Off The Beaten Path: Zambia & Malawi

This is the perfect trip for adventurous honeymooners who want a more remote safari experience or for anyone considering a second or third trip to Africa.

Days 1 / 2 ~ Livingstone, Zambia ~ Islands of Siankaba

Upon landing in Livingstone, Zambia you will be met and driven to Islands of Siankaba.

At more than twice the size of Niagara Falls it’s no surprise that Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Five separate falls plunge more than 328 feet into the chasm which separates Zimbabwe from Zambia. Keep an eye out for elephant, hippo and other wildlife. Enjoy your gin and tonic as the sun dips below the horizon, painting the whole area in unbelievable array of reds, yellows and purples. Let your adventurous side play as you partake in optional activities like a swim in Devil’s Pool on the lip of the falls, whitewater rafting, elephant interactions, bungee jumping or a helicopter or micro-light flight. Game drives, canoeing or a sunset cruise on the Zambezi are also easily organized.

After enjoying all that Victoria Falls has to offer during the day, you will stay each night on an island in the middle of the Zambezi River. At Islands of Siankaba, just 24 miles upstream from the Falls, you will fall asleep to the lullaby of water lapping against the sandy shore at this luxury lodge for just twelve guests. The uniquely designed chalets are constructed of teak and canvas tenting, are set in the tree canopy with private balconies that extend over the river. All chalets have en suite bathrooms, mini bars, ceiling fans, mosquito nets and private safes.

Common areas including the dining room, lounge, bar and swimming pool, are located on a larger island linked by suspension bridges and walkways in the tree canopy to the guest chalets on the smaller island. These winding walkways keep guests safe and protect the fragile riverine environment.

Overnights at ISLANDS OF SIANKABA.

Days 3 / 4 / 5 ~ Lower Zambezi ~ Ol Mondoro

This afternon you will depart Livingstone and will fly to the Jeki/Royal Airstrip, via Lusaka. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to Ol Mondoro

Resting peacefully on the banks of the Zambezi River under a grove of evergreen Mahogany trees, Ol Mondoro holds prime position in the heart of Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park. It is at this very spot, where David Livingstone ventured through nearly 150 years ago. Old Mondoro is an intimate, simple safari camp in Zambia's Lower Zambezi National Park. The camp lies in a grove of acacia trees along the banks of the Zambezi River and overlooking a maze of hippo-inhabited channels. The areas vast flood plains and open woodlands are ideal for walking and game-viewing.

The camp has four screened-in reed chalets with canvas roofs creating that authentic, “back to bush” atmosphere. Chalets have king size beds with mosquito nets that face out onto the Zambezi. There is fine Egyptian cotton linen, a large outdoor stone splash tub and shower open to the stars, indoor flush loo and twin sinks. A private deck enables expansive views and there is a shady day bed for relaxation. Being reminiscent of traditional walking safari camps, facilities are basic yet comfortable. An open lounge and dining area with 360 degree views of the Zambezi River, and an outdoor boma area and riverside breakfast spot. With three guides for eight guests the focus is on the personal safari. Activities include day and night game drives, walking safaris, canoeing and fishing safaris.

Overnights at Ol Mondoro.

Days 6 / 7 ~ South Luangwa ~ Mchenja

Fly from Royal Airstrip via Lusaka to Mfuwe airport. Your driver will take you Mchenje.

Mchenja is situated in Zambia’s pristine South Luangwa National Park. This remote camp is set beneath a grove of Ebony trees on the banks of the Luangwa River and the open-sided lounge and bar area takes full advantage of the views over the river as it attracts the wildlife to its shores. The ethnic furnishings of the lounge flow out to the terrace, where a small pool is set alongside the bar, all shaded by the thatch of the main building.

The 5 stylishly designed tented rooms are privately positioned, each under its own thatched canopy. They are large and spacious canvas structures, set on screeded concrete floors, warmed by scatter rugs and the canvas is softened by elaborate drapes of fabric. The twin or king beds are surrounded by ethnic woven furnishings and regal cushions. The en-suite bathrooms comprise a free standing bath tub within the room itself, and an outside shower and toilet. Ceiling to floor gauze windows and double doors introduce plenty of natural light and open the rooms out to private viewing decks overlooking the river.

You have the choice of viewing wildlife on foot or from an open game viewing vehicle on morning and evening game drives with highly qualified, award winning Guides. The birding in this region is exceptional and you will be touched by this very special opportunity to become a part of the environment rather than just being a spectator.

Overnights at Mchenja.

Days 8/ 9 / 10 /11 ~ Lake Malawi ~ Kaya Mawa

Depart Zambia today for the turquoise waters of Lake Malawi where you will take in the beauty of the “warm heart of Africa” from the luxury of Kaya Mawa.

Lake Malawi occupies one fifth of Malawi. The lake is 575 km long and the widest point is 85 km long. This beautiful Lake has been around since about 500 BC and has witnessed many interesting historical events. It was there that bloody massacres between tribes took place and was also the scene of the first British naval battle and victory of World War I.

In spite of the turbulence, Lake Malawi remains unspoiled and one of Malawi's' biggest tourist attractions. One of the most important features of the lake is its large numbers of fish. There is also the rare Mbuna or rockfish that is most wanted by aquarists world-wide for its unusual behavior and its vivid coloring. Economically, the lake supplies work for thousands of Malawians who are fishermen, net makers, canoe makers and, of course, fish traders. The Malawi government has been very careful not to let Lake Malawi become commercialised, ensuring that those who truly wish to get away will value the unspoilt waters.

The visitor to Malawi enjoys the beaches, as they are generally not overcrowded. Along the Southern part of the lakeshore you will get to see the settlement, hotels, campsites and historical sites, but the northern side of the lakeshore is largely untouched by the tourist, making this part with steep embankments which form the walls of the Rift Valley spectacular. Kaya Mawa was voted in the top 10 most romantic places in the world by Condé Nast and nominated for the Good Safari Guide Awards in 2010. Furnished in simple and stylish interiors, each standard room has its own deck and is direct on the lake. Kaya Mawa offers a host of activities from sailing and quad biking to cultural tours to the local cathedral.

Overnights at KAYA MAWA. Includes: All meals, non-motorized boat activities, laundry

Day 12 ~ Depart ~ En route to US

Bid farewell to Africa today; a transfer will drive you from Kaya Mawa to the Likoma airstrip for your flight to Lilongwe in time to connect with your international departure.

Price per person:

The total price for this adventure starts at approximately $9000 per person sharing.

Includes:

  • Superior accommodations throughout as indicated or similar.
  • Services of an English speaking driver-guide, game viewing drives and parks entrance fees as indicated in the itinerary.
  • All Government taxes and levies.
  • All meals, drinks and laundry while on safari or as indicated.
  • Complimentary mineral water per person per game drive in the safari vehicle.
  • All meet and greet services.
  • All arrival and departure transfers.
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary.

Does Not Include:

  • Foreign airport taxes.
  • Passport and visa fees and service charges for obtaining visas.
  • Excess baggage charges levied by airlines.
  • Meals and beverages, other than specified.
  • Gratuities to driver/guides and other conveyance attendants.
  • Laundry and other items of a personal nature.
  • Personal and baggage insurance.
  • Cost for anything not specifically mentioned in the listing above.
  • Gratuities to lodge staff.

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Jamie Mehrotra