The secret of Zambia
Adventurous safari goers, whether seasoned or experiencing safari for the first time, will love the immersive experience of Zambia. There is plenty of big game to see and the camps are truly authentic with an air of rusticity and a good dose of luxury too. More attractively, being a less obvious safari destination, Zambia does not suffer the crowds. Walking safaris in Zambia, particularly in South and North Luangwa, are exceptional and the magnificent Victoria Falls – one of the Seven Wonders of the World are a definite highlight. The best time to visit Zambia is between June and November however we can offer the best advice as to when certain camps are open as several do close in the rainy season.
Zambia is the best kept Africa safari secret and certainly delivers on experience. There are several different areas to choose from so here we have taken a tour around the country.
To the north east of Lusaka and a short internal flight away from the capital is South Luangwa National Park. This is the part of Zambia to explore for a real ‘off the grid’ safari. Most camps are open seasonally in South Luangwa which is well known for walking safaris and a truly original safari experience.
Puku Ridge in the South Luangwa National Park offers intimacy and authentic luxury in just 8 semi tented suites with incredible panoramic views of the rich floodplains. Wildlife will wander by, possibly even past your private outdoor shower, as the environment blends with the camp.
Staying in South Luangwa National Park, Time+Tide Chinzombo comprises of just 6 luxury grass and canvas villas situated along the curving Luangwa River. Private plunge pools shaded by ancient trees provide relaxation after a day in the bush. There are in villa spa treatments too for real indulgence. The award winning guiding team here take guests on explorations by foot, vehicle and boat (in season) and the area is particularly well known for leopard sightings.
Heading slightly east of Lusaka is the Lower Zambezi, dominated by the Zambezi River. The Lower Zambezi is ideal for safari by foot, vehicle, boat and canoe and quite often combined with time in North and South Luangwa National Parks, further north east of the country, for a completely different view.
To the south on the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls lies Livingstone which easily connects with other parts of Africa and offers some excellent camps on the Zambezi River. Popping over to the Zimbabwe side of the falls is easy and Livingstone is only a couple of hours from Chobe in northern Botswana.
African Parks managed Liuwa Plain, to the far west of the country, is home to the second largest wildebeest migration in Africa after Kenya however much less visited so away from the tourist mass.
The only permanent camp in Liuwa Plain is Time + Tide King Lewanika – a camp for just 10 guests which effortlessly combines contemporary luxury with authenticity and situated on a spot which shares 366,000 hectares with only the resident wildlife. Luxury tents are just the tip of the experience iceberg which offers award winning safari guides, 350 degree view of the plains, exceptional wildlife, over 330 species of bird, a growing cheetah population and the famous Liuwa pride of lions. Between May and July and during October and November there is the opportunity of sleeping out under the stars.
Kafue National Park
Finally, north west of Lusaka lies Kafue National Park. Almost the size of Wales at 2.25 million hectares, Kafue is Zambia’s largest national park. This vast expanse is home to several antelope species and it offers a high chance of seeing lions. Hot air ballooning, boating and game drives are the best activities to enjoy in Kafue.
In summary, Zambia offers an incredible safari experience which is heaven for prolific birders and photographers and is ideal for repeat and seasoned safari goers. The guides in Zambia are some of the most highly qualified in Africa and we think even the most experienced safari goer will find something new and exciting in Zambia. There’s always the beach option too after a few hard days on the safari trail and Zambia can be combined with any Indian Ocean beach or a relaxing lake side retreat in Malawi.
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