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Zambia is a magnificent country, richin areas of pristine wilderness andblessed with countless national parksand wildlife reserves. On this unusualsafari we combine exploration of two ofthe most exciting and most remote ofthese areas with a stay in South Luangwa,one of Africa's finest national parks. OurMay visit coincides with the 'green'season, when the country is at its mostbeautiful, birds are breeding and sportingtheir finest plumages, and when the waterlevels in Kasanka and the BangweuluSwamps are high . and best suited to thespecialist requirements of their mostsought-after inhabitants - the Shoebill,Black Lechwe and Sitatunga. By contrast,our November group arrives with the firstshowers that follow a long dry season; atime when huge numbers of Elephantscongregate around the waterholes ofSouth Luangwa, large colonies of CarmineBee-eaters form, and a spectacular influxof fruit bats transforms Kasanka. We begin in the remote BangweuluSwamps, in the north-eastern corner ofZambia, after a private charter flight fromLusaka. This seasonally inundatedwilderness is not unlike a small-scaleOkavango Delta and, in May, its waterlevels are at their highest after the longrainy season. Unlike the Okavango,however, the Bangweulu Swamps havebeen by-passed by tourism due to theirremote situation and seasonalaccessibility. We will almost certainly have them to ourselves during our 3-nightstay at the only tented camp in the area - fabulously located in the heart of Shoebill country. The endangered Shoebill, a huge andstrangely dodo-like species of stork,breeds in these swamps and may often beviewed from the comfort of our campduring May. However, to see the best ofBangweulu's fine selection of both birdsand mammals, we will spend as much timeas possible exploring the region's lakesand channels in dugout canoes. In additionto the enigmatic Shoebill, Bangweulu hostsa profusion of wetland birds, includingYellow-billed and Knob-billed Duck, White-faced Tree Duck, Hottentot and Red-billedTeal and Long-toed Plover. Other species,such as Fiscal Shrike, White-cheeked Bee-eater and Coppery Sunbird, augment thevariety. The swamps also shelter aremarkable number of mammals, the mostimportant being the Black Lechwe, agraceful, water-loving antelope which canbe found here in herds of tens ofthousands. This unique environment ishome, too, to Elephant, Buffalo, Tsessebe,Oribi and many Sitatunga.Less than 100 kilometres south ofBangweulu lies Kasanka National Park, oneof Zambia's smallest but most diverseparks, holding a rich variety of flora andfauna. Located on the southern fringe of theBangweulu basin, close to the Congoleseborder, it holds an impressive variety ofhabitats, ranging from evergreen swampforest and extensive papyrus marshes, tolarge tracts of miombo woodlandintersected by complex river systems.Lakes, lagoons and alluvial plains add tothe diversity of the region, which we willexplore by boat and in 4-wheel drivevehicles from our comfortable bush camp base. Blue Monkey, a local rarity, and the elusive Yellow-backed Duiker arefound here, together with the shy, swamp-dwelling Sitatunga which probably occurshere in greater concentrations thananywhere else in Africa. We should also find Elephant, Lichtenstein's Hartebeest,Reedbuck, Waterbuck, Black-backedJackal, Yellow Baboon, Spotted Hyaena and Burchell's Zebra whilst, in November,Kasanka hosts a unique wildlife spectacleas around five million fruit bats congregatefrom all across central Africa to feed on the forest fruits, filling the sky at dusk asthey leave their roosts. Birds, too, areabundant in Kasanka, which holds manyspecies that go unrecorded in the rest ofthe country, such as Red and Blue Sunbird,Green-headed Sunbird, Black-backed,Anchieta's and Whyte's Barbets, togetherwith Ross's and Knysna Louries, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Pel's Fishing Owl and Wattled Crane. From Kasanka we will fly to the LuangwaValley for a 4-night stay at the luxuryKafunta River Lodge. Bounded by theMchinga Escarpment to the west and theLuangwa River to the east, the SouthLuangwa National Park supports aconcentration of wildlife unsurpassed insouthern Africa. The sweeping turns of theLuangwa River, full of Hippos and NileCrocodiles, and its