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10 Days Two Rivers Family Safari in Zambia

  • South Luangwa National Park - Lower Zambezi National Park

African Adventure Zambia Safari

Norman Carr Safaris love having families on safari! They know what it is like to travel with children and the normal safari routine sometimes does not suit younger travelers so, this safari tour can allocate families the proper attention in order for them to set their own routine, enjoy shorter safaris with an emphasis on child friendly activities, and suitable mealtimes and menus.

Highlights

  • Family friendly safari tour
  • Daily game drives in the national parks
  • Night game drive in Luangwa National Park
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • Park fees and levies
  • 10 activity days
  • English
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Kakuli bush camp

Known as the Luangwa river lodge, Kakuli is a tented bush camp with spectacular views on the banks of the Luangwa River which makes for perfect Zambian safari accommodation. It is the only true bush camp open for the green season.

Kakuli means old buffalo bull and it was the nickname affectionately given to Norman Carr by the local people of the Valley. This beautiful camp has four traditional walk-in safari tents each with en-suite bathrooms made with natural materials. The bar and dining chitenje (lounge) is constructed of reed and thatch forming the center point of the camp. The entire camp is on an elevated stretch of river bank overlooking a wide grazing lawn which follows the Luangwa River until it meets the confluence of the Luwi River.

A lovely thatched chitenje acts as the centre of the camp. It is on a wooden deck overlooking the grazing lawn that leads down to the two rivers and is a perfect spot in which to relax and watch the wildlife meander by.

This area of the South Luangwa Park is renowned for offering guests some of the best game viewing opportunities in Zambia. African safari activities from Kakuli can be a mixture of game drives and walking safaris. Guests are able to decide each day if they want to venture out on foot or with the vehicle.

Most evenings however, you will want to explore the area after dark. This stretch of the Luangwa is bustling with predators and the best time to see them in action is during those first few hours of darkness.

Aubrey Njobvu has been the guide and manager at Kakuli for many years and no one knows the resident pride of lion, local leopards, wildlife habits, and hidden wonders around Kakuli like he does.

Kasaka river lodge

Kasaka river lodge is a 20-bed tented camp offering an authentic and memorable safari experience. Nestled on the banks of the Zambezi River in the Chiawa Game Management area it is set in a natural bush environment with each chalet secluded amongst the native flora, only four kilometers by road from the Lower Zambezi National Park.

This is the only stretch on the 2,700 kilometer course of the Zambezi River where one finds national parks on both banks of the river - the Lower Zambezi National Park in

Zambia and the famed Mana Pools World Heritage Site in Zimbabwe. The river extends the length of the property and there are breathtaking views over the water with sightings of buffaloes, elephants, hippos, and crocodiles. The philosophy of combining a tranquil, off the beaten track, destination for guests with support of the local environment, culture, and natural resources is their dream at Kasaka.

Safari accommodation rooms

The rooms are generally spacious, each containing two three-quarter or one king-sized bed. Chinzombo, Mchenja, and Kakuli have family villas or tents with up to three additional beds for children. There is wardrobe and shelving storage in the rooms at all camps, and an indoor or outdoor comfortable seating area and table. Rooms in all camps have en-suite bathroom facilities (in the bush camps these are private open-air bathrooms), with plenty of hot water, towels, and toiletries. After dark, a member of staff will accompany you to and from your room, lighting the way, and watching out for local wildlife.

On arrival in Zambia you will be met at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) also known as Lusaka Airport and will connect to your flight to Mfuwe. You will be met at Mfuwe by one representative of the staff and driven to Chinzombo, where you will have time to settle in before brunch. In the evening your guide will introduce you to one of Africa’s finest national parks, renowned for its variety of wildlife the Luangwa never fails to impress. After dark you will search for predators on the prowl and the myriad of smaller nocturnal animals that make these night drives so interesting.

Your flight from Mfuwe is via Lusaka and will drop you at Royal Airstrip. A short drive from there brings you to Kasaka River Lodge, idyllically set on the Zambezi River. With the steep escarpment behind you and the Zambezi in front few can fail to be moved by what surrounds you at this camp. Activities are varied. You may choose a walk or drive, a sunset boating jaunt, drifting downstream watching buffaloes and elephants playing in the waters as the sun turns them pink, or, for the more adventurous, a paddle in canoes along one of the many channels frequented by hippos, elephants, and bucks.

