Mana Pools and Luangwa Valley


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Dates: 2 – 10 November 2020

Availability: yes

Rates:$8329 and is based on 4 people travelling

Overview:

Join photographer David Rogers on an exciting safari expedition to two of Africa’s premier game reserves along two giant rivers. The 9 day photo-trip includes 4 nights in Mana Pools National Park and 5 nights in South Luangwa National Park.

Photographers can expect

  • Two great parks on two great rivers
  • Great wild dog sightings
  • Elephants reaching up for Albida pods
  • Awesome river landscapes
  • Being on foot with wildlife
  • An exciting boat trip down the Zambezi

How we rate Mana Pools and Luangwa Valley

Wildlife  starstarstarstarstar
Wilderness  starstarstarstarstar
Lodge  starstarstarto star
Dining  starstarstar
Vehicles  starstarstarstar
Guides  starstarstarstar

The itinerary

2, 3, 4, 5 November: Johns Camps Mana Pools

6, 7, 8: Nsefu Luangwa

9, 10: Nkwali Camp Luangwa

The journey begins in Mana Pools National Park where we will base ourselves at John’s Camp. This tented camp is named after John Stevens who is one of the truly great guides of Africa and his spirit of expedition has been maintained by his son-in- law Milo and Robin Pope Safaris who now run this classic tented camp. The camp has just 6 en suite Meru tents and has a common dining area and star gazing platform. There is no wifi here and we will use communal charging facilties. It can get hot but the rooms are equipped with fans.

A short walk from the camp is the Zambezi River – one of the great rivers of Africa – and the amazing photographic backdrop of the Zambezi Escarpment.  Mana Pools does not allow off road guiding and most activities will be on foot. It is important that guests on this trip are highly mobile and be prepared to carry camera gear and be able to respond quickly should situations develop.  We will of course have an armed guide at our side and the Zambezi guides are hugely experienced at getting people safely into very close up situations.

The first week of November is at the end of the dry season and at this time of year.The albidia or camel thorn trees provide nutritious elephant snacks. So intent are they on their pods that some of the elephant bulls have developed the skill of standing on their hind legs to reach them. The stars of the show are Boswell (named after a circus company that used to operate in South Africa) and another called Fred Astaire who performs the same trick but often with a little wiggle of the hips before he reaches upwards.John’s Camp is secreted away from the busy areas on the edge of a wilderness area and the guides pride themselves on getting away from the crowds.

We will leave John’s Camp by boat and journey up the river for 2 hours before making a border crossing at Chirundu where we go through customs and head by road to Lusaka. The journey takes roughly 2 hours and we will end at Lusaka Airport where we will meet a flight that will take us to Mfuwe and then to Nsefu.

Nsefu Camp is the oldest camp in Zambia and it’s a national monument status has been retained giving it a charming olde world atmosphere. The rondavels have bathrooms added on the back and have breeze-air conditioning in the mossie nets – an innovation which ranks among one of the great wonders of the unnatural world. I have been visiting Nsefu for years and its known for its amazing lion, leopard and wild dog sightings. Here we will be mostly doing game drives and will explore the region, including the stork colony, and up to the salt pans which is great for seeing cranes.

This trip is planned for early November at the end of the high season. This time of year we are able to have single supplements waived and also take advantage of rates which are 50% of the high season rates. It should be noted that there is a chance of thunderstorm activity and this can affect the concentrations of animals. Over the past 10 years of running workshops at this time of year, rain in Mana and in South Luangwa we have had rain only once and as a result we did not see many elephants. However, wild dogs, lion and other sightings were not affected.

Getting there:

Arrival is via Lusaka, Harare or from Victoria Falls.

Optional add-on:

We suggest a few days to relax in Victoria Falls.