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Robin Pope Safaris walking safari
Robin Pope Safaris walking safari
Robin Pope Safaris walking safari
Robin Pope Safaris walking safari
Robin Pope Safaris walking safari
Robin Pope Safaris walking safari

Robin Pope Safaris walking safari


12°59’30.0"S 31°34’39.3"E

Robin Pope Safaris walking safari: Our full report

Robin Pope Safaris offers the only real mobile camping option in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park.

Their mobile walking safari gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the wilderness, getting in touch with nature and staying in simple, but comfortable, mobile camps.

Many of our favourite spots in the South Luangwa are small, rustic bushcamps that concentrate on walking safaris. Some walking trips are based at one camp, while on others you walk from camp to sister camp, staying at each in turn.

By running a mobile walking safari camp along the Mupamadzi River, in the far north of the South Luangwa National Park, Robin Pope Safaris has taken walking safaris a step further.

A typical safari lasts seven nights, with set departure dates. You’ll start with a night at Nkwali Camp, one of Robin Pope’s permanent camps, then be driven nearly 100km into the bush to start the walking safari.

The next five nights are spent in mobile tented camps. During the day, in a group of a maximum of six people, you’ll walk with experienced guides, armed spotters and a 'tea-bearer' – a member of the camp's staff who acts as another experienced pair of eyes, whilst carrying vital supplies of tea, coffee, cold drinks and delicious cakes for refreshment stops along the way. The rest of the staff move on ahead to set up the camp for your arrival.

The mobile camps themselves are simple but comfortable, with walk-in tents, bucket showers (with hot water available) and long-drop toilets. Meals are taken under the stars. There are no fences around the camp, so you can expect to hear animals in camp at night, when there will be a national park scout on watch throughout.

For your final night, you will head back to another RPS camp, Tena Tena, in the game-rich Nsefu sector, for a final game drive to end the trip.

Walking Safaris

Walking in the bush is totally different to game viewing from a vehicle – and it’s not for everyone. If you want to 'tick off' big-game animals, photograph them from close quarters and swiftly go from one large herd of game to the other, then walking is not for you.

You cannot approach animals as closely, or as easily, on foot as you can in a vehicle – but we guarantee you will learn more. You may start off a little sleepy from your early start, but you'll quickly wake. There are no noises except you and the wildlife, so everything you hear must be an animal, a bird, or an insect. With time, patience and a good guide, you can learn to interpret the sounds and secrets of the bush. You'll smell the presence of elephants, perhaps follow the honey-guide bird, and learn about animals from their spoor.

It’s a myth that walking safaris in Zambia are all about strength, speed and endurance. A morning's walk could be anything from 3km to 10km, and more like a nature ramble than a strenuous hike. Plus, your luggage will be transported ahead of you, so you need only carry your camera and binoculars. Your guide might lead you to follow fresh tracks, or to sit under a tree to watch elephants bathing – deciding with the group at the time what looks most promising. With such small groups, these walks are always flexible; there are seldom pre-arranged routes or fixed plans.

If you find the prospect of walking in the bush a little daunting, that's a good sign. A healthy respect for wildlife is vital. Animals can be unpredictable and, occasionally, dangerous. However, the expert level of guiding on all these trips should reassure you. The Luangwa Valley has become the centre for walking safaris because of its stringent tests for guides, and the park rules that dictate that an armed game scout and a guide must accompany every group. It's one of the safest places to walk in Africa.

A walking safari highlights the African bush at its best: a live, sharp, spine-tingling experience that's hard to beat and very addictive. Be careful though: watching game from a vehicle may never be the same again!

If you like the idea of fly-camping, but want a much shorter experience of this kind of trip, then consider slotting a night or two at an RPS Bushcamp into your itinerary.


An RPS walking safari is a brilliant way to experience the wilderness of the South Luangwa.
Purely walking safaris don’t suit everyone, so if luxury and four walls are a priority, it might be worth looking at some of our permanent tented camps in the national park. However, if you are looking for adventure in remote, untouched areas of the park, sleeping out under the stars, with no vehicles in sight, we would highly recommend this option.


Our view

An RPS walking safari is a brilliant way to experience the wilderness of the South Luangwa.
Purely walking safaris don’t suit everyone, so if luxury and four walls are a priority, it might be worth looking at some of our permanent tented camps in the national park. However, if you are looking for adventure in remote, untouched areas of the park, sleeping out under the stars, with no vehicles in sight, we would highly recommend this option.

