Travel Suggestions for Bird Enthusiasts & Safari Seekers!
Zambia has it all: incredible wildlife, dazzling scenery, and is home to some of the most notorious holiday destinations in the entire world! From the unique and splendid Victoria Falls, to a few of the finest safari holidays such as South Luangwa National Park, Lake Kariba and Kafue; by choosing this trip you are for sure about to embark on an adventure to be cherished for the rest of your life!
With an estimated 740 bird species, the country is simply a Garden of Eden for bird lovers! The vast combination of miombo woodland, grassy dambos, forests and wetlands is ideal terrain, which guarantees excellent birding opportunities throughout the year. In fact, Zambia is believed to have one of the highest species-rich bird concentrations on the African continent!
In this 11 day Safari and Bird Watching Extraordinaire Combo you will travel across the country and be privileged enough to encounter a rich diversity of wildlife. Expect to see lions, elephants, buffalo, zebra, Red lechwe…and so much more!
Are you ready for the time of your life?! Zambia here we come…
Day by Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Arrival at Lusaka International and transfer to Chaminuka Game Reserve Lodge, just outside the city. After a delicious light meal lunch, you have the choice between two activities: an afternoon around the reserve (which offers game drives, bush walks and horseback safaris), OR a trip to Kalimba Crocodile Farm. Either way, expect to see lots of birds and wildlife (Chaminuka has over 300 species of birdlife), or huge numbers of hungry crocs!:)
Day 2: Breakfast at Chaminuka and drive to Lower Zambezi National Park, opposite the famous Mana Pools Reserve in Zimbabwe. Stay at Sausage Tree Camp & canoeing in the afternoon. Incredible photo opportunities for birds, and thrilling close encounters with hippos, crocodiles, and thirsty animals along the river bank! Birds of Interest: Trumpeter hornbill, Meyer’s parrot, Lilian’s lovebird and Narina Trogon!
Day 3: Early game drive and transfer to the shores of Lake Kariba. Afternoon Sundowner Cruise around the lake, beverages and light snacks included. Overnight at Spurwing Island (Zimbabwe). Bird Must Sees: Spurwing Geese of course, the majestic Fish-Eagle, the African Darter, and the Gymnogene (African Harrier-Hawk). Also be on the lookout for the abundant wildlife of the area where elephants, masses of hippos, crocs, buffalo and waterbuck are kings!
Day 4: Morning game drive in the Matusadona National Park, and continuation of the journey down south to reach “The Smoke That Thunders”: Victoria Falls, one of the world’s greatest natural wonders! Visit of the falls and accommodation at The Royal Livingstone Hotel (5 Star British Old Style; been there, simply extraordinary), known as the “grand old lady of the Falls!” Breathtaking view of the Vic Falls, and private trail only 10 minutes away from the heavenly site. Make sure you have your raincoats ready as it will most likely be a “wet” experience!;)
Day 5: Wake-up call at 6am for a short visit of the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, ideal for rhino sightings. After a typical “bacon and eggs” breakfast you will be heading for Zambia’s oldest and largest national park: Kafue! Truly a bird watchers paradise, with approximately 481 species ranging from aquatic birds to land specimens.
Accommodation at Hippo Lodge, in thatched chalets or rustic safari tents overlooking the Kafue River. Extraordinary game viewing in the Busanga plains, which flourish with red lechwe, puku, the solitary and rare sitatunga, roan and sable antelope, zebra and dozens of other fascinating animals. Cat species such as lion and cheetah are also quite common! Interesting Bird Species: the endangered wattled crane, the Fulleborn’s longclaw, African finfoot, Pels fishing owl, Bohms bee-eater and half-collared kingfisher.
Day 6: Full day inside Kafue National Park. Birding safari and river cruise included in the program. Game drives and walking safaris are also a possibility. Fancy a rejuvenating hot spring dip in a unique sand bottomed Jacuzzi? Anything is possible at Hippo Lodge! Your wish is our command!!!
Day 7: Game drive until 9 am, breakfast at Hippo Lodge and departure for Lochinvar National Park. Lochinvar has outstanding birding prospects, with over 420 recorded bird species in a little more than 428 square kilometers! That’s almost one bird species per kilometer square!
Overnight at The Lechwe Plains Tented Camp. Excursion highlights include a unique mokoro (dugout canoe) outing, questing for Kafue lechwe and sitatungas! Watch Out Birds: pink backed and white pelicans, African skimmer, Baillon’s crake, osprey, secretary bird, etc.
Day 8: Early departure by charter flight to the Bangweulu Swamps in the northern region of the country! The area is home to the endemic Black lechwe and is one of the last refuges of the amazing Shoebill, a very large stork-like bird. Your stay for the night will be Shoebill Island Camp, which offers a panoramic view of the floodplain!
Days 9, 10 & 11: Last but not least, our final destination sends you to my favorite Zambia safari destination: South Luangwa National Park! By fact, many experts view it as one of the top wildlife game sanctuaries in the world!
Accommodation at the luxurious Mfuwe Lodge! Each chalet has its own en-suite bathroom, and a splendid deck overlooking one of the lagoons. The lodge also has an open boma for special dinner nights, and a campfire area for late and chilly evening chats under the starlit African skies!
Typical birds of the area: yellow and saddle billed storks, open billed storks, black headed herons, ground hornbills, hammerkops and carmine bee-eaters!
– Upon arrival: Light lunch, afternoon nap and night game drive. The Luangwa Valley is well-known for its remarkable and busy animal life after dark. Keep your eyes open for unusual species such as African civets, genets, porcupines and bushbabies! Also of interest are foraging hippos, hyenas and leopards (awesome area for these elusive cats)!
– Day 10: Early game drive, copious breakfast and walking safari around the lodge area. A second night drive is encouraged, although it is up to you really!
– Day 11: Packing up and en route for Lusaka International Airport!
Source by Michael Theys