South Luangwa National Park is known in safari circles for being the home of the walking safari in Zambia. Back in the 1960’s conversationalist Norman Carr pioneered these safaris and despite his death, his family and other operators continue his legacy from camps around the park. Guests have the option of either partaking in game drives and walks (around 3 – 4 hours) from their camp or enjoying a mobile walking safari adventure.
These mobile camping safaris are normally undertaken with a night at the start and finish in one of more permanent and luxurious camps. The actual camping and walking experience caters for 2 – 4 guests who ‘camp out’ for 2 – 3 nights in the Nsefu sector of the park.
After an incredible 2 night stay at Tena Tena Camp, 3 of us set off on our mobile camping experience with our guide Deb. The first walk was around 4 hours through some incredible scenery. We were thrilled to encounter 3 elephants within a few meters of us. There is something so special about being on foot and appreciating not only the big game but also those smaller things, which are so often missed on game drives.
Initially I felt a little apprehensive about being so ‘exposed’ but all my fears were eliminated when we realised how experienced Debs and her guides were. I became convinced that Debs was a female Dr Doolittle! She had such an incredible affinity with the bush and it was her intimate knowledge and obvious love of her surroundings that made the experience so much more memorable and exciting. What stories she had to tell!
After our morning walk, we arrived at our campsite all set up for us ahead of time including a bucket shower and comfortable tents. We were astounded as to the quality of the lunch we enjoyed while overlooking the river. Following an afternoon walk we enjoyed dinner and drinks around the camp fire while marveling at an incredible South Luangwa sunset. After dark the stars lit up the sky and Debs our guide entertained us with exciting stories of her wildlife encounters. What a thrill it was lying in my tent looking through the mosquito nets trying to glimpse wildlife in the moonlight.
The rest of the camping safari continued with many exciting animal sightings and found memories of the camping.
This article was brought to you by Mahlatini’s Sarah Fox who enjoyed her safari in Zambia.