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Zambian Adventure

October 7th - 17th, 2023
An authentic slice of Southern Africa life from the women to the wildlife








                                       Image courtesy of Tongabezi

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Many, including Zambians themselves, have called Zambia authentic Africa as it harkens back to another era on the continent. From safaris to sleeping under the stars, to village visits and dancing in the dark, time seems to have stood still in this seductive southern African country.


Aside from the bygone ambiance, Zambia has also managed to remain off the radar. Unlike many other African destinations, game drives feel intimate and camps feel undiscovered and unto themselves only adding to the allure. However, a buzz is building into a notable hum as savvy travelers descend upon this destination to experience a country that has a rich history in conservation and responsible tourism. It’s also peaceful yet culturally diverse with more than 70 tribes living seamlessly side by side. It sounds like a utopia.


With Victoria Falls, the world’s largest waterfall and one of the seven natural wonders of the world, in residence, it may be. Come to see for yourself and experience Zambia while it still feels wild and beautifully untouched.


Zambian Adventure

October 7th - October 17th, 2023

$9,787 USD

Group size: 10 

Deadline to book - Space is extremely limited in Africa, particularly in the small lodges. The demand for Africa is off the chart right now. If interested, email immediately to Secure Your Spot. A deposit is required. Once the deposit is in, payments can be made over time. Inquire for more details.

Gallery credits: Village Girl-Ted Alan Stedman/Leopard-Karen Loftus/Deck-Tongabezi/Baby Elephant- Karen Loftus

Adventure Details

Zambia Adventure Details

About the Trip

There are so many alluring elements to this evocative spot. If you’re going for the game, you might see the big five before breakfast on a drive or on foot as bush walks were made legendary in this land. Regardless, the sundowners and the scenery will steal your heart.


The camps are rustic yet luxe while the city sleepover in Johannesburg is downright decadent. In all spots, the culture and the cuisine are top-notch and the guides incredibly impressive.


Village visits are rich, interesting, and immersive. The women and girls that we will be privy to throughout this trip are well worth celebrating and are sure to inspire.


(This is the most intimate WAT trip with a max of just ten. If you're looking for up close and personal, it doesn't get any better than this. Space is very limited. An early commitment is highly encouraged in order to secure your space.)

Trip Basics


Dates - October 7th - October 17th, 2023

Days - 10 Days/9 Nights


Size - Maximum of 10


Style - Adventure, Empowerment & Culture


Needs - 20% deposit due asap to hold your spot.  Extremely limited space in the small boutique lodges. 


Treats - Safari, Women’s Empowerment, Village Visits


Accommodations - Chic Boutique in City & Luxury Lodges on safari


Host - Karen Loftus, "Lofty"

WAT's Adventuress in Chief


Fees - $9,787 USD



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Day to Day Itinerary

Zambia Day to Day

Day 1 | Johannesburg

Upon arrival into the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg - South Africa’s largest city and the gateway to the rest of Africa - you will be met and transferred to The Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa where you can enjoy the rest of the day and the evening at your leisure.


Set among lush acres of landscaped gardens, it’s easy to see that this 5-star boutique hotel was once a luxurious private residence. Located in the heart of Johannesburg, a mere 6 km from central Sandton, and 20 km from Johannesburg city center, this urban oasis offers the upmarket traveller a mix of both luxury and convenience.

Womens Adventure Travel, solo travel for women, women safaris, Women travel to zambia, womens travel to africa Fairlawns

Image courtesy of The Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa

The Fairlawns has created an intimate and private atmosphere where the world’s most discerning and prestigious personalities have been known to converge. Their chic suites are individually decorated in varying themes ranging from Eastern influence to French provincial with a nod to South Africa’s recent history. The Balinese style spa and gardens are a pitch-perfect place for relaxing, rejuvenating and restoring after a long journey into Jo’Burg. You have the day and the night to decompress and explore the expanse of the grounds or the sprawl of the city.


(This day you are on your own and activities are at your own expense, be it dinner, drinks, spa treatments or any excursions.)

Day 2 | Johannesburg

After an early morning breakfast at the hotel, you will have a private guided tour and a full day excursion in Johannesburg. You will visit Vilakazi Street in Soweto and the Mandela House Museum. Vilakazi is one of South Africa's most famous streets – the only one in the world to have housed two Nobel Prize winners; Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. Other stops throughout the day include the Hector Petersen Museum and Memorial Site, The Apartheid Museum, Soccer City – home to the opening and closing functions of the Soccer World Cup and Maboneng where you will be privy to a two hour hop on, hop off, street art and graffiti tour.

