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Found 14 results

  1. A returm to Zambia. The Luangwa and Zambezi rivers Victoria Falls as, hopefully, the climax to my visit. Meaning a first, all be it quick, visit to Zimbabwe I later realised that 2017 was also the 10th anniversary of my first ever safari. All in all not a bad way to celebrate it! My schedule was as follows: 1 night Pioneer Camp Lusaka 4 nights Tafika Camp, South Luangwa National Park 4 nights Amanzi Camp, Lower Zambezi National Park 1 night Pioneer Camp Lusaka 2 nights Ilala Lodge Victoria Falls The trip was again booked through Africa Travel Resource and my contact there Anneli. Once again everything was arranged perfectly. I think the most difficult bit was trying to get the various bits of the trip to fit together particularly in the right order. Lots of puzzing of heads and trying to find 4 nights in each camp. Eventually I had to put a night in Pioneer camp in the middle of my trip. Not ideal but it meant I didn't have to change my itinerary around and start at the Falls or have private charters for flights. Ths trip was already blowing my budget, private charters were just not possible (unless I robbed a bank, and I didn't really want to do that) I added a night at Pioneer at the beginning just in case my international flights were delayed. I didn't want a re-run of last year's trip to Meru and the delayed Nairobi flight. I wanted to return to South Luangwa as I had really enjoyed my trip there a couple of years ago and also I wanted to see it in another season. Last visit was at the beginning of November, this time my visit would be at the end of June, There would be a difference, not only in temperature! Advice from ATR was to combine it with the Lower Zambezi, to give a contrast in lansdscape, flora etc. I readily agreed as I hadn't been to that park before. There would also be a contrast in camps: Tafika, rustic, a long running camp, far far out in the Northern sector of South Luangwa, very much an old style camp for the safari purist; Amanzi a new camp, not too short on extras, it even had a pool, no roughing it here! At the end of the trip I defined the contrasting camps as hardcore safari and safari light. Only the camps themselves.......the parks and the wildlife where just as good at both locations. So that was the planning and the hopes and ideas for the trip. Now you are asking what happened when I got there? Short answer...... a stupendous trip! It really was special. Fantastic wildlife. There is still something I love about the Luangwa river which I cannot explain, which is going to keep drawing me back. Lower Zambezi was a great park; completely agree with ATR that it gave a good contrast to South Luangwa. And finally the falls which basically blew my mind! Wildlife wise there were 2 BIG highlights. Still undecided if I should give you all a clue, maybe add a photo here or make you all wait till I get there in this report. I will have a think about it, but I am still erring on making you all wait But as mentioned in the title there was lots of water involved in this trip therefore end of post 1 will be a few photos of the rivers and falls. Luangwa River The Zambezi Victoria Falls
  2. I know that everyone always says "bring a fleece" and on past safaris I have done so, and often was glad that I did, when we'd hit a rain front or chilly morning. But that seems highly unlikely for South Luangwa/Lower Zambezi the first two weeks in September. It looks to me that the lowest temperatures might be in the mid 60's (that's 15-20C I think) which seems way too warm for a fleece. This is the current forecast for Mfuwe and I don't think it will change much in the next couple of weeks (except maybe get hotter!) Is Lower Zambezi even hotter than South Luangwa, or about the same? Is Victoria Falls much cooler than the Luangwa valley? We've got very light fleeces but while light, they take up space and I just have a feeling they won't get used. Would a long-sleeve t-shirt be sufficient in place of a fleece?
