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Zambia - Excellent Links To Various Zambian National Parks / Game Reserves...

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Feb 24th, 2004, 04:42 PM
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Zambia - Excellent Links To Various Zambian National Parks / Game Reserves...

For those that may be interested in visiting Zambia, I am providing some very good links below. Zambia is an excellent alternative to South Africa, whether it is because you have already been to South African game reserves and wish to explore other parts of Southern Africa or whether it is because you find South Africa (and, for that matter, Botswana) too expensive.

Also, keep in mind, that if you are visiting Southern Africa mostly for game-viewing, that it is possible to fly into Lusaka, Zambia, directly from London on a twice weekly flight. From Lusaka, you are looking at a very short transfer into the Lower Zambezi National Park (30 minute air transfer) and a relatively short transfer into the South Luangwa National Park (60 minute air transfer). The best part is that most game lodges pick you up directly from the airport and offer free road transfers to the lodge.

Lastly, keep in mind that if you are visiting Victoria Falls, that it will be a lot easier to combine a trip of game viewing with Victoria Falls if you are visiting Zambian game areas rather than South African game areas.

Anyway, here are the links, starting with a nice map of Zambia before moving onto more specific pages:

http://www.zambiatourism.com/travel/maps/mapparks.htm

http://www.zambiatourism.com/travel/...s/lowerzam.htm

http://www.zambiatourism.com/travel/...s/sluangwa.htm

http://www.zambiatourism.com/travel/...s/luangval.htm

http://www.zambiatourism.com/travel/...arks/kafue.htm

http://www.game-reserve.com/zambia_south_luangwa.html

http://www.game-reserve.com/zambia_lower_zambezi.html

http://www.game-reserve.com/zambiz_kafue.html

Here are some specific maps of South Luangwa National Park, as it is broken down into the Mfuwe Sector of the park and the Nsefu sector of the park.

For example, I will visit Kaingo and Mwamba in the Nsefu Sector of the park (located in the northern area) and I will visit Chichele Presidential Lodge and Puku Ridge, located in the Mfuwe Sector of the park. Any parks shown on the west side (right side) of the Luangwa River are located outside the park and may require a pontoon crossing or a lengthy drive to a bridge to cross.

Likewise, any parks shown on the east side of the Luangwa River are located on the interior of the park and will not require pontoon or bridge crossings, allowing more time for game viewing.

Since night game drives in South Luangwa National Park are allowed, it will negatively impact night game drives as it would in a place like Tarangire in Tanzania where night game drives may only take place outside the park boundaries:

http://www.zambiatourism.com/travel/...sefusector.htm

http://www.zambiatourism.com/travel/maps/mfuwearea.htm

Many of the above links have additional hyperlinks to individual game lodges within the location of that particular game reserve.

The weather in the Zambian winter does not get as bone-chilling as in the Kruger/Sabi Sand region or in Botswana, making June-August a great time to visit.

Although there are numerous game reserves/national parks in Zambia, I have provided info on the three premier game parks...South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi and Kafue. Zambia offers a great range of activities from day and night game drives, to fishing in the Zambezi River, to canoeing expeditions, to bird watching with over 400 varieties in some parks (I DO NOT CONDONE BIRDERS!) and to the specialty of the South Luangwa National Park, game-walks. With the very favorable pricing offered, Zambia is definitely worth consideration of any wildlife enthusiast's next holiday.
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Feb 24th, 2004, 04:45 PM
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>Since night game drives in South Luangwa National Park are allowed, it will negatively impact night game drives as it would in a place like Tarangire in Tanzania where night game drives may only take place outside the park boundaries:

CORRECTION: Since night game drives in South Luangwa National Park are allowed, it will NOT negatively impact night game drives as it would in a place like Tarangire in Tanzania where night game drives may only take place outside the park boundaries:
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Feb 24th, 2004, 06:07 PM
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ROCCO:

I agree with you that Zambia might be an attractive alternative to South Africa as a safari destination BUT:

RSA is a proven safari destination where Zambia is only starting out.

Poaching has ravaged Zambia's National Parks and it would be interesting to read your trip report on the quality of your sightings.Animals do look ''wild'' here but this is because they identify humans as danger.

As time goes by they will also become habituated to game viewing vehicles.

I FULLY AGREE with the notion that the Sabi Sands has become outrageously expensive!Just think about it-

6 nights split between Londolozi Tree Camp and Singita will set you back 12 000 dollars!


Anyway I did it this past December and can truly say I have no regrets.Whether I'll do it again is an open question.

