Wild and untamed, Zambia’s diverse landscapes, abundant wildlife and diverse ecosystems offer a safari experience that feels distinctly personal.
Zambia’s national parks span a variety of ecosystems and landscapes, giving guests a unique opportunity for a comprehensive and diverse circuit within the same country. At each of Zambia’s three largest national parks, a different characteristic of a uniquely Zambian safari shines forth.
As one of the most game-rich parks in southern Africa, Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park boasts some of the highest populations of hippo, fish and crocodile due to the undisturbed Luangwa River and rich, fertile flood plains of the Luangwa Valley. South Luangwa is best known as the original location of another Zambia highlight: walking safaris.
“Walking is king here,” notes Travel Beyond consultant Marguerite Smit, who traveled extensively in Zambia in 2014. “In Zambia, you can track lion on foot every day, canoe among hippos and crocodiles (if you are brave enough!) and discover the unforgettable birds of Southern Africa in abundance as they cover the skies.”
In addition to walking safaris and exploring the parks from a traditional Land Rover vehicle, travelers to Zambia are given another option in Lower Zambezi National Park. The park is one of only a few spots in southern Africa where visitors can enjoy their safari along the banks of a major river, the Zambezi.
Massive herds of elephants and other animals congregate along the famed Zambezi. Camps and lodges in Lower Zambezi National Park overlook the water as well, giving guests stunning views while dining or relaxing during their daily siesta.
In Kafue National Park, the largest park in Zambia and second largest park on the continent of Africa, guests are treated to a variety of landscapes from wide rivers, open plains and savanna grasslands to woodlands, rocky outcrops and floodplains. Large herds of prey gather along the water sources, drawing predators for classic “circle of life” wildlife clashes. The floodplains are also known for excellent birdlife, perfect for checking off wildlife from any traveler’s “must see” viewing list.
Any visit to Zambia would be incomplete without a stop in Livingstone to witness the majesty of Victoria Falls, the point where the wide Zambezi River tumbles more than 350 feet to create the largest sheet of falling water in the world.
Regardless of what circuit a traveler to Zambia takes, Kota Tabuchi, Travel Beyond’s managing director for Africa, likes to make sure his clients know another distinction of Zambia.
“As one of the very few ‘wild’ places remaining in southern Africa, the focus in Zambia tends to be more on the experience than the accommodations,” explains Kota. “Accommodations vary greatly from super luxury to basic camping, but the charm of Zambia is really in the intimate camps offering superb guiding and hosting.”
Unlike other countries in Southern Africa, Zambia is extremely seasonal, so it’s important to work with an expert before booking your safari. Many safari camps close between mid-November and April. Marguerite and Kota recommend traveling between June and November for the best game viewing opportunities.
Zambia Property Spotlights
“The stylish, uniquely decorated lodge in South Luangwa is vibrant in color and experience. During the day, the land in front of the lodge is frequented by grazing mammals, and while guests are safely sleeping inside at night, it becomes a hunting ground for lions. ”
Anabezi Luxury Tented Camp
“The best way to describe this camp is ‘luxury hotel in the bush’—a 5-star feeling with genuine African hospitality. As the last stop in the Lower Zambezi, this camp has a very private feel.”