Zambia, though less renowned than Botswana, stands out as one of our preferred safari destinations, especially for those returning to Africa.
The authentic isolation of safari lodges and walking trails offers an intimate and exclusive adventure. South Luangwa National Park's stunning plains are perfect for walking safaris, while Kafue National Park excels in bird watching and fishing. Cruising the Lower Zambezi River provides remarkable encounters with an abundance of hippos, elephants, and crocodiles. And let's not forget Zambia's crown jewel, the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls, an absolute must-visit on any African itinerary!
Busanga Plains, located in the northern part of Kafue National Park, is reminiscent of the famous Serengeti. Seasonal floods attract thousands of animals, including zebras, antelopes, wildebeests, and buffalos, followed closely by hungry predators. Here, you also have a great chance of spotting sable antelopes and cheetahs in action on the grassy plains.
Kafue National Park, one of Africa's largest, is just a two-hour drive from Livingstone. This remote park boasts excellent lion viewing, making it a top destination for safari enthusiasts. It's also a paradise for bird watchers and fishing enthusiasts.
Lower Zambezi, known for its remarkable concentration of big game and prolific birdlife, is a stunning wildlife area. Activities here include water-based adventures like canoeing, boating, and fishing. You can also enjoy open game vehicle drives and walking safaris.
South Luangwa National Park is considered one of Africa's finest wildlife sanctuaries, offering a pristine, unspoiled safari experience. Abundant wildlife and untouched vegetation make it an ideal destination for those seeking a walking safari.
Victoria Falls, straddling Zambia and Zimbabwe, is aptly known as the 'smoke that thunders' and is an awe-inspiring sight not to be missed. Wander through the rainforest pathways to various viewpoints and witness one of the world's largest waterfalls.
When to go / useful information
When to go
The dry season, which typically falls between April and October, is the most popular time to visit Zambia. Game concentrations are at their peak in September and October, offering excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. During the rainy season, which occurs from December to March, the climate is hot and wet. Consequently, some areas of Zambia become inaccessible during this period.
When visiting Victoria Falls, keep in mind that April and May witness the highest volume of water, creating a spectacular sight. However, the spray can sometimes hinder photography. In contrast, the falls are at their lowest water levels in October and November. During this time, the Zambian side might have very little water, so it's recommended to cross over to the Zimbabwe side for a better experience.
Currency Kwacha. It is best to bring US dollars cash to exchange while in Zambia.
Language There are over 73 dialects spoken in Zambia, but the official language is English.
What makes it special: Zambia stands out as one of Africa's most extraordinary safari destinations, catering to those seeking an authentic wilderness experience. Tailored towards luxury safari enthusiasts, the country offers a fine selection of five-star and above lodges and camps meticulously designed to harmonize with the breathtaking landscapes while minimizing environmental impact. A typical day in Zambia revolves around two daily game drives and the country's specialty – walking safaris. Evenings often involve enjoying sundowners near a waterhole while witnessing the African sun setting behind a gathering of elephants. To maximize time spent exploring different national parks, light aircraft is the preferred mode of transportation. Notable parks in Zambia include South Luangwa National Park, Kafue National Park (comparable in size to Wales), Lochinvar (a birdwatcher's paradise), and the Lower Zambezi.
Weather: Zambia experiences just two distinct seasons: the wet season, which occurs from December to March, and the dry season, spanning from April to November. During the wet season, Zambia comes alive with vibrant birdlife, refreshing rains, and lush flora. In contrast, the dry season, from April to November, provides optimal conditions for exceptional wildlife viewing, making it the preferred time for safari enthusiasts to visit.
Social customs: Zambia is a culturally diverse nation with over 73 different tribes and a population of approximately 10 million people. Most of the population resides in urban centers, and there isn't a dominant ethnic culture. Zambians are increasingly adopting Western practices, but efforts are being made to preserve traditional customs, including the revival of tribal ceremonies in various regions. While urban youth are embracing Western behavior, many tribal customs persist in rural areas. Greetings are an essential part of interactions, and it's customary for the person approaching to offer the first greeting. Men should wait for women to extend their hand for a handshake. When given a gift, it is polite to accept it with both hands as a sign of gratitude, and refusing a gift is considered impolite.