Chikoko Trails Walking Safari

Prices on request £0

Embark on the Chikoko Trails, one of Africa’s great adventures. Explore the vast wilderness of northern South Luangwa National Park and interact with a wide variety of game whilst on foot. This is one of the world’s ultimate wildlife adventures.

Prices: On request

Duration: 7 nights

Availability: Late May through October

Destinations: South Luangwa National Park


i) Embark on epic walking safaris in the remote northern sector of the famous South Luangwa National Park

ii) Approach large game such as elephants, lions and hyenas on foot

iii) Transfer from one camp to the next on foot, passing resident game on the way

iv) Sleep in authentic bush camps and experience the sounds of the African night

v) Enjoy game drives and photograph a plethora of animals and over 400 bird species

All about Chikoko Trails Walking Safari.


Join us and experience one of the most authentic and exhilarating wildlife safari experiences in Africa. The Chikoko Trail in the northern reaches of Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park is amongst the premium walking safari adventures in Africa. You will begin your safari with 3 nights at Tafika Camp where you can enjoy a plethora of safari activities such as game drives, night drives and even mountain biking safaris. This compliments the walking perfectly. You will then transfer north and the rest of your experience is on foot as you move between camps on foot, passing neighbouring elephants, lions and wild dogs on the way. This adventure is not for the faint hearted, but for those with a true sense of adventure it will provide a lasting memory.

Best time to visit?

So what is the best time of year to take this trip to maximise your overall experience? Without knowing you yet this is a difficult question to answer. With so many variables to consider we need to know what is important to you before we advise on the preferable time for you.

There are many variables to consider when attempting to recommend the best time to visit. Specific considerations include the whereabouts of migratory animals, the effect the density of the vegetation and height of the grass has on wildlife viewing, special wildlife moments such as the birth of baby animals, and the effect weather patterns has on wildlife behaviour. Other factors to consider are the variation in prices at different times of the year, visitor traffic, whether you prefer a lush or relatively arid environment and of course the annual climate, namely temperature and rainfall values.

For this reason we present detailed information for each individual destination in the locations section to help you understand what may work best for you. We will of course have an in-depth discussion with you prior to making a booking so you are completely happy with the time of year you decide to travel.

Included activities:

  • Specialist walking expeditions
  • Game drives
  • Night drives
  • Birding
  • Mountain bike safaris
  • Cultural visits (schools and villages)

Optional activities:

  • All available activities are included in the price
The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the tour price.

  • 7 nights accommodation as described
  • All meals and drinks
  • All safari activities as described above
  • All ground transfers
  • All meals and drinks (except superior wines)
  • All relevant taxes and surcharges
  • Full financial supplier failure protection
  • ATOL protection on all items
What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the tour price.

  • International flight to and from Zambia
  • Domestic return flight Lusaka- Mfuwe- Lusaka
  • Airport transfers in home country
  • Applicable VISAS
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Health innoculations and medications
  • Personal travel insurance
  1. Day 1 Your Ultimate Wildlife Adventure Begins

    Board your overnight international flight from your chosen airport to Lusaka, Zambia.

  2. Day 2 Tafika Camp, South Luangwa National Park (all-inclusive)

    On arrival at Lusaka International Airport, you will be met by one of our representatives. They will assist you with immigration and customs clearing and check in for your flight to Mfuwe, South Luangwa. At Mfuwe International Airport a guide from Tafika Camp will meet you and transfer you to camp. On arrival you will be introduced to staff and receive an orientation of the camp prior to settling down for some richly deserved food. Depending on your time of arrival you will enjoy your first game drive or head straight out onto a night drive to witness the happenings in South Luangwa after dark.

  3. Days 3-4 Tafika Camp, South Luangwa National Park (all-inclusive)

    You will have two full days to explore this remote sector in the north of South Luangwa National Park. With much less visitors than the central part of the park you will feel like you have the park to yourself. With its full array of big African predators, including large densities of leopard, large herds of elephants and buffalo and over 400 species of birds it is a true African paradise.

