Zambia & Malawi 'Livingstone Trail' 

12 – 30 October, 2018  

18 Days Escorted  



OCTOBER 2018

Fri 12 AUCKLAND – LIVINGSTONE, ZAMBIA

Travel with Thai Airways to Bangkok and connect with our overnight flight with Kenya Airways to Livingstone via Nairobi.

Sat 13 LIVINGSTONE (Lodge)

Upon arrival in Livingstone we will be met by our tour guides and transferred to our hotel, the Maramba River Lodge. Relax and unwind and at 1400 we all meet for a tour briefing held by our guides at the lodge. After the briefing, we explore Victoria Falls, a natural wonder of the world, plunging into the Zambezi Gorge. Overnight Maramba River Lodge.

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Sun 14 KAFUE RIVER (Lodge B,L)

A long drive takes us across the rolling Miombo forested hills of southern Zambia and down into the Zambezi Valley lowlands and our lodge on the banks of the Kafue River. Being a major tributary to the Zambezi River it is the largest and longest river lying entirely within Zambia. We overnight on its banks and enjoy the sunset from the elevated deck. Overnight Gwambi River Lodge. Twin en-suite rooms. Swimming pool & bar.

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Mon-Tue 15/16 LOWER ZAMBEZI CANOEING (Camping B,L,D, Lodge B,L)

We paddle a full day with local river guides down the mighty Zambezi River, home of the tribal mythical god - Nyami Nyami. Canoeing past local riverside villages and magnificent scenery. We overnight at a wild campsite on Elephant Bones Island in the heart of untamed Africa. The following morning we continue our canoe safari through an area teaming with elephants, hippos and other wildlife. We will be collected by a motorboat, and transferred back up river to our lodge.

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Mon 15: Wild Camping – we camp wild on an island for 1 night while canoeing on the Zambezi River. Wild camps have no facilities; we will need to take our own water and all equipment. Toilets will be of the “dig and bury” variety. All the camping equipment and a sleeping bag and Pillow are supplied plus dome tents 2.2 x 2.2 x 1.8 metres. Putting them up or down takes only 5 minutes. Tents have built-in insect nets. We supply mattresses, which are thick, warm and comfortable. The camp chairs have a backrest. You will need to bring your own towel.

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Tue 16: Gwabi River Lodge. Twin en-suite rooms. Swimming pool & bar.

Wed 17 LUSAKA – GREAT EAST ROAD (Camping B,L,D)

We head north to Lusaka the capital of Zambia where we stock up on supplies in the bustling shops and markets. Taking the Great East Road we drive this afternoon, passing small villages and street side markets, until sunset reaching the Luangwa River. Overnight in a campsite with good ablution facilities, hot showers, bar.

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Thu-Fri 18/19 SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK (Tent Chalets B,L)

Make our way down into “the valley” of the South Luangwa National Park. This remote region is one of Africa’s finest wildlife sanctuaries where elephants, hippo, lion and leopard abound. Our lodge, on the banks of the Luangwa River, overlooks the national park and you can frequently see hippos and elephants from the camp swimming pool! We explore the game management area and the national park on a game walk and open 4WD game drives, one at night with spotlights, to see nocturnal animals. (In the green season, Dec – Apr, walks may not be possible in which case we’ll do extra game drives). There is time on the last afternoon either to relax in camp or take another game walk, game drive or village visit activity (own expense). Overnight Wildlife Camp Chalets with swimming pool, restaurant & bar. Our stay includes visit to the South Luangwa National Park, a game walk, 2 game drives and 1 day national park fee.

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Sat 20 KUTI (Camping B,L,D)

We cross the border at Chipata into Malawi and make our way to the Capital Lilongwe where we restock on supplies, before heading to Kuti Wildlife Reserve. This reserve is home to wide selection of big mammal species including giraffe, wildebeest & zebra. The sable herds are the pride and joy of Kuti, flourishing in this environment and reaching over 100 animals. Overnight campsite with good ablution facilities, hot showers, swimming pool, restaurant & bar.

Sun-Mon 21/22 MULANJE MASSIF (Lodge B,L)

We tour one of Malawi’s famous tea plantations in the Thyolo region before making our way to our lodge in Mulanje. Mount Mulanje’s bare rock flanks tower to almost 3002m, dwarfing all that surrounds it, and influencing cloud patterns in the area, making it an important source of rain water at the head of almost every river in this part of southern Malawi. Formed about 130 million years ago, the first European to see the Massif was David Livingstone in 1859, but archaeological investigation reveals evidence of human activity since the Stone Ages. We take a day walk on the slopes to see the streams, waterfalls and towering peaks. Overnight Kara O’Mula, twin share with en-suite rooms.