  3. 1) Name of property and country: (Please also include name of property and country as topic title and include as tags as well) Amanzi Tented Camp Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia This is the smaller sister camp to Anabezi camp. Amanzi has been open for approx 1 year. 2) Website address if known: 3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known). 29th June - 3rd July 2017. Last 2 nights were in High Season Long stay discount avaialble at time of booking - 4 nights for price of 3. 4) Length of stay: 4 nights 5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? Small camp, not overly big build, good reputation for level of guiding. Away from main busy area of park therefore vehicle density would hopefully be less. 6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? Through agent (ATR) 7) How many times have you been on Safari? 8 or 9. I've lost count! 8) To which countries? Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania 9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? 10) Was the camp/lodge fenced? No. There is a boardwalk around camp from which you access your tent and the dining area etc. This does mean you are slightly higher off ground but wildlife still comes close and onto boardwalk. Another bonus of boardwalk - no clambouring in and out of your vehicle. You just stepped out onto boardwalk or into car! 11) How many rooms/tents does it have? 4 tents. 2 are linked together with a small bridge to be used as family unit or for larger group who want to be closer together. 12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? Tent 2. Tents run in one row from the dining/mess area with number 1 being closest to dining/mess area. Therefore number 2 is in the middle. Tents number 1 and 2 are widely spaced from each other. There is also sufficient space between tent number 2 and the connected family unit (tent numbers 3 and 4.) Tents have trees/bushes in between so you are not overlooked. All tents overlook channel of the Zambezi River and an island which can have wildlife on it. Each tent has a private sitting area to one side of the tent overlooking the water which has walls around the other 2 sides to give privacy from boardwalk. Tent itself has large mesh windows overlooking the water. The occassional boat does go past so there is a small chance you could have people looking up into your tent. The tents are raised higher up from the water therefore boats can not see directly into tent/sitting area. 13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? Very comfortably and well furnished. It was huge! You walk though main door and face outside sitting area. This has two hammock chairs and 2 comfortable chairs and small table. Then turn right into your tent which runs length ways along river bank. Two upholstered comfortable armchairs nearest the door, then 2 big queen beds with mosquito nets. Small divider to inside bathroom and dressing area. Shower and toilet are further separated by three quarter walls. Sufficient space for hanging/storing clothes. For those who want it, there is a safe for valuables. Wooden floor throughout. Marketed as a luxary tented camp and for me this was correct. A mini bar, tea/coffee facilities, fluffy bathrobes and even a hairdryer are for me very luxurious on safari. I had just come from Tafika (South Luangwa) which is definitely more rustic so the contrast between camps was probably more marked. Electric sockets in dressing area (charging point for batteries etc) were not so good quality, you needed a lot of strength to plug things in. Hot water available all day. No bucket showers here! 14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. Food was excellent, freshly prepared and varied. Excellent chef during my stay. Very flexible in choices. Breakfast was a choice of continental or full english. We took it before morning game drive. Not sure of that would change in summer months. Lunch was buffet style. Dinner was served at table. Tea, coffee (Nespresso type machine) and other drinks available in dining/mess tent at all times. And yes there is cake before the afternoon activity! Also fruit if you want a healthy option. 15) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance? Dinner had 3 courses for which you had a menu, changed daily. of 3 choices per course. Dietary requirements (allergies) were really well catered for. Chef was willing to make/change all 3 dinner courses to meet requirements. This had been specified on booking so was known in advance. 16) What is the default dining arrangement? Single tables or communal dining? Do the guides/managers host at mealtimes? Single tables. Although separate groups were able to dine together during my stay. No hosting during meals. 17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? Packed lunch was taken on full day drive. This consisted of various salads, chicken and bread. This was good and sufficient for me as lunch. 18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. 2 rows of 2 seats with box in between for blankets. I ended up removing blankets and using box for water bottles and camera gear. I did see one vehicle with 3 seats in back row. Covered vehicles, with canopy. On couple of days I was in car by myself I requested open car and they took off canopy. Drive from airstrip to camp was done in completely open vehicle. Unless I missed them, no charging points. Apart from boxes between seats limited storage for your stuff. Not too many pockets in back of seat or 'tray' in front of first row of seats. 19) How many guests per row? 2. In vehicles I used this was only possible combination. 20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? Standard is approx 3 hours. Although my guide was willing to stay out a bit longer if sightings merited it. Varied routes. 