Zambia is without a doubt my favourite safari destination. Phenomenal wildlife viewing experiences coupled with some of the best guiding and the warmest people in Africa make this country a really special place for me. What stands out for me as my most memorable experience in Zambia is the opportunity to track big game on foot in the South Luangwa National Park with some of the most qualified guides in Africa. I cannot describe how thrilling it is when you actually get to watch a lion gouging on its prey no more than 100 metres away. But don’t take my word for it, book your safari to Zambia today and you will fall in love with the country just like I have.
Things to do
- See one of the world’s Seven Natural Wonders, Victoria Falls
- Sunset cruise on the Zambezi River
- Track big game on foot with a qualified guide in the spectacular South Luangwa National Park
- Experience a variety of safari activities such as river rafting, canoeing, fishing, open 4×4 game drives, walking safaris and more
After more than five visits to Victoria Falls, I would still go back in a heartbeat. Every time I have been it has been different depending on the time of year, and on which side of the Falls I have stayed. The mighty Zambezi River, which creates the magnificent Victoria Falls, forms the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe making it possible to see the Falls from either country. Which one you choose will depend on the time of year you are visiting. In March after the rains the spray was so massive that I could hardly see through it to witness the Falls. I got completely soaked and loved every minute of it! In November the Falls were half of what they normally are and I daggled my feet right over the edge as the water plummeted past me.
There is so much more to see in the area other than the Falls themselves – take a sunset cruise along the Zambezi River, or raft its mighty rapids. Enjoy an elephant back safari or just relax at one of the stunning lodges overlooking the Zambezi River with a gin and tonic in hand watching the wildlife come to the water to drink. Whatever time of year you decide to visit, and in whichever side of the Falls you decide to stay, the Victoria Falls is one of those iconic Africa destinations not to be missed.
The guides in the Luangwa Valley are highly qualified, knowledgeable and warm people. And the range of activities on offer at the camps is amazing – 4×4 open vehicle game drives, walking, cycling, canoeing, and even microlighting is available. Walking safaris in the Luangwa are arguably the best in Africa with the opportunity to track big game, such as wild dog, lion, elephant and buffalo on foot with experienced guides. I have before never experienced such brilliant guiding or such diverse game as what the Luangwa Valley has to offer. One of my visits was at the end of the dry season and we saw so many prides of lion that in the end we actually chose bird watching over lion sightings!
The South Luangwa National Park conjures up memories of tracking wildlife on foot, spotting leopard in the early morning as the sun rose, and watching hundreds of carmine bee-eaters flit to and from their nests in the river bank while feeding their young. People here move at the pace of nature and nothing is rushed. The lodges and camps here focus more on guiding and the guest experience instead of on luxurious accommodation, making it a truly authentic safari experience. In all my travels in Africa, the North and South Luangwa Valley offers the best safari guides that I have ever encountered.
Visiting North Luangwa was a very special experience for me. One truly gets a chance to get away from it all out there and just be at one with the wilderness around you – since there are only a handful of camps in the area there is little chance of bumping into anyone else. The focus at the camps is on walking safaris and tracking a lion on foot that had just killed a waterbuck was definitely the highlight of my trip!
Lower Zambezi National Park
The best thing about the Lower Zambezi for me is the remoteness of the park, difficult to get to by road as it is cut off by the Zambezi escarpment on one side, and the Zambezi River on the other. However, by air the few camps in the park are easily accessible – only 30 minutes by light aircraft from Lusaka and you arrive at the airstrip. Time stands still in this wild paradise and human encroachment has not made any difference to the surrounding nature and wildlife. Elephant and hippo wander in and out of the safari camps as though people are not even there. During my stay in the park I was surprised at how much wildlife one can see – huge herds elephant and plenty of hyena, crocodile, hippo and lion. And the number of activities on offer from day and night drives & walking safaris to tiger fishing, boating and canoe safaris kept us entertained.
Kafue National Park
The area that I love most in the Kafue is the Busanga Plains. I witnessed herds of puku and lechwe grazing on the Plains, with predators such as lion and cheetah not too far behind. The Busanga Plains is a remote wilderness area where you can truly get away from the crowds. I spent hours on game drives with my guide searching for game without bumping into any other safari vehicles. I also saw my first sighting of Roan antelope here, an antelope that is rarely seen in other parts of Southern Africa.
Remote Africa safari – 2 nights Tafika, 3 nights Chikoko Walking Trails, 3 nights Mwaleshi ** itinerary sample
- This itinerary is perfect for those with a sense of adventure, but do not want to compromise on service and comfort.
- Janine, our African Travel Expert says ‘This safari completely touched my soul. Spend time with some of the best guides and the most hospitable hosts in Africa – your adrenalin will be pumping as you track lion and other big on foot, cycling through the African bush, or take a thrilling microlight flight over the South Luangwa.’
Please note that this is a suggested itinerary only…..if this does not suit your needs exactly, then we can tailor an itinerary that does
DAYS 1 & 2
Arrive to Lusaka airport where you will connect with your flight to Mfuwe, the gateway to the South Luangwa National Park. Transfer by road or air to Tafika Camp. At Tafika Camp six comfortable and spacious en-suite chalets lie dwarfed beneath giant lead wood trees. It boasts some of the finest leopard viewing in Zambia. The leopard-sighting opportunities combined with the unusual and exhilarating safari activities, and the camp’s family-friendly atmosphere, make Tafika Camp the perfect first stop in any Zambian adventure. Enjoy day and night game drives, walks, cycling, visit the local village and take to the skies in a microlight.
DAYS 3 – 5
Transfer to Chikoko Trails Walking Camps. The Chikoko Trails Camps are comprised of two private camps: Chikoko Tree Camp and Crocodile River Camp. Walk from camp to camp in a remote part of the park following the animal footpaths. Immerse yourself in the sights, scents and sounds of the bush as the expert guides share their experience and wilderness knowledge.
DAYS 6 – 8
Transfer to the Tafika airstrip for your flight aircraft flight to the North Luangwa National Park. On arrival you will be driven by open 4×4 to Mwaleshi Camp, located on the banks of the Mwaleshi River. You are now truly remote with no other camps for miles and miles. Mwaleshi Camp, an enigmatic walking camp, accommodates only 6 to 8 guests. This is a place of peace and simplicity, contrasted with stunning wildlife action. It enriches the soul and quickens the senses. The excitement of watching hyaenas hunting puku in front of camp, or observing huge herds of buffalo and the endemic Cookson’s wildebeest on foot are some of the experiences that might draw you to Mwaleshi Camp.
Say farewell to Mwaleshi when you board your light aircraft flight to Mfuwe airport to connect with your flight to Lusaka.