Tue/Wed 23/24 LIWONDE (Camping B,L,D)

Ancient baobab trees and lofty palms provide the backdrop for this magnificent southern Malawi reserve. Covering 548 km² of the upper Shire River plains and valley slopes, Liwonde harbours Malawi’s largest remaining elephant population and the critically endangered Black Rhino. The River Shire flows along its western border, allowing us to enjoy a boat safari, and we’ll game drive in our tour vehicle through the grassland and woodland habitats in search of leopards, elephants, hippos, antelopes and rare Lilian’s lovebirds. Overnihgt in Mvuu Campsite with shared facilities, bar, restaurant.

NOTE: it may be possible, on arrival to upgrade into the lodge. This is subject to availability and Sunway will contribute the equivalent of camping fee. We do not book lodge rooms because it would add excessively to the overall price of the tour.

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Thu-Fri 25/26 LAKE MALAWI (Lodge B,L,D)

Lake Malawi is the jewel of Malawi and one the Great Rift Valley lakes. We head to the Lake Malawi National Park where we take a boat to the secluded tropical Mumbo Island, near Cape Maclear. The rustic lodge is an idyllic paradise with kayaks and snorkelling gear available to explore the island and snorkel with the jewelled fish, the endemic Cichlids. The friendly people of Malawi make it the “warm heart of Africa”. Overnight Mubo Island in twin share rooms (some made of reed, others with canvas and all with thatched roof) with en suite bathrooms, & hot showers. The lodge has 7 rooms, so depending on group size and make up, this may affect single supplement options.

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Sat 27 LILONGWE – TOUR ENDS (B)

Leaving the shores of Lake Malawi we return to Lilongwe Airport for our Kenya Airways overnight flight to Bangkok via Nairobi and overnight connection to Auckland with Thai Airways.

Mon 29 ARRIVE AUCKLAND

TOUR PRICE PER PERSON:

6999.00 share twin, 7710.00 single

If you are travelling on your own, we will “room” you with another same gender client. You do not pay extra when booking as a single person. If however you request a single room, then you'll pay the single supplement. Note that there are only 2 available singles on this tour.
TOUR PRICE INCLUDES
  • Economy class airfares ex Auckland
  • Accommodation and all sightseeing as specified in the itinerary
  • Road transportation in specially designed safari truck with panoramic windows
  • Meals as stated (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner)
  • Opportunity to break your journey in either/both Nairobi and Bangkok
TOUR PRICE EXCLUDES
  • Domestic flights to/from Auckland
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Tips USD300 per person collected on day 2 by the tour guides
  • Food and beverages not specified
  • Visas: USD50 Zambia, USD75.00 Malawi – both obtainable online


TRIP NOTES

An exciting safari experience exploring the diversity of the lesser travelled South Eastern African countries. This tour is not for the faint hearted, and requires some patience; the travelling can be slow, some nights the accommodation is basic, however the journey offers amazing scenery and fantastic highlights, well worth any long travel days. We recommend malaria prophylactics. This is a safari for travellers with a sense of adventure.

Overnight: 10 nights on safari we stay at chalets, tented lodges and guest houses, with en suite facilities. 5 nights camping (Sunway will provide tents, mats and chairs, but you will need to bring your own sleeping bag) of which 1 night we “camp wild” without fences in the wilderness on an island in the Zambezi. On this night the crew will provide a bucket shower (with hot water off the fire) and a pit latrine (with seat!).

Meals: 15 breakfasts, 14 lunches & 7 dinners are included. Of which; 5 breakfasts are provided by the lodges. The remaining included meals are prepared by the Sunway crew at the vehicle & enjoyed around the campfire.

Transport: Due to the sometimes demanding road conditions you travel in a Sunway Safari truck with 12 seats. Potholes, speed bumps & rain damaged gravel roads are characteristic of the areas we travel through and can make driving slow and bouncy. However, we pass through road side villages and thus have opportunity to witness the local lifestyle. For the game drives in South Luangwa we use open sided 4WD vehicles with local guides.

Limited participation: An essential part of your safari is some participation. From carrying your own bag to cleaning your window and packing the truck in the morning – it’s all part of your adventure. For the longer days if everyone puts in a little effort the trip will run smoothly. Where the tour leaders provide meals we ask that clients help (on rotation) with washing up.



DETAILED TOUR INFORMATION FROM OUR AFRICAN TOUR OPERATOR SUNWAY SAFARIS

In a nutshell

  • A diverse African adventure – discovery route.

  • All inclusive trip with cultural experience, adventure and wildlife through Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa!

  • Victoria Falls, Lower Zambezi canoeing, Lake Malawi, Benguerra Island, Kruger National Park – great diversity!

Why travel with Sunway Safaris?

