Here is what Brett had to say about his trip:
I was recently hosted by Celeste Nicholas from Classic Retreats on a 6 night educational through South Luangwa National Park
and Lower Zambezi National Park
in Zambia. The aim of the trip was to see the areas and camps, and also to understand the logistics of arranging a safari in these remote destinations.
Our first stop was Tafika Lodge
in the South Luangwa, where we enjoyed a fantastic microlight flight piloted by John Coppinger. John and his wife Carol own and manage the camp and have being do so for years now. On the 10-15 minute flight we managed to see buffalo, elephant, puku, zebra, giraffe, hippos and crocodiles!
The next stop was Chikoko Trails
, one of the bushcamps run in conjunction with Tafika. On the short walking trail I also had a site inspection of Crocodile Camp
while enjoying a painting safari at Chikoko Tree. Both these camps were fantastic – rustic but comfortable and in superb wildlife areas.
After Tafika and Chikoko Trails Celeste and I made our way further south to the Bushcamps and Mfuwe. After freshening up at Mfuwe Lodge we continued on an extended game drive transfer down to Kapamba. Located on the Kapamba River (which feeds into the Luangwa), this lodge had large, spacious chalets and the biggest bathtubs I have ever seen! We were superbly hosted by Andy and Ollie and expertly guided by James for the 2 night stay. Apart from site inspections of Billimungwe, Chindeni and Chamilandu the highlights included sundowners in the Luangwa River and eventful nightdrives (leopard stalking impala).
The one thing that struck me about the Bushcamps was their privacy – over the 3 days I didn’t see one other vehicle.
After the Luangwa we flew down to the Lower Zambezi. The first stop was a site inspection of Kasaka River Lodge. The lodge is beautifully located with awesome views of the Zambezi. The tents are very comfortable and tastefully decorated. The Hippo pod is superb and I was also very impressed with the main areas. After a quick Mosi with the friendly managers (Melanie and Chris), we made our way to Chiawa Camp
via boat on the Zambezi river. Again, what a beautiful location, Chiawa has unbelievable superior safari tents and a range of game viewing activities, from canoeing to boating and game drives. Some of the guests had been lucky enough to see a leopard kill the night before we arrived.
After Chiawa Camp, our next stop was Old Mondoro Camp
, a rustic Bushcamp in the heart of the Lower Zambezi National Park. I really liked this camp – campfires, good food, chalets that overlook the river – all adding up to a superb safari experience.
The South Luangwa National Park and Lower Zambezi National Park are without doubt two of the most beautiful safari destinations I have visited. The camps are unique, the guiding excellent and game viewing of a very high standard. I have never seen so many hippos!
If you are looking for special, owner run safari camps in remote wilderness areas, then the above camps should definitely be visited.
Special thanks must go to Celeste, Classic Retreats, John and Carol, Andy and also Grant for arranging such a fantastic educational for me!