Zambia Safaris

Serious safari enthusiasts and wildlife watchers absolutely love Zambia. For remote, low key, original and authentic style accommodation with incredible wildlife action, it doesn't get much better than this. Zambia has brilliant and beautiful, fabulously remote National Parks, spectacular walking, the best guiding, and great value small, owner-run lodges.
Zambia is the ultimate go-to for a complete and diverse safari package. Unrivalled game viewing in parks such as the hippopotamus and leopard jam-packed South Luangwa Valley, also home to the majestic carmine bee-eater, makes for excellent open sided safaris for all interests. Add on to this dream-like sunrise boat cruises on the Lower Zambezi, or even some adrenaline pumping kayaking, and end your trip with the magnificent Victoria Falls… you have everything you could possibly need from an African safari. Activity, romance, action, unbeatable walking, beautiful sunsets and some really amazing accommodation options – Zambia is where it is at.

Why choose Zambia for your safari? 

1.     Zambia is both luxurious and authentic. There’s no mucking about here, this is the real deal; a safari in Zambia is raw African bush and top class all round, with the best guides in the business. The owner-run feel to the lodges set it apart from its competing countries – Zambia will make you feel very at home. 
2.     The wildlife! Zambia has absolutely unbelievable game, and wild dogs are sometimes spotted in the South Luangwa Valley, as well as fantastic lion prides, a huge amount of leopard and fantastic herds of elephant. It is hard to ignore the persistent grunting of hippos which lounge around in their hundreds on the bed of the Luangwa river. 
3.      Victoria Falls. Ok, it’s not strictly a safari destination but it combines so beautifully with a wild Zambia safari and is so spectacular that we had to include it… 
4.      Zambia offers the most up-close-and-personal-with-nature activities. It is the home of the walking safari.  While other countries do offer walking safaris as an add-on to a conventional driving safari, in Zambia walking comes out on top. 
5.      You can escape any sign of tourism in Kafue National Park whilst enjoying a healthy amount of predators, which frequent an array of interesting landscapes in search for the widest range of antelope dinner on the continent. For twitches, this park is also unbeatable. The activities on offer here are also so special, as you probably won’t see another soul while fishing, or even when bouncing through the wilderness with the starry sky above on a night drive. 

What are the best safari lodges in Zambia? 

Tongabezi is the original top end lodge in the area, and has not decreased in quality since it opened. It is wooden, atmospheric and really extremely comfortable. It makes for an excellent waterside safari, as it sits on the shores of the dramatic and hippo-heavy Zambezi River. From Tongabezi, you can enjoy really beautiful boating safaris and all sorts of activities to appease any keen safari buff. The service is absolutely immaculate too – here you will not only have an animal safari, but a food one too! 
Perhaps an anomaly amongst the more rustic Zambian offerings, Chinzombo screams uber-luxury. It has a really glossy and over-the-top style, and all the mod-cons you could need whilst on your Zambia safari. It has really set a bar for Zambia, which the rest of the country has not quite cleared yet! 
Nsolo is a Norman Carr camp; a really historic 1980’s bush camp safari style. Do not be fooled though; although it is a bush camp, it lacks no luxuries of surrounding South Luangwa lodges. It’s guiding is really phenomenal, which for any keen safari guest is of the utmost importance. The reason it is one of our absolute favourites in the Luangwa Valley is that is has a certain indescribable charisma about it, which I guess you can only know if you have stayed there! 
Set right on the river, with many opportunities to sip on a cold Mosi whilst watching the passing game, Kaingo is a real find and offers everything you could ever need for an unbelievable Zambian safari experience. The hostess Lorraine is also very friendly and will make you feel extremely welcome! 


Our Top 3 Zambia safari destinations

1.      Luangwa Valley is hands down our top favourite Zambia safari destination.  Although we do send first-timers, Zambia is best for second or third-time safari goers who have already seen the big five and will therefore appreciate the opportunity of an unspoilt safari experience on foot and away from the crowds.
2.      The Lower Zambezi comes a close second.  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.
3.      Kafue also has to feature in our Zambia top 3.  The Luangwa Valley and the Lower Zambezi have historically attracted significantly more visitors than Kafue, and, as these parks both encourage long stays, Kafue is often left out of itineraries entirely.  Safari enthusiasts seek out Kafue for exactly this reason - it is rare to see other travellers whilst staying here. 

Zambia Safari itinerary planning 

A wider range of activities is permitted in Zambia’s parks than in many African national parks, including night drives, walking and boating.  As a result, you don’t have to search for the more expensive private reserves in order to get right up close to nature.
Our most popular Zambia safari itineraries usually start off by visiting both the Luangwa Valley and the Lower Zambezi National Park for 4 nights each in the bush. They typically end with a flight to Victoria Falls for white water rafting and bungee jumping.
Regular flights connect Zambia’s National Parks via Lusaka, making it easy to combine it with Southern Africa destinations in one itinerary. Also, nearby Lake Malawi offers a perfect beach add-on to your Zambia safari itinerary.


