Set between a vast escarpment and the mighty Zambezi river, the Lower Zambezi is without doubt one of Africa's most beautiful parks. A wider range of activities is also available here than anywhere else on the continent - day and night game drives, boating safaris, canoe trips, fantastic walking safaris, and some of the world's best tiger fishing! In a nutshell, this is an outrageously good safari park, we simply love it.
After thundering over the Victoria Falls, the Zambezi continues on through Lake Kariba and the Lower Zambezi Valley, a massive rift in the earth's crust. Over the years the river has deposited mineral rich soils that have created fertile plains on either side of the river, Mana Pools National Park on the Zimbabwe side and the Lower Zambezi National Park on the Zambia side.
The descent gradient of the river is so shallow that the water meanders gently, providing a perfect environment for relaxed boat and canoe trips – these are regarded as the optimum river safaris anywhere in Africa.
Lodges in the Lower Zambezi fall into two groups - those inside and those outside boundaries of the Chiawa Game Reserve (CGR). If your budget is tight, then do not be put off staying outside the park as game drives and boating trips still venture into the park itself. However, the best camps (and the best game) are inside the park, and we recommend these wherever possible.
Lower Zambezi: where to stay
The most famous camps in the region are to be found inside the National Park itself. Chiawa and Anabezi would stake a claim to being in most people's top ten lists, while safari enthusiasts would relish the simplicity and authenticity of Old Mondoro.
A number of camps sit just outside the park boundary but offer game drives inside the park. Newcomer to the scene, the fantastic (tented) Chongwe River Camp takes the honours for best camp outside the park. Chongwe's sister camp, the quirky and brilliant Chongwe River House is a destination in itself and can only be booked on a private basis.
The Royal Zambezi Lodge is in a pretty good location and is fairly well-priced for what it is, whereas Kasaka is the most economical option.