Womens Adventure Travel, solo travel for women, women safaris, Women travel to zambia, womens travel to africa, graffiti

Johannesburg’s Inner City is quickly becoming a graffiti and street art destination. Top artists from around the world are arriving in Jozi to paint while local and international travelers are flocking to Jo’burg to witness this thriving and edgy graffiti culture and the new hip hub of Maboneng, home to a slew of ethnically interesting restaurants, lively rooftop bars and plenty of shopping options.


We will finish this rich and interesting day with a visit to the very trendy Neighbourgoods for top shopping with local South African designers. We’ll also indulge in a hip mix of the city’s best foods in the robust market which celebrates Johannesburg’s ethnic diversity.


This evening we finish in Maboneng where we will celebrate Johannesburg’s food, fashion and the feminine force in this South African city. Details regarding the night’s welcoming event and the guests involved to follow.

Day 3 | South Luangwa National Park

After early morning breakfast at the Fairlawns, you will be transferred to the O.R. Tambo airport in Johannesburg where you will take your scheduled flight to Mfuwe via Lusaka. Upon arrival in Mfuwe, you will be met and transferred to Mfuwe Lodge where you are staying for the next three nights. 

This rustic-chic retreat is an award-winning safari lodge set in the most prolific game area of South Luangwa. It is set inside the park, a mere five minutes drive from the main gate. Set beneath a canopy of ebony and mahogany, its eighteen air-conditioned chalets are arranged around the banks of two lagoons.

Womens Adventure Travel, solo travel for women, women safaris, Women travel to zambia, womens travel to africa

This region of the park is known for its prolific game - giraffe, hippos, buffalo, antelope, and crocodile are constant visitors to Mfuwe Lodge's lagoon. The timing of our visit is pitch-perfect as October-November local elephants regularly wander through the lobby. They are lured by a wild mango tree nearby.

The game-viewing potential at Mfuwe Lodge and the surrounding area is second-to-none. Walking safaris can be arranged on request, but the majority of outings are game drives.


On these exclusive Mfuwe Lodge game drives, you will be taken away from the busy Mfuwe sector, which means you may have packs of wild dogs and elusive leopards in trees all to yourself. 


The long-time guides and lodge managers know the bush like the back of their hands. You could sit and listen to them and take in their many tales from day into night. With a little luck, they may be dining with us over dinner to share a tale or two.

Upon your arrival to Mfuwe Lodge today, lunch will be served in the buzz of it all, on deck. Over lunch, we will be privy to a special guest who will join us to discuss the work that she and a local organization are doing with local girls in the village. It includes all from life skills to avoiding abuse, to increasing low self-esteem and staying in school to train women to support themselves when they have little or no scholastic education.


After lunch, we will be attending a local Girls Empowerment meeting with our guests in the village. A game drive follows as does dinner on the deck, a great finish to your first day at Mfuwe

Womens Adventure Travel, solo travel for women, women safaris, Women travel to zambia, womens travel to africa
Day 4 | South Luangwa National Park

It's an early rise and shine at this very exclusive retreat. It’s a game drive, followed by lunch on the deck. Then you have the afternoon to yourself to kick back, relax, nap, read or write. 


Also, another option is to grab a massage at the Bush Spa on-site. There is nothing quite like an herbal soak in a Jacuzzi, or a massage with the surrounds of the wild nearby. It's a true sensory experience. 

Prior to our drive, we will be meeting with a local woman who has been very successful in repurposing local materials and in employing women from the village to make jewelry.  We will have tea in the garden with her. An opportunity to shop will follow. The later afternoon game drive or bush walk will follow. 


No need for TV here as bush theatrics go well into the night here. Each of Mfuwe's thatched chalets includes a private deck for you to use as your own wildlife viewing perch. Birders beware, as you’ll find hours of entertainment watching the prolific bird populations that make this area their home. This is prime real estate in the bush.

Enjoy the African ambiance in the camp and the steely, soul-sating silence of the bush. It's unlike anywhere else in the world.


Soak in the spacious pool on-site. An afternoon tea and game drive to follow as well as a seductive sundowner in the bush before we head back for dinner on the deck. It’s a perfect day and yet another authentic slice of African life in the bush.

Womens Adventure Travel, solo travel for women, women safaris, Women travel to zambia, womens travel to africa
Day 5 | South Luangwa National Park

There will be an early rise and shine this morning. We want to rise before the animals retreat as this is often the best time for game viewing. Coffee, conversation and once in a lifetime sightings will have us all a buzz in the bush.


