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Off the beaten path Zambia...a whole country just waiting to be discovered...

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Feb 22nd, 2005, 11:00 PM
  #1
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Off the beaten path Zambia...a whole country just waiting to be discovered...

Here is a cultural tour that would appear to be an excellent add-on to a Emerald Season safari in Zambia, although it would be on the pricey side:

http://www.mutemwa.com/package_Kuomboka.htm

I am still being amazed by Zambia and finding new things all the time. Of course there are the highlights of Zambia that many people are discovering including South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi and Mosi-o-Tunya (Livingstone) but there is so much more to it:

Kafue National Park - the largest national park in Africa, and the only place in Zambia to see cheetah. The Busanga Plains area is supposed to be excellent for lions.

Liuwa Plains - the 2nd largest Wildebeest Migration in Africa, taking place in November / December.

Kasanka - Largest Bat Migration in the world, with upwards of 5 million bats, most of which may be seen within a 2 hectare (4.4 acre) area each dusk as they take to the sky covering the sky. Late November / Early December the best timing for the Fruit Bat Migration. Largest known concentration of mammals in the world.
www.kasanka.com

North Luangwa National Park - about twice the size of Orange County, California, but with a maximum of 24 guests at any given time. Mostly bush walks available here, but there is supposed to be a plentitude of lions and various antelopes.
www.kutandala.com

Sioma Ngwezi - 3,000 sq. mile park, in South West Zambia, features wild dog, lions, hyena, elephants, and a very wide variety of antelope.

The best websites I have seen for some of these off the beaten path places are the following:

www.mutemwa.com
www.bush-buzz.com

Mutemwa definitely offers a more luxurious product, largely with fly-in safaris rather than overland safaris, but at a very large disparity in price over Bush Buzz. As a matter of fact, I don't know if I have seen a more expensive company in Zambia than Mutemwa, but they do have some fascinating tours. It is owned and operated by a former Springboks rugby player.

Bush-Buzz Safaris offers quite a few different programs and they are mostly overland, but hit many of the same areas as Mutemwi, although probably not nearly the same quality product, but then again, about half the price.

One of my favorite tours that I have come across on Bush Buzz is the following, called the "Wild Wild West Tour", a 14 day tour of Western Zambia:

4 nights in Busanga Plains, Kafue NP
1 night Kalabo (outside of Liuwa Plains)
3 nights Liuwa Plains
1 night Kalabo
2 nights Sioma Ngwezi
2 nights Livingstone

This would be perfect to combine with another park, and late enough in the season, if added at the end to combine with Kasanka to witness the Fruit Bat Migration.

The more I discover about Zambia, coupled with the fact that it has a relatively low population density (Botswana it is not, but it is certainly not nearly as dense as South Africa or any Eastern African country), I really believe that Zambia has a bright future for its wildlife.

www.zambiatourism.com

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Feb 23rd, 2005, 06:10 PM
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A fascinating place, truly. I didn't realize the #2 wildebeest migration was in Zambia.

The Bangweulu Swamp area with a population of shoebills would be another spot I'd enjoy visiting.
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Feb 23rd, 2005, 06:55 PM
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Maybe I need to have my head checked, but some of these far off & seldom visited places are starting to appeal to me more for my 2006 visit than even Botswana appeals to me.

The solution, of course, is that I am going to have to up the dosage, and start making TWO visits to Africa per year...can anybody say BANK ROBBERY! j/k

It is just a shame that even these places are so expensive, but then I have to remind myself that I am not exactly looking at the cheapest options on my travels.

Really, Bush Buzz seems to offer very fair pricing, although it does make one wonder what they would be missing out on by not going with Mutemwa.

Anyway, I really hope people visit these areas so that the wildlife has a chance at survival.

Here is a very interesting safari that may combine well with either a few nights in Lower Zambezi National Park at a place like Kasaka River Lodge or Sausage Tree Camp or even in Hwange National Park at a place like Makalolo Plains.

14 days Wild Wild West Safari
Kafue Busanga Plains – Liuwa Plains – Sioma Ngwezi –Livingstone
(length of trip:2200-2400 km)

Activities:
Game viewing, wilderness trails, night drives, birding, visit local villages, the Ngonye Fall’s and Mosi-o-Tunya Fall’s, boat cruises, fishing.

4 nights Busanga Plains Kafue National Park
1 night Kalabo
3 nights Liuwa Plains
1 night Kalabo
2 nights Sioma Ngwezi
2 nights Livingstone in luxurious lodge

Departure date: 9 October 2005
Minimum 4 pax: US$ 3580,- per person

I am very interested in doing an overland trip for once, in order to really see Africa, rather than being whisked in and out on a chartered flight to luxury lodges. However, this does not necessarily translate into much cost savings, at least not with quality companies where an emphasis is still placed on exclusivity, rather than on trying to stuff 20 people on the same itinerary.

Funny how South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi almost feel like the Sabi Sand Game Reserve to me (commercialized) in comparison to these other places.

I don't know...think I am just going to have to get away on an Emerald Season special to South Luangwa in March/April 2006, combining it with the Kuomboka Ceremony of Barotseland.

http://www.mutemwa.com/package_Kuomboka.htm

Then it would be a dream to return for a late October/November visit to Kafue National Park, Liuwa Plains, Sioma Ngwezi and Kasanka visit.

If money only grew on trees...



Then again, where there is a will, there is a way. (The vault, the vault!!!).
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