Family safaris

Norman Carr Safaris love having families on safari. They know what it’s like to travel with children and understand that the normal safari routine sometimes doesn’t suit younger travelers so, they try to allocate families their own guide and vehicle (extra charges may apply) in order for them to set their own routine, enjoy shorter safaris with an emphasis on child-friendly activities, and mealtimes and menus to suit.

There are plenty of safari activities ideally suited to children and many wildlife species can be seen even by these less patient visitors, and great fun can be had tracking and identifying footprints and droppings.

The African bush holds so many treasures and there are few things more rewarding than seeing the awe in a child's face as he is brought close to a herd of elephants or crouches to watch a dung beetle rolling its carefully prepared bundle across the ground.

Whilst most families will want to stay together for their game viewing, there will also be times when the older generations want some time alone, either on a more extensive walking safari than is suited to children, or perhaps just in the bar or at dinner in the evening.

At the start of any family safari Norman Carr Safaris will discuss how you want things to work. They are used to organizing children’s meals at special times, they offer junior game viewing checklists and activities both in the vehicles and on foot (you would be surprised how many different types of dung can be found in the bush just around camp), and they can offer childminding services, posting a member of staff on guard outside your room, whilst you relax over dinner. A dedicated specialist private guide and vehicle can help ensure that the length and content of each safari drive ideally suits you and your family.

Other activities that you may wish to include in your safari holiday are: visiting the local school or village, making traditional clay pots, and learning to play traditional African rhythms on the drums. There are also ‘art safaris’ at the local workshop of tribal textiles, where kids and parents alike can paint and create their very own textile piece to take home.

  • Shaddy

    Based at Chinzombo, Shaddy is a bush camp operations manager, who managed Nsolo for 15 years. He is currently concentrating on private guiding. He worked with Norman at Chinzombo, and participated in a Guides Exchange to the Lower Zambezi. Shaddy is also on the board of examiners for the SLNP guide’s exams.

  • Abraham

    Abraham is also based at Chinzombo, and a bush camp operations manager. Trained under Norman, he is an award winning guide, and has particular knowledge on the Thornicroft giraffe. Abraham also manages the Kapani School Project and is chair of the South Luangwa Guide’s Association.

  • Aubrey

    Aubrey manages Kakuli, and he participated in a guides exchange to Canada in 2010. He has an extreme love of snakes, and manages to find scorpions everywhere.

  • Lawrence

    Lawrence manages Luwi, he is extremely good with kids, and an excellent mimic of birds. He participated in a guides exchange to the Lower Zambezi.

  • Charles

    Charles is a tour guide based at Kapani, a brand new addition to the safari guiding team, and very enthusiastic too. He has guided a few international film crews in the past 12 months.

  • Julius

    Based at Kapani, Julius has a very patient nature, he enjoys guiding photographers, and he reads people very well and takes time to understand his guests.

  • John

    John manages Mchenja and has a keen eye for small details in the bush. He also enjoys mammals and participated in a guides exchange to the Lower Zambezi in 2011.

  • Innocent

    Innocent is based at Liuwa Plain, enjoys photography and guiding photographers, and always has a huge smile on his face. He participated in a guides exchange to the Lower Zambezi.

  • Brian

    Based at Liuwa Plain, Brain is always up for a joke and has a jolly laugh. He is a specialist walking guide around the Luwi River area and he is an expert on hippos as well.He can very well imitate their sound.

  • Philemon

    Philemon manages Nsolo, and he is very gentle and softly spoken with a keen sensitivity to the bush. One of his favourite phrases is ‘this is the google of the bush’. His wife, Dorica, is a fabulous chef and makes the best chicken schnitzel in Mfuwe.

  • Dave

    Dave is the company's managing director and also a walking guide, but doesn’t guide often, much to his disappointment! He completed the Zimbabwean Wildlife darting course in 2008, and is an honorary ranger under the Zambian Wildlife Authority. he took a degree in wildlife science and agribusiness. Dave is fascinated by animal behavior and interactions.

