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FROM US$7,360-US$9,110

Hippo Safari

Combining excellent game with aspects of remoter safari in South Luangwa, as well as the cultural delights of Livingstone, this trip also makes use of long-stay discounts, making it an excellent-value and well-rounded adventure.

Hippo Safari: Day-by-day

More detailed information of what each day entails, and the various places you’ll stay on the Hippo Safari. Everything we do is completely tailor-made so while this is an idea which works well, we’ll always design an itinerary just for you.


Day 1

Starts: Lusaka International Airport

Day 1

Lusaka to South Luangwa by flight & 4WD

Depart Lusaka on a 70-minute flight to Mfuwe Airport, in the Luangwa's rift valley. Here you meet your Nkwali guide for an hour's drive in an open 4WD, swapping the settlement of Mfuwe for wildlife in the bush as you approach the small, riverside camp.

Nkwali
Days 1-4

Nkwali

3 nights
Full BoardSouth Luangwa National Park, Zambia

To look out over the Luangwa River from Nkwali’s open-fronted chalets is to feel at one with the bush. It’s a oneness that is enhanced by the mature mahogany, ebony and sausage trees whose shade shelters the little camp.

Nkwali

To look out over the Luangwa River from Nkwali’s open-fronted chalets is to feel at one with the bush. It’s a oneness that is enhanced by the mature mahogany, ebony and sausage trees whose shade shelters the little camp.

High ceilings and flagstone floors in the six stone-and-thatch chalets help to keep them cool, too, while en-suite bathrooms with open-air double showers emphasise the connection with the environment – in total privacy, of course.

The theme continues in the open-sided “chitenge”, where comfortable chairs and a small bar merge with a wooden deck over the river. Delicious meals are served here, or in the thatched dining area, close to the camp’s waterhole, while loungers around the small pool offer yet more options for relaxation – or watching the birds.

While it’s the natural world that underpins the camp’s ambience, its location, a relatively short drive from the small airport, makes it exceptionally accessible – even during the “emerald” season when most camps in the South Luangwa are closed.

"excellent camp.. service good, food tasty & plentiful, no complaints whatsoever"

Mr BfromKent

Arrived 26 Sep 2022, 3 nights

Nkwali’s other trump card is a private pontoon across the river into the national park, where you’ll seek out wildlife with expert guides on 4WD game drives and short walking safaris. See our full report on Nkwali

96%
221 reviews of Nkwali by travellers since August 2007

Activities

4WD Safari

Birdwatching

Boat trip

Cultural excursion

Guided walking safari

Night drive

Day 4

4WD from Nkwali to Tena Tena

It's about an hour's drive (38km) between the camps, which your guide will normally cover after the morning activity. The likely route shadows the eastern side of the Luangwa River, on informal tracks through a rural area of smallholdings and occasional villages.

Tena Tena
Days 4-6

Tena Tena

2 nights
Full BoardSouth Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Top-notch guiding, flexibility and personal service, all wrapped up in a “close to nature” setting: this is Tena Tena. In the remote yet game-rich Nsefu Sector of the South Luangwa, just a stone’s throw from the Luangwa River, the six stylish tents of this intimate little camp are spread out within a shady mahogany grove.

Tena Tena

Top-notch guiding, flexibility and personal service, all wrapped up in a “close to nature” setting: this is Tena Tena. In the remote yet game-rich Nsefu Sector of the South Luangwa, just a stone’s throw from the Luangwa River, the six stylish tents of this intimate little camp are spread out within a shady mahogany grove.

To wander along sandy pathways to the camp’s split-level hub is to get a real feel for the environment – with comfortable seating and a large bar an added bonus.

The upper level is a great place to sit and chat, or to enjoy a convivial meal with fellow guests, while sunset from the lower level is a time to be savoured over a relaxed drink – if you’re not out in the bush, that is.

Central to a day at Tena Tena is to explore on a 4x4 game drive, by day or by night, or even on foot, under the expert guidance of some of the Luangwa’s most experienced guides.

"Inspired design around the tent incorporating trees & tent canopies"

Ms G.fromTring

Arrived 9 Sep 2022, 4 nights

Back in camp, whether you’re watching from an armchair on your private veranda, from your king-size bed, or even from the “loo with a view”, the river – or riverbed – is rarely out of sight, a magnet for wildlife, even during the dry season. See our full report on Tena Tena

95%
146 reviews of Tena Tena by travellers since August 2007

Activities

4WD Safari

Birdwatching

Cultural excursion

Guided walking safari

Night drive

Day 6

4WD or walk between Tena and Nsefu

It's only about 7km between Tena and Nsefu. Whilst you can be driven this short distance, instead we'd recommend that you enjoy it as part of a walking safari. The route will probably skirt the Luangwa's course, as you make your way across the Nsefu Sector of the park.