We understand that there are several options available to you when choosing your African safari. We also know that you want to make the most informed decision about your safari, what you get, what’s included and what you see and experience. So these are just a few of the Sunway qualities and facts:

Small groups

By travelling with a maximum of 12 people, you are able to witness Africa and have first-hand contact with this amazing continent and its people without being a negative influence. This has been a key factor in our continued success. Our trips appeal to a wide demographic of traveller. Our clients range in age from 25 to 65+ with the average being 45. The range of travellers gives a variety of perspectives which adds to the experience of each safari.

2 Sunway tour guides

Group leaders are the key to any safari. On a Sunway safari you will travel with 2 qualified and registered field guides (Field Guides Association of SA). Two guides as crew, not a guide and a driver, means interesting trips with maximum knowledge and information. Our guides have a passion for Africa, her people and her wildlife, and they love nothing more than sharing their knowledge with you.

Guaranteed departures

Departure dates on each itinerary shown as bold are guaranteed departure dates. All other departures operate with a minimum of 4 clients.

All inclusive price

When we travel ourselves, we always feel that if we’re in a country we should find and see the best it has to offer. So when planning the Sunway routes we ensure that each trip provides the best inclusions and experiences. For example, if you go to Botswana – you have to visit the national parks in an open 4WD – it is the essence of the Botswana wilderness. If you tour Zambia, then you must visit South Luangwa NP and do a game walk with a local scout. When booking on a Sunway Safari there are no hidden costs. All of the entrance fees are included, and a wide range of activities, and most meals. We have included many highlights in our tours, so that you will see and experience the highlights without having to pay extra when you get there. So when you decide on which safari company to book with, look carefully at what you’re actually getting. You may only visit a place once, make sure you get the most out of it.

Safety

Our fleet of vehicles are custom built to ensure comfortable and safe touring. Each is constructed, by an authorised passenger vehicle builder, to the latest safety requirements, with a safety shell, and every seat has a lap belt. This gives you peace of mind when travelling with Sunway Safaris on the often demanding African roads.

Responsible travel

Our commitment to sustainable & responsible tourism is reflected in our low impact travel style where all we take is photographs and all we leave is our footprints. Being an African company we have the grassroots contacts to make a real difference in the lives of the people whose lands we visit. On each itinerary in the brochure you’ll find this symbol which highlights just one of the sustainable travel initiatives that we support.

Solo Travellers

Going it alone won’t make your holiday more expensive; our reservations staff will match you up with another same-gender traveller to keep your holiday affordable. If however you request a single room or tent these are available, with a price supplement.

Experience

We have more than 22 years’ experience planning tours throughout Southern Africa. As such, our itineraries and routes have been perfected over many years ensuring that your tour will run smoothly. We visit the highlights of Southern Africa, but ensure that you do not follow the well-trodden tourist track. All of us at Sunway Safaris have extensive travel experience in Africa, and throughout the world. Being adventure travellers ourselves, we know how to plan trips that give you a broad experience of the countries that you will visit.

Based in Africa

Probably the most important part of a Sunway safari is that we are an African company with offices in South Africa and Botswana. We live in Africa, we travel in Africa and it is our passion for this amazing continent that makes Sunway your best travel option.

Local Payment

A local payment is required on this safari and this will be collected by your tour leader on departure. The local payment forms part of your overall tour cost, and must be taken into consideration when booking your safari. It will be used by your tour leaders to pay for some of the operational costs incurred on safari.

Sunway prepays by bank transfer, as many of the tour costs as possible. However, in many cases, a cash payment is the only option: certain of the destinations that we visit, only accept cash. For example entry fees to most national parks, some of the campsites and also local food markets (and even some shops) are only payable in cash. In addition, each Sunway vehicle has a garage card but these are only accepted in South Africa and parts of Namibia, therefore in all other countries, fuel must be paid for in cash. Due to the remoteness of some departure points, having a local payment system enables us to manage tour funds effectively. The efficiency of this system helps keep the overall tour prices down.

For these reasons, it is necessary for Sunway to charge a local payment. It also ensures that a portion of the tour costs goes directly into the country you are visiting, thereby benefiting local communities and contributing to the conservation of the areas we visit. This is all part of Sunway Safaris’ ongoing effort to operate sustainable safaris that make a real difference.

Recommended reading

Before you travel you might want to read any of the following books. While not specific to the Sunway tour you will join, they do provide some background understanding of the countries you will be visiting.