complex, ever-changingpans and still waters, provide the backdropfor Lion, Elephant, Greater Kudu, Eland,Puku and a multitude of other animals. Thepark is most famous for its large numbersof Leopards, which we will hope to see onoptional night drives, and a wealth ofwaterbirds and other riverside bird specieswhich include colonies of the exquisiteCarmine Bee-eater.After four days in this magnificent park, wemust fly back from South Luangwa toLusaka to join our return flight to London,reflecting on the remote bush andswampland sights and experiences duringthis very special safari. Zambia - Swamps & South LuangwaA unique 12-day safari to Kasanka and South Luangwa National Parks, and the remote Bangweulu Swamps, in search of the enigmatic Shoebill and other unusual birds and mammals.Sunday 4th November - Thursday 15th November 2012 (Mammal special) Cost: £3,895Sunday 5th May - Thursday 16th May 2013 (Shoebill special) Cost: £3,995Sunday 3rd November - Thursday 14th November 2013 (Mammal special) Cost: £3,995Book direct on 01962 733051or see page 284 for Booking InformationBOTSWANA NAMIBIA ANGOLA DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO TANZANIA MOZAMBIQUE MALAWI ZIMBABWE LUANGWA BANGWEULU RIVER SWAMPS KASANKA NATIONAL PARK SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK LUSAKA VICTORIA FALLS LIUWA PLAINS KAFUE RIVER MONGU ZAMBEZI RIVER LAKE KARIBA ZAMBIA Outline itineraryDay 1 Depart London.Day 2/4Bangweulu Swamps.Day 5/6Kasanka National Park.Day 7/10South Luangwa NationalPark.Day 11Lusaka.Day 12Fly London.N.B. Days 2 to 6 are operated inreverse in November, with more timeat Kasanka.AccommodationComfortable permanent tentedcamps and luxury lodges, some withprivate facilities.FoodAll included in the price except forevening meals in Lusaka.GradingA traditional safari-style holiday,wildlife-viewing by vehicle, boat andon foot. Grade A. FocusBirds and mammals. LeaderCliff Waller (May); Andy Smith(November).Single room supplement£495.ExtensionsAvailable on request.Web quick search: ZMB03177Fruit bats, Kasanka National ParkShoebillHippos

The South Luangwa is Zambia's finestnational park and is widely consideredto be one of the greatest wildlifesanctuaries in the world. Bounded by theMchinga Escarpment to the west and theLuangwa River to the east, the parksupports over 60 species of mammal andalmost 500 species of bird, plus aconcentration of wildlife unsurpassed insouthern Africa. The sweeping turns of thebeautiful Luangwa River, full of Hippos andNile Crocodiles, and its complex, ever-changing pans and ox-bow lagoons,provide the backdrop for Lion, Elephant,Greater Kudu, Eland, Puku and a multitudeof other animals. The park is most famousfor its large population of Leopards, whichwe will hope to see on night drives, and awealth of waterbirds and other riversidebird species which include colonies of theexquisite Carmine Bee-eater. During the dryseason, when we visit, the concentration ofgame amassed along the Luangwa Riverand its associated lagoons is as great asany in Africa, indeed the world. It is anunspoiled wilderness, the likes of which arehard to find today, and the wealth ofmammals, birds and other natural historywithin this ecosystem is the focus of this'ultimate' safari. In particular, the specialfeature of this holiday is a 7-night staywithin the park. Here, by using four smalland exclusive bush camps that aresituated, in individual isolation, at intervalsalong the Luwi Valley, we are able to offeryou the opportunity to walk from camp tocamp - a fascinating trek through apeaceful region of the park in which youwill be able to track and watch wildlife onfoot, and are most unlikely to encounterany other tourists! Should you prefer not towalk between the camps, you may choose to drive instead, reserving yourenergy for the morning and eveningwalking safaris that we also offer each day,and for the night-time spotlighting drivesthat are such a feature of a South Luangwasafari (as they are not permitted in manyother African countries).Each of our groups will be limited to amaximum of eight participants, since thebush camps are very small. Each will beled throughout by one of our excellent,English-speaking, local naturalist guides,and also accompanied by an armed scoutduring walking safaris, all of whom willpoint out the tracks and