21) What are the standard game drive times? Are game drive times flexible: i.e., if agreed in advance, can you go out earlier than suggested and stay out later, i.e., not returning for lunch but taking supplies with you? Morning drive 07:00 start. It was winter therefore they started morning drive later. Afternoon drive started at 16:00 They were willing to go out at different times if requested. I had a full day drive, with picnic lunch to enable us to go to area around Jeki airstrip and further west First afternoon my drive was combined with picking up other guests from a boat trip. After which we game drived back to camp. 22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like? N/A see number 23 23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity? Amanzi is last camp at eastern end of the Lower Zambezi National Park. At this end of the park the camp and vehicle density is a lot less then in the central area of the park. 24) Are you able to off-road? No. 25) Are there rotation policies for sightings i.e., You face the risk of queuing or being bumped from a sighting. Guest numbers were low plus most time was in quieter eastern side of park therefore rotation policy wasn't necessary nor did we face waits for sightings. 26) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings? Not particularly well known for any wildlife. Potentially wildlife could be a bit more limited and/or scarce at this end of the park. I would definitely recommend a (full day longer) drive to further west - in or past Jeli airstrip. 27) How was the standard of guiding? Excellent. Lawrence Mazele was my guide throughout. Excellent knowledge, very experienced guide and also very personable. He was happy to have a guest who didn't just want to tick off the big five and was willing to spend time at a sighting to watch animal behaviur or wait to see how a sighting developed. 28) If you had a bad experience with a guide, why? Did you report the issue to management, and if so, how did they deal with the issue? N/A 29) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why: See number 27. Plus I had one of my best ever elepehant sightings with Lawrence which was down to his experience and willingness to wait and take time with the animals. There was also a major sighting for me. For more details you are just going to have to wait for the full trip report :-) 30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? All the staff were great. They looked after their guests very very well. 31) Does the property support a local community conservation initiative. If so, please provide brief details and website address if known. No. 32) Safaritalk trip report link: 33) Any other pertinent details you wish to add: At the moment Amanzi and Anabezi are having to share a ranger. Therefore opportnities for walking are limited. I was only able to do one walk during my stay. And this was only possible because Solomon the camp manager had had the foresight to arrange that I could join other guests on their walk. The camps are already in discussions with the park authorities to try and increase number of rangers. Walks are short bush walks (approx 2 hours long) to look at smaller stuff and the flora. There is no tracking or approaching of large animals. Other guests had a walk curtailed when lions were heard nearby and the guide radio'd for car to pick them up. Camp does have a boat which can be used for trips around islands and channels of the Zambezei. I felt this activity was heavily pushed and I did eventually do a short boat trip one afternoon. This activity may be more rewarding during drier summer months when more wildlife can be found on the islands in the river. The camp does have a small pool on lower deck from the dining.mess area. I didn't use it, water too cold to venture in. The camp does offer fishing. I didn't do this so can't comment. 34) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings. Coming up shortly. Se my separate post.
  4. Hi All, Take advantage of our Last Minute Special for available dates in July, August and September 2017. For any last minute NEW bookings pay 2 stay 3 nights for both Sausage Tree and Potato Bush Camp so please contact us for availability. **Not to be combined with any other special and only applies to available dates in July/August/September 2017. PS: These fantastic pictures was captured by head Guide Ryan Wilmot We wish you a pleasant day. Regards, James.
  5. Well here I am again. The safari itch has gotten to me. This is an improvement: usually I'm ready to book the next one about a month after I get home. I made it four months this time. Safari #5 is in the conception phase! For the "next one" I'm considering Zambia in June 2018. I am however, somewhat confused by where I should look in terms of regions. Too many trip reports are too enticing. I'll have 10 weekdays at my disposal, max and I'm trying to work the late May Monday holiday in to squeeze out a bit more time. It may be just me, but likely will include my most recent safari, intrepid gorilla trekking friend Kim, depending on itinerary and pricing. My only priority is big cats with elephants a close second. From what I gather lions and leopards are common in South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi (?) Given my ridiculously good success with cat sightings in the Mara, am I going to have comparable experiences here, or have I seen "it" in terms of cats? One stunning trip report here (apologies I forget whose it was) had wonderful leopard sightings in Zambia. I know nothing is assured...but generally speaking? If I see dogs and elephants, fine too, but not #1 priority. And what part of South Luangwa (or Zambia generally) would you recommend, if you were planning this? And not to sound like too much of a newbie but is it even worth considering splitting time between, say, South Luangwa in Zambia and Chobe in Botswana linked by a day or two at Victoria Falls, or would you keep them separate trips? So I guess my questions are, good time of year? I'm looking for the equivalent crowd experience to the Mara in February where it's excellent game with lower crowds, is June that time?. Also want the cats. Any recommendations for camps in the basic camping but not high end Richard Branson style. (I tentatively have my eye on Kuyenda Camp, Chindeni Camp and Mfuwe Bush Lodge, feedback welcome and alternatives desired!) I just want to have my thoughts in order from you all before I turn this over to my safari planner. Thank you in advance.
