Zambia is a really interesting and rewarding safari destination with plenty of variety to offer the visitor.
The main tourist destinations of South Luangwa National Park, Lower Zambezi National Park and Kafue National Park are complemented by an array of more specialist safari opportunities: wading through swamps to find the Shoebill Stork in the Bangweulu Wetlands, taking an expedition to the wildebeest (gnu) migration at Liuwa Plains near the Angolan border, experiencing the convergence of millions of bats upon Kasanka National Park, or taking a step back in time at Shiwa Ng’andu House.
Like Zimbabwe there is a real culture of walking at many of the Zambian safari camps and it is even possible to have a walking-only safari. Unlike Zimbabwe, it isn’t your guide who provides armed protection during walks but a scout employed by the Zambian Wildlife Authority. Historically it is fair to say that the general quality of guiding in Zambia wasn’t great (with notable exceptions) but in recent years there has been a real focus on improving guide training and we have been very impressed on recent visits.
In Zambia most of the areas you will visit are National Parks and certain camps are located in areas that can become busy with self-drivers and vehicles from other camps. We generally favor camps in more remote areas where you can expect a more exclusive experience.
There is a wide variety of accommodation in Zambia from the traditional tented camp to air conditioned lodges. Historically most of the camps have been owner-managed, although that is gradually changing. There are many intimate bush camps in South Luangwa in particular, some very simple and rustic, others absolutely stunning and fit for a honeymoon.
Whilst it is possible to spend your time in just one park, such as South Luangwa, many guests choose to combine at least a couple of National Parks and perhaps also Victoria Falls. Unlike Botswana where you have light aircraft transfers literally camp to camp, in Zambia it is necessary to book scheduled flights which mostly fly via Lusaka. So transfer days can allow the “real world” to interrupt your safari escape.
Although walking is encouraged in Zambia, game drives normally form the core of your activities and it is possible to only do game drives if preferred. If you are looking for a unique experience, such as sleeping out under the stars (well, under a mosquito net) deep in the bush then Zambia is the place for you. If you want to swoop over the wilderness in a microlight, then Zambia is the place. Mountain biking through the bush, canoeing or boating on the Zambezi, the answer is the same. If like us you get frustrated during siesta hours as it is valuable time you could be out on safari then select one of the camps that offers some great hides to go and sit at during the heat of the day. Zambia is a great safari destination with plenty to offer both first-timers and repeat guests.