An Epic Luxury Safari Adventure
Great Rift Valley
Best of the Great Rift Valley
May 29 – June 11, 2024
The Great Rift Valley in Africa runs dramatically down the continent’s eastern half and is edged by some of the highest mountains in Africa, some of the deepest lakes in the world and is incredibly rich with diverse flora and fauna found nowhere else. At the southern end of the Great Rift Valley in Zambia, Dazzle Africa invites you on an absolutely magical safari adventure, fully hosted by our experienced safari directors. This exclusive epic journey will take you to four of the greatest wilderness areas in Zambia to experience exceptional wildlife adventures while staying in award-winning camps and lodges. The five scenic charter flights will make travel between wilderness areas and luxury lodges seamless and time-saving, allowing us more time to experience the incredible wildlife at each magnificent location.
The Great Rift Valley, Zambia Highlights
During this luxury African safari, we will visit Zambia’s wildest places to experience unparalleled wildlife viewing: the pristine Lower Zambezi National Park, a place of sheer beauty, stark contrast and powerful picturesque landscapes set on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River where huge herds of elephants, some 100 strong, come to play; the magical Bangweulu Wetlands, a hidden gem in a wilderness area that few know about and even fewer visit ~verdant gardens of water lilies that stretch for miles and miombo woodlands provide an enchanting and breathtakingly alluring backdrop for great herds of black lechwe and the legendary prehistoric shoebill stork; the action packed South Luangwa National Park with its ebony groves, oxbow lakes and the escarpment as a backdrop to the Luangwa River, and a staggering array of wildlife, one cannot deny its beauty and power as the crown of Africa’s wild places.
Private charter flights will whisk us between wilderness areas providing us with a window seat over the dramatic rivers and landscapes of Zambia’s Great Rift Valley, allowing us more precious time at each magical place. We will stay in first-rate accommodations from some of the most reputable names in Zambia: the magnificent Royal Zambezi Lodge, Remote Africa’s storied Shoebill Island Camp, the romantic Robin Pope Safaris’ Nkwali Camp and the ultra-luxurious Sungani Lodge.
Activities will include wildlife-viewing by boat, canoe, Land Rover and on foot, bringing us up close and personal, while highly trained and expert guides keep us safely just far enough away as they peel back the veil of the mysteries of the bush. Enjoy a deeper travel experience through cultural village visits and behind the scenes engagement with wildlife conservationists. We’ll provide opportunities for you to meet our partner organizations Conservation South Luangwa and Zambian Carnivore Programme to learn more about the vital role these custodians play in protecting the wildlife and wild places in Zambia.
Giraffe photo credit: Marcus Westberg
WHAT TO EXPECT
Zambia and Conservation
Zambia, the jewel of Africa, is wonderfully unspoiled and diverse with all of your romantic notions of the perfect Africa rolled into one beautiful country. Blessed with warm and friendly people, miles of wilderness, rivers that bring life-giving water and bountiful wildlife you will find yourself in what can only be described as an African paradise. To top it all off, you won’t find the big crowds that overrun Zambia’s cousins so that wildlife spotting doesn’t involve hoards of safari vehicles ~ meaning time spent watching elephants play at a waterhole is often yours to enjoy exclusively. Lion and leopard, huge pods of hippos, elephants, buffalo and giraffes can be found in abundance along with spotted hyena, the highly endangered African wild dog, over 450 species of avians and all of the other cast members from the Lion King… Zambia offers the safari-goer a masterpiece of nature.
From the Lower Zambezi National Park, the Bangweulu Wetlands and the South Luangwa National Park, “The Best of the Great Rift Valley, Zambia” is an African safari inspired by the conservation and protection of Zambia’s wild places. This safari is dedicated to the guardians who work tirelessly to afford us the privilege to witness our natural world in its most pristine form in this magical country. A safari of epic adventure, ever-changing landscapes and breathtaking wildlife, it is a chance to not only to see Africa but to feel its heartbeat and be immersed in its wild, wonderful wilderness.
Lion photo credit: Zambian Carnivore Programme
Rift Valley Itinerary
Day 1: Lusaka
Upon arrival in Zambia’s capital City, Lusaka, we will be driven to Latitude 15º Hotel, a boutique African-inspired art filled respite in Lusaka’s Leopards Hill area. Enjoy a wonderful meal, a dip in the pool and a good night’s sleep.