Hand Picked Zambia Safari Itineraries

How much does a Zambia 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…quite the variety!  This is 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 a supreme luxury round trip covering the best digs in Livingstone, the Victoria Falls, Kafue, South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi. Zambia really does provide for a huge variety of budgets and groups. For more information on the cost of a trip to Zambia please see our itineraries page. 

When is the best time to take a safari in Zambia? 

As with most African safari destinations, the best time to go on safari in Zambia is usually during the winter months between June and October/November.  This is the dry season when the weather is great, and as the bush becomes less dense and water scarce, it is easier to spot the wildlife coming to drink at the waterholes.
The ‘green’ season offers its own delights; keen birders especially will enjoy a Zambia safari during or just after the rains.  The South Luangwa is a lovely place to visit at this time, however it should be noted that some camps shut during the rains. Be warned – in October the game is exceptional, but this is a trade off with the heat as it really is very hot at this time of year. It is also known as ‘hot-tober’ – so be prepared! For more information on the seasons please click here. 

Top 5 Zambia Safari tips

• Make sure you give a walking safari a go! Zambian walking safaris really are unrivalled throughout the rest of the continent. Zimbabwe also offers greta walking, but Zambia is unique in this sense because here you can really get up close and personal with the surrounding bush. You feel like you are really on a wild adventure, but safe in the knowledge that your guide knows the bush like the back of his hand. 
• Norman Carr offers a unique sleep out experience for those who have dreams of truly going ‘into the wild’! With just a mosquito net between you and the African bush, it doesn’t get much more adventurous, or more peaceful than this. 
• Although not strictly a safari, we cannot help but recommend the Victoria Falls – there is a reason why it is one of the 8 wonders of the world! Other than simple marveling at it, for the more adventurous out there you can bungee jump or take a dip in devils pool – the ultimate infinity pool… 
• Night drives as with walking safaris, gives you such a different perspective of the surrounding wilderness, and provides you with a real sense of how the animal kingdom is communicating all around you. Ask your guide to switch off his engine, and just sit, look up at the stars and listen to the purring of the African night. It is a really eerie and magical experience, and one which is readily available for the taken in Zambia.
• Ask us about ballooning in Kafue – a bird’s eye perspective of the Zambian bush! 

Bush lodges vs lodge based safaris 

When compared to other African countries, Zambia’s luxury safari accommodation is generally lodges. The bush camps, however, are basically slightly more rustic and ‘hut-like’ than the proper lodges. However, Zambia is refreshingly old-hat when it comes to uber-luxury accommodation options. With the exception of one or two lodges, it has very much gone for authentic, wooden and slightly rustic style throughout the country. However, of course there are different standards within this bracket of rustic! Authenticity is probably the word to define Zambia’s architectural style in its lodges. The lodges when compared with the bush camps may have more creature comforts, such as infinity pools and Jacuzzis! 

What type of safaris does Zambia offer?

What type of safari doesn’t Zambia offer?  It seems to have it all! Walking being the mother of all Zambian safari experiences, boating on the mighty Zambezi being another, hot-air ballooning, kayaking, canoeing, night drives and camping! Due to the high concentration of predators in the Zambia parks, horse riding is not permitted – but apart from that, Zambia seems to have it all! 

Zambia Safari Vs Botswana Safari

Whether you go for a safari in Botswana or Zambia comes down to two main points; your style and your budget. If you love authentic tribal pillows, wooden beamed rooms, and generally a bit of an African authenticity, then Zambia should be your choice. If you are after knock-out, uber-luxury and completely over the top, then Botswana is your guy. Botswana is more expensive, when the only thing arguably you are paying extra for is the private concessions. Saying this though, although Zambia’s wildlife areas are National Parks, you can escape the crowds very easily, and most of the lodges we recommend are in more remote areas anyway - it really is not a problem. For us, if money is even a slight concern, we would lean more towards Zambia.

What should I combine a Zambia safari with? 

For a break from your safari, take a hop over to Lake Malawi for some beachy relaxation and excellent water sports. You may decide you’d like to sip on the finest wines and eat some Michelin Star food in the fabulous Cape Town, or you could even venture further afield for a real beach extravaganza in the Seychelles or Mauritius, or slightly closer to home with Mozambique’s white sandy shores. There are lots of options, it just depends on your time frame, budget and whether you are after a Vitamin D hideaway or a cosmopolitan experience on the tip of Africa. 

Zambia Safari further details:

Between us here in our office we have visited almost every lodge or hotel in Zambia that is worth talking about so the best way to book a Zambia safari is to get in touch and have a chat with us. Email us on [email protected] or call through on 1866 356 4691 or the UK on 020 8704 1216. 




Although we tailor-make all our trips we have reproduced a number of popular itineraries here

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Map of Zambia

Map of Zambia Zambia - South Luangwa Zambia - North Luangwa Zambia - Lower Zambezi Zambia - Kafue Zambia - Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia - Liuwa Plains Zambia - Lake Malawi
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