The Ultimate Guide to Your Safari in Zambia

The Best Parks, Hotels and Safari Experiences in Zambia 

Zambia is unusual and enticing, a completely landlocked African country drained by the majestic Luangwa and Kafue Rivers and filled with open grasslands, floodplains, forests and infinite blue skies. The wildlife-rich Luangwa and Kafue River valleys join the mighty Zambezi to finally crash 100 m over the famous Victoria Falls. Plan your Zambian holiday with our ultimate safari guide. The best camps and lodges, national parks and experiences in Zambia are here. 

Tourism to Zambia supports an astonishing 20 national parks including the premier South Luangwa, Kafue and Lower Zambezi National Parks, rated top in the world. The smaller Mosi-oa-Tunya, near Victoria Falls, provides an excellent, gentle introduction to general wildlife without the presence of predators. We can design your unique safari tour to these top Zambian National Parks on the borders of Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Must-See National Parks in Zambia

Zambia is an enormous 752 614 square km of which 30% is set aside for wildlife and preserved in must-see national parks. Many tourists to Africa don’t know that this captivating country offers some unforgettable game viewing which rivals the best of the Serengeti, Masai Mara, Hwange and Chobe National Parks. Zambia is one of the most water-rich countries in Africa, boasting 5 massive lakes, 3 major rivers, at least 17 waterfalls and lush wetland areas.

Rising in northwest Zambia, the Zambezi flows through the Barotse Floodplains to Zimbabwe, provides power via Kariba Dam, is joined by the Kafue River and then the Luangwa before heading out to the Indian Ocean in Mozambique!  Be sure of an unrivaled African safari in extraordinary ecosystems where birding excursions, nature walks, camping safaris and game drives fill your days. Let’s explore our must-see national parks in Zambia:

South Luangwa National Park

group of people on a walking safari viewing a giraffe

For the best walking safaris in Africa, South Luangwa National Park is the pioneering destination for tracking wildlife on foot in the extraordinary river valley. The Luangwa River feeds the richest concentration of animals in Africa – except the iconic rhino which was sadly poached to extinction. Herds of plains game along the meandering waterway are amongst the most intense in Africa and it teems with hippos and crocodiles, attracting more than 60 species of mammals and over 400 species of birds.  Luangwa is also known as the ‘Valley of the Leopard’ thanks to its highest density of these big cats globally.

Safari packages to South Luangwa

Lower Zambezi National Park

Herd of elephants playing in the river

For the most exciting canoeing safaris in southern Africa, the Lower Zambezi National Park is the magnet for tiger fishing safaris, birding and game viewing from the water. Elephants swim across the Zambezi River to Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools and buffalo are seen wading from island to island as lions and leopards cruise the riverine forests. The Lower Zambezi is exactly that and it takes only a few hours’ drive and a short boat ride from Lusaka to reach the wonderful rustic camps, ethnic river chalets and deluxe safari lodges dotted along the banks of the meandering waterway.

Safari lodges in the Lower Zambezi

Kafue National Park 

Guests on a safari game drive in the tall grass

For unparalleled birding safaris, the awe-inspiring Kafue National Park is the country’s oldest conservation area, established in the 1920s by the legendary Norman Carr who believed in rustic bush experiences.  It’s also the largest park in Africa, reaching an incredible 22400 square km and a birding hotspot. Birders can revel in the enormous flocks of wattled cranes, African crowned cranes, Pel’s fishing owls, the African finfoot, the endemic Zambian barbet and myriad raptors. Over the years, conservation efforts have doubled and the park is brimming with mind-boggling biodiversity, open plains, lush forests, lakes and dams.

Birding safaris in Kafue National Park

Victoria Falls – Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park

Couple looking over the views of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe

The small Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park is unique in that here there are no predators but there are white rhinos closely guarded by wildlife rangers and mingling with migratory elephants, buffalo and huge herds of antelope and zebras. Tourists can view the Old Drift Crossing Point as well as the graves of the first European immigrants.  This small park is especially appealing because it is not as popular as the Falls or the larger National Parks in Zambia and it incorporates the Eastern Cataract of Victoria Falls. David Livingstone was the first explorer to view ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ (the Smoke that Thunders) in 1855 from one of the islands in the Zambezi River. 

Explore Victoria Falls Livingstone

The Finest Safari Lodges in Zambia

Find the ideal accommodation that suits your pocket and style in Zambia’s finest safari lodges and bush camps. We recommend staying in premium game viewing areas for unbeatable luxury accommodation in private lodges and chalets or choosing more rugged camps immersed in the bush where 5-star service is still the focus. Family and honeymoon suites at top lodges ensure unforgettable safari experiences inclusive of excellent food and facilities. 