Hopefully Zambia can prove a worthy adversary and bring down the cost of an RSA safari
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Feb 24th, 2004, 06:20 PM
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Safarinut,

Perhaps poaching has wiped the rhino off the map in Zambia, but there is still a plentitude of most other game, especially elephants, giraffes, buffalo, antelope and, possibly more than anywhere else in the world, hippos.

Anyway, here is an AMAZING bargain for a trip that I would like to do with a buddy some time, as I don't think my wife would be up for this anytime in this or any future lifetime:

(If you don't care to read all of the below, just go to www.chachachabackpackers.com and look for the 5 day safari in the Lower Zambezi Valley, listed on the opening page)

5 day Safari in the Lower Zambezi Valley

ITINERARY
Departs every Wednesday

DAY 1. At 07.00 hours, after we?ve had breakfast we depart from Chachacha Backpackers and head down through the escarpment and into the Lower Zambezi Game Management Area, passing many traditional, rural, villages on the way. Immediately you will get a feeling of the friendliness of the Zambian people.

12.30 hours, arrive at Mvuu campsite on the banks of the Zambezi River and set up camp, after which we?ll enjoy a delicious lunch of fresh bread rolls, salads and cold meat, watching the waters of the Zambezi flow past.

After lunch we?ll relax for an hour or so before departing on our sunset cruise on the Zambezi. Here we?ll be able to observe, amongst other things, lots of Hippos, Crocs and Fish Eagles (Zambia?s National Bird), not to mention our beautiful African Sunsets.

Returning back to camp just on dusk we?ll settle down for a delicious Bar-B-Que over the hot coals of the campfire, spending the rest of the evening talking around the fire and listening to the night sounds of the African Bush.


07.30 hours, a cooked breakfast is served and then we listen to a safety briefing for our 1-day canoe safari down the Zambezi. The canoe safari is a highlight of the trip with lunch on one of the Zambezi islands and the possibility of sighting large herds of Buffalo and Elephant as well as many Hippos, Crocs and other animals.

1600 hours we?ll paddle into our second night?s camp spot, The Chongwe Community Bush Camp just outside the border of the Lower Zambezi National Park.


After a short rest and some snacks we?ll depart for our first Night drive inside the Lower Zambezi National park keeping our eyes open for the night hunters, such as Lion and Leopard as well as many other nocturnals such as Porcupine, Civet and Genet, returning back to our camp around 20:00 for a delicious dinner.

DAY 3.We?ll get up nice and early and head into the Lower Zambezi National Park to start our two hour Game Walk before the heat of the day sets in, the game walk is a great experience, our guide and armed scout show us how to identify different types of spoor and droppings, also they?ll teach about the medicinal and spiritual uses of the many different plants and trees.

On this day we take our meals inside the park so after the game walk we?ll enjoy breakfast under the shade of a baobab tree watching the Impala grazing on the plain.

Next we?ll do a morning drive checking the huge herds of Elephant and Buffalo that frequent this park.

Lunch is set in a beautiful spot on the banks of the Zambezi, we?ll spend a couple of hours here out of the heat just relaxing and watching the game as they comes down to drink from the river, After lunch we do an afternoon game drive, the cool of the afternoon is a good time to spot the Wild Dog as they prefer to hunt in the cooler parts of the day, arriving at a great sundowner spot, were we?ll sample some Amarula, a delicious liquor made from the African Marula Tree, Heading out of the park will take us on another night drive.

DAY 4. After the previous three exhausting days we all deserve a sleep in, breakfast is served at 08:00 hours in our campsite on the banks of the Zambezi River.

The rest of the morning you can do as you like, read from our bush library, try your luck at catching the mighty TigerFish, go on a game walk with our guide or just relax.

Lunch will find us in another beautiful spot inside the game Management area, after which we?ll enjoy another Game drive back to camp.

Each night is spent around the campfire listening the Hyena and Lion call to their own.

DAY 5We take a slow leisurely drive back to Lusaka stopping enroot to take a last look at the Zambezi River with morning tea.

Our next break is at Chieftains Chiawa?s shop for a cool drink, next stopping at Gwabi Lodge on the Kafue River for lunch and a cool swim in their pool.

The the last stop on the way home is at the Chirundu Fusel Forest which takes us for a walk through a Zambian village to view some 6 meter pieces of fossil timber.

We?ll arrive back at Chachacha Backpackers at about 19:00 to enjoy dinner.

NB: The itinerary may change without notice.

Departs every Wednesday

ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICE
set at a cost of
$390.00 per person

All camping and cooking equipment, but excluding sleeping bags.

A sunset boat cruise on the Zambezi River on day one

A one-day canoe safari on day two.

A night drive inside the Lower Zambezi National Park on day two.

One 24-hour park entrance fee to the Lower Zambezi National Park.

