Inspiration Itinerary | In the Footsteps of

Dr Livingstone

Zambia's wildest reaches

Zambia as Livingstone saw it

Inspired by Dr Livingstone’s intrepid explorations in 1852, when he began a four year expedition to find a route from the upper Zambezi to the Indian Ocean coastline, this itinerary begins in the Upper Zambezi and follows the course of the river to the Lower Zambezi, then finishes in the South Luangwa National Park – arguably the finest wildlife sanctuary in Africa and the birthplace of the walking safari.

Along one of the most beautiful river bends in Africa, on the banks of the Upper Zambezi, sits Tongabezi Lodge, a stunning privately owned and run hideaway on the banks just upstream from Victoria Falls.  There is no set pattern to your days here and you can while away the hours with game drives, birdwatching, bush walks and boating trips as well as trips to the Livingstone & Railway Museums and, for the bold, white water rafting, river surfing, bungee jumping, abseiling, parachuting, microlight and helicopter flights over The Falls.

Moving to the Lower Zambezi the river forms many channels, lagoons, sandbanks and islands and the banks boast riverine woodland opening onto bush areas and open plains. The river is a huge attraction to the wildlife, so the game viewing is spectacular and there are activities a-plenty including boating, canoeing and world class Tiger fishing. Chiawa Camp blends in effortlessly with its idyllic surroundings, resting peacefully on the banks of the Zambezi River under a grove of mahogany and acacia trees.  From this sophisticated bush camp you will experience the very best of river life and some of the best guiding in Africa.

To round off your journey you will fly north west to the South Luangwa National Park, Zambia’s premier wildlife destination and the birthplace of the walking safari in Africa. The park marks the end of the Great Rift Valley and is centered around the Luangwa River – the most intact major river system in Africa and the lifeblood of the area. Staying with the Coppinger family at their home, Tafika, your experience will be authentic, diverse, and inspirational as you begin to appreciate the simplicity of nature and the way this family operate in the wilderness. Game viewing by vehicle and on foot are on offer here. Game densities are some of the highest in Africa here and for your finale, this park is a fitting location to leave the vehicle and continue your explorations on foot with Chikoko Walking Trails. Immersing yourself in the bush this way your senses will be on overdrive as you become acutely aware of the smells and sounds of the bush and begin to understand the micro-details of this complex eco system.

This example itinerary is an ideal base for a spectacular journey through Zambia’s most beautifully untouched wilderness and offers a real insight into the “warm heart of Africa”.

You will love

  • Iconic rivers of Zambia
  • Extraordinary game densities
  • The real Africa on foot
  • River activities and lazing on the water
  • Uncomplicated, authentic, exceptional
  • Safari sophistication



Welcome to Zambia! Arriving into the airport at colonial-era Livingstone, you will be met for a relatively short but scenic drive to Tongabezi Lodge, set on a stunning large bend on the Zambezi River some 20kms up-stream from The Falls themselves. A relaxing start to your safari, enjoy a sundowner cruise along the wide flowing river this evening.


Tongabezi is one of Zambia’s most romantic camps offering six stylish houses and fiver river cottages, each beautifully and uniquely decorated. There are plenty of activities to keep one busy and it is much recommended that you take a guided walking tour of Victoria Falls and Livingstone Town, which is included in your stay. Or for the adventurous perhaps enjoy one of the activities at additional cost such as a scenic helicopter flight over the Falls or white-water rafting. The lodge is a wonderful place to relax and watch the river slowly amble by so don’t make yourselves too busy whilst staying here.


Return to the airport and fly east downriver to the Lower Zambezi National Park. At Jeki Airstrip your guide will meet you for the driver to river’s edge. A motorboat awaits to whisk you up river to Chiawa Camp. There are nine large and very comfortable, stylishly-furnished tents, each with a bathtub as well as showers both inside and out.


Take full advantage of what is on offer in this pristine, untouched wilderness. Choose between morning & mid-afternoon game drives, night spotting, walking safaris and traverse the river by motorboat or canoe. Spending time out on the river cruising with a drink in hand, watching the animals and birds on the bank is great fun. You can also try your luck at catching a tiger fish or two. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff at Chiawa and each guest is made to feel very special.


Fly north to Mfuwe Airport, the gateway to the South Luangwa National Park. Your exceptional guide from Remote Africa Safaris will meet you for the 2-hour road transfer in an air conditioned vehicle to Tafika Camp. Along the way you will see colourful, traditional Zambian rural life, passing schools and entire villages, farm plots and shops. Leaving the villages behind you will head through a stunning mopane forest and deep into the park where the wildlife viewing starts. Alternatively, opt for a 15-minute flight (at additional cost) from Mfuwe Airport into Lukuzi Airstrip which is just 15 minutes’ drive from camp. Upon arrival, refreshments will be offered before heading out on game drive and obligatory sundowner drinks.


Tafika Camp is set on a remote bend of the snake-like Luangwa River, affording magnificent views of the opposite bank and wildlife in and around the river. Simple by design yet the ultimate in bush luxury, the six reed and thatch chalets with river sand flooring and open-air en suite bathrooms sit under shady trees. Activity options for exploring the varied habitats include wildlife tracking on foot, morning game drives & afternoon game drives that become evening drives after sundowners.


Leave the vehicles behind! The journey from Tafika to the Chikoko Trails Camps takes you 8km upstream from Tafika to a point where you cross the river by boat, your first camp is then just a few hundred meters away which is conducted on foot. Arrive in time for lunch and a siesta in the heat of day before heading out in the mid-afternoon for a discovery walk in the area with your guide. Return to camp for sunset drinks and dinner.


Accommodation is in three grass and thatch en suite chalets under the shade of a tree canopy. The chalets are a delightful combination of natural building materials and imaginative character. There are no roads in this area of the park so all activities from this camp are on foot. Morning walking safaris are taken at a leisurely pace over approx. 4 hours with a morning tea stop along the way. After lunch and a siesta, a shorter 2.5 hour walk will focus on tracking the wildlife that starts to become more active as the temperature eases. Your Chikoko Trails itinerary will include a stay at Chikoko Tree Camp and Crocodile River Camp, the transfer between them being a morning safari walk of approx. 4 hours.


You might like to spend your final morning with your guide further exploring on foot or quietly sitting in camp reflecting on your experiences in magical Zambia. At a time that fits with your plans, you will be transferred out to a vehicle and to a point where you can connect with onward arrangements.


A selection of the finest safari camps

Tongabezi – Victoria Falls

Tongabezi Lodge is a quiet hideaway on the banks of the Zambezi River just upstream from Victoria Falls. Game drives, bush walks and boating trips are all on offer just a few kilometres from the tourist hub of Victoria Falls. Read More

Chiawa – Lower Zambezi National Park

Chiawa Camp rests peacefully on the banks of the Zambezi River, in a grove of mahogany and acacia trees. The camp’s construction of natural materials ensures it sits unobtrusively in the landscape and that the idyllic setting can be fully appreciated. Read More

Tafika Camp – South Luangwa National Park

Tafika Camp is situated on the Luangwa River just outside the Nsefu Sector of the South Luangwa National Park, dwarfed beneath giant leadwood trees. It offers genuine warmth and hospitality and some of the finest leopard-sighting opportunities in Africa. Read More

Luangwa Chikoko Trails

Unfolding in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park, a Chikoko Trails safari is a unique walking experience in one of the richest wildlife areas in the world. Hiking expeditions take you between two camps, accessible only by foot, following well-worn elephant and hippo trails. With pulses racing you’ll discover the inner workings of the African bush in a way you could never imagine from a vehicle. Read more

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