    Tafika is an excellent camp to start your adventure as it complements the walking camps you will be staying at by offering exciting alternative activities such as night drives, canoeing and even mountain biking safari. A real rarity in such a wild part of Africa. The guides in camp ensure days are not repetitive and monotonous so you will have flexibility to plan your day accordingly and your guides will make suggestions based on recent wildlife activity. As well as the aforementioned activities you will also have the choice to choose from motorboat safari, day game drives, fishing, birding and cultural visits to local schools and villages.

  4. Days 5-6 Chikoko Trails @ Crocodile River Camp, South Luangwa National Park (all-inclusive)

    On day 5 you will head even further from civilisation to north of the Nsefu sector to an area of the park explored by few others. You really will feel as though you have your own piece of African wilderness all to yourselves.

    As always we start the day with breakfast, most likely al-fresco overlooking the river. After loading your luggage into the landcruiser you will be driven north until you can go no further. Here you will disembark the vehicle and cross the river by canoe. On the other side the only method of transport to camp is your own two feet- welcome to Chikoko Trails. Porters will soon be out of sight with your luggage as you slowly amble past large game such as the endemic Thornicroft giraffes, packs of African wild dogs and large herds of elephants. On arrival at camp you will meet the team, enjoy a much deserved lunch before relaxing or even retiring for a siesta. Head back out on foot in the afternoon and learn about the land and it’s animals as your guide explains every fine detail of the bush.

    Day 6 will begin early. After a cup of tea or coffee you will head out into the bush at first light. This time of day is perfect to be out and about. The light is better for photography, the animals are more active than later in the day when the temperature is too hot and you are likely to see nocturnal creatures at the tail end of their active hours. Walking in the bush is both educational and exhilarating. You will learn so much about the fine detail yet enjoy heart stopping moments when you run into the big guys.

    You will walk approximately 10 kilometres per day at a relatively leisurely pace. The walk is all about enjoying the bush and not rushing sightings. Following your morning walk you will head back to camp for breakfast and then the hot middle of the day is yours to relax and enjoy the bush around you. You will head out again in the afternoon before returning before dark. A beautiful dinner will await you.

  5. Days 7-8 Chikoko Trails @ Chikoko Tree Camp, South Luangwa National Park (all-inclusive)

    Day 7 sees a change of camp. You will hand your luggage to the porters who will walk ahead whilst you enjoy breakfast. Your morning walk will be a gentle stroll to Chikoko Tree Camp. The customary introductions and orientation of camp is followed by lunch. The rest of the day and day 8 will follow a similar pattern to day 6.

  6. Day 9 The End Of Your Ultimate Wildlife Adventure (B)

    Sadly, all great things must come to an end as you call time on your trip of a lifetime. You will fly directly from Jeki Airstrip to Lusaka International Airport. Here you will reflect on everything you have experienced in such a short period of time before boarding your international flight to your home destination.

2 DI Chikoko Trails walking_ elephants
2 daily itinerary Chikoko Trails walking_elephants crossing the river
Our Recommendations

Tafika Camp
South Luangwa National Park

Overview: Tafika Camp is a remote camp north of the Nsefu sector in the north of South Luangwa National Park. It is located on the east bank of the Luangwa River with no other settlements within miles. It is ideal for those who enjoy the serenity of the bush. Nestled under the canopy of giant leadwood trees, the camp provides stunning views of the river affording ample opportunity to witness elephants crossing, hippos wallowing and kingfishers patiently pursuing their prey

Accommodation: Accommodates up to 14 guests in six spacious chalets with en suite facilities. Four chalets have twin double beds in each room; the honeymoon suite has an enormous king size bed; and a final chalet with two rooms, a king size bed and two doubles serves as the family suite. The family chalet has an add-on hide which overlooks the camp’s waterhole.

