Alex Bellew, one of our Senior Sales Consultants, along with her friend George, has just returned from an exceptional journey, and here she tells us about their amazing trip.
We’ve just returned from a fantastic journey to Zambia and Malawi, where we enjoyed safari in the South Luangwa National Park, followed by some relaxation and beach time on the hidden gem that is Lake Malawi.
Our journey began in the South Luangwa, Zambia’s premier park. The park is 9050 sq. km with the river, its tributaries and the riverine strips being the focus of the wildlife viewing. There are diverse habitats, from huge ox bow lagoons of varying stages of maturity, woodlands, ebony groves, grassland and thickets, that host truly impressive numbers of wildlife. The bird life is also excellent with around 450 species to be seen. We were lucky enough to see the best colony of Yellow Billed Storks in the South Luangwa at Tafika Lodge.
Tafika Lodge is in the North of the park and therefore the least touristy part. The lodge is very famous for its walking safaris the camp is perfect for the safari purist, with hardly any other vehicles around you and amazing private guides.
Our journey then took us on to Chinzombo, one of the Norman Carr Safari Lodges, which is incredibly luxurious. We enjoyed a private plunge pool and top quality food and we both thought what a wonderful place it would be for honeymooners.
After Chinzombo we stayed a night at Chindeni and a night at Kampamba, both lodges part of the Bushcamp Company. Both camps were lovely, small and intimate and we enjoyed fun and original evenings including a Mongolian BBQ one night!
We enjoyed beautiful sunsets and sundowners on the river banks with hippos wallowing as the sun danced over the water and the colours of the sky transfixed us. We felt very lucky with our gin and tonics in hand and remembered there is nothing truly like an African sunset!
The game viewing in South Luangwa was incredible and we were amazed at how quiet it was compared to other national parks, as on some game drives we barely passed another vehicle. Many places claim to be “one of the remaining wilderness areas” or “one of the last wildlife sanctuaries” but the South Luangwa National Park can truly live up to all these names.
Our expert guides were exceptional (excuse the pun), and had an unbounded knowledge of the game we saw as well as the flora and fauna.
From Zambia we took the short flight from Mfuwe to Lilongwe in Malawi and then up to Likoma Island where we headed to Kaya Mawa, an idyllic island lodge in stunning natural surroundings.
Kaya Mawa sits in a pretty bay on Likoma Island, located half way up Lake Malawi close to the Mozambique mainland, covered with mango trees and ancient baobabs, encircled by glorious sandy beaches and rocky coves.
We truly thought we’d found heaven when we arrived and we relaxed, sunbathed and read our books on the beach, with spectacular views over the lake.
The waters around the lodge are both safe and clear (free of hippos) and swimming and snorkelling are on offer – some of the best fresh water snorkelling in the world.
Malawi combines really well with Zambia, as a ‘beach’ destination, which many wouldn’t think of a landlocked country, but the lake at nearly 600km long and up to 80km wide has stunning natural beaches.
We are now home with our families with very fond memories and stacks of photos. We want to thank everyone who made the experience so enjoyable, and I will definitely be recommending the combination of Zambia and Malawi to our clients. George is planning on returning to Kaya Mawa for her 10 year wedding anniversary and I’m rather jealous!