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Zambia & Malawi - The Best of Africa

Tour Code: ZMB04

An irresistible 15-day itinerary combining the wetland wildlife of Malawi's beautiful Liwonde National Park, the mountain habitats on the Zomba Plateau, the idyllic islands and enticing waters (teeming with tropical fish) of Lake Malawi, and magnificent game in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park.

14 days from £6395(inc flights) Land Only Price: £5595 SRS: £695

This 14-day tour offers an irresistible itinerary – classic big game, walking safaris, idyllic islands, and mountain plateaux. We begin on the banks of the Shire River in Malawi’s Liwonde National Park then drive to the Zomba Plateau where we’ll follow mountain trails and streams in search of special birds. Next we will be based for two nights by Lake Malawi where the emphasis is on a leisurely enjoyment of the lake’s fish and other wildlife. The last part of the holiday focuses on superb game viewing in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia’s finest. Lion, Leopard and a multitude of other animals will be among the highlights, as well as colonies of the exquisite Carmine Bee-eater.

  • Look for Böhm’s Bee-eater & Pel’s Fishing Owl in Liwonde National Park
  • Snorkel in the clear waters of Lake Malawi
  • 4 nights in the South Luangwa National Park (includes 2 nights in remote bushcamp)
  • Night-time spotlighting in South Luangwa for genets, Leopard, civets & Honey Badger
  • Maximum of 8 participants
  • Abundant mammals including African Elephant, Lion, Thornicroft's Giraffe, Hippo, Buffalo & Spotted Hyena
  • Enjoy colonies of exquisite Carmine Bee-eaters along the banks of the Luangwa River
  • Led by expert local naturalist guides


All included in the price.


A mixture of comfortable hotels and permanent tented camps in Malawi and bush camps and a lodge in South Luangwa, Zambia; all with private facilities, except at Lake Malawi where they are shared.

Southern Carmine Bee-eater

Southern Carmine Bee-eater

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Depart London

Day 2/4 Liwonde National Park

Day 5/6 Zomba Plateau

Day 7/8 Lake Malawi

Day 9/10 Fly Mfuwe; transfer Kapani Lodge, South Luangwa National Park

Day 11/12 'Bush camp', South Luangwa National Park

Day 13 South Luangwa, then fly/overnight Lusaka

Day 14 Fly London


The southern African countries of Zambia and Malawi lie adjacent to one another, yet they could hardly be more different. Malawi is a country of great scenic splendour, with its mountains, marshes and lakes — in particular Lake Malawi, the third largest lake in Africa. Zambia, by contrast, is a flat country where extensive floodplains and bush support large concentrations of classic African ‘big game’. Both, however, are well known for their walking opportunities, whether in the hills and mountains of Malawi or in the bush of Zambia where ‘walking safaris’ were originally pioneered by the late Norman Carr. Both, too, are home to some of the friendliest people in Africa; Malawi, in particular, being known as ‘the warm heart of Africa’. With such variety spanning two countries, it makes sense to combine the two to offer, what we consider to be, the very best of Africa. Indeed, all the more so because Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, is so much closer to Zambia’s top game reserve (South Luangwa National Park) than Zambia’s own capital, Lusaka.

We begin this safari in Malawi’s beautiful Liwonde National Park that straddles the palm-lined Shire River. This river, the only outlet of Lake Malawi, was a major route into the interior of Africa for the early explorers, missionaries and traders. Entering the park by boat, it is as though nothing has changed since these early days. Numerous Hippos wallow at every bend in the river, Elephants and Waterbuck graze the riverine grasslands and huge colonies of White-breasted Cormorants nest in the trees along the banks. Our three nights in Liwonde will be spent at Mvuu Wilderness Camp, a beautiful tented camp set on the banks of the river, and during our time at Mvuu we will explore the park on foot, by landrover and by boat. Here we hope to find two of Africa’s most beautiful antelopes, the Sable and Greater Kudu, plus a wealth of birdlife including Giant and Malachite Kingfishers, Palmnut Vulture, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Brown-breasted Barbet and the rare and localised Bohm’s Bee-eater. It is also possible to venture out on night drives in search of some of Africa’s nocturnal inhabitants — perhaps a Hyena, Rusty-spotted Genet, African Civet or Lesser Bush-baby.

