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10 Days Zambezi Canoeing and Kafue National Park Safari in Zambia

Pioneer Lodge, Lusaka, Zambia

Unforgettable and Unique Zambia Safari

You have been expected by Absolute Zambia Safaris to explore the great nature of Zambia! With canoe safari along the Zambezi River, you may expect to see abundant wildlife along the river from the Lower Zambezi National Park and with the combination of having your last two nights in Kafue National Park gives a more complete experience with game drives, walking safari and boat cruise in the Kafue National Park. The guides have vast experience and knowledge of nature, wildlife birds and local habitat, culture, and general knowledge as they have been guiding in these areas for many years. Absolute Zambia Safaris will make your safari experience in Zambia unforgettable!

Key information

  • Group safari
  • Group size: Maximum of 6 persons per vehicle
  • Children from the age of 12 years are allowed to participate under the supervision of a parent or guardian.
  • Starts in Chirundu and ends in Kafue National Park
  • English speaking guide
  • Park fees are partially included, fees not included are 150 USD per person

Highlights

  • 5 - 6 days of canoeing activities
  • 3 days of Kafue National Park safari
  • Elephants, hippos, buffaloes, lions, and leopards viewing
  • Park and conservation fees in Kafue National park
  • Three meals a day and beverages
  • 9 nights’ accommodation
  • All transfers

Styles


9 activity days
Airport transfer included: Kenneth Kaunda International Airport
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Accommodation

During the canoe activities from day two to six, you will be accommodated in a camping tent provided by Absolute Zambia Safaris. Two-man industrial mosquito netted bow tents are used. These allow for a full view of the night sky and give maximum aeration.

Fold out mattresses, sleeping bags, sheet liners, and airline pillows are also provided, but guests may bring their own sleeping bags if desired. Other equipment includes cooler boxes, tables, chairs, gas cookers, melamine crockery, and cutlery plus other practical items to ensure a reasonable level of comfort on safari.

On day one and day seven, you will be accommodated in a chalet in Lusaka. From day eight to the end of the safari, you will be accommodated at Mukambi Safari Lodge in Kafue National Park. Commonly known as “the gateway to The Kafue National Park”, Mukambi Safari Lodge is centrally located in the park, right on the banks of the stunning Kafue River.

The lodge has eight comfortable en-suite chalets for two persons with one family unit (four persons) with en-suite bathroom (rondavel type), 24 hours electricity and hot water. Chalets come with either one queen size, double bed, or two single beds with cotton sheets, duvet (extra blankets available) and mosquito nets.

The bathroom comes with shower, toilet, basin, and mirror. Outside terrace with chairs and side table are also available. The main area houses a bar, restaurant, and Wi-Fi. There is also a swimming pool in the area and several decks which overlook the Kafue River.

Program

Day 1: Meet and greet / transfer to Pioneer Lodge

When you arrive at the airport, there will be meet and greet by a representative who will assist you with luggage and immigration and transfer you to Pioneer Lodge where you spend one night before your amazing canoeing safari. After arrival, check in, and relax.

Day 2: Mtondo Island

Enjoy morning breakfast at Pioneer Lodge and transfer to Zambezi Breeze where your wonderful canoeing safari will start. Meet at Zambezi Breezes Lodge in Chirundu at approximately 10:00 for a two-hour road transfer downstream to the launch site. After a briefing and lunch on the banks of the river, you start your afternoon canoeing Mtondo Island for your first night camp, arriving at around 17:00. Canoeing on this day is kept to mainstream and is easy going with a strong current. You then set the camp followed by tea / coffee, snacks, and later dinner before retiring for the night.

Day 3: Chikwenya Island

Canoeing starts early after morning tea / coffee and biscuits. Approximately at 06:30, depart Mtondo Island for a downstream breakfast stop at approximately after two-hour canoeing. Continue through the Lower Zambezi National Park for lunch between 12:30 to 14:00 out of the midday sun. You then canoe through to your second nights camp on or around Chikwenya Island (weather permitting). This day, you cover a good 25 kilometers of the river through both Mana Pools National Park and the Lower Zambezi National Park.

Day 4: G Camp Area

As above in daily routine, on this day, you canoe through offshoot river channels where birdlife and game abound. Guides will stop at points of interest to observe wildlife from time to time. Some parts of the river at this point exceed three kilometers in width with a maze of channels to explore. Again, both sides of the river at this point are flanked by superb national parks where one is likely to see the highest concentration of game on the river. Tonight, you set camp at G. Camp channels in a densely populated game area.

Day 5: False Mupata Gorge

Today, you exit Mana Pools National Park and enter safari area on the south bank while continuing through the Lower Zambezi National Park to the north. The river begins to narrow down and the current becomes stronger as the river progresses into what is known as the False Mupata Gorge.

From this point, the safari is confined to the mainstream for approximately 30 kilometers as you pass through this scenic gorge with steep rock formations and cliff edges. Camp on this night is selected from one of many pristine sandy beaches on the mainland within the confines of the gorge.

Day 6: Red Cliffs area

This day is spent canoeing through the rest of the Mupata Gorge, observing the 300 million-year-old volcanic rock formations that form part of the Great Rift Valley. Around midday, the canoes exit the gorge and the guide proceeds through to Red Cliffs for lunch and a break from the midday heat before continuing on to the nights' island campsite.

However, depending on connecting flights the following day, the guide may consult with the team as to a more suitable camping site closer to the endpoint. However, Absolute Zambia Safaris does recommend that connecting flights are caught the day after the safari ends so as not to rush the end of this trip.

