Remote Zambia – The Ultimate Luangwa Valley Adventure

This itinerary offers you an incredible opportunity to experience the truly remote and wild Zambia. Incorporating both South and North Luangwa, you will enjoy walking safaris in the part of Africa where they began, as well as game drives, night drives and a range of other unique activities.

This is a true, old-school traditional safari experience in one of the few genuine wilderness areas left in Africa – it’s called the Ultimate Adventure for good reason…


Day 1 – 3

Welcome to Zambia! After arrival at Mfuwe Airport you will be met by our representative and led to your vehicle for the road transfer to the stunning Tafika Camp. Owner run and bush home to John and Carol Coppinger, two of the owners of our Zambian partners Remote Africa Safaris, Tafika Camp’s remote location makes it ideal for those who really want to get away from it all and experience the bush in the true sense of the word.

Situated on the banks of the Luangwa, the camp provides amazing views of the river with plenty of opportunity to see elephants crossing, hippos wallowing and king fishers darting in and out the river offering a wonderful to relax when not enjoying walking safaris, cycling trails, microlighting, or day & night game drives! The camp is built using natural materials and local skills and is testimony to the eco-friendly and sustainable ethos of the safari operation. With only 6 chalets, a maximum of 12 guests can be accommodated at any one time which makes the camp an intimate and personalised experience. Some of the best guides in Zambia are on hand to share their knowledge and skills, further enhancing your time in the unspoilt African bush.

Game drives: all vehicles are open, comfortable and accommodate only four guests allowing for great photographic moments and plenty of opportunity to ask the guide questions. Morning drives set off early from camp and are taken at a relaxed pace. A stop is taken at a scenic sight during the morning to enjoy a hot cuppa’ and snack. On afternoon drives, sundowners are taken overlooking the Luangwa River, after which a spotlight is brought into play, revealing Africa’s nocturnal wildlife.

Night game drives: led by an experienced guide accompanied by a hawk-eyed spotter who controls the spotlight and finds many nocturnal animals rarely seen during the day activities.

Walking safaris: on foot, guests are given the rare opportunity to become part of nature, to immerse themselves in the wonders that present themselves at every turn. A walking safari is always led by an experienced guide with an armed National Park scout and a tea bearer so their are many eyes ready to spot the Luangwa’s wildlife, identify the smallest insect, track last night’s lion spoor and identify a possible threat before it really becomes one.

Mountain bike safaris: sitting in a game-viewing vehicle or walking delicately through the African bush may not provide the level of activity craved by more energetic guests. For these guests Tafika offers mountain bike safaris led by an experienced guide who in most cases is the owner, John Coppinger. The cycling route takes the safari cyclists along the tracks and paths of the Game Management Area, adjacent to Tafika Camp. Mountain bike safaris generally take place in the afternoon. This gives participating guests enough time to finish their ride and meet up with the game drive, just before sunset, giving them the opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds of a night drive after an hour and a half of cycling.

Cultural visits: the local village, Mkasanga, kindly invites guests to visit and gives them the opportunity to learn about the lives of the people from the Luangwa Valley. Highlights of these visits include: a guided tour of the local school – proudly showcased by the teachers, a visit to the village and a local church choir performance where guests experience the perfect harmony of Africa’s song.

Hides: at least one seasonal Carmine bee-eater hide is built annually at Tafika. The hide is built into the banks of the Luangwa river to gain the best view of the carmine colony as they flock around their newly dug breeding holes. This hide is generally available during September and October and visits to the guide are done with a guide.

The Tafika camp hide is available to all camp guests and can be accessed any time of the day from the camp. The hide is a dug out seating chamber that looks out over a lagoon behind the camp. Birds, baboons and antelope frequent the lagoon and elephants visit on a daily basis from about August during the hotter time of the year.


Day 4

After an eventful three nights, today it’s time to move to your next destination and begin the Chikoko Trails experience, which incorporates two small and exclusive bush camps, Chikoko Tree Camp and Big Lagoon. Located on the west bank in the South Luangwa National Park, a few kilometres upstream from parent camp Tafika, Chikoko and Big Lagoon are only accessible on foot and offer unparalleled walking safaris – being immersed in the idyll of remotest Africa.

The first stop, Chikoko Tree Camp, is situated 8km upstream from Tafika.

Chikoko is all about the walking safari – an activity that started in the Luangwa and spread to other areas of Africa.

Guided by an expert with an armed National Park scout, you will experience unparalleled and pure walking safaris in remote areas of the Luangwa Valley. Enjoy an intimate safari experience tracking wild animals on natural wildlife trails through wilderness that is only accessible on foot and untarnished by vehicle tracks.

