Zambia is a landlocked country in southern Africa with abundant wilderness, beautiful lakes, rich wetlands and spectacular waterfalls. It has natural attractions that rival any continental competitor such as the Kafue National Park, Livingstone, Zamzebi, South Luangwa National Park and a real highlight of any visit, the awe-inspiring beauty of the Victorial Falls.
Our sales advisor Emma Hunt has just returned from an amazing 9 night trip to Zambia . Here’s what she got up to while she was there.
Day 1 – Lusaka
My Zambian adventure started with 3 nights in its capital city Lusaka staying at the Southern Sun Ridgeway Hotel, which had quite a homely feel and despite its central location it felt like a little oasis in the city as it was very calm and quiet.
Day 4 – South Luangwa National Park
Early in the morning I flew to Mfuwe Airport for my first safari of the trip at the infamous South Luangwa National Park where I spent two nights at the beautiful Kapamba Camp. As there were only 4 of us and only 4 rooms, we had the whole camp to ourselves. This camp is very much in the bush, no mobile reception and certainly no Wi-Fi which was great as you felt like you were completely away from everything. Everything is solar powered, there are no plugs in the rooms but they have a charging station in the main communal area. Rooms are very spacious with a large bathroom including a huge bath. The chalets are open fronted with an iron gate which is drawn across in the evenings so you feel more secure.
I arrived at lunchtime so had a couple of hours to relax before heading off on a game drive. On our return we came across some chairs in the river which had been set up for us to have sundowners while watching the beautiful sunset. It was truly a WOW experience.
Day 5 – Walking Safari
The following morning I woke up early for a walking safari. I have never done one before, so I was very excited, especially as Zambia is famous for them. As we started, we heard a very loud roar which sounded very close by so our guide recommended that we head back to our vehicle to go investigate. We soon came across a lion trying to find the rest of his pride. On our evening game drive we were very lucky to witness the same lion meeting up with another male member of his pride who he must have been tirelessly searching for all day. Had we been a moment earlier or later we would have missed this special moment.
After watching the magnificent lion, we continued our walking safari. You benefit from having your guide and a scout, so your guide can fully focus on imparting his incredible knowledge while the scout can keep an eye out for any wildlife- something you are very glad of when you are out in the open bush.
After lunch we visited a sister camp of Kapamba called Bilimungwe. This camp is very unique in the way all of the camp, i.e. rooms and communal areas are all built in a semi-circle overlooking a large watering hole. From the main communal area there is a walkway which takes you to a seated area around a fire pit overlooking a hippo pool, where you can just sit back, relax and let the wildlife come to you. In 30 minutes we saw 20 elephants come to the watering hole- a mixture of adults and babies.
Day 6 – Victoria Falls
After exploring the South Luangwa I flew to my next destination Livingstone- home to the mighty Victoria Falls. I was incredibly excited about seeing this icon of Africa and it certainly did not disappoint.
I was very lucky to have the opportunity to take an ultralight flight over the falls. It was an amazing experience and something I would definitely recommend to all my clients. You flew over the falls 3 times meaning you could see it from all perspectives. During the flight the pilot gave information on the falls so you were also learning while viewing the magnificent sight. While flying back to the airstrip you could see elephants, hippos and crocodiles so it was also like a mini safari in itself.
During my stay in Livingstone I saw some amazing hotels and lodges but my favourite was Tongabezi Lodge. As soon as I arrived I fell in love with the place. It is a beautiful riverside lodge with huge uniquely decorated rooms. All of them apart from one have a lake view and feature large decking areas. What I really liked about this property was that you could choose to dine anywhere and change where you had each meal each day. One place being on a barge on the lake which had a real wow factor.
Day 8 – Lower Zambezi
Early in the morning I left Livingstone and flew to the stunning Lower Zambezi where I spent my final 2 nights at the beautiful Chongwe River Camp. We arrived early evening so it was soon time for dinner. There is a lovely seating area with a fire pit overlooking the river so most guests congregated around here with a drink before an Al Fresco dinner.
The camp is very open with elephants and hippos walking through on regular occasions so it is probably more suited to a seasoned safari goer. I actually got stuck in my room for about an hour as I had a hippo on my doorstep chomping on the grass around it.
The following morning we had breakfast around the camp fire before heading on a game drive. This ended with drinks and snacks before a boat appeared to return us to camp. Another great way to view wildlife without being in a vehicle.
In the afternoon I did a canoe trip which I would highly recommend. You have the option to help row or your guide can do it all so you can relax and take in the stunning surroundings and wildlife. The canoe trip concluded with sundowners before a night drive back to camp. A great way to round off an amazing trip.
The bottom line:
I absolutely loved my time in Zambia, it’s a beautiful and safe country with wonderful people who are always smiling and friendly. There is so much to see and do from exhilarating helicopter tours over the world famous Victoria Falls to walking safaris through the bush. Zambia is somewhere you can still experience “The Real Africa”, unspoilt by tourism and bursting with top quality lodges and game. I would love to return at some point in the future and explore more of this amazing country. This will not be my last visit!
- Try to go on at least one walking safari – A wonderful experience and Zambia is famous for them,
- Stay just outside Livingstone and you will avoid the crowds at Victoria Falls – Tongabezi Lodge is a great option
- Make sure your yellow fever jabs up to date,
- Take a helicopter tour of the Victoria Falls – It’s a once in a life time experience and allows you to see them from different perspectives,
- If you own a British passport you can take care of your visa on arrival or apply directly to the Zambia High Commission in London.