Nsefu
Days 6-8

Nsefu

2 nights
Full BoardSouth Luangwa National Park, Zambia

This charismatic camp steeped in South Luangwa history has quality guiding and dining in a beautiful riverside setting. Nsefu was opened in the 1950s, the first camp in the South Luangwa and the brainchild of the renowned Norman Carr, who pioneered walking safaris here to benefit conservation and communities long before responsible tourism became a buzzword.

Nsefu

This charismatic camp steeped in South Luangwa history has quality guiding and dining in a beautiful riverside setting. Nsefu was opened in the 1950s, the first camp in the South Luangwa and the brainchild of the renowned Norman Carr, who pioneered walking safaris here to benefit conservation and communities long before responsible tourism became a buzzword.

In the intervening years, the camp has preserved its history in its unique and unassuming charm. The bar and lounge have old black-and-white photos of Carr’s safari days, and the six small rondavels, unique in the valley, retain their original characteristics as stylish rooms that look out onto the Luangwa River.

Nsefu’s dining room was gobbled up as the river changed course, so they now offer “nomadic dining” depending on the season – under the stars, under the shade of trees, or even a private dinner for two on top of a huge dormant termite mound – far more romantic than it sounds. Wherever you eat, the food is excellent.

"I loved loved loved this camp too!"

Ms G.fromTring

Arrived 13 Sep 2022, 2 nights

The camp’s location, within the Nsefu Sector, features superb wildlife, and the camp itself provides some fantastic sightings in the dry season, with huge herds of buffalo and elephants meandering across the river. And pukus seem to be ever-present, quietly eating the crimson petals of the camp’s mature sausage trees. See our full report on Nsefu

98%
182 reviews of Nsefu by travellers since August 2007

Activities

4WD Safari

Birdwatching

Boat trip

Cultural excursion

Guided walking safari

Night drive

Day 8

4WD & flight from Nsefu to Livingstone

It's an hour's drive to Mfuwe Airport, plus a little over two hours in the air to Livingstone, perhaps including a short stop in Lusaka. On arrival, you'll be met for the final 25-minute drive to Stanley Safari Lodge, looking out towards the Zambezi River.

Stanley Safari Lodge
Days 8-10

Stanley Safari Lodge

2 nights
Full BoardLivingstone & Victoria Falls, Zambia

Bordering the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park near Livingstone, about 3km as the crow flies from the Victoria Falls, Stanley Safari Lodge offers a peaceful base from which to explore the area. Unlike most other lodges we feature in Livingstone, it is set on a hill overlooking unspoilt bush, well away from the river, but with views of the spray from the Falls when they are in full flow.

Stanley Safari Lodge

Bordering the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park near Livingstone, about 3km as the crow flies from the Victoria Falls, Stanley Safari Lodge offers a peaceful base from which to explore the area. Unlike most other lodges we feature in Livingstone, it is set on a hill overlooking unspoilt bush, well away from the river, but with views of the spray from the Falls when they are in full flow.

"Very comfortable lodge in a quiet location"

Mr & Mrs CfromCornwall

Arrived 15 May 2019, 3 nights

Stanley Safari Lodge is a comfortable, but very reasonably priced lodge, set in a peaceful area away from the crowds. With its small, personal, safari-lodge style and fully inclusive rate, it perfectly suits those looking for a property close to Livingstone and the Victoria Falls, but keen to avoid the larger hotels in town. See our full report on Stanley Safari Lodge

96%
21 reviews of Stanley Safari Lodge by travellers since August 2007

Activities

Birdwatching

Boat trip

Canoeing

Cultural excursion

Elephant encounter

Fishing

Helicopter

Kayaking

Microlight

White-water rafting

Day 10

Vehicle transfer from Stanley back to Livingstone Airport

After a relaxed morning, you'll leave the serenity of Stanley Safari Lodge for Livingstone Airport, passing through the centre of the small town. After a drive of around 25 minutes, you'll arrive in time to connect to your onward travel plans.

Day 10

Ends: Livingstone International Airport

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Experiences you can add to this trip.

Optional extra day-trips and excursions possible whilst staying at lodges on this trip. These are usually best arranged in advance so talk to us.


