The birthplace of the Walking Safari - excellent game and varied habitat make this among the top places anywhere to walk in the wilderness

Walking in the Luangwa and staying in the small, intimate bushcamps, is one of the best ways to get a taste of wild Africa - comfortable but unencumbered by any unnecessary paraphernalia.

Tramping softly along a path made by the regular movements of elephant and antelope, single file behind your guide, alert to the footfalls of your small group and the sounds of the surrounding bush.  A sudden flutter of wings as a dove takes flight, haphazardly seeking a new haven in the low scrub.  Soon, the high bank of the sleepy Luangwa River comes into view, and below on the sandy islands bask pods of hippo. 

As you sit quietly and observe, a small herds of puku passes close by, unaware of the human audience, since the wind is blowing their musky scent to you.  A breeding herd of elephant with youngsters hurry down from the opposite bank to drink and splash in the shallows.  Heading back to camp for a late brunch, a tall column of vultures is held aloft on the thermals, signaling the possible location of last night’s lion kill.  As you come up to investigate, hyenas scatter from the remains.  The lion could still be nearby.

Practicalities:

To undertake a walking safari you do not have to be super-fit, merely enjoy walking. You do have to be at least 12 years of age (and older in some camps) and the walking season traditionally runs from June to October (although some walking is possible from early April to the end of November).

Many of the camps in Luangwa offer excellent walking - the only exceptions are the camps situated in the busier Mfuwe sector of the Park where there is too much vehicle traffic to make it much fun - and the choice is often comes down to whether you want to stay in a camp which specialises in walking, and driving may not be an option whatsoever, or go somewhere you can walk and drive. There are lots of reasons to choose to undertake a walking safaris - and many good reasons to choose the Luangwa Valley - see here for where, when and why to walk in Zambia