  6. Now that I'm back from the Mara, its time to start planning the next trip. We are looking at South Luangwa/Lower Zambezi in 2017 and have the option to go either the first weeks in August, or the first weeks in September (we can't go late August due to a family event.) My agent has sent me an itinerary as follows: 3 nights Amanzi camp (Lower Zambezi) 3 nights Bilimungwe Bushcamp 4 nights Tena Tena First of all, how does that sound insofar as combination of camps? We'd love more nights but this is already at the top of our budget. (And our tour operator has already gotten us some free nights with special offers, like 3 for 2 at Amanzi, and 4 for 3 Tena Tena.) I guess we could substitute Tena Tena for a less expensive camp, like Lion Camp, to eek out more days, but I'm concerned with the possibility of six in a vehicle at Lion Camp; Tena Tena promises no more than 4. I don't see much about Amanzi camp, I know its new as of 2015. Anyone have any experience with it? Our interests are birds, leopards, wild dogs (unlikely, although I have read there was a pack near Tena Tena this season!), any more unusual critters, and of course, photography. (Would have loved to use Kaingo, for the hides, but beyond our budget. We are also keen to do some walking, finally...after many Africa safaris confined to vehicles! But not TOO much walking as its not really best for photography. As for timing...would early Sept be substantially hotter than early August? What might be the differences in wildlife sightings? I know we'd have a better chance at the Carmine Bee-eater colonies in September, but if the cost is going to be excessive heat, we might be better off in early August. Thanks for any insights.
  7. (Hi everyone, This is my first post on safari talk but it almost feels like I know a lot of you individually, having literally devoured the content on this website. I thought that maybe I owed you one effort, however insipid and feeble, to give something back in return. The following is the prologue of my trip report to Zambia, a trip that starts after six days! After a day's rest in Lusaka, I fly into Victoria Falls for a couple of nights at the Royal Livingstone. From there we move on to South Luangwa where I split my eight nights in the following manner - Luwi (2), Sleepout (1), Nsolo (1), Kakuli (2) and Mchenja (2). Then we are spending 4 nights in Lower Zambezi at Chongwe Camp. In the way of background, my name is Tintin and I am from Mumbai, India. Our traveling party will include my friend Sayan and my 73 year old father, Rupen. Henceforth in my writings, I will refer to the latter as Dad, to avoid dissociation from my reality. I will be posting the trip report in my new blog as well, so it is targeted to include a non-safari going audience. Purists on the forum, please excuse any trivium foisted upon you. The next instalment will probably arrive in about 25 days.) Scratching the not-quite-seven year itch: Zambia travelogue (Part Zero) Prologue: The waiting I have felt it before. I have known it in my stomach, my beating heart and my very bones. Ever since I read “Chander Pahaar” at the age of seven. That first glimpse of the African plains. Some will tell you that it makes you feel small in comparison. From experience, I disagree. I think it makes you blissfully unaware of your own existence. Small is a small word. Nothingness is powerful in its occupied negative space. Ever gazed upon a starlit night sky? Take that feeling and imagine – what if you knew that you will soon be in that big blue mosaic? Now you have started getting close to the intensity of the feeling I am talking about. Ah, so the self is not really missing in action, is it? The excitement and possibility of YOU being THERE does matter. I feel, a safari is the most selfish of pursuits, the pursuit of bliss itself. Bliss flooded with the bright light of observation, projected inside out. See, smell, hear and most importantly feel. But for god’s sake don’t touch! Most occasions at least. The last few months have been a blur of activity. Getting ready is not easy. Also, you will never be fully ready. This last sentence is more of a note to self. I have planned this trip and replayed it in my head in excruciating detail over the last six years. I have lived vicariously through so many online forums, trip reports, travel guides; tossing and turning over this option and that. I do not exaggerate when I say that I know quite a bit about what and where. (A bold statement that I hope Safaritalk titans will graciously overlook! ) Do I know too much? Couple of weeks back I was feeling drained out of emotions. Memories of excitement remained more than excitement itself. The anticipation is back with a bang. Just like that. The moment is so close I could reach out and touch it. I am going back after six years. Mother Africa calls and it is irresistible in the most primordial sense of the term. My 73 year old father and my friend Sayan will keep me company. We will be tracking dangerous animals on foot in South Luangwa National Park and canoeing through hippo pods in the crocodile infested waters of the Lower Zambezi basin. We will spend a couple of days at Victoria Falls. In all we will be travelling for well over two weeks. I plan to stand under a Baobab tree. These are mere details though. Most importantly, we intend to be free. Attached photograph is my last farewell…six years back.
