My zambia itinerary...

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Feb 6th, 2005, 11:16 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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My zambia itinerary...

Oct 11th Arrive 1140am KLM
Fly to Kasaka using Royal GMA airstrip
1430 dep Lusaka arr 1545 (Airwaves Airlink)
Stay at Kasaka

Oct 12th Kasaka
Oct 13th Kasaka

Oct 14th Fly from Royal GMA airstrip to Livingstone
dep Royal GMA 0825 arr Livingstone 1135 (Airwaves Airlink)
Stay at Royal Livingstone

Oct 15th Stay at Royal Livingstone

Oct 16th Fly from Livingstone to Mfuwe International
Dep Livingstone 1200 arr Mfuwe 1530 (via Lusaka Airwaves Airlink)
Stay at Puku Ridge

Oct 17th Stay at Puku Ridge

Oct 18th transfer by car from Puku Ridge to Luangwa River Lodge by car (1 hourish)
Stay at Luangwa River Lodge

Oct 19th Stay at Luangwa River Lodge
Oct 20th Stay at Luangwa River Lodge
Oct 21st fly from Mfuwe to Lusaka to connect with 1245 KLM to Amsterdam.
Dep Mfuwe 0830 arr Lusaka 0945 (Airwaves Airlink)

WHAT DO YOU SAY??....Hope i made the right decision.
Alejandra is offline  
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Feb 6th, 2005, 05:34 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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Alejandra,

You have the Lower Zambezi with water activities and two locations in South Luangwa, plus a real nice hotel in between for viewing the falls. That should be a most enjoyable trip. Please post your thoughts on it upon return.
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Feb 6th, 2005, 07:52 PM
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Alejandra,

It looks like you are hitting all the right places. The only thing I would consider changing, if the dates were available, were to start out with Livingstone, and end in Mfuwe. That way, you will keep moving in one direction (northbound), starting from Livingstone, moving up to Lower Zambezi and finishing with South Luangwa.

Alternately, if you wanted some comfort at the end, as it will be VERY hot in both Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa by mid-October, you may alternately want to consider saving Livingstone for last to enjoy the air conditioning that I would think the Royal Livingstone offers in its rooms.

But, even if you stick with the current itinerary, I do think it is very good. It just may save you a little money if you continue flying in one direction, rather than backtracking from Lower Zambezi to Livingstone, thus also creating a longer flight up to Mfuwe.

Have you been in touch with Airwaves Airlink to price out your required flights? From my recent experience, their prices are much better than any of their competitors.

http://www.airwaves.co.zm/

I have flown with each Airwaves and Zambian Airways and I much prefer Airwaves. While the planes are smaller, they seem to offer better and more personalized service since the planes are usually about six seaters with fewer guests. Airwaves last time even saved me from standing in a long line to clear customs at Lusaka International Airport and ushered me into a line that was supposed to be for residents.
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Feb 7th, 2005, 08:48 AM
  #4
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I wanted to do Livingstone at the beginning or at the end but it ddint work out with the flights. This was really the only way. And now I dont have to spend a night in Lusaka.
Total flight costs p.p will be $ 740,-

1. 1430 dep Lusaka arr 1545 (Airwaves Airlink) $110 pp single
2. dep Royal GMA 0825 arr Livingstone 1135 (Airwaves Airlink) $250pp single
3. Dep Livingstone 1200 arr Mfuwe 1530 (via Lusaka Airwaves Airlink) $220pp single
4. Dep Mfuwe 0830 arr Lusaka 0945 (Airwaves Airlink) $160pp single

Do you think Puku Ridge is more luxury than Luangwa river Lodge?
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Feb 7th, 2005, 02:04 PM
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Alejandra,

Because Puku Ridge is new, I cannot give you an educated response on which of the two, Puku Ridge or Luangwa River Lodge, is nicer.

They both look very luxurious and I think you should base your decision rather than luxury on a couple other factors.

With Luangwa River Lodge, you will have the owners onsite. They also act as the managing couple and personally host each dinner. They seem to be a well-trvaeled and very friendly couple (Barry has been especially helpful in his e-mail correspondences).

The only downside I see to Luangwa River Lodge is they are located outside of the park, but Barry has assured me that with their boat, it will be a direct crossing into the park, taking no more than 10 minutes in each direction.

On an upside, however, Luangwa River Lodge is pretty closely located (within a mile or two) to Mfuwe Lodge, and I can assure you that Mfuwe Lodge is in a very game-rich area of the park, so I would think that the same would hold true for Luangwa River Lodge.

With Puku Ridge, you are located inside the park. If their food and service is anything like their sister lodge, Chichele Presidential Lodge, then it should be exceptional. I can tell you that the vehicles used by Star Of Africa at Chichele and Puku Ridge are in perfect condition and are newer Land Rovers, as opposed to the Toyota Land Cruisers widely used by other lodges. The seating in the Star Of Africa vehicles is very comfortable and this is very important considering that you will likely be on game drives for up to about 8 hours per day except when you elect for a bush walk.

Honestly, I could not pick between the two, so I did include both of them in my itinerary. I do think you should keep both of them in your itinerary.
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Feb 7th, 2005, 05:00 PM
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Correction...I meant to say that because LUANGWA RIVER LODGE was new, not Puku Ridge (although Puku Ridge has only been around for about about 18 months, if I am not mistaken).

Luangwa River Lodge, however, has probably been around for about the last six months, and to my knowledge was not yet opened when I visited last June.

So, I have toured Puku Ridge and found it to be even nicer than it appears on its website.

Puku Ridge just has this rugged elegance to it that I have not yet seen in another game lodge. Kind of like drinking a really smooth tequila, or driving a rugged yet refined vehicle like a Range Rover instead of a clumsy looking Hummer H2.
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