Most travelers tick Zambia off their list with just a quick visit to Victoria Falls, and its thundering glory is a sight to behold. However, we would like to whisper two magic words in your ear…stay longer. While Livingstone and the Victoria Falls are not to be missed, we urge you to delve deeper into this overlooked safari destination. The landlocked nation of Zambia holds a treasure trove of wildlife in spectacular wilderness areas.
Discover the sheer vastness of Kafue National Park or the tiny Kasanka National Park, where the largest migration of mammals occurs each November. Become acquainted with the legendary leopard territory in South Luangwa National Park. Bask in the serenity of paddling the languid Zambezi River in Lower Zambezi National Park as you drift by herds of buffalo silently lapping up water on the river bank or elephants frolicking in the shallows. Seeking remote and pristine wilderness? Then Liuwa Plain National Park and North Luangwa National Park should be on your short-list!
The bustling hubs of Lusaka and Livingstone are perfect places to begin or end your safari. There are plenty of opportunities to connect with locals to experience vibrant culture in markets or villages. Zambians are warm and welcoming, sharing their deep pride in their peaceful nation with visitors. You’ll stay in ruggedly sophisticated bush camps and lodges which embrace their surroundings and lavish you with down-to-earth attention and comfort. A wide diversity of activities allow you to explore every aspect of this understated destination.
What we love about Zambia
Walking Safaris: Walking safaris were born in Zambia and nothing matches the exhilaration of being on foot in the African bush with some of the most highly-trained walking guides on the planet. This expert teaches you about the small wonders and the threads which make up our intricately woven web of life. As you learn to read the signs of the big and small things which have passed before you, the wind carries secrets of the wilderness to your ears and your nose. Your senses become attuned to the tiniest changes in your environment. Positioned perfectly by your guide to gaze and photograph a peaceful herd of puku, you might think that perhaps a lion is patiently waiting in the distant thicket for just the right moment to strike. Are you observing wildlife or is wildlife observing you? This is the thrill of a Zambian walking safari and something not to be missed.
Floating the Zambezi: At Victoria Falls, the Zambezi River is mighty and powerful, plunging into the gorge with force and velocity. Hundreds of miles downstream, the Zambezi has a different personality. The river is lazy and wide, smooth as glass, at times reflecting the sunrise or the soaring escarpment. Birdsong fills the air as you tranquilly drift in a canoe with your expert guide. The smooth round backs of hippos resemble boulders in the river. They grunt softly as you glide by. On the banks, a small pack of wild dogs yip and clamber together in a big pile over a carcass; the most successful predators in the land. Glimpse scenes like this and more from the quiet of your river canoe. It is the perfect way to uncover the marvels of the Zambezi River.
Diversity of activities: From the breath-taking Victoria Falls to the wilds of North Luangwa, Zambia offers not only biodiversity, but a plethora of ways to keep active while on safari. Push the limits of your comfort zone with activities that will get your heart pounding like abseiling, bungee jumping or zip-lining. Catch a bird’s-eye-view from a helicopter, micro-light or scenic flight. Take to the water for world-class fishing or in a white-water raft, a kayak, canoe, scenic cruise or motorboat. Prowl the terrain on night drives to witness nocturnal dramas and unique wildlife. On horseback, on foot, by watercraft, or vehicle, the wildlife of Zambia will astound you along with the stunning landscape. In Zambia, there is truly something for everyone.
The dry season, from Jun-Nov is an wonderful time to visit Zambia, daytime temperatures are mild and evenings are crisp and clear Walking safari bush camps in and around South Luangwa are open for six to nine months per year during this time. Temperatures can soar from late Sep-Oct in the Lower Zambezi and the Luangwa Valley, however if you can take the dry heat you’ll witness incredible wildlife as animals vie for limited water sources. The rains come from Dec-Mar, falling most heavily in Jan-Feb. Outside of these months it may still rain, but the risk of a shower is offset by minimal crowds and great bird watching.
The rate will vary depending upon the number of destinations visited, the season, and the mode of transport. Zambia’s parks are remote and generally accessed by air. While the average cost is less than some destinations Zambia is not a budget destination. During high season, intimate camps and lodges will cost from $600 per person per night for Kafunta lodge, to $1600 per person per night at Chinzombo. On average the majority of the camps we recommend will be around $1000 per person per night. Low season, known in Zambia as the “emerald season” rates will run from $550 for mid-range camps and $800 for a more exclusive experience