Zambia

Zambia is where the walking safari was born.  Visitors can experience an authentic safari here, on foot, on land and on water. Victoria Falls, one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world, shares a border with neighboring Zimbabwe. The locals refer to it as Mosi-oa-Tunya, “the smoke that thunders,” and it is the largest curtain of water on the planet. Zambia has a rich history, gaining independence from the British in 1964. English is the official language however many local dialects are also spoken throughout the country. 

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Zambia Highlights

Zambia Itineraries

See Victoria Falls from the Livingstone side and enjoy all the thrills on offer, including swimming in the Devil’s Pool during the low water season.  Zambia is where you can still feel like you are the first to discover these wilderness areas. 

 

Zambia Rivers Safari

Itinerary

 

Day 1:
Johannesburg is the major hub for Southern Africa destinations, so plan to spend a night or two here before you begin your safari. 
1 Night in Johannesburg

Days 2 – 4:
Today you will fly to Lusaka, Zambia where you will be met upon arrival and assisted to your flight to Mfuwe, the gateway to the South Luangwa Valley. The flight is about one hour. You will be met and transferred by road to the lodge. Tonight your guide will take you out for your first night drive to search for predators on the prowl and a myriad of smaller nocturnal animals. After dinner you’ll settle in to your comfortable bed and fall asleep to the sounds of the bush.
4 Nights in the South Luangwa

The South Luangwa National Park is one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in Africa. The concentration of game along the Luangwa River and its associated ox-bow lagoons is legendary. It is home to two endemic species, the Thornicroft Giraffe and Cookson's Wildebeest and is one of the best places to view leopards. Your days here in the South Luangwa will begin early with a morning game drive, giving you great opportunities to see the wildlife during the gorgeous morning light. You will return to camp in time for a sumptuous buffet brunch before having a few hours of 'siesta' time.

Days 5 – 9:
Continue your adventure to another part of the African bush, the Lower Zambezi National Park. Your flight from Mfuwe is via Lusaka and you will arrive at the airstrip just a short drive away from the lodge. Your home for the next four nights sits on the Zambezi River with a steep escarpment behind.
4 Nights in the Lower Zambezi

The Lower Zambezi National Park is rich in wildlife, with large herds of buffalo and great elephant viewing. Lions are quite numerous and leopard sightings are quite common. This area has welcomed tourism only in the last twenty years. It is an unspoilt wilderness area, which makes it a thrilling destination. 

Your guide will lead you on various activities including guided walks, game drives, boating safaris or perhaps canoeing along one of the many channels frequented by hippo, elephant and buck. Enjoy a sunset ride drifting downstream to watch buffalo and elephant playing in the waters as the sun turns them pink.

Day 10:
Today you will have one last morning activity before saying goodbye. You will leave for Lusaka and begin your homeward journey, or on to Livingstone to see Victoria Falls, one of the “seven natural wonders of the world.” 

 

Private Departures: This itinerary can be custom tailored for groups of four to twelve guests.

Optional Extensions:  A three day extension to see the magnificent Victoria Falls is highly recommended.

 

Accomodations

Zambia offers a wide variety of lodgings ranging from luxury colonial-style hotels to romantic island lodges and rustic wilderness bush camps.  

Livingstone

Livingstone is where to stay to see Victoria Falls and enjoy the historic town and all the activities offered on the Zambezi River.  The international airport makes it an easy extension from all Southern Africa destinations.

Photo: Sun International

Royal Livingstone

This five-star, grand hotel is located right on the Zambezi River, just a 15-minute walk to the majestic Victoria Falls.  A sophisticated, colonial era is reflected throughout the sprawling property where zebras graze on the lawn.  The guest rooms are rather small, but the main areas of the hotel are where you will be while enjoying a traditional afternoon tea, or a cold sundowner with the backdrop of Victoria Falls. This is good base for enjoying river cruises, dinner on the Royal Livingstone Express, boating, microlight tours and Livingstone town.