Reflection on the deck after, along with plenty of coffee is what is in order and on offer after the morning drive. You have the late morning to yourself before lunch.


This day, we will be breaking bread with another great storyteller. She is an esteemed female in the area, a highly celebrated wildlife biologist and a globally known lion conservationist who will share her story and her important work with us and with the young women in the region.


You will have some downtime before the afternoon tea, followed by a bushwalk or game drive before your final dinner on the deck at the lovely Mfuwe Lodge.

Day 6 | South Luangwa National Park

After a morning game drive and breakfast at Mfuwe, you will be transferred to nearby Kafunta River Lodge which is where you will be staying for the next three nights.

Before arriving at the lodge, we will stop by a local village. This local village is home to the Kunda tribe who migrated from the Luba area in Congo in the first half of the 19th century.


Today the villagers continue to live in a similar and traditional manner. An intimate tour led by a woman from the village is a window into the local life. Depending upon the day, the activities on hand and who is around and about in the village will dictate the nature of our visit, what we and see and experience, and whom we will meet. There is nothing staged here.  It is a true slice of local life. 

Womens Adventure Travel, solo travel for women, women safaris, Women travel to zambia, womens travel to africa

Image courtesy of Robin Pope Safaris

Kafunta River Lodge is owned and operated by Anke & Ron Cowan who have made the Luangwa Valley their home for the past 20 years. The ten-room lodge is located on the floodplains of the Luangwa River, away from the buzzier area near the park's Mfuwe gate. During the peak season, the lodge accesses the national park via its own pontoon. Exclusivity reigns supreme again!


In addition, Kafunta is well-known for its excellent food, splendid hospitality, and rustic-luxe accommodations. Their tented camps and river chalets are expansive and well decorated with lovely outlooks.

Day 7 | South Luangwa National Park

Image courtesy of Ted Alan Stedman

The heart of this lodge is the spacious bar and outdoor dining area. Built around a semi-evergreen wild mango tree and thatched in the traditional style, it offers superb panoramic views over the Luangwa River and the South Luangwa National Park.


Adjacent to the bar is an infinity pool and the only natural hot spring tub in all of the Luangwa Valley. This unique hot tub is fed from a source on Kafunta’s grounds, offering a constant temperature of 38 degrees.

You don’t have to leave the comfort of the lodge let alone your chalet to see the drama of the bush unfold here. Kafunta has beautiful sweeping views across the river with the large deck looking out over marshland and a waterhole. With the hippos bathing, antelope drinking, warthogs playing in the mud, towers of giraffe waltzing by, and elephants splashing about, it is a hub of activity day into the night. Keep your camera handy here.


A late afternoon game drive will follow at Kafunta.

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Day 8 | South Luangwa National Park

Image courtesy of Robin Pope Safaris

An early rise and early game drive kick off the day at Kafunta. South Luangwa National Park is arguably one of the best places in the world to see cats. Their famously high concentrations of leopards make it the place to spot one of the most elusive of the big five.


They have their fair share of iconic lions as well. From the hugely popular Garlic and Ginger, two very pale ruling male lions with ginger manes, to the 13-strong female-only pride, to the stars of Lion Country: Night & Day, the Hollywood Pride.


In addition, South Luangwa has a fantastic diversity of all kinds of game from the unique Thornicroft Giraffe, to the massive elephant populations, not to mention the 40 thousand plus hippos and huge crocs who can regularly be seen lounging on the Luangwa River itself.


Before this afternoon’s game drive, we will again visit with the women and girls in the village to conduct a workshop. Guests are welcome to come along or they can opt to stay back and relax on the property.  The late afternoon game drive will follow. Then it’s dinner and drinks on deck for your final evening at Kafunta. 

(All activities and visits are optional throughout your trip.)

Day 9 | Livingstone, Victoria Falls

Image courtesy of Tongabezi

After an early morning breakfast at the lodge, you will be transferred to the airport for the scheduled flight to Livingstone (via Lusaka). En route to the airport, we will be stopping by Tribal Textiles for a talk, a look and a shop, if interested.


Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the highly lauded (Conde Nast Traveler Gold List 2018) Tongabezi Lodge where you will be staying for the next two nights.


With a personal valet, a la bush butler, you are sure to be spoiled day into night while staying in one of the six private chalets or one of the five river cottages. The list of activities is endless at Tongabezi and in the surrounds as the property is on the Zambezi River, upstream from the thundering Victoria Falls.

