Each October and November local denizens like “Wonky Tusk,” baby “Lord Wellington” and her family pay a visit to the Mfuwe Lodge in South Luangwa National Park, wandering right through the lobby in search of wild sweet mangos. Lord Wellington was born on the grounds just last October 2009. The gentle giants have caught the attention of Jonathon Scott, wildlife photographer and the BBC Big Cat Diary presenter, who now leads expeditions along with renowned Bushcamp Company guide, leopard & giraffe expert and former Luangwa park warden, Phil Berry. This remarkable safari runs November 3 through 10 with a few spaces open for adventurous spirits.
Zambia’s unspoilt South Luangwa National Park, home to over 60 animal species and 400 birds, is the birthplace of the original walking safari and the savvy Bushcamp Company stands as the only safari operator in the southern section of the Luangwa park. They pride themselves on their six intimate, remote “camps,” each inimitable in its own way with a maximum of eight guests. As the Bushcamp Company says, “From a vehicle you see Africa. On foot you feel, hear and smell Africa.”
A stay at the Mfuwe Lodge can be a perfect segue into a walking safari. Set on a lagoon under a canopy of ebony and mahogany, just ten minutes from the main gates of the park, Mfuwe Lodge overlooks the most prolific game area of the South Luangwa. Observe the waxing and waning of the migrating wildlife from the open deck or swimming pool or spa Jacuzzi as giraffe, buffalo, antelope, hippos and crocodile are frequent visitors to the lodge’s lagoons. Watch lion cubs wrestle in the grass, giraffes gracefully strolling by, and scurrying baboons, all the while relaxing on the veranda of your thatched-roof chalet.
The dry season begins in April and intensifies through to October, the hottest month when game concentrations are at their height. Warm sunny days and chilly nights typify the dry winter months of May to August. The wet season begins in November as the leaves turn green, and the dry bleak terrain becomes a lush jungle. The rainy season lasts up until the end of March and the migrant birds arrive in droves.
Photos courtesy of The Bushcamp Company.
Reporting by Kendra Osburn.