  8. After a short safari experience in South Africa we were eager for more. I started to research safari trips, but it is very overwhelming for a newbie. Deciding on country alone seemed to take forever, all of them looked amazing. We read about walks in the national parks of Zambia, and as we only had experience with game drives, that sounded very interesting – being able to leave the vehicle and walk around surrounded by wildlife. The idea to be able to do different sort of activities was very appealing, besides walks there were also possibilities to go canoeing in the Lower Zambezi national park and a microlight flight in Livingstone and South Luangwa NP. We were sold. Preparation: much more than for the first trip! - Vaccinations (like DTP, hepatitis A, yellow fever). Yellow fever because of the changing and confusing rules for entry to South Africa at that time. - Malarone, in the Netherlands you need a prescription. I had read that some people got side effects from Malarone, so I asked for a trial package. I’d rather be sick at home than in Africa, but no side effects for me. - Bought one pair (!) of binoculars - Neutral coloured clothing (more than necessary) - Plenty of sunscreen and DEET too - I thought of bringing a notebook as well, which turned out to be very helpful for this trip report. Itinerary 6 – 22 May 2012: Day 1 - Flight Amsterdam – Johannesburg (KLM) - overnight stay at City Lodge Day 2 – Flight Johannesburg – Livingstone (Comair - BA) Day 2-5 – Livingstone –Sindabezi lodge Day 5 – Flight Livingstone - Lusaka – Royal airstrip (Proflight / Sky trails) Day 5-9 – Lower Zambezi NP – Chiawa Camp Day 9 – Flight Royal airstrip – Lusaka – Mfuwe (Proflight) Day 9 -17 – South Luangwa NP – Puku Ridge (3 nights), Tafika (5 nights) Day 17 – Flight Mfuwe, Lilongwe, Nairobi and finally Amsterdam. Was not looking forward to that. Luckily KLM added a route to Lusaka, so we could change our flights to Lusaka from Mfuwe and from Lusaka a direct flight to Amsterdam. (Proflight / KLM) As the new route to Lusaka was scheduled three times a week, we either needed to extend or shorten our stay at Tafika. We were originally booked for three nights, but decided to extend our stay with 2 nights and are very pleased we did. The reason to include Livingstone was the Victoria Falls, I couldn’t visit Zambia without seeing the Victoria Falls – I felt we would miss out by not going. We stayed for three nights, which was long enough to do some activities and relax a bit before starting our safari!
  9. Given the success of my recent Kruger comparison ( and I thought it would be interesting to compare our original Zambia trip, with last years' trip The 2009 trip was our first full-time safari (i.e. the whole holiday, rather than 3-4 days in South Africa alongside other activities). It was inspired be seeing a travel documentary which included Sausage Tree Camp in the Lower Zambezi National Park. We both loved the look of it and immediately sent off for the brochure. Then we found out how expensive it was We were on the travel agents' mailing list for several years before we could afford a safari and we justified the expense as it would be a "once in a lifetime trip" little did we know.... The timing was perfect however, as my husband was born in Zambia and we would be there for his 40th birthday. Poetic. He had never been back since leaving at the age of 7. Despite booking the recommended 9 months in advance, we still could only manage 2 nights in Sausage Tree, rather than the 4 we wanted, so we moved upstream (I think) to Chiawa after that. We went one week earlier than last years' trip and the temperature difference was really noticeable. Stepping off of the plane in Lusaka in the early morning was really cold. For the first few morning game drives, I had 6 layers on (as well as hat, scarf and gloves) although this was partly the product of staying in Kapani first, which is outside of the park and therefore necessitated an earlier start and a 30 minute drive on tar road (i.e. fast) to get to the gates. The other difference was that there used to be direct flights from Mfuwe to Lower Zambezi, however, this was in the middle of the day and even though I don't get travel sick, I was pretty close as it was so hot and bumpy. Last year we has to change planes in Lusaka and consequently got to the park much later (too late for an activity). As it was our first trip, we only had one camera body, a Canon 450D to share and i bought a second hand 100-400 lens for the OH's birthday present.
