Leon Varley Walking Safaris

Walk Africa Expeditions

Special Itinerary: Discover Zambia

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Itineraries shown for tours are indicative only and subject to change.

Day 1: Zambezi River

We depart from Victoria Falls after breakfast crossing over the border to Livingstone, Zambia, diverting to collect any clients starting from this side of the border. It is fairly easy days drive taking about 4–5 hours to our destination. We spend the night camping in a beautiful spot on the banks of the Zambezi.

Discover Zambia Safaris

Discover Zambia with Leon Varley Walking Safaris

Days 2-5: Liuwa Plains

From the camp on the Zambezi Camp we drive to Liuwa Plains National Park. You spend the next 4 nights camping in this park. This remote park in the far west is pristine wilderness, which, to the ardent bush-lover, is its biggest attraction.

The game is spread out across the plains but it is possible to come upon a vast herd of blue wildebeest, a prowling wild dog, or a pride of dozing lions in this truely forgotten piece of Africa, a natural and uncommercialised gem.

In October if the rains have started, the massive herds of blue wildebeest arrive from Angola, traversing the plains in their thousands, very often mingling with zebra along the way or gathering around water holes and pans. Other unusual antelope found include oribi, red lechwe, steinbuck, duiker, tsessebe and roan. Jackal, serval, wildcat, wild dog as well as lion and hyena are the main predators of the area.

Discover Zambia Safaris

Discover Zambia with Leon Varley Walking Safaris

Many birds migrate here during the rains and massive flocks of birds can be seen as they migrate south. Some of the more notables are the white bellied bustards, secretary bird, red billed and Hottentot teals, crowned and wattled cranes, long-tailed whydah, sooty chat, yellow-throated longclaw, large flocks of black-winged pratincoles around the pans, fish eagle, tawny eagle, Marshall Eagle, woodland kingfisher, pink-throated longclaw. The plains are dotted with woodlands which also make for excellent birding.

In Liuwa there are lots of long hikes to be done – how long or short will be your choice. You will generally do something every morning and afternoon with a siesta over the heat of the day in the shady camp.

Days 6-8: Kafue National Park

We leave Liuwa and drive to Kafue National Park.

Found in the center of western Zambia, Kafue National Park is the oldest and largest of Zambia’s national parks. It covers a massive 22,400 km2.

First established as a National Park in the 1950′s by the legendary Norman Carr, Kafue is one of the largest national parks in the whole of Africa. Despite its size and prominent location only two hours’ drive from Livingstone, it remains little-known and largely unexplored with vast tracts of its virgin bush still untouched. Thanks to its size and variety of habitat types the Kafue holds a fantastic diversity of wildlife.

The Kafue is not about the sheer numbers of wildlife you see, it is about the diversity of wildlife you see. This is not to say the Kafue does not have healthy populations of many of the more charismatic species of animals, because it does, but if you are looking for the ‘Big 5 in 24 hours’ experience then you will miss the point of this special place.

The Kafue is home to more species of ungulate than any national park south of the Congo Basin. Rare and elusive antelope such as the blue and yellow-backed duiker occur in the thickets, sitatunga and lechwe in the swamps, roan, sable and hartebeest in the miombo woodlands, the list goes on.

Discover Zambia Safaris

Discover Zambia with Leon Varley Walking Safaris

The park is regarded by those who know it as one of the best places in Africa to find leopard. In certain areas and at certain times of year these secretive and elusive predators are frequently seen, especially early evening or from afternoon boat cruises along the Kafue river in the hotter months when leopard come down to drink.

In Kafue there will be opportunities to walk every morning or afternoon, it will be your choice to walk or drive, or go out for a whole day you will also do a game boat cruise up the Kafue River.

Day 9: Mkushi

We leave Kafue and start heading further North. We spend the night at Forrest Inn camp a very pleasant spot in the middle of a Miombo forest.

Days 10-12: Kasanka National Park

We drive on to Kasanka National park where we will camp for the next 3 nights.

This beautiful peaceful sanctuary, situated on the south western edge of the Lake Bangweulu basin, is one of Zambia’s smallest national parks. It’s 450 km2 however, are so well endowed with rivers, lakes, wetlands, forests, lagoons, meadows and dambos that it supports a uniquely wide range of animals and abundant birds and fish.

About 20 years ago Kasanka was in danger of becoming yet another defunct national park due to rampant poaching. David Lloyd, a British expatriate, who had lived in Zambia for many years, visited the Park in 1985 and heard the crack of gunshots. He concluded that if there was still poaching there must still be animals there and set out to save the Park from total depletion. He teamed up with a local farmer, sought funding and along with much of their own resources applied for official permission to rehabilitate the Park. They built tourist camps, roads and bridges and set up the Kasanka Trust to raise funds for this community based project. Slowly it began to earn a little money from tourists to help cover costs. Three years later the National Parks and Wildlife Services Department were sufficiently impressed to sign a 10 year agreement with the Trust allowing full management of the Park in conjunction with National Parks & Wildlife Services and to develop it for tourism in partnership with the local community

In Kasanka there is lots of opportunity to walk - You will do an afternoon walk on the day you arrive – that evening you will also go to the bat observatory to watch the millions of bats as the sun goes down (incredible experience) On the second day you will do an outing to the place where David Livingstone died and where his heart was buried – that afternoon we will do another walk. The next day we can walk or drive depending on the feelings of the group.

One of the highlights of this park is that in the middle of October it is the start of the fruit bat migration where literally tens of millions of bats congregate and darken the skies at sunset – an incredible and unforgettable experience.

Discover Zambia Safaris

Discover Zambia with Leon Varley Walking Safaris

Day 13: Lusaka

Today we will drive to Lusaka passing through and spending the night at Eureka – a small game farm about 20 kms outside the city.

Day 14: Victoria Falls

It is about a 6 hour drive back to Victoria Falls where your tour ends.

A few important details

Leon will be guiding this trip along with two camp staff to put up camp, cook meals and generally make you more comfortable. You will be camping in dome style tents with camp cots and full bedding.

Everything is provided but you would need to bring your own towels and toiletries. Most camp sites have ablution facilities with bathrooms and toilets. Where this is not available we will set up a bush shower and toilet for you.

Note that October is the hottest time of the year in this part of Africa, timed for the height of the dry season as this is the best time for viewing game species.

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Interested in a walking safari with Leon? Contact us for more information.