The Great Zambian Circuit

This safari includes a mix of hidden corners in Northern Zambia before enjoying the dramatic descent into the Luangwa Valley to visit both North and South Luangwa.

The Great Zambian Circuit combines the wildlife-rich forests and plains of Northern Zambia with the iconic Luangwa Valley! The safari offers some of the best birding destinations in Zambia with a chance for birders to tick off the prehistoric shoebill while visiting the Bangweulu wetlands. The Luangwa Valley is a sanctuary for wildlife, a wilderness area centred around the lifeblood of the Luangwa River! The South Luangwa has the highest density of carnivores in Zambia and the North Luangwa is the only place where one can see the Black Rhino in Zambia

The Zambian Circuit Safari Route

*Note this route can be done in reverse order

  1. Forest Inn, Mkushi

  2. Bangweulu Wetlands

  3. Mutinondo Wilderness Area

  4. Kapishya Hot Springs

  5. North Luangwa Mobile Camp

  6. Zikomo Camp

Day 1 – 2: Forest Inn

A stop-over enroute to Mutinondo Wilderness

After landing in Lusaka and meeting with your safari team,  you will travel to Forest Inn on the Great North Road where the real adventure begins.  Set in 160ha of protected Miombo forest, Forest Inn is a rich oasis for birdlife. Lush lawns and tranquil gardens provide habitat for productive birding, forest walks or a relaxed sundowner.

Day 2 – 5: Bangweulu Wetlands

Kafue River, Central Kafue National Park

Our mobile camp is perfectly positioned in the Bangweulu Wetlands in an island thicket of indigenous trees. The camp is always alive with bird movement and the sound of thousands of lechwe sloshing in the waters around camp at night will stay with you long after you leave. Sunrise over the Bangweulu Wetlands can be viewed on the eastern side of camp and guarantees the most stunning start to the African day. 

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The peaceful harmony of the local fisherman brings a unique experience to this camp, with community conservation playing a crucial role in  wetland conservation  and its wildlife, especially the iconic Shoebill. Each day ends looking out at the sunset before you, a special  place  that will live on in your memory forever.

Bangweulu Wetlands highlights include

Shoebill Paradise

The main nesting season for Shoebills  is from May to August when they  can usually be seen on canoe trips.  Nesting occurs from July to October.

Guided Walks in the swamps

There is a staggering variety of other bird species as well as the black lechwe which are found in their hundreds of thousands in and around the wetlands.

Scenic Views

Our campsite is set up on an island in the heart of the wetlands! This busy wetland provides a fascinating eco-system for a myriad of wildlife and birdlife, all within viewing distance from the camp.

Day 5 – 7: Mutinondo Wilderness Camp

Mutinondo Wilderness Area, Northern Zambia

Mutinondo Wilderness is a paradise unique to Zambia! Free of big game, guests are able to celebrate pristine miombo woodland, streams, waterfalls and inselbergs, over 60 km of well-maintained and signed tracks, and views from horizon to horizon without evidence of human activity.

Mutinondo Wilderness highlights include:

Natural Rock Pools

Crystal clear rivers fall into natural rock pools which make for the perfect swimming and picnic spots!

Hiking & Walking

 There are over 60km of walking and hiking trails in the reserve! The absence of large game means you can walk unguided and explore as you wish!

Canoeing Adventures

Float down among the water lilies, listening to chattering Olive-grey Bulbuls, perhaps catching a glimpse of Ross’s Turaco, a Half-collared Kingfisher or an African Finfoot

Day 7 – 8: Kapishya Hot Springs

Northern Zambia

After an adventure in the Bangweulu wetlands, we travel northwards to Kapishya Hot Springs for 2 nights of sheer relaxation. Kapishya is a quiet secluded Lodge just off the Great North Road, along the banks of the Mansha River.  The Hot Springs are an idyllic spot to spend your time relaxing in the natural, sulphur free water. As your feet sink into the soft white sand, you can forget about the stresses of the outside world and reflect on the spectacular memories made up to this point.

Kapishya Hot Springs highlights include:

Peace and Tranquility

Mobile camp will be set up so that you can make the most of the scenery surrounding you. Sit back and relax and enjoy being treated like royalty in the middle of the African bush

A Variety of Activities

 This area can be explored on foot using self-guided walking trails, by bicycle, on the river by rafting or on horseback.

Hot Springs 

These Springs are fed by cold water springs which permeate down 7 km to be superheated and then forced back to the surface dropping 1o degrees  with every km, ending up on the surface at a luxurious 41 deg…  a heavenly rest for tired, sore muscles.

Day 8 – 11: North Luangwa Camp

North Luangwa National Park

After a morning activity, time permitting, we will depart Zikomo for North Luangwa National Park. This area of the Luangwa Valley is a remote, off-the-beaten track version of the South Luangwa. The transfer will take approximately five hours as we wind our way up the western edge of the Luangwa River. We will set up a mobile camp on a very remote section of the North Luangwa National Park.. The beauty of visiting this park lies in the truly remarkable opportunity to experience Africa as it was when the first safari pioneers walked Africa!  It is wild, untouched and completely off-the-grid. 

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The Park is noted for its massive herds of buffalo and large prides of lion that inhabit the territory. Other common mammals are hyaena, Cookson’s wildebeest, bushbuck, zebra, warthog, baboon, vervet monkey, puku and impala.

North Luangwa Camp Highlights include:

Safari Style Accommodation

Sleep like the explorers did; simple comforts under the african night sky! Doze off the sounds of the bush and wake up to coffee brewed over the campfire.

Incredible Wildlife Sightings

The north Luangwa National Park is the only park in Zambia where you can encounter the Big Five

Remote & Unspoilt

The park is only accessible by 4 x 4! Its location lends itself to being very remote and far away from any groups of tourists!

Day 11 – 14: Zikomo Camp

South Luangwa National Park

After breakfast and a morning activity we will depart North Luangwa for the iconic South Luangwa National Park.  On arrival there will be time to freshen up  and, time permitting, there will be the option to head out on an afternoon game drive finished off with sundowner drinks on the river.

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The mobile camp is situated on the banks of the Luangwa River, adjacent to the South Luangwa National Park. Zikomo’s placement in the isolated Nsefu sector allows guests immediate access to one of the least crowded and most wildlife rich areas in the world.

Zikomo Camp Highlights include:

Excellent Game Viewing

This area supports dense predator numbers, large populations of Thornicroft’s giraffe, and herds of elephants and Cape buffaloes often several hundred strong.

Armchair Safari

The riverside setting at Kaingu is stunning with constant bird activity and the honking of hippos in the background.

Luangwa River Location

Zikomo Safari camp is spread under a canopy of enormous shade trees on the banks of the Luangwa River.

Interested in booking this safari?

email the res team to make an enquiry

Still not sure a mobile safari is the right option for you?

That’s OK. We get it!
 
It can be hard to imagine what 2 weeks of safari exploration with your guide, your safari vehicle and tent would be like.
 
But rather than let your doubt dissuade you, why not take our short 2 minute quiz that will tell you whether you will love a mobile safari OR if you are better suited to the more permanent lodges and camps?
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