Although our classic South Luangwa Walking Safari cuts a unique swathe through most of the length of the Valley, there is a little-known area to the furthest, southwest, tip of the Park, that offers a totally different walking experience, untroubled by the presence of other visitors. This area's location can be seen on the map below.
The only camps in this area are Kafunta River Lodge's renowned Island Bush Camp, together with their 'Three Rivers Bush Camp' (currently under construction).
However your visit here begins with a night or two spent at Kafunta River Lodge itself, situated close to the Park's main gate, and Mfuwe airport, and one of our favourite camps in the area.
From here you can undertake conventional game viewing, but with the bonus that their entry into the Park is usually by means of a separate river crossing, immediately taking you into a more remote area of the Park, replete with exciting big game.
You will then take a drive down partway to Three Rivers Bush Camp, walking the remainder of the distance into camp. After spending a couple of nights here, you will walk on to their Island Bush Camp itself, which is a very different experience in its own right. From here a number of walks can be taken in a quite pristine wilderness.
Our SafariDiary website (Days 16 to 19 of the Zambia(1) Itinerary) will give you a greater insight into what can be experienced during a stay at the Island Bush Camp, although here we are planning rather more in the way of walking than we actually undertook on the trip described in this way.
Following a few nights' stay here you will then be returned to Kafunta River Lodge itself. However the final bonus involved in this itinerary is a further walk within the Park to the remarkably remotely situated Puku Ridge Camp further inland and to the west. See our own video of Puku Ridge.
Puku Ridge Camp, above, is a quintessential bush camp which, being built on a hillside, provides stunning vistas of the floodplain below. From here you will be able to take an afternoon game drive, followed, after the now familiar sundowners, by an exciting night drive.
The following morning you will take an extended walk through the surrounding area, ending up at the Chichele Presidential Lodge, where the contrast in design is absolute: Chichele is indeed presidential in concept! It was originally the personal home of the then President, Kenneth Kaunda, and Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip once stayed there.
From here on your final morning you will walk to the bank of the Luangwa River, directly opposite to Kafunta River Lodge. Here you will be met by representatives from Kafunta, and escorted across the river by pontoon, vehicle or on foot (depending on the water level).
From here, being located close to the main gate area of the South Luangwa Park, you may then continue your trip in whatever manner has been planned.
The targeted cost of three nights at Kafunta, four nights at their bush camps, and one night each at Puku Ridge and Chichele (nine nights in total) comes out to around $4900 per person in high season. This is an example only: the actual trip could be longer or shorter.
Kafunta River Lodge
The Island Bush Camp
Puku Ridge Camp
Puku Ridge Lounge Area