Zambia safari in South Luangwa
Description of Zambia safari in South Luangwa
Experience some of the best wildlife watching in Africa on this Zambia safari in South Luangwa National Park, then take in the stunning sight of Victoria Falls.
The Luangwa Valley marks the end of the Great Rift Valley and is one of the last unspoilt wilderness areas, and possibly the finest wildlife sanctuary, in Africa. It covers an area of over 9,000sq km through which the meandering Luangwa River runs. The ox bow lagoons, woodland and plains of the valley host huge concentrations of game, including elephant, buffalo, leopard, lion, giraffe, hippo and over 400 species of birds. Take jeep safaris, walking safaris or night drives to explore this wilderness, whilst based at excellent camps.
Then we'll take you for three nights close to Victoria Falls, at a luxury lodge where you can see the sights but also have time to relax.
The camps and guides on this safari are all of the highest quality, making for one of the very best African experiences you can find.
PlanetThe camps used on this special safari are run by people who care. We rate them as one of the best when it comes to doing things right. They do right by our travellers, giving you an amazing wildlife and wilderness experience, and they do right by the people and places in their sphere of influence.
They’ve won various awards for their efforts in poverty reduction, they strongly back anti-poaching activities and carnivore research programmes, and they are very careful to use green technology such as solar power, natural air cooling and living grass roofs in order to minimise environmental impact.
The Luangwa Valley is a very special area of wilderness (which includes the second largest wild dog population, the largest lion population and one of the largest leopard populations in Zambia) that needs all the protection it can get. These camp owners offer some of this protection.
The company that organises this holiday is a multi award-winning responsible travel company. They try to ensure that nothing they do at home (in UK) or abroad compromises the environment or wildlife or exploits people. They believe in ensuring that travellers are well-informed, as an informed traveller tend to be a more respectful and sensitive traveller. They also believe in giving back to the country, people wildlife and environments which are affected by tourism. In terms of information, all travellers are given guidelines on Travelling with Respect, which includes advice on cultural aspects of your travels as well as protecting the environment.
For every person that travels with the company, it plants trees through The Travel Forest initiative. Depending on where they plant and the requirement of the specific area, they plant either indigenous trees or a mix of indigenous and non-native species. Planting non-native seedlings may seem counter-intuitive but doing this can often help any remaining indigenous forest from being cut down (e.g. for fuel) as some non-native trees grow much more quickly than indigenous types. They particularly aim to save ancient or older indigenous forest, through offering an alternative option for fuel requirements of local communities. In addition to this benefit, their Travel Forest initiative helps with such things as planting for water-course retention, soil erosion, shade and even food – all depending on what is planted and where. They have planted almost 100,000 trees to date in various degraded locations including the Andean mountains in Peru, northern Tanzania and Malawi. This has always been done in conjunction with the local communities who plant and then tend the seedlings. Trees are far more important to the health of this planet (and us) than many people imagine. This global Travel Forest initiative can and does make a big difference.
The UK head office has a good policy of recycling, reducing and re-using (electricity, paper, plastic etc). They also buy only fair trade goods such as tea, coffee, and use biodegradable detergents etc. They also make a point of buying only top eco-rated equipment (eg monitors).
As part of our commitment to the environment we have a programme to plant trees in Tanzania, Malawi, Peru etc. through the company’s foundation. This was set up to help alleviate poverty, conserve endangered wildlife, and protect earth’s environmental diversity for the benefit of us all. All the projects have a link with tourism in some way, and many benefit the wider world as well as local people, through conserving areas of natural beauty. We don’t just look overseas when considering the environment, even at the office the team planted tress in the fields surrounding the buildings to celebrate the company’s 21st birthday in 2019.
As a company we think about our partners overseas carefully. The company ethos is to use properties around the globe that have a similar ethical stance to ourselves. If they can use local suppliers for their provisions, be it food or furnishings then they do, and all offer a variety of menus including vegetarian and vegan/plant-based options. Our partners support the use of solar/renewable energies, and many are looking at ways of switching their current supplies to more eco-friendly options in order to be more efficient. The use of solar, water and air are options in use or being explored, as well as grey water run offs. Energy efficient appliances and practices, card operated in room lighting, low energy bulbs, and a change in laundry practices, are all in operation, and show just a few of the initiatives used. Our partners also use local staff within their properties. Many live on-site in seasonal properties for example reducing the travel emissions of the company, many come from the local villages and communities surrounding the properties. This includes everyone from house keeping to management and the guides that are from the locale.
Due to the nature of the holidays provided by the company, it is impossible to eliminate all flights but where possible we use the minimum flight hours an itinerary can operate with. The packages we have on offer include rail portions in some areas, which keep emissions low, many walking options and shared transportation.
PeopleFor the last 10 years the lodge owners have supported a school in the Nsefu Village area. Kawaza School now has the reputation in Zambia of being a great example of how help from tourism can improve a community. The response of the guests who have visited the school has been overwhelming and many of them wanted more interaction. We can also offer the opportunity to stay at Webby's village, next to the school for a night. Accommodation and food is totally African. There is the chance to meet the Chief, a local traditional healer, to spend a morning with the ladies collecting water and cooking, to help with constructions, dance with the ladies. This is not a set up village, but a chance to spend time with an African family and community. There is also a donation for the school in the fee.
The company backs a charity called The Tribes Foundation with funds and administration. This is a registered UK charity whose principle aim is to relieve the poverty of indigenous communities in areas outside of the UK which are affected by tourism. The charity backs poverty alleviation, education, cultural preservation and conservation projects within these regions. It has backed schools, clinics, micro-business projects and more. They constantly raise funds for grassroots projects, which travellers are encouraged to donate to if they would like to give something back.
Working with partners on the ground in each destination, the company only uses local guides. They also primarily promote locally-owned services (hotels etc). They have internally eco-rated about hundreds of properties worldwide which they work with closely, so they are very clear which accommodations have good environmental and social responsibility credentials. This information is used to ensure that any traveller wanting to ensure they are really making a difference, can choose between one property and another on eco-issues. They also promote community-owned projects and services where applicable and possible. Indeed they were instrumental in setting up two community-owned ventures in Tanzania and Peru.