Facilities & Amenities: Central dining area. Minimal

Power & communication: The camp is run on solar power. Charging facilities are available centrally and not in rooms. There are rechargeable solar fans. There is no WiFi or mobile phone signal

Activities: Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, mountain bike safaris, cultural visits (schools and villages)

Children: Children of 6 years of age and above are welcome at camp. Only guests of 12 years and above are permitted on walking safaris.

Accessibility: Fly into Mfuwe Airport and then transfer to camp 1.5-2 hours overland or by charter flight to Lukuzi.

Availability: 1st May to 15th November

Chikoko Tree Camp
South Luangwa National Park

Overview: At Chikoko Tree Camp, the chalets are raised to tree canopy level, providing a shady and comfortable vantage point from which to enjoy the magnificent view of the plains and animal activities along the seasonal Chikoko Channel in front of camp.

Accommodation: The camp comprises 3 twin chalets accommodating a maximum of 6 guests at any one time. Each chalet is en suite with safari style bucket showers and flush toilets.

Facilities & Amenities: Facilities are minimal as one would expect at a bush camp of this nature.

Power & communication: The camp runs on solar power. The charging area is centrally located. There is no WiFi or mobile phone network.

Activities: Walking safaris only

Children: Those aged 12 years and over are welcome at camp. 12 years is also the minimum age for walking safaris

Accessibility: Fly into Mfuwe Airport and then transfer to camp 1.5-2 hours overland or by charter flight to Lukuzi. If accessing the camp from Tafika you will travel by 4×4, followed by a canoe across the river and then walk into camp.

Availability: 25th May to 31st October

Crocodile River Camp
South Luangwa National Park111


Overview: Crocodile River Camp is located in the walking only sector in the far north of South Luangwa National Park. The camp skirts an old river bank lined with majestic ebony trees and overlooks a dry ox-bow lagoon, offering panoramic views of game frequenting these grazing grounds

Accommodation: The camp comprises 3 twin chalets accommodating a maximum of 6 guests at any one time. Each chalet is en suite with safari style bucket showers and flush toilets.

Facilities & Amenities: The camp benefits from a waterhole. Otherwise facilities are minimal as one would expect at a bush camp of this nature.

Power & communication: The camp runs on solar power. The charging area is centrally located. There is no WiFi or mobile phone network.

Activities: Walking safaris only

Children: Those aged 12 years and over are welcome at camp. 12 years is also the minimum age for walking safaris

Accessibility: Fly into Mfuwe Airport and then transfer to camp 1.5-2 hours overland or by charter flight to Lukuzi. If accessing the camp from Tafika you will travel by 4×4, followed by a canoe across the river and then walk into camp.

Availability: 1st June to 31st October


Tafika Camp
South Luangwa National Park


Tafika Camp Zambia Safaris



Chikoko Tree Camp 
South Luangwa National Park




Crocodile River Camp
South Luangwa National Park



Luangwa Zambezi Explorer, South Luangwa National Park - Ultimate Wildlife Adventures

Quick Facts

  • Special Status: N/A
  • Location: Eastern Zambia
  • Land mass: 9,050 km²
  • Mammal species: 60+
  • Bird species: 400+
  • Big 5 reserve: No (Rhino are absent)


  • World class walking safaris
  • Multi-day walking expeditions
  • Game drives
  • Night drives
  • Fly camping
  • Boating safaris (seasonal)

Luangwa Zambezi Explorer, South Luangwa National Park 2 - Ultimate Wildlife Adventures


  • World-leading leopard destination
  • African wild dogs
  • Large abundance and variety of game
  • A plethora of varied safari activities

South Luangwa National Park is the flagship park and jewel in the crown of Zambia’s safari circuit. Despite this it is little known outside of the enthusiastic safari community. This relative obscurity protects it from overcrowding for now.

With a total land mass of 9050 km² South Luangwa protects a very respectable area of pristine African wilderness. It is located in the Luangwa Valley in the north-east of Zambia, nestled between the remote North Luangwa National Park and the Lower Zambezi National Park.

