4 nights 5 day hiking itinerary
For a real taste of the wilderness, Mutinondo is the perfect place. Together with your guides you will follow a route through the grasslands and along the Muchinga Escarpment taking in the spectacular waterfalls which tumble down the rocky banks. You will descend the Escarpment and to the edge of the South Luangwa National Park, filled with wildlife, and even a camp site which glows in the dark. On the final day of your trek head for the hills that rise out of the ground like islands, passing through woodland on the way and a rock art site. Climb the spine of the hill to take in the 360-degree view before making your way back to the lodge. Whilst on your trek you will be camping in some idyllic spots, under amazing starry skies. The lodge itself is an eco-friendly paradise created by the owners who spent over a year exploring the Zambian countryside looking for their ideal spot.
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Day 1 Arrive Mutinondo Wilderness Mayense Camp
Day 2 Depart early from Mutinondo main camp (“Mayense”). From here you will follow a path downhill for a few kilometers before reaching a small shallow river. Crossing to the other side you will start your real adventure into the wilderness: there are no paths here.
Your local guide will lead you thought the bush for the rest of the day. You will be camping at a place call Dambo 6 camp. Dambo Is a local name for wet land. Your camp is situated after the 6th Dambo you cross, which is where the name comes from.
Along today’s route you will stop at a rock slab on the Mutinondo river for lunch.
The terrain is mostly gently undulating bush land with no paths.
Pitch your tents at Dambo 6
12° 25' 06.1" S, 31° 23' 47.5" E
Day 3 From Dambo 6 you will continue thought the undulating bush land until you reach the crest of the escarpment. From here you will start to descend until you meet a bend in the Mutinondo river where you will have lunch.
After lunch continue to descend until you are rewarded with breathtaking views of the South Luangwa National Park far below. The final part of the day will be a steep descent, as you trek halfway down the escarpment towards your camp, you will soon pass the major waterfall on the Mutinondo river called ‘Cheswa’ falls after the broom made from the Xerophytic plant which it resembles in shape.
The campsite is next to a second set of falls (͞Quentin’s Falls͟), roughly 1km down from Cheswa. Spend the rest of the day enjoying the incredible view from the waterfalls into the valley below.
Pitch your tents near the Incredible Quentin’s Falls overlooking the vast South Luangwa National Park. It is recommended you watch the moon and sun rise from this location.
12° 24' 20.5" S, 31° 27' 42.3" E
Day 4 Your fourth day trekking takes you to the edge of the South Luangwa National Park, home to many of Africa’s most famous animals, Lion, Elephant, Hippopotamus and more. You will start your day with a steep descent to the bottom of Quentin’s Falls and then continue further down to the bottom of the escarpment which will level out in to the Luangwa Valley. You will continue though grass land and bush taking a winding course to avoid some of the larger high gains and losses before arriving at your camp close to some waterfalls where there are water pools to cool off or wash clothes in.
When trekking keep an eye out for tracks and foot prints and an even closer eye out for actual wildlife. You may also unfortunately come across evidence of poachers and their old camps, some maybe less than a year old.
When is it dark, the campfire has died down and head torches are off, take a look at the ground. The ground of camp 2 glows in the dark with Bioluminescent green fungi.
Pitch your tents in a treed area near to a river and small waterfalls.
12° 26' 33.9" S, 31° 28' 03.2" E
Day 5 Start your day with a climb back up the escarpment, leaving the Luangwa Valley behind you and returning to the cooler weather of the Mutinondo Wilderness above. The ascent is steep but there will be plenty of rest stops on the way up. After cresting the escarpment, you will continue though bush until it reaches the Mafoni Road. This unpaved bush road is an old exploration track and isn’t often used by vehicles. It is a comfortable track to walk along - follow the road for about 7km to the source of the Mutobo River which is a dambo.
Camp will be made at the edge of the dambo, the source for the Mutobo River.
12° 26' 34.1" S, 31° 25' 13.6" E
Day 6 Today you will rejoin the Mafoni bush road and follow it until you reach the base of Mayense Hill, the highest hill in the Mutinondo wilderness. Climbing it is steep but short lived, and upon summiting Mayense Hill you will be rewarded with a 360-degree view of the Wilderness and the area you have been in for the last few days. Mayense hill, like the others around it in the Mutinondo wilderness, is s granite dome known by geologists as an inselberg.
Head down the other side of Mayense and it is only a few kilometers before you will reach Mutinondo main camp.
Mutinondo Wilderness Main Camp
12° 27' 11.4" S, 31° 17' 29.1" E