Probably the most famous of Zambia’s top attractions is South Luangwa National Park. It is one of the greatest wildlife Parks in Africa, and with very good reason. The intense concentration of animals along the river banks and its numerous oxbow lagoons is not easily rivaled in Africa.
The Luangwa River is the most undisturbed major river system in Africa and is the life-blood of South Luangwa National Park. At just 9052 square kilometres its not the largest but has the greatest Leopard density of any other park. The now famous ‘walking safari’ originated in the park with Norman Carr, and it’s one of the best ways to experience Africa’s incredible animal diversity right outside your comfort zone. The seasons enhance the richness of the park which changes from bare bush in the winter, to lush, green vegetation in the summer months. The park boasts 60 different mammal species as well as 400 of Zambia’s 732 species of birds.
While still offering the most authentic, immersive and connected safari experiences, Zambia is very well connected with easy international flight connections into Lusaka. While there is no national airline, within Zambia, ProFlight services many of the small destinations allowing your safari logistics to be seamless.
There are international connections from Dubai, Istanbul, Johannesburg and Nairobi which create a seamless travel network of accessibility around the world. Multi stop safari’s are most popular and if you are considering adding Zambia to your itinerary there are flights to Kigali to see the Gorillas, Windhoek for the Namibian deserts, South Africa to visit the wine lands, or a beach stop in Mozambique, and even Tanzania and Kenya for an East-African safari experience. Zanzibar is a short hop with Coastal Aviation from Dar es Salaam.
There are a few locations worth looking at for a memorable Zambian safari and to ease your search here are some suggestions for the most breathtaking lodges we recommend.
A World Heritage Site and a Natural Wonder of the World, no trip to Africa could not include this iconic destination. Spend at least 3 nights here in a wide range of accommodations to suit any budget and enjoy the splendour for yourself. This Wonder of the World is one of Zambia’s top attractions.
Victoria Falls Island Treehouse
Treat yourself to an island stay in the middle of the Zambezi River and enjoy luxurious accommodation and the most magical star beds in Africa at Vic Falls Island Treehouse, or for a family friendly lodge close to the Falls consider Stanley Safari Lodge.
The true spirit of romance is exemplified by sleeping in a four-poster bed under the African night skies. The star beds are on the roof of a double-story Treehouse suite. Island Treehouse lodge is just 10 kilometres upstream from the thunderous Victoria Falls. The island is only accessible by boat, has only four secluded Island Treehouse suites and two Star beds. The second Treehouse has just been completed and boasts the most beautiful views. The island and lodge create a very intimate atmosphere and is small enough to book exclusively as your own island hideaway. For honeymoon couples this is the absolute perfect location at the beginning or end of a safari to Africa.
Rates start from $880 per person and include accommodation, meals, local brand drinks, personal butler service, airport transfers, two game activities per day, tour of the Falls and the fitness center.
Sindabezi Island has been described as “the discerning travelers best kept secret”. Owned by the Tongabezi group – they are in the Top 100 Hotels in the World, Conde Nast Traveler Gold List for 2018 and provide the best family safari experience. They have also been voted the #1 Lodge in Zambia several years running so it will be no surprise to find Sindabezi Island Lodge to be a haven of luxury and incredible service.
The island lies within the waters of the Zambezi River and is completely private. there are just five chalets on the island, all tucked away and blending into their surrounding vegetation. According to Fodor’s this is one of the top 10 eco lodges in the world. All the chalets have views out over the river and despite being remote there are many activities to choose from here. The lodge is WiFi free which merely enhances the peace and tranquility of the experience.
Rates start from $635 per person and includes accommodation, meals, local brand drinks, laundry, fishing, visit to the Victoria Falls National Park, daily boat trips, village and museum tours and a mountain bike trail.
North Luangwa National Park
Mwaleshi Camp is located in the vast wilderness that is North Luangwa National Park. The park is a 45 minute flight from Mfuwe Airport. Hidden within a densely wooded bend of the Mwaleshi River 10 kilometres upstream of the confluence with the Luangwa River. Each of the four thatched chalets is rebuilt annually out of natural materials. En suite bathrooms are open to the stars and uninterrupted views of the spectacular Mwaleshi River, the camp offers a sensation of peace and tranquility like no other in the Valley. This is after all the most southerly part of the Great East African Rift Valley.
With very few roads in this remote area the majority of activities are done on foot, following old and new animal trails. Your senses pique and you become acutely attuned to the surrounding bush and all the noises that appear in the silence of your footsteps. Walking safaris are all accompanied by an experienced guide and an armed National Park’s scout. The lodge’s vehicles are used to explore further afield such as the Mwaleshi Falls which is located upstream of the camp.
