Zambia and Zimbabwe are often regarded as one in the same due to the fact that they share access to a world-renowned attraction - the mighty Victoria Falls. But Zambia has a lot going for it other than hosting one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World”. Did you know that the country is roughly the size of Texas or France?Comprising of mostly high plateau, with some hills and mountains, Zambia is the window to “real Africa”. Approximately 30% of the land is reserved purely for wildlife with a whopping 20 national parks and 34 game management areas. It is less commercialized than several other safari destinations in Africa, offering prime wildlife viewing and fewer vehicles and travelers to compete with. Every year the US Department of State ranks each country in the world according to their Global Peace Index evaluation. These results are determined by each country's level of militarization, domestic and international conflict levels, as well as societal safety and security.Interestingly in 2017, Zambia tied with the United Kingdom in 41st place on the Global Peace Index. Combined with the country’s travel advisory - Level 1 status, Zambia proudly ranked amongst the “Top Ten Safest Countries to Visit in 2018”. It is therefore safe to say that Zambia is now considered to be one of the world’s travel destination hotspots for 2018. Here are some top destinations to consider when planning your trip to Zambia.
The naturally formed "Devil's Pool", where some tourists swim despite a risk of plunging over the edge.Arriving into Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport, or better known as Livingstone Airport, the average transfer time to most lodges is approximately 20 to 30 minutes. If you looking to get up-close with the rushing falls then Livingstone, Zambia is where you can do just that. A highlight of this side is standing on the Knife-Edge Bridge, fully prepared to be completely soaked by the spray of the falls. For another amazing view of the falls on the Zambian side, a visit to Livingstone Island is highly recommended. Although only operational in the low water season, Livingstone Island is where you will find the natural rock pool known as Devil’s Pool. Not for the fainthearted, Devils Pool allows one to live on the edge, quite literally!Where to stay: Find our list of accommodation options here.
Lower Zambezi National Park
Chongwe River Camp offers breathtaking panoramic views, guests sit out front in comfortable lounge chairs and watch the abundant wildlife visiting the banks to drink and graze on the lush grasses.The Lower Zambezi National Park is still relatively undeveloped with its beauty lying in its wilderness state. The park offers the opportunity to get close to game wandering in and out of the Zambezi channels and to view the thriving birdlife along the riverbanks. All lodges in the Lower Zambezi region offer pick-ups from either Lusaka, Chirundu, or Kariba in Zimbabwe. The Chongwe River demarcates the western boundary of the park and can be accessed from Chirundu along a gravel road, crossing the Kafue River by pontoon.A small area on the valley floor is host to many of the bigger mammals, including elephant, buffalo, hippo, waterbuck, kudu, zebra and crocodiles. Occasionally seen are roan, eland and the Samango monkey. Nocturnal animals found here include hyaena, porcupine, civet, genet and honey badger.
Samango Monkey (Cercopithecus mitis) in a tree enjoying a mango.The best time to visit is during the mid-season from June to September, but all lodges and canoeing operators are open from April to November. Lodge favorites include Chongwe River Camp, and both Royal Zambezi Lodge and Kayila Lodge which are open all year round.
Want to know what other places in Africa are safe for travel?
South Luangwa National Park
For an authentic Zambian safari experience, South Luangwa is most certainly a destination to consider visiting with its unique combination of vast grassy plains, mesmerizing woodlands and pristine Luangwa River. The impressive park covers an area of about 9 050 square kilometers of the Luangwa Valley floor. There's no shortage of dramatic and fascinating topography in this stunning game-rich park. The park offers a multitude of game including African wild dogs, lions, leopard, buffalo and hippo. There is also 14 different species of antelope to be seen and a whopping 400 species of bird, making South Luangwa a bird watching paradise. Lodges in the park provide a pickup service once you arrive in Zambia at Mfuwe Airport, which is a small airport, complete with customs and immigration. Mfuwe is easily accessible from Lusaka and Lower Zambezi.
Sundowners at Luangwa River Camp nestled under an ancient ebony grove on the banks of the Luangwa River overlooking the game rich area .For an intimate safari experience, look no further than Kaingo Camp, Tena Tena Camp or Luangwa River Camp. There are a number of elegant lodges in the Lower Zambezi Region but firm favorites include the luxurious Chichele Presidential Lodge and Puka Ridge Camp.
Liuwa Plain National Park
King Lewanika Lodge one of Zambia's Most Exclusive Camps In Liuwa Plain National Park.One of Zambia’s conservation success stories, Liuwa Plains National Park is a hidden gem with very few travelers aware of its existence, or that it’s home to the second-largest wildebeest migration on the African continent. There is approximately 43,000 wildebeest in the Liuwa migration, considerably much lower than the almost 2 million to be seen in East Africa, but truly special because it's the only place to see wildebeest in a mirage of beautiful wild flowers – no one can ask for a more picture perfect moment.Liuwa Plains is a serious safari destination with an array of exciting wildlife. Wild dogs, spotted hyena and cheetah represent the predators and red lechwe, eland, tsessebe and the critically endangered roan antelope. Access to the park is from a water crossing point in the town of Kalabo. You would travel by pontoon and then by 4x4 vehicle on sandy roads to your designated camp. The camps are able to assist with these transfer arrangements, or alternatively, you can choose to take a private charter flight from Lusaka to Liuwa airstrip. The park becomes inaccessible to vehicles in the wet season but an entirely knew watery world opens up to those wanting to brave a canoe safari. Liuwa Plains is legendary during the December rains with dramatic cloud formations erupting into a theatrical lighting storm. It is unlike anything else you have ever seen.
Seasonal Canoeing Safaris at King Lewanika Lodge.Experience the only permanent camp in this vast park - King Lewanika or for the more adventurous traveler, perhaps consider Liuwa Plains Mobile Camp which offers a luxury camping experience in the heart of the park. Labeled as one of the safest countries to visit and offering unparalleled game viewing, warm hospitality, diverse cultural experiences and spectacular views of one of the world’s most loved waterfalls; Zambia is without a doubt a safari destination to be reckoned with!For expert travel advice and more information on lodges and safaris in Zambia, contact one of our travel consultants to help you plan the perfect African safari.