With the raw beauty of its huge tracts of wilderness and its enormous herds, Zambia has long attracted hard-core safari purists.  However, in recent years the quality of its infrastructure and accommodation has taken a great leap forward, and Zambia has begun also to welcome first timers and families. Zambia is now a fantastic holiday destination for families with slightly older children who are keen on adventure.
Safari here is the real deal – much wilder and more adventurous than some other African countries, with plenty of genuine wilderness and fantastic wildlife.  The guiding here is absolutely outstanding, and the walking safaris some of the best in Africa (although walking is prohibited for children under 12 in the national parks). A variety of activities are available including night drives, boating, canoeing, fishing and microlighting.

Why a Zambia Family Holiday?

  • In terms of safari visitor numbers, Zambia is totally overshadowed by its neighbours Botswana and Tanzania and by Kenya. As a result, not only is the game viewing in Zambia much more private, intimate and authentic (you can go days without seeing another tourist), but Zambia also offers much better value for money.  Zambia's very best and most luxurious lodges cost considerably less than equivalent lodges elsewhere!
  • Zambia's national parks are less tightly regulated than most and can therefore offer a wider variety of activities; day and night game drives, boating, fishing, canoeing and walking safaris are all available from most lodges.
  • A Zambia family safari combines brilliantly with Victoria Falls, staying in either Victoria Falls Town or Livingstone, both of which offer further activities including white water rafting, elephant rides, bungee jumping and helicopter trips.

    Which are the most family friendly safari lodges in Zambia? 

    Home of the walking safari, South Luangwa is Zambia’s prime wildlife destination and this is the place for you if you are after a truly authentic wild safari.  Our favourite family safari lodge in South Luangwa is Chikoko, BUT this is definitely one for over-12s who are mature enough to enjoy the magic of a remote bush camp.

    Luangwa Safari House is an exceptional private luxury house, accompanied by some of the best guides in Africa. The excellent staff will go at exactly the pace that suits your kids – or if they'd rather stay at home whilst you’re on a game drive, then you’ll find them making papier mâché elephants on your return.
    In the Lower Zambezi, the family owned and run Chiawa Camp is an authentic and wild camp, and we think one of the best family safari lodges in Zambia for the adventurous family (albeit with a hefty price tag!).  With a 'Best in Africa' award-winning team, Chiawa offers first-class guiding on both land and water, canoeing along lily-clad channels, and sedate pontoon boat safaris.
    One of the most magnificent old houses in Africa, Tongabezi is also up there with the best family safari lodges in Zambia, particularly because of its garden cottage with a private living room, children’s room and garden area set back from the riverbank. Activities on offer include canoeing on the Zambezi and boating at sunrise.

  • Zambia Family Safari itinerary planning 

    Regular flights connect Zambia’s National Parks with each other daily in the peak season via Lusaka, making it easy to get around and to combine different parks within one itinerary.  In addition, Zambia’s proximity to Lake Malawi makes it an easy option for a beach extension.
    Our most popular Zambia family safari itineraries start off either in the Luangwa Valley or the Lower Zambezi for 4 nights in the bush, before flying either to Victoria Falls for white water rafting and bungee jumping, or to Malawi for some time on a Lake Malawi beach.  Kafue also works well for families. For those families seeking further safari adventure, Botswana provides a fascinating contrast.  

    Why We Love Zambia for Families


    • Wildlife is the key to all safaris, but can be particularly rewarding when with your family. Young and old all love seeing the amazing African wildlife, an interest shared through the generations, that are hard to come by in this day and age.
    • It seems a rarity nowadays to be with your family and not have the distractions of the outside world bleeping their way into your life v. A safari helps you all to escape that, a refreshing break which can help you reconnect with nature, and each other.
    • Safari lodges and camps are famous for their intimate and very personalised service. When childrn are involved, especially younger ones, this kind of attention to detail from staff members can make a huge difference to your overall experience.
    • In camp, look towards the lodges with a few more luxuries such as a swimming pool to keep everyone entertained (if budget allows!).

    For more itinerary ideas please see our itinerary page.

    How much does a Zambia Family Safari cost? 

    There are many accommodation options to choose from in Zambia, but there are itineraries ranging from around $5,500 per person up to $15,000 per person including internal flights. The former would include good value for money and more rustic accommodation for 10 days visiting both the South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi.The latter is supreme luxury round trip – maybe not the most affordable of itineraries when paying for kids comes into the equation. Often lodges have around 50% off for children, so it can be a bit cheaper than expected.


    Top 5 Zambia Family Safari tips 

  • Book a safari camp with inter-connecting rooms or a family tent so you can all stay close together.
  • Going just outside of the main June to October season will still give you great game viewing, but at a fraction of the cost. Definitely worth consideration when you have little darlings to pay for!
  • Keep your safari varied. Children will become bored after their 10th vehicle game drive. Choose a mixture of camps that offer varied activities like walking and boating.
  • Being in one of the private concessions will give you a really raw, intimate and quiet safari experience and you will be the best attended to family in the world.
  • Don't head off on safari straight away; take a few days to get over your long flight with a stop in Cape Town and Victoria Falls, both of which work very well with a Botswana safari.

  • Where to go with young children on your Zambia Family Safari?

    Older children especially will be thrilled by the wildlife all over the parks of Zambia and also the huge array of activities on offer. However, with younger children you may struggle to find activities to suit them – Zambia’s huge draw is walking safaris, and these are mostly restricted to teenagers over the age of 16. Saying this though, younger kids can enjoy boating and fishing on the Lower Zambezi, which is fun for all the family to get involved in.

    How do I combine the beach with a Zambia Family Safari?

    A really fun addition to a Zambia family holiday can be found on the shores of Lake Malawi – only a short hop away. Here, you will find activities to suit all interests with their variety of water sports to be enjoyed – or if your kids are into chilling by the beach, surprisingly, Lake Malawi also provides this welcome break. Alternatively, your family may be more into Michelin star food and fine wines… In which case, you have one of the most fabulous cities in the world only a short flight away – the cosmopolitan and vibrant Cape Town. If you are beach purists, and want to separate your beach time completely from your safari, then you can venture further afield to the luscious Mozambique, Mauritius or the Seychelles for the ultimate Indian Ocean getaway. All in all, there are so many options to suit every type of family – it is down to your budget, time frame and whether you are into city lights and a bit of beach or full on seaside relaxation and chill.

    Is it safe to take children on safari? 

    Safari of course has added potential danger as you are staying in close proximity to wild animals! However we only work with established, well organised and well-funded safari lodges and camps with a great safety track record. As long as you follow the instructions from the camp managers and guides then your safari will be very safe. Speak to us about which safari camps we believe are best suited for families.

    Zambia Family Safari Vs. South Africa Family Safari

    Zambia is really the real deal as safaris go in general, with unspoilt bushy national parks and a rustic and authentic safari experience. For older children, if you have a bigger budget, we would recommend Zambia over South Africa purely because it is a rawer safari experience. However, a family holiday to Zambia is not without its scruples. It would be a seriously spoiling family safari as it is pretty expensive and true, anti-commercial Africa. Also for younger children, they would not be able to enjoy the unbelievable walking that Zambia is so famous for. Therefore, for families who have younger children, want to see the big 5, don’t mind other tourists and have less of a budget then South Africa would trump Zambia.  

    Zambia Family Safari further details:

    Between us here in our office we have visited almost every lodge or camp in Zambia that is worth talking about so the best way to book a Zambia Family Safari is to get in touch and have a chat with us. Email us on info@africaodyssey.com or call through on 1866 356 4691 or the UK on 020 8704 1216. 


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