The Nsefu staff will meet the party, who will cross the river by boat, and then enjoy a 45-minute drive to camp, and game viewing on the route. 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 4 nights).

Room Type: Luxury thatched Chalet
Meal Basis: Full Board, local drinks, all game activities (2 per day – game drives or guided walking safaris), laundry, transfers from/to Mfuwe Airport.

Day 5 - 7Explore the Nsefu Sector

Apart from being well removed from the busier Mfuwe sector of the park, one of the great highlights of the Nsefu sector is the abundance of ‘Luangwa Wafwas’ (literally ‘dead Luangwas’). These are dried-out oxbow lakes that have been replaced by lush grasslands and attract game in large numbers. This sector of the park is famous for its concentrations of plains game (which in turn attract predators), especially huge herds of buffalo that move around in the area.

Activities at Nsefu take advantage of the great game-viewing in the area and include day and night game drives in specially adapted open safari vehicles; guided walks accompanied by a qualified guide and experienced game scout. Nsefu’s guides have an extensive knowledge of the area and a deep love of the bush that will delight you as much as the view of lions taking down a buffalo, or the abundance of leopards, hippos, and crocodiles.

Day drives with bush picnics are all brilliant activities to enjoy in this area. A hide overlooking the lagoon allows guests to watch the wildlife drawn to the waterhole at their leisure.
Due to the remoteness of the camp, you’re not likely to meet another vehicle. You’ll come back to camp with stories about the wild dogs and Pell’s fishing owls, sights, not every safari can boast. A boat ride down the Luangwa in the green season will give you more of those great wildlife photos that you can’t wait to share back home.

Visitors to the South Luangwa Valley have the possibility of seeing over 400 species of birds, and 100 species of mammal, including elephant, buffalo, leopard, lion, giraffe, and hippo. Two of the more interesting species of the game – Thornicroft’s Giraffe and Cookson’s Wildebeest – are endemic to the Luangwa Valley.
As at all Robin Pope-owned camps, the atmosphere is intimate, the camp staff friendly and professional, and the service highly personalized. There is a separate thatched dining area and sitting room, with a bar and a panoramic view. In keeping with the authentic feel of early safari days, heavy hotel-silver cutlery is used, and dinners are served by candlelight.

Room Type: Luxury thatched Chalet
Meal Basis: Full Board, local drinks, all game activities (2 per day – game drives or guided walking safaris), laundry, transfers from/to Mfuwe Airport.

Day 8South Luangwa National Park – Lake Malawi

After breakfast, you will transfer to Mfuwe Airport, a drive of around 1h50min in time for your flight to Lilongwe. The flight time to Lilongwe is approximately 50 minutes. On arrival at Lilongwe’s Kamuzu Airport, you will be met by our staff and assisted to your Pumulani flight. Pumulani is situated on the Westside of the Nankumba Peninsula in the South end of Lake Malawi – romantically called “The Lake of Stars”.

The ten villas are scattered around the hillside and are individual in shape and style but all have a spacious bedroom, bathroom and extensive sitting area. The front sliding doors open onto the deck –elevated above the ground giving optimal views.
The central dining and bar area is high above the lake with the most spectacular views and leads onto an expansive deck. The infinity swimming pools are on a lower terraced deck by the main lodge and on the beach level. The lake shore bar offers light snacks as well as refreshments. Meals will be served in the dining area, on the beach or by arrangement on your private deck. The stunning setting of the lodge and the unique comfort of the rooms means that many guests choose to make relaxation their main activity, but there are enough activities available to keep guests busy.

Room Type: Luxury Villa
Meal Basis: Full Board, local drinks, water activities (except motorized water sports), guided walks through one of the local villages, sunset dhow cruise, laundry.

Day 9 - 11On the Beach

Enjoy the first full day of relaxation at Pumulani. Our remote beach setting is ideal for those who simply want to soak up the sun and swim in the clear blue waters of the lake. For those who prefer to dive into the swimming pool, there is an infinity pool near the central dining area with grand views over the lake, as well as another infinity pool on the beach level. For those seeking activity we offer many water sports activities like snorkelling, fishing, sailing, kayaking, waterskiing, wakeboarding and fun tube rides (all motorized activities are excluded). At the end of the day climb aboard our dhow and let our experienced local crewmen take you sailing into the sunset.

Lake Malawi is the world’s most ecologically diverse lake. Its crystal-clear waters are home to more than a thousand species of fish, including hundreds of species of colourful cichlids. We offer special diving courses at the best diving spots near one of the islands. For those who are interested in real Malawian village life, we offer guided walks through one of the local villages.
Malawians are renowned for being amongst the friendliest people in Africa and during your stay, you will have the opportunity to meet them. A walk to the local village is an opportunity to get an insight into the operations of the village as well as the traditions and rituals of the locals.

Room Type: Luxury Villa
Meal Basis: Full Board, local drinks, water activities (except motorized water sports), guided walks through one of the local villages, sunset dhow cruise, laundry.

Day 12Going Home

Depending on your onward connection, you may have a lazy morning or early breakfast before heading off to Lilongwe and then to home.

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