Megan Green

Megan Green

Country manager: Zambia

Geographics

Location
South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Ideal length of stay
Note that these trips run on set date departures lasting either seven or nine nights.
Accessible by
Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Full Board & Activities

Special interests

Solo Travel
Robin Pope Safaris' walking safaris are our top tip for single travellers to Zambia; they are an extraordinary experience and they're also very social. With busy days, small groups and no single-person supplements, these trips are perfect for solo travellers.
See ideas for Solo Travel
Birdwatching
South Luangwas birding is varied and the Robin Pope Safari guides are generally very knowledgeable about the species.
See ideas for Birdwatching

Children

Attitude towards children
Generally recommended for children
No

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Robin Pope walking

Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Robin Pope Safaris walking safari have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.

Buffalo

100% success

Eland

100% success

Elephant

100% success

Lion

100% success

Roan antelope

100% success

Spotted Hyena

100% success

Wildebeest

100% success

Zebra

100% success

Hippo

50% success

Leopard

50% success

Wild dog

50% success

Giraffe

33% success

Aardvark

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

Sable antelope

0% success

Communications

Water supply
Transported in

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Yes
Dangerous animals
High Risk
Fire safety

Activities

  • 4WD Safari

    4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching

    Birdwatching

  • Cultural excursion

    Cultural excursion

  • Fly-camping

    Fly-camping

  • Guided walking safari

    Guided walking safari

  • Night drive

    Night drive

Extras

Disabled access
Not Possible

Other lodges in South Luangwa National Park

Alternative places to stay in this same area.


Tafika

Tafika

Tafika is one of the best camps in Zambia: naturally built, with few apparent luxuries, but actually very high quality. Service and food are excellent, but the real focus is on top guiding skills and wildlife experience.


98% (280 reviews)
Nkwali

Nkwali

In the heart of South Luangwa, overlooking the river, Nkwali is unusual in being open year round. It offers great safaris; a high standard of food, service and care; and an excellent springboard for Robin Pope's various safaris in the park.


96% (204 reviews)
Kaingo Camp

Kaingo Camp

Kaingo Camp is a small, owner-run camp in a quiet but excellent game area of the Luangwa. Photographers will particularly appreciate the camp’s series of wildlife hides.


97% (191 reviews)
Nsefu

Nsefu

One of the Luangwa's oldest camps, Nsefu is a great safari camp in a remote, beautiful and game-rich location with top-rate guiding.


98% (169 reviews)
Tena Tena

Tena Tena

Tena Tena is one of the Luangwa's best camps in a beautiful location – it's very small, feels very remote and 'in the bush', is run exceedingly well and has top rate guiding.


95% (137 reviews)
Mwamba Bushcamp

Mwamba Bushcamp

Mwamba is a small, fairly simple, owner-run bushcamp in an excellent game area. It offers first-class walking, 4WD safaris and great game hides; come for excellent guides and a real bush feel.


99% (129 reviews)
Chikoko Tree Camp

Chikoko Tree Camp

Chikoko Tree Camp is an excellent small, rustic bushcamp that concentrates on walking safaris, and is run by a top-quality operation.


99% (107 reviews)
Crocodile Bushcamp

Crocodile Bushcamp

Crocodile Bushcamp is a great little rustic bushcamp built to high standards that focuses on excellent walking safaris, with the emphasis on top wildlife guides.


98% (82 reviews)
Kapani Lodge

Kapani Lodge

Just on the south-east side of the national park, Kapani Lodge is the base camp for Norman Carr Safaris, one of the Luangwa's oldest safari operations. It's also a very solid safari camp that has retained lots of character, and runs very well indeed.


95% (80 reviews)
Mchenja Bushcamp

Mchenja Bushcamp

Set in a shady ebony grove on the banks of the Luangwa, Mchenja is a smart tented bushcamp. It combines well with Kakuli and Nsolo – its sister camps with a focus on walking safaris.


98% (63 reviews)
Flatdogs Camp

Flatdogs Camp

A relatively big but very good safari camp, Flatdogs offers value for money with great guiding and good food in a comfortable, relaxed setting.


98% (63 reviews)
Kakuli Bushcamp

Kakuli Bushcamp

Beside the Luangwa River, Kakuli is a comfortable tented bushcamp offering 4WD safaris and walking safaris – the best of which are camp-to-camp walks linking Kakuli with its nearby sister camps.


97% (62 reviews)
Luangwa River Camp

Luangwa River Camp

Luangwa River Lodge is a small and consciously stylish lodge in the Mfuwe area, overlooking the Luangwa River and the South Luangwa National Park beyond – an area renowned for great game.


96% (60 reviews)
Nsolo Bushcamp

Nsolo Bushcamp

Nsolo is a small, comfortable bushcamp overlooking one or two pools in the usually dry Luwi riverbed. It concentrates on walking safaris in an interesting and diverse area, led by a knowledgeable guide.


97% (52 reviews)
Kafunta River Lodge

Kafunta River Lodge

Kafunta is a laid-back, friendly and good-value lodge on the outskirts of South Lunagwa National Park.