  10. Zimbabwe and Zambia - Outstanding! We had an outstanding trip from beginning to end. Wonderful sightings of lions, leopards, wild dogs, elephants, buffalo, nyala, eland, hyenas, giraffes, and so much more. Great walks and some beautiful canoe and boat trips. Not sure where our favorite place was but we have been caught by the very addictive lure of Mana Pools. My husband is now talking about returning there to do some more walking and possibly a mobile camping trip Zim/Zam Itinerary Sept/Oct 2013 Fly Vancouver, Canada to Victoria Falls via Heathrow and Johannesburg 2 nights Ilala Lodge, Victoria Falls Drive to Hwange 4 nights The Hide, Hwange Drive and fly to Mana Pools 4 nights Goliath Tented Camp, Mana Pools 4 nights Vundu Camp, Mana Pools Drive to Chirundu border crossing then transfer by boat to LZNP 3 nights Chongwe River Camp, Lower Zambezi 4 nights Old Mondoro, Lower Zambezi Fly to North Luangwa via Lusaka and Mfuwe 4 nights Mwaleshi Camp, North Luangwa Fly to Tafika Camp 4 nights Tafika Camp, South Luangwa 2 nights each Chikoko and Crocodile Walking Camps, South Luangwa 4 nights Mwamba Camp, South Luangwa Fly to Lusaka 1 night Pioneer Camp, Lusaka Fly Lusaka to Vancouver via Heathrow, overnighting in London Some general observations: All camps were very comfortable. Some were more rustic than others with no electricity and bucket showers, while others had electricity, hot and cold running water and even a swimming pool. All bathrooms were ensuite and most were quite open with partial walls. We ate at tables with other guests at all camps except the Hide. All camps had excellent well qualified guides who especially the guides in Zimbabwe who were quite exceptional. The camps were fully inclusive providing all food, drinks, and activities. The only additional costs were tips and the micro light flight at Tafika. All camps had open vehicles and most seated just two guests per row. The exception was Goliath which seated three per row but as we tended to just drive somewhere then get out and walk, this was not a big issue as walking was the main activity. All camps offered walking and most also did drives and some had water activities as well. Tafika also had bike rides although we did not do this. The most crowded sighting was at Mana Pools when the wild dogs were on the road. There were about 7 vehicles then. The most we had at other sightings was two occasionally three vehicles but that was not common. Usually we were the only vehicle at a sighting. This is one of the joys of these parks. Getting there We flew Vancouver, Heathrow, Johannesburg, Victoria Falls on British Air. A brutally long haul (@ 36 hours) but all went smoothly and we actually slept on the 2 overnight flights so arrived in pretty good shape. We landed in Vic Falls early afternoon but unfortunately it took hours to get through immigration as they have an extremely slow manual process, then we discovered our checked bag had not arrived so a further delay reporting it. We didn’t get to the hotel until late afternoon which was a disappointment as we had hoped to explore the area and do some shopping or sightseeing that day. Ilala Lodge, Victoria Falls 2 nights We stayed at Ilala Lodge, a delightful small hotel only a ten minute walk from the falls and also near the craft shops and market. Comfortable, quiet room. We slept very well and woke up to look out and see large warthogs on their knees mowing the lawn and later having a head pushing contest. The restaurant is excellent with a good full breakfast included in the room rate. Baboons patrol the grounds so the dining area is protected by a man armed with a slingshot. He told us if he is there the baboons stay away but if he leaves they will be in immediately. Dinner was great and you are seated in a lovely outdoor garden area. It was my husband’s birthday so we splurged on a very good bottle of South African wine. Reservations are advised for the restaurant – ask for an outside table. We had a good day in Victoria Falls, we slept in, had a leisurely morning shopping for small gifts, a light lunch at Lola's Tapas Restaurant and spent the afternoon at the Falls which are spectacular. Excellent dinner again at the hotel with a herd of buffalo coming into the grounds below the dining area.