Zambia

Zambia is regarded by many as one of the last true wildernesses and this continent's greatest secret. From the mighty Victoria Falls to the world renowned National Parks of the Luangwa and Zambezi Valleys, there are incredible opportunities to explore and a vast range of habitats, species, terrain, and natural wonders.

Visitor numbers are small as Zambia is not on the main tourist trail. Its vast areas of pristine wilderness have remained unchanged for millennia and the opportunity to explore these areas and to see the wildlife that inhabits them without having to share the experience with too many others is a privilege hard to find these days.

Norman Carr, the pioneer of the walking safaris, said that from a vehicle you can see Africa, but when on foot you experience and feel Africa. You become part of the landscape, no longer just a spectator.

Conservation and creating opportunities in the local community remain priorities, and guiding is still based on the principles that Norman Carr developed. Norman Carr Safaris are all proud to continue in his footsteps and carry on his legacy.

Zambia's wildlife

The Luangwa Valley has one of the highest concentrations of game in Africa, making it a fantastic destination for a safari. The lush riverine vegetation is interspersed with fertile grazing lawns and numerous ox-bow lagoons close to the river itself.

Large pods of hippos occupy many stretches of the river particularly within the park itself, there are estimated to be at least 50 to 100 hippos per kilomter in the most heavily populated stretches. South Luangwa National Park is one of the best places in Africa to see leopard, they are usually a secretive animal but in the Luangwa their habits have changed somewhat as a result of the density of their population, and whilst there’s no guarantee, guests staying longer than two or three days would be extremely unlucky not to see leopards.

Prides of up to 30 lions are common throughout the Valley and the areas around the various bush camps are particularly good for lion. Hyenas are fairly common and their eerie cry, so characteristic of the African bush, can be heard on most nights and often late at night when you’re lying in bed ready for sleep.

Other carnivores that may be seen on your wildlife safari in Zambia's Luangwa Valley are caracal, serval, and side-striped jackal. The wild dog population in the Luangwa is worthy of note as this has been steadily increasing over recent years and sightings of this endangered creature are now quite common.

Baboons and vervet monkeys are the most prolific primates, but the nocturnal bush-baby and night apes are also seen.

The Luangwa River also has an extraordinarily high number of crocodiles. It is not uncommon to see several basking on the riverbanks and sandbanks.

Night drives are a fascinating treat on any safari but particularly so in the Luangwa Valley. Not only is this the time that you are most likely to see the predators hunting, but there are a whole host of animals to be seen which are normally not active during daylight hours. Genets, civets, and mongoose are all common whilst the porcupines and honey-badgers are always very entertaining.

Birdwatching is superb in the Luangwa Valley, with over 400 of Zambia's 732 species of birds living here. There are 39 species of raptor and 47 migrant species, so there is plenty for any birdwatcher to spot throughout the year. Whatever the main emphasis of your safari, you can’t fail to be impressed by the birds with their ridiculously bright colours and intricate songs.

Near the end of the dry season, when the river and oxbow lagoons begin to recede, hundreds of waterbirds can be seen wading through the shallows. The red faced yellow billed storks move with their beaks open underwater, disturbing the muddy water with their feet until the fish stray into their mouths. The pelicans tend to operate in lines abreast, driving the fish before them into shallows before scooping them up into their beak pouches. The striking one meter and sixty centimeters saddle bill stork makes quick darting movements into the water. Then there's the marabou stork, great white egrets, black headed herons, open billed storks, and the stately goliath heron. Amongst the most beautiful are the elegant crowned cranes, with their golden tufts congregating in large flocks at the salt pans and haunting “owani” calls.

You have all meals included in the price of this safari, as well as the standard bar drinks at any accommodation. If you have specific dietary requirements please let Norman Carr Safaris know before you arrive as they can then accommodate most reasonable requests for alternate dietary needs.

During your free time, you may choose a walk or drive, a sunset boating jaunt, drifting downstream watching buffaloes and elephants playing in the waters as the sun turns them pink, or, for the more adventurous, a paddle in canoes along one of the many channels frequented by hippos, elephants, and bucks is also an option.

