Zambia is a huge country covering large untouched areas of wilderness and is fast becoming one of the new frontiers for unspoilt tourism. Since its political revival in recent years, there is a firm commitment from the government to preserve ecosystems and put Zambia on the map for the safari enthusiasts looking for pure remote forms of private safaris. Best enjoyed between May and October every year. We use a reputable operator in this nation, and because it is relatively remote and unknown to the average tourist, we have added some extra information on how to access the various safari regions and how to best combine them with other highlights in this beautiful nation.
South Luangwa National Park
This park offers some of the best game viewings in the whole of Africa. The Muchinga escarpment in the west and the Luangwa Valley in the east make this a diverse park in terms of landscape and it is the southernmost portion of the famous GREAT RIFT VALLEY. The scenery is truly dramatic and besides large herds of elephant, antelope and buffalo you have rare Thornycrofts Giraffe, Crawshays Zebra and rare Sable and Cookson’s Wildebeest. Lion and Leopard also frequent the plains int he Luangwa valley. The guided walking safaris are a signature experience of this park, but you also have fantastic safaris in 4 x 4 staying in well managed private lodge concessions in the area.
Access: Best accessed via flights to Lusaka and then a 70-minute charter flight into Mfuwe and then the lodge owners will collect you directly from Mfuwe.
Combinations: It combines well with Livingstone and if you want a short trip into Malawi. However due to the remote location of South Luangwa, we generally combine it with one other stop in Livingstone, and that tends to be enough for people with a limited time frame of fewer than 7 days.
Kafue National Park
This national park is 22 500 square kilometres of absolute beauty. One of the worlds largest national parks, and split by the Kafue River and its tributaries. Most of the park is woodland and open safari plains and savannah areas. Huge herds of buffalo and antelope are hunted by lion, leopard, cheetah. The northern section is dominated by a huge floodplain that is fed by the Lufapa River System.
Access: The easiest access is to fly into Lusaka by plane ( daily flights from Johannesburg, 3 hours in total) and then take a road transfer or small aircraft charter across to Kafue. From there you are collected by the various private safari lodge operators in the area.
Combinations: As a stand alone safari for a week, Kafue will leave you awestruck and perhaps a 2 night combination down to Livingstone will leave you feeling overwhelmed, but its common to start or end at Livingstone to see the famous Victoria Falls.
Livingstone & Mosi Oa Tunya National Park
The “smoke that thunders” describes the mighty plume of mist that rises from the Victoria Falls, and this is the heart of Zambia’s tourism mecca, Livingstone. A town that almost entirely exists on the back of this attraction, but if you just move a few kilometres up or down the Zambezi River, you have beautiful lodges, hotels and safari camps suited to the person wanting Africa, wanting wildlife, but who has already been to a safari and wants to wind down their trip, or simply focus on the many activities in the area. eg helicopter flights over the falls, elephant back safaris, sun-downer cruises on the Zambezi, canoe safaris along the banks of the mighty Zambezi, and of course the traditional rain forest walk to the viewpoints overlooking the Vic Falls.
Access: The easiest way to access this area is via Livingstone airport, ( 2 hour flight from Johannesburg) or after your safari in Botswana a road transfer from the Kasane border town. Road and bus transfers for the budget orientated customer is an option as Livingstone is a hub from Namibia, Botswana and South Africa for overland tour companies and overnight bus companies.
Combinations: Often fits well with a trip to the Okavango Delta, or visits to Zimbabwe, as well as Kafue or other safari areas like South Luangwa.