  11. My first trip report. As there has been a plethora of TRs to South Luangwa in the past few weeks (@@TonyQ, @@Safaridude, @@ZaminOz to name but a few), I will try and keep my words brief at the risk of repetition. Zambia was the first place we ever went on a full time safari and is therefore the first place we have revisited. Our trip in 2009 (supposed to be a once in a lifetime holiday) was planned to coincide with my husbands 40th birthday and was therefore the excuse for the vast expense! We had seen Sausage Tree Camp on a travel programme years previously and after requesting the brochure, realised it would have to be far into the future (as STC is very expensive). Given that Chris was born in Luanshya, it seemed rather fitting to be back in his birthplace(ish) 40 years later. As we currently cant stretch to a Botswana tour (it is on our list though) and are not keen on crowds (Kenya), this year meant a repeat visit somewhere. We have just moved house and any sensible couple wouldnt have then gone on a blow-out safari, but we had DIY-ed ourselves in (or should that be DYI do yourself in) and needed a break! There is nothing as relaxing as getting up at 5am every day . We booked in June or July I think (hoping that we could get away without a fix, I guess) but very late for peak season. So I rang Expert Africa and asked them where the best value safari was that they could offer us. They managed to beat their 2009 price, but largely because we stayed outside the park in LZNP, I think. However, they went out of their way to keep a repeat customer happy. We flew on the now cancelled Heathrow to Lusaka BA overnight flight on a Friday. I would say that it was 99% full, including business and world traveller plus, but what do I know about the airline business? After being whisked through security, there was a short wait until out flight to Mfuwe. Just enough time to pay for the bags to be overweight (see and have a coffee surprisingly good cappuccino in the terminal (and they take Dollars). Luckily it was a larger small plane (very technical I know), as my husband gets travel sickness L Itinerary 2013 SLNP 7 nights: Nkwali 2, Tena Tena 3, Nsefu 2, with Robin Pope Safaris (discount for staying 7 nights or more) LZNP 5 nights: Chongwe River Camp (as everywhere inside the park was full due to the late notice as an aside, they are already pretty much full in Chiawa for next year) Comparison from 2009 Itinerary 2009 SLNP 8 nights: Kapani 3, Nsolo 2, Kakuli 3, with Norman Carr Safaris (I think....) LZNP 4 nights: Sausage Tree Camp 2 (no space for 4, despite booking 9 months in advance!!), Chiawa 2 Dates exactly 1 week earlier in 2009 Weather much colder in 2009: As we stepped off the plane in Lusaka, there was definitely a chill in the air and I needed 6 layers on a morning game drive for the first few days (but I am a girl) and it was noticeably cold getting out of bed in the mornings. However, there it was heating up day on day. This year was hot getting hotter and very dry.
  12. Hi all! Have been lurking on Safaritalk for a while now so just a quick thanks to everyone for all the advice and inspiration throughout the forums! My girlfriend and I organized a 10-night trip to Zambia in August. The itinerary was as follows: - 4 nights: Kasaka River Lodge, Lower Zambezi - 4 nights: Flatdogs Camp, South Luangwa - 2 nights: Zambezi Sun, Livingstone We had initially planned to visit South Luangwa first, but they were already full when we were booking back in January! It was my girlfriend's first safari and my first ‘proper’ safari (I grew up in South Africa and any safaris were normally self-driven family trips), so it actually worked out better this way, as Lower Zambezi was probably a bit of a smoother way to transition into the safari! On an unrelated note, it’s remarkable how quickly you adjust to waking up at 5am every morning and sleeping by 10pm every night! We spent almost 24 hours travelling from Singapore-Johannesburg-Lusaka-Lower Zambezi and arrived at Kasaka at around 5:30pm but that didn’t stop us from hopping straight in the land rover for a short drive around the GMA! (it was unfortunately a bit late to make it into the park by then) We don’t have experience with any other lodges, but we loved our stay at Kasaka River Lodge. We really enjoyed the slightly rustic feel to the camp, and enjoyed having meals with the other guests and and being able to chat and with them and listen their stories from previous safaris. I can imagine that this experience would be even greater once you move on to the higher-end camps and the number of guests gets smaller. Meals were great with breakfasts and lunch more buffet-style, while dinner was a set 3-course meal with the exception of a big braai on our (coincidentally) last night. Our tent was on the ‘tame’ side of the camp, although I’m pretty sure the distinction between the ‘tame’ and ‘wild’ sides are purely in the aesthetics. The tents on the tame side are placed around the gardened lawn whereas the tents on the wild side are accessed via a boardwalk with the brush underneath. Both sides are visited by foraging hippos during the night and we were woken up most nights by hippos grazing just outside our tent! What we loved about our stay at Kasaka, and I guess it’s just the nature of the Lower Zambezi in general, is the range of activities that you are able to do. As well as the regular drives there are motorboat safaris, canoe safaris and tigerfishing trips, all of which we managed to do. We didn’t have enough time to do a walking safari, but we did manage to visit one of the local