A morning game walk inside the Lower Zambezi National Park on day three.

A morning drive inside the Lower Zambezi National Park on day three.

An Afternoon drive inside the Lower Zambezi National Park on day three

A night drive inside the Lower Zambezi National Park on day three

Two game drives on Day four,

Fishing

Bird Watching

Entrance to the Chirundu Fossil Forest on day five

All transport to and from and throughout the entire safari

All fees

Breakfast before the safari.

Dinner after the safari.

In our experience we have found that those guests that participate more in the everyday setting up of tents and preparation of food etc, seem to enjoy the trip much more, we therefore encourage you to jump in, help out and have a great time!!!
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Feb 24th, 2004, 06:36 PM
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There is also a 5 day, 4 night South Luangwa Valley package offered by Cha Cha Cha Backpackers for the exact same price of $390 USD per person. Considering everything that is included, it is an AMAZING bargain.

Think about it, $97.50 USD per day and all you really need to bring is your own sleeping bag. Transfers from the nearest city or airport are included, game walks, game drives, sundowner cruises, your meals, your national park entrance fees of $20 USD per day and even your tent is included!

Combining the two packages, with perhaps a night in Lusaka at a nice hotel to clean up and rest in-between, would likely cost about $900 USD for a 9 night Zambia package, and I don't even think that a single supplement applies for the single traveller.

Wow...this is how some people are able to go to Africa for a couple months at a time, I guess. Find a place like Cha Cha Cha in each country and it would be easy to budget for a longer trip.

Funny how I started out with Singita but now find a company like Cha Cha Cha Backpackers more interesting. Great in theory, but I am still doing Star Of Africa lodges, although I would seriously like to try a more simple approach in the future.
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Feb 24th, 2004, 06:52 PM
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ROCCO:

Sounds great!

Your wife can spend time with mine in Nelspruit shopping while we go on safari-backpacker style!

I find it difficult to convince my wife to spend 3 nights on safari with me before she decides it's better to sleep in or have a facial!

At Ulusaba Rock Lodge one morning she regretted her late sleeping though where on a morning drive I saw leopards mating next to our vehicle!
This particular memorable drive also included a cheetah sighting and two months old lion cubs!

I don't go to Africa to see Rhinos though.

Rocco be very careful on these canoe safaris!In Dec there was an attack in Botswana on a tourist in a canoe where she was fatally wounded.
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Feb 24th, 2004, 07:04 PM
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Safarinut,

You are scaring me, as I think we are married to the same woman!

About that incident in Botswana, I remember vaguely reading about it. Weren't they newlyweds? Sad.

However, even on game drives it is not always 100% safe. This is an excerpt from Kaingo's January 2004 newsletter. I will spend four nights at Kaingo and its sister bushcamp Mwamba on my upcoming trip:

MAD COW: The elephant charge occurred on an afternoon drive in early August. We were actually creeping up to a thicket in low gear, searching for a leopard that had been sighted earlier that day, when an elephant cow with calf who had been part of a small family group quietly feeding 100m away, suddenly turned and ran full speed towards us. I immediately turned to the car to face them ?head on?. The cow stopped a few meters away, lining us up with her one tusk while all the time swaying her head menacingly. I clapped my hands and shouted at her ? and kept the engine running.

After a moment however, she charged and put her one tusk through the ?bull-bar? and started pushing us backwards; she did this twice while I applied brakes and hurled abuse at her. No one in the vehicle could quite believe any of this was really happening, such is the power of the moment. An elephant appears huge when it is a few feet away just the other side of the hood, particularly when you are in an open Land Cruiser!

She then took a few steps back preparing to come at us again when I decided enough was enough and managed to swerve the car round and speed away (with her following) but not before she took a swipe at the back seat. The guest in the back nearest to her did an excellent job of swerving his body out of the way as she flattened the armrest with her tusk. Fortunately everyone escaped unscathed ?except for a good dose of adrenalin!

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Feb 24th, 2004, 07:19 PM
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Rocco:

Game Drives can be dangerous:

At Mala Mala this past Dec we were charged by a lioness feeding on a buffalo carcass with her two month
old cubs present.Although, at the time,I thought we were going to die ,this was probably my greatest safari moment of all time!

On these canoe safaris just stay in deep water if possible.Hippos kill more people in Africa than any other animal.
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Feb 25th, 2004, 08:21 AM
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After reading this thread, I think I'll cancel my plans to take the family on safari in South Africa, and take them to Legoland instead.
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Feb 25th, 2004, 09:18 AM
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Steveboy,

Gee, I thought that South African game reserves WERE Legoland!
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Feb 25th, 2004, 12:29 PM
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Safarinut, I had heard that hippos kill more people in Africa than *anything* except for malaria. I am nervous about getting in a mokoro because of that. Once, in a motorboat cruise on the Zambezi, (held 12), the captain pointed out hippo ears some distance away. Then it submerged and he raced away, saying a hippo had tried to overturn his boat the previous week.
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Feb 25th, 2004, 12:45 PM
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Clem are you booked to go back to Africa soon? If so, I must have missed it, sorry! Don't be nervous - the guides are really careful.