Tongabezi

Tongabezi was one of the first places developed for tourism in this area and is still owner operated with deep community roots.   Sitting high on the banks of the Zambezi River, upstream of Victoria Falls, Tongabezi is a romantic destination offering a nice variety of guest cottages and house, which are always being refreshed.  Activities include canoeing, parasol shaded lunches on the river, sunrise and sunset boating, local school and community visits.

Sindabezi

This camp is accessed from the dock at Tongabezi where guests take a short boat ride to this tranquil haven on an island in the Zambezi River.  Sindabezi is a rustic bush camp with only five, open-fronted, thatched chalets which are built on stilts.  This is great for honeymooners and who want to hear the sounds of the Zambia bush while they sleep.

Islands of Siankaba

This luxury lodge is located on two private islands in the mighty Zambezi River that are linked by walkways and bridges.  This intimate retreat has only seven chalets, which offer secluded privacy.  Located 24 miles from Victoria Falls and about that same distance from Botswana’s Chobe National Park, this property offers a wide variety of land and water activities.

Stanley Safari Lodge

Located just three kilometers from Victoria Falls, Stanley Safari Lodge sits on top of a hill bordering the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park.  The views of the spray of the Falls and the gorgeous African sunsets are spectacular.  There are ten guest cottages including four suites which feature a private plunge pool with a deck and terrace.  Guests can visit the Mukuni Village; get an up-close view of wildlife on a river safari or a 360 degree open top game drive.  

Toka Leya

Toka Leya overlooks the Zambezi River and some of its islands upstream from Victoria Falls in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. Named for a local tribe, this safari-type camp has twelve tented suites, including three family rooms, situated on elevated decks.  Hippo, crocodile, and elephant are regular sights in and around camp.   There is a spa and infinity pool to enjoy in addition to all the other activities of the area.  The novel pizza oven is especially popular with Toka Leya guests.

Photo: African Bush Camps

Thorntree River Lodge

Located in Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park and a short drive from Victoria Falls, Thorntree River Lodge has eight twin rooms and two family units (with four beds each).  Each room has a luxurious private plunge pool and the lodge offers an open dining area and communal deck overlooking the scenic riverside as well as a lounge area and an infinity pool.

Lower Zambezi National Park

The wild Zambezi River forms the border of this park.  Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, sits on the other bank.  And the Chiawa Partnership Park area is adjacent on the Zambia side, all combing to make a large wilderness area for animals to roam.  

Photo: Sausage Tree Camp

Sausage Tree Camp

This exclusive safari camp, one of the most luxurious in the area, was completely rebuilt in 2018. Accommodation for 18 is in spacious white Bedouin style tents which are situated along the Zambezi with plenty of space in between for privacy and elephants to amble through camp.  Kigela House features two en-suite bedrooms Each suite has a private plunge pool, an outdoor lounge area and a personal muchinda (butler) to tend to your every need.   After a day of privately guided land and water-based safari activities, you can swim in the lap pool before a moonlit dinner on an island in the river. 

Photo: Potato Bush Camp

Potato Bush Camp

Potato Bush Camp located adjacent to its sister camp, Sausage Tree.  This is the more rustic of the two, offering just three tents and a two bedroom family tent nestled under mature trees.  Contemporary design inspires the entire camp which is linked with raised timber walkways.   Activities include game drives, scenic canoeing and boat trips, educational walking safaris, fishing trips and  incredible night drives.

Photo: Chongwe River Camp

Chongwe River Camp

Chongwe River Camp and Chongwe House are located just outside the park boundaries.  Chongwe River Camp has nine classic en-suite tents under thatch to keep it cool.  The 1-bedroom Cassia Suite is perfect for honeymooners.  The 2-bedroom, colonial-styled tented Albida Suite is good for families.  Both suites include a butler and meals can be served in the private dining areas.   Chongwe River House, designed by architect Neil Rocher, sits about one kilometer away and serves as an  exclusive use, four bedroom house, complete with safari guide, vehicle and support staff.  Canoeing, boating, fishing as well as game drives and guided walks in the Lower Zambezi National Park or the Chiawa Partnership Park are all available to all guests. 