villages and schools, as well as the small adjoining cultural village. There were lots of good photo opportunities of the local children, but the kids all rush up to you to hold your hands as you are touring the village! On more than one occasion I had a chain of 5 kids on each hand! The Lower Zambezi National Park is about a 5km drive from the lodge, and while in the park we were surprised by the many different types of terrain and how often you switch from one type to the next. The density of animals is not as great as in South Luangwa but there are much fewer vehicles, and as such the guides seem to have a bit more freedom to drive off the main paths. I'm just an amateur holiday photographer, but here are some pictures of our time in Lower Zambezi: Massive baobab estimated to be ~1500 years old! We made daily visits to a pair of lion brothers that had made a buffalo kill perhaps the day before we arrived. Apparently they had made a kill before they killed the buffalo and were still quite full, so they didn’t start feeding until our 3rd day there. By the time our last day arrived, the smell was pretty unbearable! We saw a lot of elephants, and they generally seemed much grumpier and quicker to mock charge/trumpet than their South Luangwa counterparts! Smirking waterbuck Sitting on a boat in the middle of the Zambezi with a Mosi in hand, watching the sun set behind the hills more than made up for the fact that we didn't catch anything! We loved the canoe safari! A bit of a similar feeling to walking safari and being a bit more in touch and closer to nature. You start along the main river but divert down a side channel so as to avoid hippos and the bigger crocs Sunrise from the lodge A coalition of 5 young males lazing away the late morning/early afternoon heat Kudu on a termite mound Probably the best sighting we had was a pair of mating lions on their honeymoon period. We went on an all-day drive and went by them in the morning. Later in the afternoon we were fishing in a small pond maybe 500-600m from where we had seen the lions in the morning when we heard some pretty loud warning calls from a troop (?) of baboons which went on for some time. Our guide made up pack up and get back into the land rover and we went over to see what the commotion was about. It turned out that the mating lion pair had managed to kill a small elephant calf. We probably missed the kill by a matter of minutes, as they hadn’t broken through the elephant hide by the time we got there. It was a bit of a tense situation as there were a lot of elephants in the area, and our guide mentioned that if any of the elephants smelt the carcass that they would probably try and charge the lions to chase them from the kill. There was a bull elephant who was hanging around and keeping a close watch but generally kept his distance. As it was started to get dark we headed back to camp. While we were on our canoe safari the evening before, some of the guests had managed to see a leopard with a fresh impala kill. On our way back from our all-day drive we saw that the carcass had been hoisted up a tree, and shortly after we managed to spot the leopard in some bushes nearby.
  13. Kanyemba Lodge and Kanyemba Island Bush Camp are located in the Chiawa Game Management Area, west of Lower Zambezi National Park. The lodge comprises 9 chalets, with the bush camp being located on our privately owned island, and comprising 4 chalets. We are seeking a Builder / Maintenance person to oversee renovation of existing buildings / infrastructure, building of new structures, and general property / vehicle / boat maintenance. This is a "hands on" role for a 6 month contract period. This position will report to the General Manager and Directors. Skills/Requirements: - Enthusiastic, hands on builder with a 'can do' attitude. - Ability to work with a small team to achieve goals in a timely manner. - Proven experience (with references) of quality workmanship and on-time delivery. - Ability to commit to living in the bush for the duration of a 6 month contract. Salary negotiable based on experience. Please send applications attn: Meegan Treen, General Manager.
  14. We've booked our next trip leaving mid September 2013 and here is our itinerary: Zim/Zam Itinerary 2013 Fly Vancouver, Canada to Victoria Falls via Heathrow and Johannesburg 2 nights Ilala Lodge, Victoria Falls Drive to Hwange 4 nights The Hide, Hwange Drive and fly to Mana Pools 4 nights Goliath Tented Camp, Mana Pools 4 nights Vundu Camp, Mana Pools Drive to Chirundu border crossing then transfer by boat to LZNP 3 nights Chongwe River Camp, Lower Zambezi 4 nights Old Mondoro, Lower Zambezi Fly to North Luangwa via Lusaka and Mfuwe 4 nights Mwaleshi Camp, North Luangwa Fly to Tafika Camp 4 nights Tafika Camp, South Luangwa 2 nights each Chikoko and Crocodile Walking Camps, South Luangwa 4 nights Mwamba Camp, South Luangwa Fly to Lusaka 1 night Pioneer Camp, Lusaka Fly Lusaka to Vancouver via Heathrow, overnighting in London Needless to say we are very very excited especially after reading the recent trip reports on Mana Pools. Our trip is all booked so we can't change anything but if anyone has any special suggestions for any of the camps or travel arrangements it would be great if you can share them. All the camps are new to us except Mwamba in South Luangwa which we loved on our last trip. I am a bit concerned about The Hide at Hwange as I have heard mixed reports. However it's the first camp on the trip so if it's not as good then at least we will be going on to better places.

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