  • 2 guided game drive safaris per day
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Family friendly safari tour
  • Laundry
  • Mfuwe Airport (MFU) and Royal Airstrip (RYL) transfers
  • Night game drive in Luangwa National Park
  • Park fees and levies
  • Standard bar drinks
  • Domestic flights
  • International flights

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flights to Lusaka Airport also known as Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN). From there you can pick a domestic flight to reach Mfuwe Airport (MFU). Norman Carr Safaris will pick you up from Mfuwe Airport (MFU) and drive you to the safari location.

  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 2 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Testimonials

  • Review by Claire and Roger from Australia
    9 out of 10

    "Last month we had the most amazing holiday organized by Norman Carr Safaris. We stayed at some wonderful properties in Zambia including Chongwe, Luiwi, Nsolo, and Kakuli ending with three nights at Kaya Maya on Likoma Island at Lake Malawi. It is difficult to describe how wonderful the whole experience was except to say that the food is excellent, nothing is too much trouble for the staff, the knowledge of the guides is amazing, and the breath of animals and birds we saw was way beyond any expectations. Whatever your interest is the staff will do their best to accommodate you. If we never have another holiday in Africa this trip was incredible and gave us an amazing experience that we will always treasure."

    Norman Carr Safaris website, edited

  • Review by Laurence & Jean Raymond from Mauritius
    9 out of 10

    "Dear all, a great thank you for having beautifully organized our stay at Chinzombo and Chongwe. Going over our exchange of correspondence, we realize that we did give you a lot of work and that you showed extreme patience in organizing a super stay on these two wonderful sites. It was a great pleasure in meeting Mindy, Elizabeth, Dave, and his charming wife, Josie, Billy, and Ben. Unfortunately we missed Yvonne Price, Chris Liebenberg, and Mario Voss, who made it all possible. Touring the bush with Shaddy and George - two knowledgeable guides - together with their assistants allowed us to take pictures of no less than sixty different birds, elephants, rhinos, crocodiles, lions, kudus, impalas, mokus, baboons, monkeys and, the cherry on the cake: Three leopards on the last day and at the end of our tour! Their explanations, their interest in medicinal and romantic plants, together with their tales about the doings of certain birds was a fantastic lesson about nature! The warm welcome of your personnel on our return to the camps, the delicate cuisine and the accompanying drinks gave us the impression that we were sitting on a little cloud! And all this due to your excellent management and training. Like the note left in your visitor’s book, this was not out of this world but precisely the world we love to live in! Once again, thank you for having made it possible! Should your travels take you to Mauritius, please remember that we would be very happy to welcome you at our home in Cap Malheureux. With our very best regards, Laurence & Jean Raymond."

    Norman Carr Safaris website, edited

  • Review by Leann and Marie from USA
    8 out of 10

    "First of all, our safari was simply fabulous! As you know, I am a safari veteran over a period of many years, and while they have all been wonderful, which keeps me coming back for more, I have never experienced the level of service, friendliness, and dedication that exists with Norman Carr. I was so impressed with everyone from meeting Mindy and Shaddy at the airport to the staff at the camps. The managers, the guides, and all the support people did outstanding jobs."

    Norman Carr Safaris website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from UK
    9 out of 10

    "Just wanted to write to say once again Norman Carr Safaris gave us a holiday to remember. We were treated to a wonderful time at Chinzombo under the care of the lovely Yaliwe and her fabulous team. Who could imagine such luxury in the African bush. Such an amazing experience! We once again recommend Norman Carr Safaris on all their staff we came across, their customer service ethic knows no bounds with their broad welcoming smiles each and every day. Also have to mention John Kasonga, our brilliant guide, who showed us the wonders of the emerald season in South Luangwa. Thank you again, we shall be back!"

