At Gavin Opie Safaris we offer a full range of safari activities.
Our game drives are the perfect activity for big game sightings. On a vehicle you can get close to Africa’s iconic wildlife like elephants, giraffe and lions, and we can also travel longer distances to find very special sightings. Night drives are especially exciting, seeking out Africa’s nocturnal treasures in the dark.
Our all-day expedition, which is complementary for stays of 4 nights and over, takes you deep into the South Luangwa wilderness. We’ll explore some of the park’s most secret and wildlife-rich spots that few visitors ever reach.
Walking safaris are another experience altogether. Here you get venture into the park on foot, searching out the hidden wonders of Africa’s magnificent landscape. Whether you’re walking in the morning or afternoon, this is a treat for the senses, as you immerse yourself in the wonders of safari from the ground up!
Game drives are a great way to see the South Luangwa and some of the bigger game that calls the park home. On four wheels, longer distances can be covered and the car can be manoeuvred into the best position for game watching (but there’s no off-road driving in the South Luangwa).
At Nkonzi Camp, we have the bonus of being right in the heart of the action. There’s no waiting at the main gate to be allowed into the park or driving for hours to get to the best game viewing areas – you’re already in one! Here, you’ll step out of your tent and straight onto your vehicle, ready to discover all the South Luangwa has to offer…
Morning Game Drives
Morning game drives are very special. The animals of the South Luangwa are at their most active and it’s a fantastic time for sightings of wildlife big and small. Birding is best just after dawn as the birdsong carries beautifully in the still, early morning air. And of course, the soft morning light is a delight for everyone, especially photographers.
Our morning game drives depart at around 06h00 and return to camp at around 10h00. Whilst the early morning might be a shock to the system on the first day, you’ll soon get used to the early wake-up call! Seeing the park in all its dewy, dawn glory more than makes up for the early start. The tea stop for a morning cuppa and freshly-baked biscuits mid-way through the morning drive also helps!
Afternoon & Night Game Drives
Afternoon and night game drives in the South Luangwa have a different thrill. You’ll depart camp at around 16h00, just as the day is cooling off and the predators are getting ready for the night’s hunt. As the sun starts to set, we make time for a ‘sundowner’ cocktail in a scenic spot before continuing the game drive with a high-powered spotlight.
After dark you’ll have the chance to spot elusive nocturnal animals such as civets, genets, hyenas and leopards. Stunning bird species that only make an appearance at night include nightjars and an amazing variety of owls. Watching predators hunt is a visceral and haunting experience, whether you’re listening for the roar of a lion across the inky blackness, or watching a hyena slink in and out of the shadows. Finally, the African night sky and the Milky Way is a real treat in itself.
There’s not much that can beat the thrill of exploring the bush on foot, and where better to try it than in the home of the walking safari, the South Luangwa National Park?
Walking offers an unmatched opportunity to experience the wild up close and away from the thrum of a vehicle engine. Sights, sounds and smells are heightened and become even more exhilarating. And you’ll discover smaller flora and fauna that you perhaps didn’t even know existed
At Nkonzi Camp we offer morning and afternoon walking safaris.
In the morning you’ll depart from camp at around 06h00 accompanied by your scout and guide. While we’re always on the lookout for big game, our bush walks also provide the opportunity to slow things down, have a look at the smaller things and truly absorb your surroundings. This is a time to breath deeply and let the reality of being in one of the wildest places on earth really sink in.
A walking safari can last from anywhere between 2 to 4 hours depending on the temperature, what you see, and of course your preference. The walk is not designed to be a route march through the bush. You’ll walk slowly and spend plenty of time taking in the magic of Africa. You certainly do not need to be mountain-climbing fit to partake – the pace is set at a gentle and enjoyable hike.
Our walking safaris are led by our highly qualified walking safari guides and accompanied by an armed wildlife scout. In the South Luangwa, completing the training to become a walking guide is no easy task so rest assured that you will be in the safest of hands.