Mwaleshi Camp is seasonally operated and is open annually from the 15th of June to the 31st of October.
Rates start from $750 per person and includes accommodation, meals, local brand drinks, laundry, twice daily safari activities, walking safaris, Park fees’ and road transfers.
South Luangwa National Park
Chindeni Bush Camp
Chindeni Camp sits in a gorgeous location on the banks of a cut-off oxbow lagoon. Hippo splash during the day feeding and grunt loudly at night and the lagoon is often visited by herds of Buffalo and Elephant. This is without doubt one of the most beautiful tented camps I have ever worked at. There is something very special about sleeping under canvas that ignites a sense of adventure in every guest that visits. At Chindeni this is elegantly combined with style and comfort in all of its four opulent tents. Gaze out from your private veranda onto the lagoon which attracts birds and animals from miles around.
Whether you are in the mood for intrepid exploration or perhaps some more sedentary wildlife viewing, Chindeni will deliver. Avid game viewers and birdwatchers can set out on superb walking safaris, game drives, night drives and scenic sun downer trips in the surrounding area. Or you can just park yourself in a deckchair at camp and watch the abundance of game that is drawn to the lagoon. Chindeni is open from June to December. Rates at Chindeni start from $570 per person and include accommodation, meals, walking safaris, game drives, limited laundry and inter camp transfers.
Bilimungwe Bush Camp
At Bilimungwe the tradition of the original African bush camp meets an elegance and style that has created a haven amongst the surrounding landscape. Nestled beneath a huge Mahogany tree, the heart of Bilimungwe is the shaded lounge area that looks out over one of the camps three waterholes. Relax in an armchair with a cool drink as you watch an fantastic display of birds and animals that come to the waterholes to drink. With the waters of the Luangwa River close by and open plains a little inland the area has excellent sightings. Brian Manda is the (award winning) resident guide and his vast experience will captivate your desire to learn about the intricacies of the bush.
Rates at Bilimungwe start at $570 per person and include accommodation, meals, walking safaris, game drives, limited laundry and inter camp transfers.
This is by far a firm favorite of Zambia’s top attractions.
Time & Tide – Chinzombo
Another of Zambia’s top attractions is Chinzombo. This easily one of our favorite camps within South Luangwa. This incredible camp lies on the banks of the Luangwa River and Chinzombo‘s six luxurious suites are hidden in the riverside bush. Very private, each suite has a huge bedroom with an even larger bed, en suite shower and bathroom. A seating area outside with your very own plunge pool which is the perfect location from which to relax during the heat of the languid days.
Rates at Chinzombo start from $1150 per person and include accommodation, meals, local brand drinks, twice daily game drives, laundry, transfers to and from Mfuwe Airport, seasonal boating and local village visits. Chinzombo is the best luxury experience of Zambia’s top attractions.
Lower Zambezi National Park
The Lower Zambezi National Park is another of Zambia’s top attractions. The park is a World Heritage Site and a very attractive birding area.
Chiawa Safaris comprises three gorgeous safari camps in Zambia’s prime National Parks, these are Chiawa Camp and Old Mondoro in the Lower Zambezi and Puku Ridge Camp in the South Luangwa.
Each camp is unique and in a spectacular, wildlife-rich location deep inside its respective National Park. Each is run to the same high standards that have become synonymous with the Cumings family’s multi-award winning safari operation. And, each camp is certified carbon neutral!
The well-being of their guests, the wildlife, habitat and surrounding communities take absolute priority; and you are assured of an authentic, memorable safari adventure, in the care of the very best guides on personalised and varied safari activities. With Chiawa, your safari is not only a fulfilling investment in yourself but also an assurance of a more secure and enriched future for these rare wildernesses, their vulnerable inhabitants and those that rely upon them.
If you are looking for the ultimate Zambian safari, where only the best will do, then Chiawa Safaris is for you.
The family owned and operated, multi-award-winning, Chiawa Camp is located in Lower Zambezi National Park, along the banks of the mighty Zambezi River. One of Zambia’s premier luxury safari camps, Chiawa offers diverse activities, these include game drives, game walks, boating, canoeing and fishing. Each of the luxury tents boasts spectacular views over the Zambezi River and its vast array of resident wildlife including Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Hippo and many more, which occupy this gorgeous region of Zambia.
Rates at Chiawa start from $875 per person and includes accommodation, meals, local brand drinks, laundry, twice daily game drives, airstrip transfers, night drives, walking safaris, canoe trips and fishing.
So what are you waiting for? If this list of Zambia’s top attractions doesn’t spur you to book a holiday what will? Book one of these incredible destinations with African Safari Experts. Contact us for expert travel advice.
If you have a passion for wildlife and would like to get involved then read all about the great work Conservation South Luangwa is doing.