Day 7: Transfer to Pioneer Lodge in Lusaka

Depending on the selection of campsite, there is an early rise tea / coffee and breakfast before the remaining paddle through to the end of the canoeing safari. The take-out point is reached at approximately 09:00 for the return transfer to Lusaka. This drive is in an open-backed Land Cruiser with a shaded canopy.

Alternatively, and depending on the group’s requirements and wishes, you may continue to paddle on the day five through to the Feira take out point. This means, the transfer will be able to leave earlier for the return five-hour trip to Lusaka, but it means there will be no canoeing on the last day. Lunch will be on the way back on the roadside under a tree.

When you arrive at the finishing point for your canoeing safari, a driver will be waiting for you, welcome and transfer you to Pioneer Lodge where you will relax and overnight.

Day 8: Transfer to Mukambi Safari Lodge

Morning breakfast and transfer to Mukambi Safari Lodge in Kafue National Park. This will be an adventurous road trip, passing through villages and most of it is in the bush, so there is a lot to see along the way and the fact that it is a private safari means you have the flexibility to stop along the way when you find something interesting.

Upon arrival, you will be welcomed and checked in then lunch will be served for you, later you will go out for the night game drive or boat cruise then dinner and bed.

Day 9: Mukambi Safari Lodge in Kafue National Park

You will begin your day with breakfast and then go for morning game drive you can choose to do a walking safari and return to the lodge for lunch break and relax time. Later afternoon tea and night game drive and return to the lodge for dinner and bed.

Day 10: Transfer to Lusaka

Morning will start with breakfast and depending on your flight time out of Lusaka, a driver will pick you up after breakfast or after morning game drive / walking safari. You will be transferred to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) in Lusaka for your onward connection.

Location

This tour will take place in Zambia and camping will happen at the island that is between Zambia and Zimbabwe. You will be canoeing along the Zambezi River and the you will spend your last two nights in Kafue National Park where you will do a lot of game drives and walking safaris.

Kafue National Park

Found in the center of Western Zambia, Kafue National Park is the oldest and largest of Zambia’s national parks. It covers a massive 22,400 square kilometers. First established as a national park in the 1950’s by the legendary Norman Carr, Kafue is one of the largest national parks in the whole of Africa.

Despite its size and prominent location only two hours drive from Livingstone, it remains little-known and largely unexplored with vast tracts of its virgin bush still untouched. Thanks to its size and variety of habitat types the Kafue holds a fantastic diversity of wildlife.

In recent years, the park has seen a well-managed growth in the number of safari camps and lodges that operate in and around the park. This new interest has brought with it more visitors and investment to the area, notably in infrastructure with a number of well-graded roads and airstrips. As a consequence of the increasing interest and benefits in terms of investment this brings, the wildlife is beginning to enjoy an increased level of protection by the Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), always aided and supported by the operators in and adjoining the park.

Zambia

Zambia is a big country as large as France, Switzerland, Austria, and Hungary combined, covering some 750,000 square kilometers and lying in the tropical belt on South Central Africa, 10 to 18 degrees south of the equator.

Being on a high plateau, averaging 1,300 meters above sea level, the climate is very temperate with little humidity. The country is landlocked but has many, lakes and rivers with beaches and water sports to be enjoyed in uncrowned and uncluttered surroundings.

Indeed, the unspoiled nature of Zambia is perhaps its greatest tourist asset. Rich in scenery and wildlife, Zambia today has become the tourist heart of a great continent which offers something that is becoming progressively rare in this shrinking world, the chance to escape from holiday masses and sour something of an environment that has remained unchanged since the very beginning of time.

Food

Three meals a day, cordial soft drinks, and safe, treated water is supplied on every safari. Those wishing to bring their own bottled water may do so. Cooler boxes are provided should clients wish to bring their own selection of beverages for the duration of the canoeing safari in the Lower Zambezi. While in Kafue National Park, all three meals per day and drinks are included excluding selective brand of wines.

Daily meals plan

Unless notified, meals will follow the program below. Please note that Absolute Zambia Safaris requires prior warning of at least two weeks to cater for special diets or allergies to particular ingredients, etc. The main dinners are in most cases part pre-cooked and deep frozen prior to the safari, so it is important to have sufficient notice of what is required.

Early morning: Start with tea / coffee and biscuits before setting off downstream after packing up canoes and clearing camp.

Breakfast: Generally, after several hours of canoeing, the trip will stop for everyone to stretch their legs while the guide prepares an English breakfast of tinned fruit, eggs, bacon, sausages, etc., then toast with marmalade or jam. Tea and coffee are served before starting off again.

Lunch: An assortment of cold meats, green salads, rolls, and cheeses are served, along with a variety of sauces and pickled vegetables to complete the meal.

Dinner: Assortments of snacks are served followed by a full dinner consisting of beef, chicken, or mutton as main course options with two green vegetables and a carbohydrate of potatoes, rice, or pasta.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 5 to 6 canoe safaris
  • 3 days safari in Kafue National Park
  • Boat cruise safaris
  • Walking safaris on request
  • Camping gear
  • 9 nights’ accommodation
  • 3 meals a day and beverages as specified in the itinerary
  • Transfer from Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) to Pioneer Lodge in Lusaka
  • Transfer from Pioneer Lodge to Zambezi Breeze in the Lower Zambezi
  • Transfer from Pioneer Lodge to Mukambi Safari Lodge in Kafue National Park
  • Transfer from Mukambi Safari Lodge to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) for yours onwards arrangement
  • Park and conservation fees while in Kafue National Park

What's not included

  • Park entry fees of 150 USD per person for the whole trip
  • Visa fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Anything of personal nature

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 90 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 45 days before arrival.

Value for money
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