The park is reachable overland from Lusaka but the more medium budget, and certainly high-end safaris, fly in and out of the Mfuwe Airport close to the park’s border. Flying is much more efficient and helps to easily combine South Luangwa with other locations in the country and across international borders. Due to its location and domestic flight schedules it is most easily combined with the two aforementioned national parks, as well as further south with Victoria Falls.

South Luangwa National Park is unfortunately only recognised as a Big 4 location. The notable absentee, as is the case in many wildlife reserves across Africa, is the black rhinoceros. Its fate caused by uncontrolled poaching. Despite the best efforts to reintroduce this magnificent animal attempts have unfortunately failed so far.

The park has all the other big game you would expect to see on safari. It is perhaps recognised as the best place in the whole of Africa for observing leopards, only rivalled by the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in South Africa. If you are desperate to see leopard then visit South Luangwa for a great opportunity. As well as leopard, it is home to all the other cast of predators including lions and spotted hyena. Cheetah are present but the environment is less suited to their hunting style. Wild dogs reappeared back in 2015 and sightings are being reported as pretty reliable given their well-documented elusiveness.

The predators are supported by a diverse number of prey species including impala, greater kudu, warthog, bushbuck and waterbuck. The park is also home to three special sub-species that are endemic to the Luangwa Valley, these being Cookson’s wildebeest, Thornicroft’s giraffe and Crawshay’s Zebra. Other ungulate highlights include the 18,000-strong hippopotamus population, the densest in the world, that populate this stretch of the Luangwa River.

Birders will be especially keen to witness the 400 plus species of birds, especially the thousands of carmine bee-eaters that migrate to the Luangwa River for 3 months of the year.

Luangwa Zambezi Explorer, South Luangwa National Park 3 - Ultimate Wildlife AdventuresLuangwa Zambezi Explorer, South Luangwa National Park 4 - Ultimate Wildlife Adventures

Best Time To Visit

The climate of South Luangwa National Park can be simplified by dividing it into the dry season and wet season, with two transitional shoulder seasons. Each season, and indeed the months within each season, offers you a different experience. There is no time of year that offers you the best of everything so we provide you with a balanced account throughout the year so you are able to make an informed decision on the best time to visit based on your preferences.

The dry season runs from June to October. It is at this time of year wildlife viewing is at its best. The season, as its name suggests, is characterised by blue skies and no rain. A perfect time to be on safari. As Zambia is in the Southern Hemisphere this time of year is winter. The coolest months are July and August when night temperatures drop enough to necessitate warm clothing for early morning game activities. However, the sun quickly raises the mercury so expect to be basking in 30 degrees Celsius by lunch. Temperatures increase as the season draws on with October being extremely hot and dry and uncomfortable for those who do not enjoy such high temperatures.

Wildlife viewing is at its best in the dry season as the animals migrate towards permanent sources of life-giving water. This predictability and reliability makes game viewing much more reliable and predictable. Huge volumes of wildlife can be seen in one place which makes for great photographic opportunities. The negative aspects of the dry season are the premium price tags the camps carry at this time of year and also the dry and dusty park isn’t as beautiful as in the wet season.

The wet season runs from December to March. Rainfall is a feature of most days in the form of heavy showers and thunderstorms yet it rarely rains all day. Travel can be difficult at this time of year and some roads may become washed out. The presence of water throughout the park and beyond its boundaries allows wildlife to disperse into the hinterland making game viewing generally more of a challenge. However, many species of animals give birth at this time of year so it is the best time to travel for the cuteness factor.

Prices are at their lowest at this time of year but it must be noted most of the remote camps are closed. However, permanent lodges stay open and offer attractive rates. The wet season is definitely the best time if you are looking for an exclusive safari where other tourist vehicles are a rare sighting. Although South Luangwa National Park certainly isn’t a busy park it can suffer occasional crowding around water sources in the dry season.

The transitional shoulder seasons are November and April and May. At these times of year they represent a transition from the dry to wet season and wet to dry season respectively. These months are considered to offer a compromise between the two main seasons.