An elephant wanders past, trunk swinging, tusks curling. Thornicroft’s giraffes are half-hidden by the nearby trees, their heads poking above the canopy, and a zebra herd is nearby, as you wait for the rumble of hoofs that accompanies their gallop across the savanna. It is midday, and you have only just landed, but already you have seen so many of the animals that make Zambia special. On the drive from the airstrip to your camp, you might see 10 different species, the giants accompanied by the rare antelopes that thrive in this remote world. You land at Lusaka International Airport and are assisted onto a light aircraft bound for South Luangwa, the country’s flagship park.
Settle into the camp, and get accustomed to the wild animals roaming past. Even when you are reading a book on the veranda, it is good to have a camera on hand, as baboons swing through the camp and the odd hippo grunts in the river below. In the afternoon, you take a first full game drive in the park, exploring the landscape close to the Luangwa River. Antelope come to drink, the herds sipping away as sentinels keep guard with their ears pinned skyward. Follow the prints you see in the sand, to a pride of lions, majestic creatures hanging out beneath an ebony tree. At first, it seems they do not recognize your presence. Keep watching, and the lions start to move, elegantly wandering down to the banks to inspect their dinner menu. Return to the camp at dusk, and spend your first night beneath the stars, a floodlight illuminating the animals that drink from the river below.
Day 5 - 6
Day 9 - 10