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South Luangwa (Tafika and Kaingo) and Lower Zambezi (Old Mondoro and Chiawa)- 15th July to 28th July 2018


Julian

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ZaminOz

@JulianFantastic trip report. I loved the lion / buffalo sequence in LZNP!

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Arrived back home a week ago from our seventh safari, but our first safari to Zambia.   So... how was it..... Amazing! .............Easily our best ever safari. All our guides were superb, n

Here is a taster of a highlight of the trip:              

After watching the elephants for a while Lloyd said it was time to drive us to where we would be transferring on the river to Kaingo. However a few minutes into the journey he had a call on the radio

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Julian
46 minutes ago, ZaminOz said:

@JulianFantastic trip report. I loved the lion / buffalo sequence in LZNP!

@ZaminOzThanks.

 

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linjudy

@Julian, thank you so much for writing this trip report!! We are leaving in less than 2 weeks for Zambia, visiting SL and LZ, and staying at or near some of the camps described in your report. The information and photos are so helpful and making me super excited!

 

We only have 3 days in LZ, and right now can stay at either Chiawa or Old Mondoro. Both look tremendous. If you had to choose, which would you pick? I am currently leaning towards Chiawa b/c all the variety of activities on offer. This is our 4th safari, so the idea of being able to do things other than game drives is really appealing. That said, Old Mondoro looks like a really special place.....

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Julian
3 hours ago, linjudy said:

@Julian, thank you so much for writing this trip report!! We are leaving in less than 2 weeks for Zambia, visiting SL and LZ, and staying at or near some of the camps described in your report. The information and photos are so helpful and making me super excited!

 

We only have 3 days in LZ, and right now can stay at either Chiawa or Old Mondoro. Both look tremendous. If you had to choose, which would you pick? I am currently leaning towards Chiawa b/c all the variety of activities on offer. This is our 4th safari, so the idea of being able to do things other than game drives is really appealing. That said, Old Mondoro looks like a really special place.....

@linjudy

Pleased you found my report so useful, and you should be excited as I’m sure you will have a wonderful time, SL is a peaceful unspoilt part of the real African wildlife experience.

Regarding LZ , we would go back to Old Mondoro anytime, a truly beautiful place to be and relax while enjoying  the wildlife - including watching it all from your room/ veranda,  but if you want to do the other activities - the canoeing, which is an amazing experience, and be out on the river more then Chiawa is a great place to stay - but be prepared for everything to be organised there, you have to go along with each thing they organise for you. Chiawa was really good to do once, but if we ever went back Ito LZ it would be Old Mondoro .

 

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linjudy

Thank you, @Julian. That is a great answer and really conveys the difference. It doesn't make it easier to choose, because I want to do all the activities AND watch wildlife from my veranda :)

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Julian
Posted (edited)

@linjudy

I should add that both the camps are owned by the same people/ company, and they say they offer the canoeing, fishing and river cruises from Old Mondoro camp as well as Chiawa. However Old Mondoro accommodates less than half  the number of guests as Chiawa and has far fewer staff, and when we asked to do canoeing and fishing at Old Mondoro they gave reasons why we couldnt do it, but on reflection they were just excuses to put us off, as the reasons they gave didn’t make sense when we spoke to staff at Chiawa who were providing these options. 
So if you would prefer Old Mondoro then I suggest you ask your operator/ agent to confirm with the camp that they will be able to provide the water options you want.

Edited by Julian
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Rg09

@Judy

Just my 2 cents if I may...

when I was in the planning stages of my upcoming September trip to SLNP and LZNP, I was facing the same dilemma - Old Mondoro or Chiawa...I was going back and forth, but my trip advisor (who have been to both several times, during different times of the year) suggested Chiawa...his reasoning was this: wildlife is comparable in both camps (and it's a matter of luck anyway), but...both camps are under the same ownership, and since Chiawa is considered a more "higher end" camp, the owner is often based there to host their guests...and when the owner is present, the guides and the rest of the staff are trying just a little harder to make your trip more enjoyable...from what I understand, he also chooses best guides for the camp he is personally present at...that being said, I know people who rave about Old Mondoro, so I don't think you can go wrong with either...we ultimately chose Chiawa, hoping there will be the next visit to Zambia when we can stay at Old Mondoro...but ultimately - may it be the biggest of our problems, choosing between two great camps :)

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linjudy

@Rg09, thanks for sharing your thought process! We ended up opting for Chiawa due to the reasons you mentioned. Another reason is that we chose Mwamba for its "rustic" nature, and thought Chiawa with its "higher end" character would offer more variety.

 

Leaving next Wed! A bit apprehensive given the dramatically rising case counts in Zambia, but very excited 🤞. Will report back here if internet permits!

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