Morning walks are approximately 4 hours long with a pace set by the present walkers. Enjoy a rest along the way for a hot cup of tea or coffee and sweet treat alongside a lagoon and soak up the natural surrounds.


Day 5

Your second night on the Chikoko Trails takes you to Big Lagoon Camp, which consists of just three chalets that all rest beneath a grove of spectacular Muchenja (Ebony) trees.

The Chikoko Trails walking safari area was identified by Norman Carr as a prime walking area, the Chikoko Tree Camp site identified as his own chosen walking campsite in the ‘60s. On foot guests are given the rare opportunity to experience the bush at nature’s pace and to be immersed in the wonders that present themselves at every turn. Go back in time and learn how to make fire the natural way with some sticks, elephant dung and a touch of skill.

On foot, the minutiae of the bush come to the fore: the smells; the essence of the macro world and a sense of timelessness. On foot, biggest herbivores become gentle giants as giraffes and elephants tower over you and the buffalo are now on eye level. The Luangwa’s predators now become the prey as you track lions prints from the night before. It is the realness of the experience, that dash of adrenaline associated with standing downwind of an elephant and catching its unmistakable scent that make walking safaris unforgettable.



Day 6 – 7

The adventure continues and the action moves from South Luangwa to the even more remote North Luangwa area.

Once again, walking safaris are the focus at Mwaleshi as you explore this very different part of the Zambian wilderness.

For the more adventurous looking to become in tune with the wilderness of the Luangwam, the sleep out is waiting for you.

After a buffet lunch and siesta in the camp, guests shower and prepare for their night out in the bush. Tea and cake is enjoyed in camp and then the group sets off on a short afternoon activity, at the end of which they arrive at the sleep-out location. This is usually on a wide open beach on the banks of the Mwaleshi river.

Feast on a delicious dinner cooked over the flames of a raw wood fire out on a remote bend of the Mwaleshi river. Sip on a nightcap around the fire before retiring to bed – a camper mattress on the ground tucked under a net leaving unobstructed views of the night’s sky.

The safety of having an experienced guide and armed scout nearby ensures a sweet nights sleep while listening to the natural calls of the bush.

The next morning, a light breakfast is enjoyed at dawn and then the group sets off for a morning walking activity back to camp.

Sleep outs must be pre-booked as they are a ‘whole camp’ activity and there is no additional cost involved.



Day 8 – 10

For your last three nights in North Luangwa, you will stay at the wonderful Takwela Camp, situated on the confluence of the Luangwa and Mwaleshi Rivers by the North Luangwa National Park

Game drives are taken in open top vehicles for prime wildlife viewing and photography. Our game drives accommodate a maximum of four guests guaranteeing unobstructed viewing and photography, enabling all guests on board to share in the knowledge and insights of our skillful guides. Guides pay full attention to the safety and comfort of our guests throughout activities.

Morning drives stop for a tea break in a scenic area to soak up the natural surrounds. Night drives stop for a sundowner before dedicated spotters seek out nocturnal wildlife with a spotlight.

We practice radio silence to ensure intimate and undisturbed wildlife sightings.

Walking safaris allow you to discover the delights of the bush, from the fascinating insects that live within animal droppings, tiny elephant shrews, delicate wide-eyed antelope to towering giraffe, enormous elephant and huge herds of buffalo with prides of lion in tow. Predators become the prey as you track lion’s prints from the night before to their resting place of that day.

Near Takwela Camp ‘hippo’ sundowners can be enjoyed on the banks of the Luangwa in the presence of Takwela’s huge pod of resident hippo.


Day 11

Sadly, all good things must come to an end and this morning you will be transferred to the nearby airstrip for your flight back to Mfuwe Airport.

But the memories you have made will last forever…


Road transfer from Mfuwe airport to Tafika (or 15minflight to Tafika’s Mwanya/Lukuzi airstrip (South Luangwa) – optional extra.

RASair flight from Mwanya/Lukuzi airstrip (South Luangwa) – Mwaleshi airstrip (NorthLuangwa)

RASair flight from Mwaleshi airstrip (North Luangwa) to Mfuwe airport

Passenger safety charge, landing fees, Mfuwe airport and airstrip transfers to/from camps, National Park fees, full board accommodation, game viewing activities, bar, laundry, contribution to the Luangwa Conservation & Community Fund


International flights, visa fees, domestic flights to Mfuwe airport, insurance, superior wines, increases in RASair rates and fuel surcharges