Womens Adventure Travel, solo travel for women, women safaris, Women travel to zambia, womens travel to africa

Image courtesy of Tongabezi

Once we arrive, a special meal will follow. This lunch is sure to be a fun one with Vanessa - one-half of proprietors Vanessa and Ben - a female member of her staff and a young female student from the local school, the one that Vanessa started over 20 years ago. We will see the female perspective in Zambia, from varying angles, and from several perspectives.
After lunch, we head to the neighboring Victoria Falls, known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya or “the smoke that thunders”. Located on the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe, it is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Combining both the height and the width it is the largest waterfall and the largest single sheet of flowing water in the world.
An evening sunset cruise follows the Falls with dinner and drinks back on the property. You can expect nothing but the best when it comes to meals on site as the Tongabezi Lodge and their nearby Sindabezi Island shares four chefs, two pastry chefs and two full kitchen teams, many of which have been trained internationally.
Day 10 | Livingstone, Victoria Falls

This morning you are free to sleep in as we are not chasing the game on an early morning drive. A leisurely breakfast on the property is followed by a visit to the school that Vanessa started years ago. The morning starts with an exchange of stories with the young female students and later again with a local group of women that we are meeting in the village.  


Lunch back on property follows as does an afternoon on your own. Tongabezi has an endless list of options and activities to take advantage of on-site and in the area. You are free to go full tilt on the property and or arrange on your own any number of things in and around Vic Falls. The choice is all yours for your full and final day in Zambia.


Another alluring option, after ten action-packed days in South Africa and in Zambia, is to simply kick back and relax on the property, in the pool, on the Lookout or Hangout, in your cottage or on your veranda as no other property warrants a wind down quite like this one. It’s easy to see how Tongabezi has been touted #5 Best Safari Lodge in all of Africa, among other accolades.

Day 11 | Livingstone, Victoria Falls

Image courtesy of Tongabezi

Today you will be transferred to the Livingstone airport to check in for your international and connecting flights.


Until we travel together again…                                                                                                                                    


Zambia Accommodations

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa

There are so many bells and whistles to this opulent property. Set in a portion of what once was a ten-acre estate complete with rolling hills, stables and horses, The Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa today still provides that same secluded and stately ambiance. It’s a go to for the business and the jet set alike with its close proximity to the airport and situated in the sophisticated enclave of Sandton’s Morningside Manor suburb.


It is quite the respite after a long journey into Jo’Burg. Be sure to take advantage of the Balinese spa and their incredible cuisine. You’re sure to have a deep and restful sleep in one of the chic suites, be it the Euro inspired courtyard, or the premier, the latter reflects a different part of South Africa’s history.


Mfuwe Lodge

Mfuwe Lodge is an award-winning safari lodge set in the most prolific game area of South Luangwa. The perfect place to enjoy excellent game viewing


With immediate access to South Luangwa National Park, the premier park in Zambia and one of the best national parks in all of Africa, Mfuwe's eighteen private safari chalets are arranged around the banks of two lagoons.

The open-plan reception, lounge, dining, and bar areas have a warm, welcoming atmosphere and are furnished in a contemporary African style, complementing its natural surroundings.

The herd of elephants that wanders through the open-air lobby is the icing on the cake.

Mfuwe ellies.jpg

Kafunta River Lodge


The Kafunta River Lodge is a classic Zambian safari lodge.


With immediate access to South Luangwa National Park, the premier park in Zambia and one of the best national parks in all of Africa, Kafunta’s eight private safari chalets overlook the game-rich floodplain and the Luangwa River beyond that.


Their eight Afro-chic chalets with thatched roofs and raised wooden platforms are tastefully decorated and were refurbished in 2014.


The hot tub, spa and massages, and late-night fodder around the fire pit each night add to the allure of this oasis.

Tongabezi Lodge


This iconic lodge is the pitch-perfect finish to this trip as it remains one of the most sought-after luxury camps in all of Zambia. Nestled on the riverbanks of the Zambezi, Tongabezi Lodge is a mere 12 miles upstream from the thundering Victoria Falls.


Their recent renovation has only upped the already-raised ante. However, the real luxury on site here is the lovely staff, their exceptional service, and the warmth and stories from proprietors Ben and Vanessa. The setting is genuinely majestic and like nothing, you have seen on safari so far. You can top all of this off with the buzz of activities and the many amenities on the property and nearby, which allows for a truly deep dive into all of the ambiance and the experiences at hand.