signs that theyuse to interpret the bush. These guides are amongst Africa's best, part of atradition of excellence in local guidingestablished by the late Norman Carr, therenowned pioneer of walking safaris inZambia in the 1950s. We begin our tour with a 2-night stay atKapani. This delightful and verycomfortable thatched lodge lies at theedge of the park and overlooks a lagoonteeming with birdlife, Nile Crocodiles,Hippos and much other wildlife. Above all,it provides the ideal level of comfort andfacilities (including a lovely swimmingpool) amongst which to relax and unwind.Being close to the main gates of SouthLuangwa National Park, it is also the ideal place from which to begin an explorationof the park on morning and evening safaridrives. The latter are completed in thedark, when we attempt to spotlight suchnocturnal mammals as Crested Porcupine, Honey Badger, Large-spottedGenet, African Civet and, above all,Leopard, which is seen in South Luangwamore frequently than in any other park inthe world. Next we drive for 30 kilometres, deep intothe bush of the park, to Luwi Bush Camp, awonderfully rustic camp set in the shade oflarge trees close to a permanent lagoon.The rooms at Luwi have grass walls andthatched roofs, with bathrooms that areopen to the trees and stars above. It issimple and idyllic; utterly peaceful .except for the noises of the night, as Lions,Leopards, Honey Badgers and others huntin the vicinity of - or even through - thecamp! Nsolo, the next bush camp on ouragenda, is similarly small and exquisite -its stilted grass and thatched huts offeringbedroom and balcony views straight intothe bush. Further down the Luwi River, ajourney we can again complete on foot, isKakuli Camp. Sited at the confluence of theLuwi and Luangwa Rivers, Kakuli is atented camp that offers stunning views ofthe river - together with Elephants, otheranimals and birds, and literally hundreds ofHippos and Nile Crocodiles. Game-viewinghere again takes place on foot, although,with a few roads in this area, it is possibleto use vehicles to greater effect - nightdrives being particularly rewarding onaccount of the dense population ofLeopards in this area.Finally, a real taste of luxury awaits us atMchenja. This, the last of our camps, is setunder the shade of immense Ebony Trees,the individually designed tents each havinga bath inside, as well as an outside showerand toilet. The main chitenje houses asmall pool alongside the bar and meals areusually taken on the river bank. The gamein this area of the park is abundant, so ifthere is anything you have yet to see, thechances are you may find it here!Zambia on Foot - Ultimate Africa! The ultimate (12-day) safari, enjoying on foot the mammals, birds and other natural historyof Zambia's magnificent South Luangwa National Park and staying at some of the mostexclusive and luxury bush camps in Africa. Sunday 8th September - Thursday 19th September Cost: £4,795Outline itineraryDay 1Depart London.Day 2/3Kapani Lodge, SouthLuangwa National Park.Day 4/5Luwi Bush Camp, SouthLuangwa National Park.Day 6/7Nsolo Bush Camp,South Luangwa NationalPark.Day 8/9Kakuli Bush Camp,South Luangwa NationalPark.Day 10Mchenja Bush Camp,South Luangwa NationalPark.Day 11South Luangwa, thenfly/overnight Lusaka.Day 12Fly London.AccommodationIn the South Luangwa Valley, luxuryand exclusive lodges and bushcamps throughout (all exceptKapani being situated in remotelocations within the national park).A comfortable tourist hotel is usedin Lusaka. All rooms have privatefacilities.FoodAll included in the price, except formeals in Lusaka. Allow £30.GradingGrade B. This holiday will includeregular morning, evening and night-time safari drives, but its focus is onwalking safaris, primarily aroundand between the four different bushcamps that we will be using. FocusBirds, mammals and the eco-system of South Luangwa. LeadersLocal naturalist guides.Single room supplementGenerally unavailable except onrequest (when £1,495 if available).Web quick search: ZMB05178Call now or visit your free Trip ItineraryBOTSWANA NAMIBIA ANGOLA DEMOCRATICREPUBLIC OF THECONGOTANZANIA MOZAMBIQUE MALAWI ZIMBABWE LUANGWA BANGWEULU RIVER SWAMPS SOUTHLUANGWANATIONAL PARKLUSAKAVICTORIA FALLS LIUWA PLAINS KAFUE RIVER MONGU ZAMBEZI RIVER LAKE KARIBA ZAMBIA Carmine Bee-eatersLeopardOn safari