Shawa Luangwa Camp is one of two new additions to the Green Safaris family – already known for their Zambia luxury safaris in Kafue National Park and the Zambezi River – and the first to bring Silent Safaris to the South Luangwa National Park…    

The main camp area dazzles under a moody night sky © Green Safaris

We fell in love with the remote wilderness of the Luangwa Valley and developed a special place in our heart for the South Luangwa. The spot where Shawa Luangwa Camp sits sheltered by trees on the Luangwa Riverbank, was hand-picked by a legend in the Zambian safari world – Jacob Shawa. But don’t just take it from us. Wanderlust voted Jacob one of the Top 8 Best Professional Guides in the World, and we are so honoured to have him with us on this exciting new adventure.

Last year’s travel hiatus meant we had to delay the opening of Shawa. The Green Team took this time to get stuck into reforestation and growing initiatives to support the Luangwa community. Without our neighbours, the camp would not have been possible, and our partnership with them continues. Together with we can do more, and we want to build a better future for our communities, our shared environment, and the wildlife that lives there.

Guests enjoy a swim in the camp plunge pool at sunset © Green Safaris

We were thrilled to welcome our first Shawa guests at the start of May! A big part of Green Safaris’ Zambia luxury safaris is the Silent Safaris experience, which was pioneered at our flagship property, Ila Safari Lodge in Kafue National. Our guests were the first to explore both South Luangwa National Park and the Nsefu Sector on our signature solar-powered Land Rover (aka the e-Cruiser). It wouldn’t be a South Luangwa safari without a walking safari, and they enjoyed the very best guiding by Jacob.

A Silent Safari in the e-Cruiser gets up-close with a handsome lion © Green Safaris

That’s really just a sneak peek at what they got up to during their stay at Shawa. So, what else is in store for you – our next guest – when you come and visit us in the South Luangwa?

Zambia luxury safaris go ‘green’ in the South Luangwa

Each of Shawa’s five canvas tents is open on three sides and shaded by large, old trees so you feel completely immersed in the bush. The Luangwa River meanders below your tent that’s raised on wooden decking for views from the private deck or your bed. The main camp area has a large boma and plunge pool that also overlooks the river so there is always a good chance of spotting hippos, a troop of vervet monkeys, or even an elephant or two.

This two-tent setup is perfect for family or couples travelling together © Green Safaris

The en-suite bathrooms have an outdoor shower, indoor bath and double vanities finished with modern brass and copper fittings. Three of the double tents can be converted into twin beds. Two of the tents are connected by a five-metre elevated wooden walkway, with one tent having a king bed and the other twin beds. Each tent has its own bathroom and deck so it’s great for either a family or two couples travelling together.

View of a tent from the Luangwa River © Green Safaris

Driven by our passion to look after Africa’s unspoiled natural spaces, we prioritise sustainability right from the start. Like most of our camps, Shawa runs completely off the onsite solar power farm. The five luxury tents are designed to maximise natural airflow and light, built using locally sourced and sustainable wood, and raised above the ground to minimise direct environmental impact.

Silent Safari experience

Jacob Shawa is not only the namesake of Shawa Luangwa Camp, but he also championed us bringing sustainable ‘green tech’ to the South Luangwa. Silent Safaris on our e-Cruiser happen twice daily and when you see the birds and animals in the wilderness covered in the sunrise glow, that early wake-up call will be so worth it.

Jacob and guests come across a tower of giraffes while on a walking safari © Green Safaris

Walking safaris only take place once the rains have completely subsided in winter, from July to October. A maximum of six guests are taken on a walking safari at any one time and you are led by a knowledgeable Shawa guide and a Park ranger. You can get a little closer to hippos, crocodiles and waterbirds while boating on the Luangwa River. This is absolutely magical during the ‘Emerald Season’ when the rainy summer months transform the Park into a luscious green playground.

Travel that transforms

Green Safaris’ love for Africa’s wild spaces and communities has motivated us to use our lodges and camps as a means to an important end. That is to contribute to environmental protection, wildlife conservation and community empowerment while creating a magical safari experience for you. We encourage guests to get involved in conservation and community projects that resonate with them during their stay with us.

Thornicroft’s giraffes are endemic to the Luangwa Valley © Green Safaris

In Zambia, it has made the most sense to work with the well-established conservation groups already doing fantastic work in Busanga Plains, Kafue and South Luangwa national parks. These organisations include Game Rangers International, Panthera Zambia, Hack the Poacher, Zambian Carnivore Project, Conservation South Luangwa, and Project Luangwa. They work in close partnership with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, and neighbouring communities.

Need to know details

Getting to Shawa Luangwa Camp

By air – Lusaka to Mfuwe Airport (1 hour).

By road – Lusaka to Luangwa (9.5 hours).

Seasons in South Luangwa

Summer – August to April. October and November are very hot.

Winter – May to August. Evenings are warm all year round and mornings are sometimes cool during the winter months.

Rains – November to March. Rains are sometimes experienced in April.

Smiles all around after exploring the bush in the e-Cruiser © Niva Hankede

Remember we mentioned that Shawa is one of two brand new Green Safaris’ camps? Well, we are excited to announce that Chisa Busanga Camp in the Busanga Plains will be opening its doors on the 1st of July. The human-sized ‘Nests’ of Chisa sit on a tiny island overlooking the Busanga Plains in Kafue National Park. It will be joining big sister Ila Safari Lodge in providing a completely off-grid safari experience to eco-conscious guests in Kafue.

Watch this space for the next blog dedicated to this unique safari camp! In the meantime, head over to our revamped website and contact us to enquire about Shawa or any of our other Zambian properties.

Feature image courtesy of Niva Hankede.