  • Africa House by Christina Lamb (Story of Stewart Gore who built an English country mansion in Zambia)
  • Exploring Victoria Falls by Prof Lee R Berger and Brett Hilton by Barbe
  • David Livingstone, The Truth Behind The Legend by Rob Mackenzie
  • Personal Life of David Livingstone by William Blaikie
  • Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela (Autobiography - Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time.)
  • Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton (Is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son Absalom. A classic work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man.)
  • The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay (Story of one young man's search for the love that binds friends, the passion that binds lovers, and the realization that it takes only one to change the world.)
  • The Covenant by James A. Mitchener (The best and worst of two continents carve an empire out of the vast wilderness that is to become South Africa.)
  • My Traitor’s Heart by Rian Malan (Malan, former South African crime reporter, searches for the truth behind apartheid.)
  • When The Lion Feeds by Smith Wilbur (Fictional story set in Natal, South Africa in the 1870’s)
  • Jock of the Bushveld by J Percy Fitz Patrick (Story of a trader and his dog set in 1880 around Pilgrim’s Rest and Kruger area)
  • Newman's Birds of Southern Africa by Kenneth Newman
  • Sasol Birds of Southern Africa by Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey, and W.R. Tarboton
  • The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals Including Hoofed Mammals, Carnivores, and Primates by Richard D. Estes and Daniel Otte
  • Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa (Field Guides) by Braam Van Wyk, Keith Coates Palgrav, and Piet Van Wyk

Shopping

Craft shopping for curios en route is diverse and rewarding. Remember - if you see something you like, it is best to buy it because it is unlikely that you will see something similar further along.


Food

We pride ourselves on giving very good healthy meals to our clients and will provide three meals per day, except where shown in itinerary, where we try out local restaurants or fresh produce markets.

The tour leaders do the shopping and meal planning for each group. He/she will always try to obtain fresh produce wherever possible. A rough idea of what these will consist of is: Breakfast - cereals or coffee and toast or the occasional fried breakfast, Lunch - cheese, cold meats, salads on bread or rolls, Dinner - braais (local barbecue), potjies (stews), stir fries etc. We use regular plates, cups and cutlery. All cooking and eating utensils will also be provided.

We do cater for special dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian or allergies.)

We will supply fruit squash served with breakfast and tea or coffee served with breakfast and dinner. All other beverages will be for your own expense. We will not supply bottled drinking water although it is available at many shops on tour.

Difficulty

Anyone who is generally active and in good health should enjoy this trip. Simple campsites are enjoyed by the outdoor enthusiast, you will get dusty on occasion; but this is Africa!

This is a long distance T rans Africa safari - there is a lot of distance to be covered and so there will be some long travelling days. Due to local conditions, border crossings, road detours and weather, the trip may alter route / schedule - please remember that this continent has its own time scale and things work differently here. Keep an open mind and a sense of humour - it’s all part of the adventure!

Everyone is asked to help out with the running of camp on tour. In other words if everyone spends a little time setting up camp, preparing meals and cleaning up then the tour will run smoothly and everyone will have a good time. Participation is the name of the game.


Things you should know

Includes all National Park entrance fees, canoeing in the Lower Zambezi River and a trip out to Magaruque Island in the warm Indian Ocean. You will need to bring your own towel.

You will need a valid passport and visas for entry into Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa. Please note that these can be arranged in advance and cannot always be obtained at the border. (Please check visa requirements with your travel agent). At the time of this update, a Mozambique visa is available at the border.

Forex bureaus are available in Livingstone, Lilongwe, Blantyre & Vilanculos. However we recommend that you bring small denomination Euro or US$ cash notes for personal expenses on this trip. In some cases you'll be able to pay local service providers in forex, and in some cases you'll need to change into the local currency (Zambian Kwacha, Malawian Kwacha, Mozambique Meticais and South African Rand). Zambia requires that all services are paid in local currency, however major credit cards (Mastercard/Visa) can also be used for optional activities in Livingstone and elsewhere on tour. See the Sunway tour dossier for approximate costs of non-included drinks and meals etc.


Common questions about this trip

Can I buy camera memory cards?

Memory cards and other photographic accessories will be available several times on tour. A camera with a zoom lens from wide angle to telephoto, 35-300mm, is advisable to capture both scenic and wildlife shots. Each vehicle is fitted with a 12/24V cigarette lighter – this should not be relied on for charging camera batteries and we recommend you bring a 2nd battery. Remember you can also charge your camera on those nights we use accommodation (SA 220V).

Is it safe?

Africa and on the route we follow is relatively safe and your guide knows the countries intimately and will endeavour to show you the best parts while looking after you. In the cities keep a careful eye on your belongings and don’t leave anything lying about - petty theft is rife. In the wild areas your guide will brief you on the necessary precautions, follow this advice and you will be fine. Be aware of your personal belongings and you will have a great trip!

Do I need malaria tablets?

Yes, the trip passes through malaria areas and prophylactics are recommended.

What do I need to bring?

All details are covered in our general tour briefing (available from www.sunway-safaris.com on home page) but the basics are:- comfortable clothes for warm days and cool evenings, walking shoes, a raincoat, hat and sunglasses, swimsuit, a small pair of binoculars also comes in very handy and most importantly - a sense of adventure!

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