96% (39 reviews)
Luwi Bushcamp

Luwi Bushcamp

In a remote part of the South Luangwa National Park, Luwi is a rustic bushcamp whose emphasis is on walking safaris with great guiding and a chance of seeing some rarely seen and elusive antelope.


93% (38 reviews)
Robin Pope Safaris bush-camp

Robin Pope bush-camp

RPS bushcamping in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia


99% (25 reviews)
Lion Camp

Lion Camp

Lion Camp is an established and comfortable camp with a swimming pool, located near to the game-rich Lion Plain in the northern part of South Luangwa National Park.


94% (22 reviews)
Kapamba Bushcamp

Kapamba Bushcamp

In the remote far south of South Luangwa National Park, Kapamba is a small and very comfortable bushcamp offering good walks and game drives.


94% (17 reviews)
Luangwa Safari House

Luangwa Safari House

Luangwa Safari House is a vast and very smart four-bedroom house specifically designed for families and small groups, and offering an exclusive and flexible safari experience.


100% (14 reviews)
Kuyenda Bushcamp

Kuyenda Bushcamp

Kuyenda Bushcamp is a classic bushcamp with particularly delightful hosts and offers top-class walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park.


99% (14 reviews)
Chinzombo

Chinzombo

Opened in early June 2013, Chinzombo offers luxurious and stylish accommodation with very high levels of service and excellent guiding.


98% (13 reviews)
Bilimungwe Bushcamp

Bilimungwe Bushcamp

A smart bushcamp with four very spacious chalets, Bilimungwe offers interesting walking safaris in pretty riverine woodland, as well as day and night safari drives.


95% (12 reviews)
Mfuwe Lodge

Mfuwe Lodge

In a game-rich area close to the South Luangwa’s main Mfuwe Gate, Mfuwe Lodge is relatively large by park standards, but it’s stylish, modern and family friendly.


92% (12 reviews)
Puku Ridge

Puku Ridge

Puku Ridge is a luxurious designer camp set in a stunning location, high on a hill overlooking a floodplain within South Luangwa. Explore from here on 4WD safaris and walks.


95% (12 reviews)
Kawaza Village

Kawaza Village

Kawaza Village – beside the South Luangwa National Park, offers guests the rare opportunity to appreciate local village life. Visit for a few hours or stay overnight.


95% (11 reviews)
Robin's House

Robin's House

With your own expert guide, private vehicle, chef and valet, the two-bedroom Robin's House offers an exclusive, flexible safari experience – and is open year round.


95% (11 reviews)
Three Rivers Camp

Three Rivers Camp

In the remote far south of South Luangwa National Park, Three Rivers Lodge is being constructed by the confluence of three of the valleys rivers.


94% (10 reviews)
Island Bush Camp

Island Bush Camp

Island Bushcamp is a good-value, rustic, walking-only camp, in arguably one of the most remote parts of the South Luangwa, well away from all other camps.


100% (9 reviews)
Chindeni

Chindeni

Chindeni Bushcamp is a very modern and minimalist camp, which is a far cry from your traditional bushcamp and unlike most of the other camps in South Luangwa.


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Chamilandu Bushcamp

Chamilandu Bushcamp

A very comfortable little bushcamp, Chamilandu has a picturesque setting by the Luangwa River, with a range of habitats that can be explored on foot and by 4WD, day and night.


100% (5 reviews)
Mwamba Camp-out

Mwamba Camp-out

The Mwamba-Camp Out allows you to have an incredibly adventurous night in the bush, sleeping under mosquito nets with activities led by some of the best guides in Zambia.


90% (4 reviews)
Zungulila

Zungulila

Zungulila is a small, comfortable tented bushcamp with an emphasis on walking safaris, in the remote southern section of the South Luangwa.


93% (3 reviews)
Chichele Presidential Lodge

Chichele Lodge

Chichele Presidential Lodge stands within the park on a hill with superb views. Its hotel-like, air-conditioned rooms and child-friendly attitude make it ideal for families or those who don't want to get too close to the bush outside.


100% (1 review)
Luwi Riverbed Sleepout

Luwi Riverbed Sleepout

For an adventurous night in South Luangwa National Park, come and sleep out in the bush, around a campfire, with an experienced guide and game scout.


100% (1 review)
Mapazi Camp

Mapazi Camp

Mapazi Camp is a basic safari camp in the far north of the South Luangwa, with walking safaris led by renowned guide Deb Tittle.


No reviews yet
Shawa Luangwa Camp

Shawa Camp

Due to open in June 2020, we’re expecting Shawa Luangwa Camp to be a small, intimate and rustic camp, with a good location in a remote section of the South Luangwa National Park.


No reviews yet
Chikunto Safari Lodge

Chikunto

Chikunto Safari Lodge is a new property in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park, sitting on a peninsula of land created by the meandering Luangwa River.


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