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7 Nights – Northern Zambia

This 7 night safari will give you an exciting opportunity to explore Northern Zambia which is fast becoming a destination not to be missed on a Zambian safari. You will combine the wide variety of vegetation and animals of Kasanka National Park, the amazing birdlife of the Bangweulu Swamps and the historical Mano House & Estate at Shiwa Ng’andu. You can also try a hand on visiting some of the waterfalls around Zambia’s Northern Province during your time at Shiwa Ng’andu.
Camps making up the itinerary include;

  • 2 nights at Wasa Lodge in Kasanka National Park
  • 2 nights at Shoebill Island Camp on Bangweulu Swamps
  • 3 nights at Manor House on Shiwa Ng’andu Estate

Itinerary summary;

Day 1 – Arrival in Lusaka off your international flight

MEET AND GREET; Upon arrival at Lusaka International Airport, you will be met and greeted by a representative from Imagine Zambia Tours. Please look out for your names on a name board as you enter the terminal building.

Our representative will assist you through passport control and will also help you getting your luggage and clear customs. You will then be handed over to a driver who will transfer you to Wasa Lodge – the road transfer takes about 6 hours. A flight transfer can be booked if preferred.

Day 1 to Day 3 – Wasa Lodge

This lodge is the best base for exploring Kasanka National Park. The park’s wide variety of vegetation results in it harbouring a diverse range of animal and bird species. As well as elephant, buffalo and thousands of puku, you will find Sharp’s grysbok, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, sable and the shy roan antelope. Kasanka’s predators are shy but hyena, lion and leopard do occur, along with a host of mongooses, and the rare, slender-snouted crocodile.

One of the park’s highlights is the Fibwe tree-hide, a short climb into a magnificent mahogany. It is probably the best place in Africa for observing wild sitatunga, and sightings of these elusive antelope are very common.

If you get a chance to visit Kasanka in November and December, you will witness an enormous gathering of up to 15 million straw-coloured fruit bats. This is one of the highest concentrations of mammals anywhere on the planet and watching them fly at sunset is an awesome experience.

Wasa Lodge has eight thatched rondavals, each with en-suite showers and a flush toilet, as well as a few more basic chalets. You will also like the separate bar/dining area which have a lovely location overlooking Lake Wasa.

Activities at Wasa Lodge will be game drives by vehicle, walking safaris and boat trips on the Luwombwa River.

Day 3 – Transfer from Wasa Lodge to Shoebill Island Camp

After breakfast this morning, you will be transferred from Wasa Lodge to Shoebill Island Camp which is on the Bangweulu wetlands – the road transfer takes about 6 hours and Shoebill will be your home for 2 nights. A flight transfer can be booked if preferred.

Day 3 to Day 5 – Shoebill Island Camp

Shoebill Island Camp is a simple bushcamp in style but it is the perfect spot for travellers who have done other safaris before and want a completely different experience. It is also great for serious bird enthusiasts and those who wish to see the rare black Lechwe and other plains game found in the area.

The camp stands on the edge of Zambia’s Bangweulu wetlands, which is an enormous flooded wilderness of low islands, reed-beds and shallow lagoons. Surrounding this is a wide band of short-grass floodplains, and beyond are forests. Shoebill Camp has six walk-in tents under thatched roofs and three reed huts. The tents are very simply furnished with local materials and each had either a double bed or twin beds covered by a mosquito net.

Bangweulu’s main attraction is its prolific birdlife, including numerous ducks and geese, as well as flamingos, pelicans, spoonbills, storks, herons, kingfishers, ibises, wattled cranes and the amazing shoebill – a huge, prehistoric-looking bird with a strong likeness to the dodo. Bangweulu’s wildlife can also be spectacular. Tens of thousands of black Lechwe, sitatunga, tsessebe, reedbuck, common duiker and plenty of oribi are found in this part of Zambia. Elephant and buffalo are also frequently seen while hyena, leopard and jackal are less common.

