email a friend iconprinter friendly iconBest New Adventure Travel Trips 2009: Africa
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Zambia & Malawi
The Next Classic Safari
Over the past decade, a perfect storm of events has transformed Zambia from a wildlife wasteland into the adventurer’s safari destination. Largely uninhabited outside the major cities, the East African nation has markedly improved its infrastructure, safari camps, and antipoaching and conservation initiatives. Ever since conservationist Norman Carr first led clients through this wilderness in 1950, Zambia has been perfecting the walking safari. All of this explains why 11-year safari guide Kent Redding of Africa Adventure Consultants is anointing Zambia "the next new place to go in Africa." AAC’s new Zambia itinerary—a journey inspired by the travels of British explorer David Livingston—begins with five days in South Luangwa National Park, where in winter the flooding Luangwa River becomes the stage for wildlife theater. "The last time I was there we followed a zebra track down through the forest to the river, where we assumed it was drinking," says Redding. "Right behind that we saw crocodile tracks, so we imagined the croc was tracking the zebra. And then we saw hyena prints tracking the croc that was tracking the zebra." South Luangwa remains far more low-key and rustic than most East African game parks (expect tented camps set up on lagoons, not on-site spa treatments). The final five days are spent kayaking and snorkeling a gigantic aquarium: Seven-million-acre Lake Malawi, the third largest in Africa, has more fish species (500-plus) than any freshwater reservoir in the world. Repair at last to Mumbo Island and an intimate retreat that visitors share with cape clawless otters, rainbow skink lizards, water monitors—and nary a human.

Outfitter: Africa Adventure Consultants;
Price: $4,900
Length: 10 days
Departs: May–December
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