Next we will drive on to Zomba Mountain, stopping first in Zomba’s colourful market place before winding our way up to the Zomba Plateau at 1,800 metres. Here we will spend two nights based at Ku Chawe Inn, an excellent spot from which to explore both the plateau and its birds. Following mountain streams and the many trails in this attractive region, we will enjoy such species as Green Lourie, Long-tailed Wagtail, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher and Saw-wing Swallow.

The white sandy beaches of Lake Malawi, and its idyllic offshore islands where we will be staying for two nights, provide an opportunity for rest and relaxation. We can also enjoy the wildlife here, either by kayaking quietly around the islands, or by exploring on their network of trails. Beneath the surface of the lake’s warm and clear blue waters exists another world, which you may choose to explore by donning a mask and snorkel. Indeed this national park was first set aside specifically to protect its brightly coloured freshwater fish species (many of which are endemic to the lake) of which more species occur than in any other lake in the world.

From Lake Malawi we will take a flight to South Luangwa National Park, Zambia’s finest game park. Bounded by the Mchinga Escarpment to the west and the Luangwa River to the east, the park supports over 60 species of mammal and almost 500 species of bird, plus a concentration of wildlife unsurpassed in southern Africa. The sweeping turns of the beautiful Luangwa River, full of Hippos and Nile Crocodiles, and its complex, ever-changing pans and ox-bow lagoons, provide the backdrop for Lion, Elephant, Greater Kudu, Eland, Puku and a multitude of other animals. The park is most famous for its large population of Leopards, which we will hope to see on night drives, and a wealth of waterbirds and other riverside bird species which include colonies of the exquisite Southern Carmine Bee-eater. During the dry season, when we visit, the concentration of game amassed along the Luangwa River and its associated lagoons is as great as any in Africa, indeed the world. To enjoy it, we will first be based at Kafunta River Lodge, situated on the edge of the park overlooking the Luangwa River. We will then move to a remote and exquisite bush camp in the heart of the reserve for our ultimate wildlife experience of the tour: a most fitting place in which to conclude this lavish safari — our managing director’s favourite!

Sable Antelope (Thomas Mills)Sunset (Thomas Mills)Yellow Billed Stork (Thomas Mills)Spotted HyaenaLionPuku Herd (Thomas Mills)Pool at KapaniKapani accomodationSunset (Thomas Mills)Boat landing (Thomas Mills)Local Salesmen (Thomas Mills)Nile Crocodile (Thomas Mills)African Elephant (Thomas Mills)Boat on Shire River (Thomas Mills)Elephants (Thomas Mills)Hippo and young (Thomas Mills)Vervet Monkey (Thomas Mills)Elephants bathing (Thomas Mills)African Fish Eagle (Thomas Mills)Mvuu Lodge (Thomas Mills)
East Sussex
The whole holiday worked perfectly. All the transfers went like clockwork, ground agents at airports etc all 100%. It was certainly the best organised trip Ive ever done...a brilliant holiday. Many thanks.
Zul was absolutely brilliant - knowledge of wildlife and ability to 'spot' were excellent; his social skills kept everyone included; his care of everyone and of detail made all the difference. The drivers were also excellent.
Jim Katenga was outstanding in Malawi - surely the best in that country. Plenty of spectacular surprises!
We have been on several African holidays - this was the best yet and we couldnt recommend it too highly. The wildlife was spectacular. Then two guides were knowledgeable and lovely people. The food was locally grown and abundant in choice. (As vegetarians we usually learn to live with rice or potatoes alone). The reception at the camp was so friendly...nothing was too much thank you very much - we even saw birds and mammals (including three rare Wild Dogs) not on your checklist! Leopards, lions, elephants, hippos - it was just wow! from start to finish!
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Sat 28th September 2019 - Fri 11th October 2019



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Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £5595 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: Zambia

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The whole holiday worked perfectly. All the transfers went like clockwork, ground agents at airports etc all 100%. It was certainly the best organised trip Ive ever done...a brilliant holiday. Many thanks.
M.O., East Sussex