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Seeking feedback on 2 different Zambia itineraries....


Jan 2nd, 2005, 01:11 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 178
Seeking feedback on 2 different Zambia itineraries....

I'm comparing 2 trips and would appreciate your thoughts/criticisms/suggestions:

Itinerary 1:

Days 1-2 Livingstone--Sussi & Chuma Lodge
Days 3-6 Kafue Natl. Park --Busanga Bush Camp
Days 7-10 South Luangwa -- Kaingo Camp
Days 11-14 North Luangwa -- Kutandala Camp
Day 15 Lusaka -- Lilayi Lodge
Day 16 Home

Itinerary 2:

Days 1-2 Luangwa Valley -- Nkwali Camp
Days 3-6 South Luangwa walking safari following the Mupamadzi River -- mobile camp
Days 7-9 Luangwa Valley --Nsefu Camp
Day 10 Lower Zambezi -- Kayila Lodge
Days 11-12 Lower Zambezi Natl. Park --Mwambashi River Lodge
Day 13 Lower Zambezi-- Sausage Tree Camp
Day 14 Home

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Jan 2nd, 2005, 06:53 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553

Itinerary #1

I do not think it is possible to visit Busanga Bush Camp without first having at least a single overnight at Lunga River Lodge upon arrival, and another night at Lunga River Lodge upon departure.

Therefore, unless you added more time, I think that by visiting Kafue NP, it would be at the expense of visiting Victoria Falls or at the expense of trimming both South Luangwa and North Luangwa down to three nights each (rather than the more appropriate four nights at each place that you currently have planned).

I do think that the night at Lilayi Lodge is wasteful and would be better spent elsewhere.

Itinerary #2

The South Luangwa part of your itinerary is just fine. However, the Lower Zambezi portion is not at all the way that I would find enjoyable, with 3 different lodges in four nights.

Last June, for example, I had scheduled the following itinerary:

Kulefu Tented Camp, Lower Zambezi (4)
Kaingo, SLNP (2)
Mwamba, SLNP (2)
Puku Ridge, SLNP (2)
Chichele, SLNP (1)

Instead, once I got there, I ended up changing it to:

Kulefu (4) (I did try to leave after 3 nights without any luck with the air transfer but I would have added a night at Chichele, since they are both Star Of Africa properties)

Kaingo (4) I really liked the location of the camp and it was much nicer than I was expecting.

Chichele (3) After a not so great time at Kulefu, no matter how luxurious the tents were at Puku Ridge, I demanded the luxuriant Chichele for all three nights instead of splitting time between Puku Ridge and Chichele.

By spending multiple nights at game lodges, you really allow for a rapport to develop between yourself and the guides and managing couple that is not possible by only staying a couple nights. If time allowed for it, I would never spend less than four nights at any game lodge, but unfortunately, that is not always possible.

Allow me to offer an Itinerary #3 that may or may not appeal to you. This itinerary only applies if you were planning on visiting in late August - late September, as earlier or later than that there would be differening circumstances that would cause me to change this recommended itinerary. Primarily, it is too hot after late September to want to engage in walking safaris, and prior to September, the ellies will not have yet made their way to the Zambezi River, to fully enjoy your time in Lower Zambezi.

So, with that said, try this itinerary on for size:

Days 1 - 3 Nkwali or Luangwa River Lodge

Days 4 - 7 Kutandala

Days 8 - 11 Kaingo (I think that the Kaingo area is very special and that four nights would be perfect)

Days 12 - 15 Sausage Tree Camp or Kasaka River Lodge.

By ending with the Lower Zambezi, you have given the ellies the maximum time to come down to the river. Plus, it seems like a more relaxing experience with the possibilities of river cruises, canoeing, fishing and even massage if you choose Kasaka River Lodge.

Although you have probably already seen it, here is my own itinerary for next September:

Tafika (3)
Kutandala (3)
Luangwa River Lodge (3)
Kasaka River Lodge (3)
Joburg (1)
Simbambili, SSGR (3)
Cape Town (3)

However, if I didn't have to show some consideration to my mom, my sister and my wife, whom are all spending the final seven nights in Cape Town, I would have done it like this:

Tafika (4)
Kutandala (4)
Luangwa River Lodge (4)
Kasaka River Lodge (3)
Joburg (2) It would make it a much easier trip home if I finished with a weekend in Joburg. That, alone, would shave off about 7 hours of travel.

Hope this all helps.
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