Accidents are VERY rare... and nearly all relate to tourists themselves doing what they were told not to...
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Feb 25th, 2004, 12:46 PM
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Roccco:

Well, if Safarinut's experience at Mala Mala sounds like Legoland to you, maybe we'll just stay home and watch Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom (Scared To Death is invited).
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Feb 25th, 2004, 05:23 PM
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Clematis,
I did a five day canoe safar on the Zambezi a few years ago and it was wonderful...seeing the game from the water is wonderful as your approach is so quiet.

Being in the water gives you a different perspective on the wildlife. We loved it! Do go out in a mokoro. We pased by so many hippos...and at times it did seem a little hairy but remember that's why you have a guide. The guides said that the problems tend to be when people get between the hippos and any young.

Hope that helps!
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Feb 25th, 2004, 05:40 PM
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CLEMATIS:

It is true that malaria is the number one killer in Africa.Malaria isn't the worlds most lethal disease,far from it,but it occurs in a population in Africa with a high HIV rate ie. without a strong immune system and this makes malaria deadly in Africa.

Back to the hippos!Be very careful!

These guides can take all the precautions they want-you still can't hear or see a hippo under water!

Please!I am all for ''wild Africa'' and any safari has a certain risk attached to it it is just that hippos are extremely territorial and aggressive in the water.

I,for one,have an understanding with them after my Lake Kariba trip:

I stay out of their river and they stay out of the bar!
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Feb 25th, 2004, 06:47 PM
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Kav, I *wish* I were going back to Africa soon. I'm a bit like Rocco in that my spouse has planned a European vacation this year and I know it will pale by comparison ("What animals will we see today?")
But I continue to dream about the next time I'll be there. I get to live vicariously though you.

Welltraveled, thank you, that does help. I will not get scared until I see baby hippos. I did love seeing the animals from water level. Seeing an ele bathe that way... it was wonderful.
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Feb 25th, 2004, 10:41 PM
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The scariest thing about hippos is that they are there one second in plain sight, but then once they dip under the water they can pop up anywhere within a couple minutes or within a few seconds for that matter.

To make matters worse, it is always tempting to try and get a little close for a good photo opportunity. But, given the hippo's reputation, I, for one, never got within a stone's throw of one while I was on foot and they were in shallow water. A person should always keep in mind that these killers are not only deadly in water but also have the ability to run 25 miles per hour on land, or faster than the fastest human being in the world.

All you can really do is put your trust in your guides and listen to their every word and instruction.

On a sidenote, I got my invoice from Star Of Africa today and my transfers were a little less than I expected them to cost. For my air transfers of Lusaka-Jeki (Lower Zambezi NP)-Lusaka and Lusaka-Mfuwe-Lusaka, it cost a total of $500 USD pp, which is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but possibly $100 less pp than I expected.

I don't wish to expand on it too much, but my 23 night trip to Italy and Zambia, including all airfare, ended up being less than $10,000 USD, and averaging out to less than $215 pppns.

I do hope to somehow get back for a short trip next year, but I'm not counting on it. The priority is India next February, but I can fit 3 nights in Hong Kong and a nice trip of the Golden Triangle in India within a two week period.

If I did have the blessing of two weeks in Africa next year, it would be in mid to late June and include Durban (2), Johannesburg (1), Makalolo Plains in Hwange, Zimbabwe (3), Kwando Songwe Village or Star Of Africa's Sussi & Chuma in Victoria Falls (2), Kwando Lagoon (3) and Mombo (3).
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Feb 26th, 2004, 06:35 AM
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I have only had one mildly frightening hippo encounter. Last August, we visited Queen Elizabeth NP in Uganda, and one morning went hiking in Chambora (sp?) Gorge, which is supposed to be a good place to view chimpanzees in the wild (we didn't see any chimps). Anyway, we hiked to the bottom of the gorge, where a small river flows and we came upon 30 or so hippos. When they heard us, they became startled and we thought all of them had fled downstream. Our guide led us to the bank of the river, and while we were standing there, the large, bull male came charging past us (quite close actually) -- he had apparently hung back to make sure his group escaped safely. Boy, was he fast, leaving large wakes behind. If he had wanted to, he could have trampled us all. Stupid guide and stupid tourists.
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