Best places to stay on safari in the Lower Zambezi

Best Places To Stay On Safari In The Lower Zambezi

Over millennia, mineral rich volcanic soils deposited by the Zambezi have developed into luscious vegetation that surrounds the meandering confluence of the Zambezi River. Wildlife is drawn from all sides making the Lower Zambezi completely enchanting. Add into the mixture some beautiful sunsets and fantastic landscapes and you are truly in safari heaven. It makes other African parks look downright tame! The park is located in the Southern part of Zambia and on the border to Zimbabwe. It is set between a vast escarpment and the Zambezi River with Mana Pools National Park located on the other side.

The best time of year to visit is during the dry season as this is when vegetation is at its lowest and game tends to congregate on the banks of the river. The mixture of fantastic scenery and abundant wildlife provides photographic opportunities that cannot be missed. Although the landscape is breath-taking, what truly makes the Lower Zambezi stand-out is that is so much to do there. Whilst many safari destinations are restricted on what activities they can offer. In the Lower Zambezi, you can enjoy a sunset boat ride, canoeing, walking safaris, night drives and much more, including tiger fishing as well as dawn and dusk game drives. The range of activities is unprecedented and that is why we couldn't recommend it more.

The accommodation offered in the Lower Zambezi is generally unfenced. Often animals roam through camp, giving you the truly wild, authentic and immersed experience. The options available range from rustic to all out luxury which gives those who are looking for a more budget-friendly camp an option to consider. Do bear in mind that a number of the camps, especially those that are cheaper, do fall outside the boundaries of the Chiawa Game Reserve, but their activities still venture into the park. The best camps and best game are unquestionably in the park, so when choosing where to stay, you should definitely take into consideration what style suits you. Below we have listed some of our favourites:

Amanzi Camp

Anabezi's sister Camp, Amanzi is for those travellers who prefer a more rustic feel to their safari camp, then this is definitley the camp for you! Amanzi is situated on the banks of the Zambezi's Ngwenya channel just two kilometers down stream from Anabezi. The name 'Amanzi' means water in the local Tonga language and with the intimate position on the Zambezi proves a very fitting name.

Anabezi Camp

Anabezi luxury tented camp is the newest property in the Lower Zambezi. Built on the old site of the Mushika Camp and later on Ana Tree Lodge, which were both great camps due to the incredible location, but they never hit the mark due to the competition in the park. 

Chiawa Camp

There are a few camps in Africa that have everything just right....Chiawa is without doubt one of these, regarded by us as one of the top lodges anywhere. The guiding is phenomenal, the location perfect and the fact that this place is run by the family who are the main reason for the Lower Zambezi's success as a National Park, means that Chiawa genuinely does excel in everything it does. The activities on offer are more diverse than virtually anywhere and with the lodge's recent upgrade there is no doubt in our minds that Chiawa is the best lodge in the park.

Old Mondoro Bush Camp

What a setting and what a great camp. Our last consultant here had thirty elephant in camp the day he was leaving and literally had to be picked up by vehicle from his room! Recently a vote in the office put Old Mondoro as one of our favourite adventurous camps in the whole of Africa. The setting is exceptional and the unpretentious atmosphere in camp is superb. A great camp to go to after a few luxury nights at Chiawa. But also, a destination in itself. Needless to say, we really, REALLY like this little camp.

Chongwe River Camp

Even though Chongwe River Camp has been around for a good few years now, the recent upgrades to camp have resulted in Chongwe becoming recognised by us as one of top end lodges of the Lower Zambezi. It certainly has the best location in terms of setting of any camp in the Lower Zambezi and the style of the new suites are superb. The only downside is the location outside the park which results in little game in camp and for that reason we prefer to send clients inside the park. But a great camp nonetheless.

Chongwe River House

Chongwe River House does have that certain Flinstone feeling to it - it is quite a remarkable and unique design. Having been refurbished recently, the house is a destination in itself - one that would cater perfectly for families or small groups who want to have all the benefits of a private home. The location is just as superb  with fantastic activities on offer giving you the full picture of what the Lower Zambezi has to offer. We can certainly assure you that Chongwe River House is one of a kind, and ultimately a breath of fresh air from typical lodge design!

Potato Bush

Potato Bush is a young camp and usually they need a few years to teethe. But given the experience of the management and team behind the running of the camp, it has really taken off well. It may be pricey but it ticks a fair amount of boxes and all in all, depending on what you're after, this is a nice camp and most would say that it's worth the high price tag.

Sausage Tree

Sausage Tree is certainly in the running for the most opulently luxurious lodge in the Lower Zambezi. Whether this is actually a good thing, we will let you decide! The activities and guiding are set as high as any of the camps in the park and the location is good. To be honest, when compared with other lodges in Africa, Sausage is pretty great. However after the office vote, we have come to agreement that we prefer the slightly less opulent Chiawa Camp and adventurous travellers would certainly prefer the stunning Old Mondoro. But be under no misconception, this is still a great camp.

Kasaka River Lodge

Kasaka is hands down the best value lodge in the Lower Zambezi. It is further away from the National Park and perhaps not the most aesthetic camp around, but the rest of this area is seriously pricey and Kasaka opens up this stunning part of Zambia to those on a slightly lower budget who are after a top knotch experience. 

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  • Lion, Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Rhino, Wild Dog and Cheetah. This park has 6 out of our Big 7 icon
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Where to stay in the Lower Zambezi

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