South Luangwa Time + Tide Nsolo Camp 

Time+Tide Nsolo Camp

An original Norman Carr creation, Nsolo camp is eco-friendly and comfy, focused on walking trails. African wild dogs come close to camp where they have a regular den. Only 4 chalets created from grass and reeds, wood and natural décor promise an authentic safari in nature. Delicious food is served at the dining table in the dry river bed every night. One of the highlights is walking to the wild sleep-out camp to experience a night in nature in casual tents with a fire for food and stars for friends. 

Time + Tide Nsolo Camp

Lower Zambezi Chiawa Camp

Aerial view of the Chiawa Camp with the bush surrounding it

A delightful elephant herd visits Chiawa every day numerous birds flit around the tall old mahogany trees that shade the camp. An adventure in the wilds of Africa includes accommodation that reeks of luxury and hands-on hospitality. Chiawa Camp is handcrafted, community-driven and dedicated to ecotourism. Tuck into nouvelle bush cuisine and traditional Zambian delicacies between game drives, fishing trips, canoeing excursions and some of the best bush walks ever guided in Zambia.

Chiawa Camp

Kafue Shumba Bush Camp 

Sunken in fire pit on the deck area of Shumba Camp in Zambia

Shumba, meaning lion, is aptly named after the large lion prides in the area. In the heart of Kafue’s breathtaking Busanga Plains, on a tree island of fig trees and palms, stands the luxurious Shumba Camp, place of lions, place of exceptional beauty and a hot air ballooning hotspot. Game is super plentiful in an ecosystem filled with permanent water sources, a seasonal delta system and balanced fauna and flora. 

Guided canoe trips at Shumba Bush Camp

Victoria Falls Royal Chundu Safari Lodge

Romantic patio set with bath and lanterns at the private accommodation of Royal Chundu in Zambia

The magnificent Royal Chundu Safari Lodge offers luxury accommodations for visitors who want to explore the magic of the Zambezi River and the Victoria Falls World Heritage Site. It’s a beautiful haven in the indigenous Katambora Forest for 10 lavish suites with breathtaking views over the river and into the neighboring Matetsi Reserve of Zimbabwe. Personal decks over the Zambezi, glass-walled showers, air-conditioning, main lodge swimming pool, restaurant, and dinners around the boma fire.

Royal Chundu is perfect for kings and queens

The Best Zambia Safari Packages

Your dream African holiday can focus on one of our best Zambia safari packages where signature experiences to premier national parks fill your days. Imagine adventure tours of the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls, canoeing in the Lower Zambezi National Park, walking trails in South Luangwa National Park, birding in Kafue and rhino tracking in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. Imagine exciting itineraries and luxury accommodation in world-acclaimed lodges with spectacular wildlife viewing. 

Gems of Zambia Tour

Guests at Time + Tide Chongwe Camp taking photos of an elephant next to them

What could be more exciting than 10 nights exploring South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi and Kafue on one safari tour to Zambia’s best parks? This African quest takes in the best of 3 very different and breathtaking wildlife sanctuaries showcasing unforgettable landscapes, astonishing biodiversity and rich game viewing opportunities. This in-depth Zambian itinerary features accommodation in the first-ever eco-camps in South Luangwa, 2 nights fishing and boating on the Chongwe River and ending it all at embraced by the lavish comfort of Shumba Camp in the Kafue floodplains.  

All flights and airport transfers included on this Gems of Zambia safari!

Luangwa and Livingstone Bonanza

accommodation interior of Sindabezi Island Lodge

In a dynamic blend of remote wilderness walking trails and entertaining adventure activities, this once-in-a-lifetime 10-day tour leads all safari revelers to explore the best of Luangwa and Victoria Falls Livingstone. It’s all about staying for a few days in a rustic bush camp in the heart of authentic wilderness then finding restaurants, bars, curios and outdoor thrills and spills in a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

All meals and game-viewing activities are included in this Bonanza Zambian tour!

Southern African Honeymoon Combo Tour

Guests having afternoon tea with views of the forest and mountain ranges at La Residence in Franschhoek

Two weeks away in Africa on a honeymoon makes memories forever. It all begins in Cape Town’s trendy V&A Waterfront Silo Hotel with a few days of indulgence in the famous Winelands. Lucky couples are then whisked away to Victoria Falls adventure capital and never-forgotten game drives in the magnificent Londolozi Sabi Sands Game Reserve. Your 15-day honeymoon safari peaks on a Mozambican island in a dreamy Benguerra beach villa boasting a private plunge pool and host.  

Enjoy top luxury resorts on this city-adventure-bush-beach tour!

A successful Zambia safari can only happen with our ultimate guide to the best parks, hotels and safari experiences in this leading African destination. Flights, transfers, meals and game-viewing activities included in some of the best safari experiences honeymoon couples and families only ever dream about.

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