Day 5 – Transfer from Shoebill Camp to Shiwa Ng’andu

After breakfast this morning, you will be transferred from Shoebill Island Camp to Shiwa Ng’andu estate – the road transfer takes about 6 hours and Shoebill will be your home for 3 nights. A flight transfer can be booked if preferred.

Day 5 to Day 8 – Manor House at Shiwa Ng’andu Estate

Shiwa Ng’andu Manor House has become more famously known through the best-selling book called “The Africa House”. It is an English Manor House, set on the Shiwa Ng’andu estate, complete with red-brick gatehouse, a clay-tiled roofed workers cottage, a long approach avenue, formal gardens, a lake and even its own chapel. The house is an extra-ordinary testament to the determination of its founder, Sir Stewart Gore-Brown, and it is filled with memorabilia and historical records.

Charlie and Jo are wonderful hosts and have done a great job in restoring the manor house and estate at Shiwa Ng’andu, as well as some of the other buildings. They have opened up their home to visitors and have a way of making their guests feel very welcome, yet they still manage to continue the day-to-day routine of running the estate. Many visitors who have been to this place have rated Shiwa Ng’andu as the highlight of their trip.

The Manor House was built in 1925 by Sir Stewart Gore-Brown, following his extensive travels through Africa. After his death in 1967, the Shiwa Ng’andu was taken over by his daughter, Loma, and her husband, John Harvey. Loma and John’s untimely death in 1992, and lack of funds, led to the house and estate falling into disrepair until it was rescued by their son, Charlie and his wife, Jon in 1999. Together, this couple has restored the house and the estate, including a working farm, to their former grandeur.

The House has five bedrooms, of which 4 are en-suite. All rooms are comfortable and has a fire place which is lit in the colder evenings. They are decorated and furnished in period style, with some of the furniture dating back to when Sir Stewart lived in the house. Comfy sofas and armchairs are arranged around a white-painted brick fireplace with tightly packed bookshelves in the wooden-beamed lounge. Family antiques are dotted around the room, the stone floors are covered with Persian rugs, and the walls are hung with paintings of various Gore-Brown relatives dating back to the early 19th century.

Most meals are taken in the dining room which is dominated by a large table. Meals are laid on a long sideboard for guests to help themselves, although in the warm summary days, lunch may be also served in the garden. The house also has a library with bookshelves housing a fascinating range of books collected by Sir Stewart and other members of the family over the years.

Activities at Shiwa Ng’andu vary; most visitors who overnight have access to the estate, from the wildlife reserve and the lake to the extensive archives in the house as well as day to day working on the farm. Walks around the farm with Jo are also a great experience. Short 20-minute walks up to the family graves at the top of a hill which offers lovely views of the lake can also be arranged. Another long walk of about 3 hours up the Nachipala Hill is a good experience. Forest walks along sandy tracks can also be taken. Game drives are available on the Shiwa Ng’andu reserve where you can see small herds of zebra, sitatunga and blue duiker – the birdlife here is also prolific with over 375 different species ranging from turaco, longcraw, green-headed sunbirds and barbets to vultures and many more. Guided boat trips on the lake are a great experience and allow you to see the many resident crocodiles and birdlife as well as amazing sunsets over the hills. A day trip to Kapishya Hot Spring can be a great adventure.

Day 8 – transfer from Shiwa Ng’andu to Lusaka Airport

Early after breakfast on this day, you will be transferred from Shiwa Ng’andu Estate to Lusaka Airport where you will catch your international flight out of Zambia. Note that a flight transfer from Shiwa Ng’andu to Lusaka Airport can be arranged.

Meet and Assist; on arrival at Lusaka International Airport, you will be met by a representative from Imagine Zambia Tours, who will be at hand again to assist with baggage handling and check in to your International flight out of Zambia.

This is the end of your safari in Zambia but we will still be in touch with you to make sure that your travel back home was well and safe.

For quotations and booking enquiries, please contact us on info@imaginezambiatours.com and we will be delighted to do everything for you.