Photo: Anabezi

Anabezi

Anabezi Luxury Tented Camp was built in 2014 in a wildlife rich area of the Lower Zambezi offering high levels of luxury, excellent guiding and superb game viewing.  Each of the luxury tents boasts indoor and outdoor bathroom, a sitting area; glass sliding doors opening onto a private deck; a plunge pool set into the expansive wood deck with a stunning view; 24-hour battery power and plentiful hot and cold filtered water.

Photo: Amanzi

Amanzi

The name “Amanzi”, means “water” in the Indebele language.  Just three kilometers away from big sister camp Anabezi, this intimate camp features just four en-suite safari tents with private decks overlooking Ngwenya Channel and the islands that are home to a herd of elephant bulls.  Amanzi is great for families and groups traveling together.  Activities at both Amanzi and Anabezi include day and night game drives, walking safaris, birding, boating, canoeing and fishing.

South Luangwa National Park

Plan to stay at least four nights at one or more of the lodges in South Luangwa, one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in Africa.  Walking safaris between bush camps is highly recommended during the dry season.

Photo: Chinzombo Lodge

Chinzombo Lodge

This newly designed camp has historical significance being situated where walking pioneer Norman Carr would camp during the green season.  Each of the six luxurious villas, one of which is a family suite with two bedrooms, has its own river view pool, cooled sleeping area, and massive bathroom.  Relax by the fire pit or with an in-villa spa treatment.  A bonus is the private access into one of the most game rich areas of the National Park.  

Photo: Chichele Presidential Lodge

Chichele Presidential Lodge

Originally built as a private home for Kenneth Kaunda, the first president of Zambia, Chichele Lodge is a historic colonial property.  A majestic arched entrance leads you into a huge lounge and outside the grand dining room; a long veranda stretches with views down the valley to the Luangwa River. The ten suites are decorated in the same understated elegance of years gone by. Impressive views can be had from its hilltop location and game is abundant in the area.

Photo: Mfuwe Lodge

Mfuwe Lodge

Beneath a canopy of ebony and mahogany, the 18 air-conditioned chalets at this property are arranged around the banks of two lagoons where you can watch the prolific game roam—giraffe, hippos, buffalo, antelope, and crocodile are constant visitors to Mfuwe Lodge's lagoon.  Every November the local elephants wander right through the lobby to feed from a mango tree.  Secluded covered verandas look out over the lagoons, and en-suite bathrooms feature panoramic walk-in showers.  Guided walks can be arranged, but most outings are day and evening game drives.

Travel Information

When to go to Zambia
By April, the rains begin to subside and temperatures are warm during the day and cool in the evening.  Many bush camps open in June after the roads have dried out, allowing access to camps.  By September and October, some of the seasonal rivers are dry and daytime temperatures can be hot.  Game viewing is concentrated around water.  By November or December rains begin and everything turns green again.

Passport & Visa

Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the date of your return from Zambia. Tourist visas are required and must obtained in advance using the Zambia e-Visa online portal.  The cost is $50 for single entry, or transit visa, $80 for a multiple entry visa.  Payment is done by credit card.  You will receive an approval letter which you must present on arrival at your port of entry.  

The KAZA Uni-Visa enables you to visit both Zambia and Zimbabwe for up to 30 days and costs $50, payable in USD cash.  The KAZA Uni-Visa is now available online.

For further information:  The Embassy of the Republic of Zambia in Washington, D.C. & U.S. State Department

Medical Information
Before traveling to Africa, please consult with your physician. An International Certificate of Vaccination for Yellow Fever is required to enter Zambia for travelers who are coming from Ethiopia, Kenya, or Rwanda.  The certificate must be obtained no less than ten days prior to your arrival into Zambia.  You will also need a malaria prophylaxis.
For further information:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-Zambia