Day 2-5: Lower Zambezi National Park
From Lusaka, we’ll wing our way south to the lower Zambezi National Park ~a stunning and magical place with its ethereal winterthorn forest, wide open floodplains and the mighty Zambezi River. Lower Zambezi National Park is a place of sheer beauty, stark contrast and powerful picturesque landscapes with an astonishing abundance of wildlife.
Our home for three nights in this remarkable wilderness will be Royal Zambezi Lodge, set on the banks of the lively Zambezi River in elegant splendor giving you a front row seat to this unique wilderness area. Enjoy luxury accommodations, fine dining, a tranquil bush spa and award-winning service in an intimate, family-owned lodge. We’ll experience exciting safari game drives, sunset river cruises and hypnotic canoe adventures all framed by the backdrop of the moody and mystic Zambezi River. Your stay here will solidify an enduring love of Africa and leave you yearning to return to a place that will steal a piece of your heart.
Day 5-8: Bangweulu Wetlands
A charter flight on our way north and east over the divide will bring us to the vast and glorious Bangweulu Wetlands for our next stop on this incredible adventure. Under the direction of the nonprofit African Parks, it’s the place “where the water meets the sky!”. Here is our chance to see cheetah, huge herds of black lechwe and encounter a dinosaur right out of the picture books, the legendary and mythical shoebill stork. Our safari will take us by canoe into the verdant papyrus marshlands to observe these charismatic birds ~ one of the few places in the world left to see shoebills in the wild.
Nestled in a grove of trees, Shoebill Island Camp will be our home for three magical nights. Activities here include walking, deep hull (photographic) canoeing and mokoro trips as well as genuine and impromptu community visits with the seasonal fishermen of the region, and fireside talks under an African sky unbroken by civilization.
Day 8-11: South Luangwa National Park
We’ll fly to the wild wonderful South Luangwa National Park ~”the valley of the leopard”. This premier wilderness area is an astonishing place where the meandering Luangwa River runs through woodlands and large plains that play host to huge concentrations of wildlife including elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, giraffe, hippos and over 450 species of birds. It is here that we will also find one of the last strongholds of the endangered African wild dog ~ a thrill for any novice or experienced African safari lover.
We’ll spend 3 enchanting nights at Robin Pope Safaris’ Nkwali Camp which sits nestled under an ancient ebony grove on the banks of the Luangwa River. A romantic feeling flows through the camp, and onto our own private corner of this magnificent wilderness. Day and night game drives as well as walking safaris will provide us with exceptional wildlife viewing. During our stay here, we will also have the opportunity for community, school and wildlife conservation engagement to learn more about how your safari dollars help the people and wildlife of the region thrive.
Day 11-14: Lusangazi, South Luangwa National Park
We’ll make our way south following the winding Luangwa River through the South Luangwa National Park and down to the southern reaches to the wild and untamed Lusangazi sector ~ true wilderness where nature is queen. Here you are in primordial wilds surrounded by astounding numbers of wild beasts that know no master other than themselves.
In this remote and exclusive paradise is the unbelievably luxurious Sungani Lodge, edged by a bountiful lagoon and sheltered by magnificent indigenous trees. You will settle into pure luxury in an elegantly appointed custom-designed 1100 square foot tent, private plunge pool and a luxurious slipper tub meant for long bubble baths at day’s end. It’s wild luxury at its finest. Enjoy game drives, walking safaris and wildlife-watching right from the deck as you surrender to the bliss of this magnificent lodge.
Day 14: Lusaka & Homeward
After a bountiful Sungani breakfast and deep sighs of wistful regret we will say goodbye to our friends and the wild creatures of the South Luangwa. Climbing into the African skies will be bittersweet as we make our way toward home with Zambia forever in our hearts. “…no one can return unchanged, for tawny lions will forever prowl our memory and great herds throng our imagination.” -George Schaller
Safari price includes:
All meals, non-premium alcohol & gratuities*
All in-country charter flights and airport transfers
Daily valet laundry service
Game park, national park, and conservancy fees
The services of highly experienced safari directors
A donation toward our Zambian conservation projects
The safari price does not include:
International airfare – we will be more than happy to help assist you with your booking
Note: The order of arrival at Shoebill Island Camp and Nkwali Camp may vary
*Lusaka Hotel meals, alcoholic beverages & gratuities