Tribal Textiles Tour

Tribal Textiles Tour

One - two hours

Visit the Tribal Textiles workshop, where hand-painted textiles are produced by more than a hundred local people. The workshop is close to Mfuwe Airport, so is ideally placed for a stop en route to/from the South Luangwa. With products ranging from cushion covers to bags and T-shirts, it's a great place for souvenir shopping while at the same time supporting the local community.

More about Tribal Textiles Tour
Rhino Walk

Rhino Walk

Around four hours - mornings only

Spend an unforgettable morning on a walking safari tracking Mosi-oa-Tunya’s small population of white rhino, with a strong chance of being able to approach these endangered creatures on foot.

More about Rhino Walk
93% (3 reviews)
The Elephant Café

The Elephant Café

Approximately four hours

Visiting The Elephant Café is a great combination of a magical elephant encounter and fine dining. Spend time getting to know the elephants, some of them rescued from the wild many years ago, and others born into the herd. Then sit down and enjoy a delicious meal overlooking the Zambezi.

More about The Elephant Café
80% (1 reviews)
Chobe Day Trip

Chobe Day Trip

Full day - typically around 11 hours

For a top safari experience while visiting the Victoria Falls, don’t miss a day trip to Botswana’s Chobe National Park. Easily reachable from Livingstone, Zambia or Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Chobe boasts some of the best wildlife densities in southern Africa, with exceptional numbers of elephant drawn by the permanent waters of the Chobe River.

More about Chobe Day Trip
Microlight Flight

Microlight Flight

15 or 30 minutes

For pure exhilaration, it's hard to find something better than flying in a microlight, swooping through the spray that crashes up and off the Victoria Falls, with rainbows shimmering below. If you don't like heights, then this isn't for you! For those looking for a different way to see the Falls, the microlight flights offer a stunning birds eye view of this spectacular natural wonder.

More about Microlight Flight
100% (1 reviews)
Kawaza Village Visit

Kawaza Village Visit

Two to three hours

Just outside Zambia's South Luangwa National Park lies a normal, working rural African village which is open and welcoming to visitors to the Luangwa valley. There is nothing artificial or contrived about Kawaza Village, and it offers a rare opportunity to experience and appreciate Kunda culture, and meet local Zambians.

More about Kawaza Village Visit
100% (1 reviews)
Livingstone Island & Devil's Pool

Livingstone Island & Devil's Pool

Three hours

Victoria Falls is one of the world's natural wonders, and a huge attraction for many visitors to southern Africa. We're often asked if the waterfall is best viewed from the Zambian or Zimbabwean side, but we think the best way to experience the full majesty of the falls is from the middle with a visit to Livingstone Island.

More about Livingstone Island
100% (6 reviews)
Fishing on the Zambezi River

Fishing on the Zambezi River

Three hours or Seven hours

Many people head to Livingstone not just to see the Victoria Falls, but also to relax after an international flight or a busy safari, and a perfect way to do this is with a fishing trip on the calmer sections of the Zambezi River above the falls, drifting with the current, casting your line, and keeping an eye out for wildlife on the banks.

More about Fishing
80% (1 reviews)
Helicopter Flight - Zambia

Helicopter Flight - Zambia

12 or 25 minute flights

Witnessing the power of the Victoria Falls from the ground is a stunning sight, but to see the world’s largest waterfall from the air is a very different experience! A helicopter flight over the Falls is truly incredible, and a worthy addition to your time in Livingstone.

More about Helicopter Flight
100% (7 reviews)
Royal Livingstone Express

Royal Livingstone Express

Four hours approx.

The Royal Livingstone Express is a lovingly restored steam train. Guests steam along the original Rhodesian railway line onto the stunning Victoria Falls Bridge. From here guests can marvel at the falls and the Batoka Gorge before enjoying 5-courses of fine dining.

More about Royal Livingstone Express
87% (3 reviews)
Historical Bridge Tour

Historical Bridge Tour

Two hours - AM & PM departures

A feat of engineering the Victoria Falls Bridge was built in 1905 as part of Cecil Rhodes' vision to link the Cape to Cairo. With an expert guide and the appropriate safety equipment you'll not only discover the wonders of this Victorian marvel but also gain a unique perspective of the Victoria Falls themselves.

More about Bridge Tour
Guided tour of Victoria Falls

Guided tour of Victoria Falls

Two hours - AM & PM departures

One of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, the mighty Victoria Falls has to be seen to be believed. Why not take an expertly guided trip to learn about the history, geology, flora and fauna of one of Africa's most spectacular sites?

More about Tour of the Falls
100% (4 reviews)

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