*All images of Zambia are courtesy of Karen Loftus, except for accommodations and if otherwise stated.

Accommodations, Rates, Availability

                                                                            Pricing is based on a shared double occupancy room.                                                                                20% of the cost needed asap as deposit in order to confirm your booking.
Please note: Payment must be made in full by April 30th, 2023.                      
 Availability - This ultra-exclusive program welcomes a maximum of 10.  
 Email us ASAP to Secure Your Spot!  Space is extremely limited. This trip will sell out.


11 days/10 nights shared accommodations

All breakfasts + group meals where stated

Drinks at the safari lodges

Private guide, driver and tour in Johannesburg

All safari activities, guides and park fees

All road transfers and Internal flights


International Flights 

Personal Travel Insurance

Souvenirs, Tips & Gifts

Passports & Visas

Meals on your own


Zambia Rates

Your Host

Zambia Host
#16 - Karen Loftus - Womens ADventure Travel s- Zambia - safari - South Africa.jpg

Karen Loftus is a well-known and respected luxury travel and lifestyle writer and photographer with a sense of humor, a wicked sense of adventure, and an insatiable appetite for off-the-beaten-path endeavors.


She hit her international stride twenty-plus years ago as an award-winning feminist playwright. She was also a groundbreaking international comedian in the US, Europe, Asia, and The Middle East.


She also ran her own nonprofit, Body Comedy, where she used humor to heal. She worked with thousands of survivors of physical and sexual violence, women, and children in many facilities, juvenile halls, prisons, and shelters.


Ten years later, Karen ended up on Hollywood's red carpet, interviewing the celeb set and writing about travel, fashion, beauty, food and wine, and the Hollywood lifestyle. Since then, she has traveled to all seven continents and 70+ countries while working as a writer and photographer.


Her compelling and entertaining stories have appeared in Vogue, Architectural Digest, Forbes, Robb Report, American Way, Hemispheres Magazine, The NY Daily News, The Globe & Mail, South China Morning Post, The Gulf News, Huffington Post, and Men's Journal among many others.


This serial entrepreneur has produced comedy tours and theatrical events worldwide through her production company, Goddess Productions, and lifestyle and fashion-driven events through her event company, The Lofty Style Lounge.

Lofty loves hitting the road, sharing her wild stories and entrepreneurial endeavors with other women. She speaks at college campuses, conferences, and corporate events.


In addition to WAT, she also arranges well-curated travel for individuals and groups under her travel advisor umbrella, Lofty Traveler. Lofty Traveler is a part of Cloud 10 Travel - An Independent Affiliate of Cadence Travel, a Virtuoso Agency.


Final Notes

I’m a huge fan of Africa. I have been there a number of times, to eight different countries, a few several times over. When asked which African country is my favorite, I liken it to choosing children. I love them all but for very different reasons.


As far as digging deep into the culture and communities, I think you are hard-pressed to find any place that does it better than Zambia. In my previous travels there, with every lodge that I stayed in, I was able to see the direct recipient of a portion of our travel dollars and how it was being spent, be it a village well, a school, or a women’s group that benefited from our being there.


On top of village visits, we on this Women’s Adventure Travel trip are privy to several special visits that have been scheduled with incredible women of influence and the local girls. So much planning and orchestrating has gone into the arranging of it all which is why I don’t think I could have picked a better kick-off for this. I am truly over the moon about this trip.


We are fortunate to be spending quality time with locals--diving deep into their community. After a trip like this, you will have a better sense of the people and the place. You will feel it. I call this ‘sand on your hands.


As is true on any Women’s Adventure Travel trip, you can always opt-in or out of as much or as little of these activities as you’d like. Kicking back at the lodge is always an option. The game drives, sundowners, and excellent dinners on deck are all in order. These special visits and events are but an added, unbelievable bonus for those looking for some sand.


Regardless, with a start in South Africa, which may very well be my all-time favorite country, followed by a very intimate trip with a mere 6-10 participants in the city, the villages and on safari in the rustic-luxe land of Zambia with serious community immersion, phenomenal lodges, a spirited staff at every turn and great game throughout, this is truly a trip of a lifetime!


I hope to see you in the jeep!


#18A - Karen Loftus - Womens ADventure Travel s- Zambia - safari - South Africa - Ted Alan
#23 XYZ Karen Loftus - Womens Adventure Travels - Victoria Falls - Zambia - luxury- safari
Women's Adventure Travels-Karen Loftus
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