    Norman Carr Safaris website, edited

  • Review by Beth from USA
    9 out of 10

    "In October 2015 I spent nine wonderful days at three of the Norman Carr camps (Kapani, Kakuli, and Muchenja) in the South Luangwa game park. Perhaps one of the most outstanding features were the level of guiding I enjoyed at all the camps and their settings. The guides were all excellent and extremely attentive to my interests, and I learned a lot more about animal behavior and identifying trees and other flora. I saw some incredible animal interactions. The hippos were often crowded in small pools of water because I visited just before the rains. As a result, they were quite cantankerous and I saw a number of angry encounters. Additionally, many hippos were on land, especially after dark. In addition, we saw lions bring down a buffalo, and the following morning returned to the site to watch five 2-month old cubs eating away under the watchful eyes of three lioness, all with very full tummies. The Norman Carr camps offer some special activities, including drives after dark during which I was able to see some nocturnal cats and porcupines I had not observed on 13 previous safaris. The camps are not fenced and I had the fantastic experience of being awakened one morning by a mother elephant and her 5-6 year old calf eating sausage tree fruit and leaves in front of my tent. October is a good time to visit in view of the fact that camps were not generally full and I had a "private" guide on several days. The only downside was the very hot days and nights, which I found difficult being used to air conditioning."

    Norman Carr Safaris website, edited

  • Review by Julian & Maggie from UK
    9 out of 10

    "Our trip with Norman Carr Safaris was magic! We were so impressed with the quality of the experience and all the staff, especially the guides. Their enthusiasm, commitment, and professionalism was delivered with effortless charm-what a lovely group of people. We shall miss them. I am so glad the distant memories of my first Luangwa experience with Norman Carr all those years ago kept nagging at me to return albeit after so long! His legacy is in good hands."

    Norman Carr Safaris website, edited

  • Review by Anita & Roger Borge from Oslo, Norway
    9 out of 10

    "Dear Mario! It is our last morning in Durban. We are packing and are ready to begin the long journey back home. We have had a wonderful time! The memories of the safari week in South Luangwa will forever have a place in our hearts. We saw everything we could expect of animals, and even more. The knowledge of the guides is marvellous! It was a heartiness at the camps which was absolutely huge! Frank and Brian on Luwi, Claire and Lawrence on Kakuli, and Yalive on Chinzombo. We will never forget neither them or the wonderful experiences we had. We also saw leopard for three times. Someone has said: "There are people who come into our lives and leave it again. There are also people who stay for a while and leave footprints in your heart. And afterwards we are never the same." Summer 2015 was like that for us. Thank you for telling us about South Luangwa in Oslo in January, and tempted us to go! We hope to see you again in Oslo next year."

    Norman Carr Safaris website, edited

  • Review by Elrington family from France
    9 out of 10

    "I just wanted to write you a brief note on behalf of myself and my family to thank the Norman Carr Safari group for providing us with such a wonderful few days in the Luangwa National Park. We stayed at Kakuli Camp where we were looked after so well by everyone there, especially Claire, Aubry and Albert. They all worked so hard to ensure our stay was perfect, and it was, from pickup to drop off we were so well attended to. The camp was beautiful, our rooms clean and free from bugs, the drives in the morning and evening were adventurous and we saw all that we could. And the food, simply delicious. So please do pass on our thanks to the whole team there and to Claire and Aubery for all that they did to make it such a wonderful experience. The surprise sundowner on our last night will never be forgotten. With many thanks and best regards."

    Norman Carr Safaris website, edited

  • Review by Russel from USA
    9 out of 10

    "We went to Zambia / Zimbabwe to see the animals and birds and we saw both with brilliant guides in marvellous settings. We would always choose to go at this time of year late (March / early April) when the settings are green and lush and the animals behave naturally and are under no stress in relation to food and water. Shaddy, supported by Adam, his assistant, made a brilliant pair and we were so lucky to have had them with us all the time. The service was impeccable and we were treated with great care and kindness throughout our stay. On a day of sighting, we first saw a pride of eleven lions, who wandered around the Landrover so close to us you could have stroked them. Then a pack of wild dogs who were on the move. We saw them at the same time as we spotted two leopards up a tree. Seeing the wild dog nearby, the leopards were worried that their kill would be discovered, so one of the leopard came down the tree and proceeded to pull the whole impala carcass up the tree by herself. Her leopard companion (said by Shaddy to be her brother) looked on and made no attempt to help except perhaps to make helpful remarks such as "Going alright? Let me know when dinner is ready!" Another extraordinary example of nature in action."

    Norman Carr Safaris website, edited