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Zambia Luxury Safari Tours

4.6/5  –  106 Zambia Reviews

Imagine walking alongside the Luangwa River as it twists its way through the landscape. A herd of elephants appear, wandering to the shore for a drink. There’s no vehicle or hide to escape to, so you freeze on the spot, deadly silent. But your guide, one of the best in Africa, stays calm and checks the wind direction, ensuring you’re downwind of the elephants so they won’t catch your scent on the breeze. Then you stay there just watching them, mesmerized, with no one else around, as they play, drink, spray water and rumble contentedly, totally oblivious to your presence. You might be staying in a super-luxury lodge or in a remote bush camp, but it’s priceless moments like this that make a Zambian luxury safari special.

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6 Questions About Zambia Luxury Safaris


6 Questions About Zambia Luxury Safaris

Answered by Sue Watt

Why should I choose Zambia for a luxury trip?

“A luxury safari in Zambia is a great option for visitors wanting to discover wildlife in true African wilderness. Zambia is probably the best country in Africa to do a walking safari. And a luxury safari provides easy access to some of southern Africa’s best guides, allowing you to get up close and personal with wildlife on foot. And when you are back at your lodging, after all that walking in the African bush, a bit of luxury makes for an unforgettable experience. Another reason for choosing Zambia for a luxury safari is Zambian operators have a long tradition of supporting local people. Back in the 1960s, walking safaris were born in South Luangwa National Park, the brainchild of conservationist Norman Carr. From the start he worked closely with local communities, believing they should benefit from the wildlife around them, long before responsible tourism became fashionable. Zambia may not spring immediately to mind as a choice for a luxury safari. It’s often overshadowed by classic destinations more synonymous with indulgence, such as Botswana or South Africa. Don’t let that put you off. With phenomenal walking in a real wilderness setting, a Zambia luxury safari has a style all of its own. ”


What is included in a Zambia luxury safari?

“In Zambia luxury safari packages usually include everything you could need for a comfortable and memorable trip. Generally you can expect them to cover everything your lodge or camp offers, from food and drink to activities, some flights and park fees too. Don’t expect to lose weight on a luxury safari – you’ll likely have more food than you can ever eat in a day. Drinks include sundowners on safari and wines, spirits and beers, but not always premium brands. The activities generally include two safaris a day, whether walking, driving or perhaps by boat, often privately with just you and your guide, or sometimes shared with other guests. The guides are topnotch and they’ll be accompanied by armed scouts and an assistant who’ll keep an eye out for animals and help make drinks. Sometimes bush flights to your camps or transfers between camps are covered. Park and conservation fees will also be included, although you can often make additional donations to projects your operator supports should you wish to. Many operators are happy to show you these at no extra cost. Visas, some domestic flights and staff tips won’t be included.”


What parks are included in luxury safari itineraries in Zambia?

“A Zambian luxury tour could include any or all of the country’s big three parks: South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi and Kafue National Parks. Each has its own character, the first two dominated by the mighty rivers after which they are named. Kafue is one of Africa’s largest parks, and is remote with a real sense of wilderness. They’re all home to some exceptional lodges and camps, and to prolific wildlife with four of the Big Five present (there are no rhinos). Liuwa Plain National Park, in Zambia’s far west, definitely follows the principle of high-income, low-impact tourism with just one lodge – a very exclusive and expensive one – in the entire park. Liuwa doesn’t attract huge varieties of big wildlife, but it is home to the second-biggest wildebeest migration in Africa. Your trip might also take in the iconic Victoria Falls in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. A handful of luxury lodges can be found in or around the park or around Livingstone, the nearest town to the Falls.”


Can you describe a typical day on a Zambia luxury trip?

“A typical day varies depending on your activities. Before a game drive, you’ll have an early wake-up call, often before dawn. You might have a light breakfast before heading off as the sun rises. This is the best time to see wild animals, before the heat of the day sends them scurrying for shade. Back at camp for a light lunch, it’s then time to chill. Read a book, take a swim if you have a pool, or doze the afternoon away. After high tea, you’ll leave for your second activity, which will perhaps be a short stroll, a boat trip or drive. The best part of the day is sundowners, sipping your drink of choice whilst watching the sun set over some spectacular beauty spot, hopefully with elephants or lions nearby. If you’re on a drive, look out for the local nightlife, maybe leopards, genets or porcupines on the prowl, as darkness draws in. The same routine applies to walking safaris when you’re staying in one place. Some operators offer mobile safaris or fly camping, where you walk between camps during the day and spend your nights in different locations. Your main walks will be in the mornings while it’s cool, although they can take much longer depending on what you see en route. In the late afternoon, you could take a gentle stroll. After dinner, sit around the campfire enjoying an Amarula liqueur and safari stories under the stars.”


What type of accommodation can I expect?

“Accommodation on a luxury Zambian safari can be anything from a sumptuous suite in an exclusive lodge with fine dining and premium wines to a simple tent in some remote bush camp with top walking guides and a fabulous back-to-nature feel. Whichever you choose, the service will be faultless and friendly. At the top end of the scale, your tent will come complete with minibar, chic decor, a blow-dryer, a plunge pool on your deck and maybe a private butler. Then there are the more rustic camps. Some are made of reeds and rebuilt every year. They may not sound luxurious, but with solar power, beautifully designed interiors and amazing food, you’ll want for nothing. And lastly, there are simple walking-only camps deep in the bush. You’ll have all the comforts you need, such as cold beers and gin and tonics, hot showers, delicious dining and comfy beds. The luxury elements in these camps are the exceptional guiding and the guarantee of waking up in the wild with no one else around.”


How much will this safari cost?

“The price of a Zambia luxury safari on average is between US$600 and US$1,100 per person per day. It depends on the type of accommodation you choose, the length of your trip and the remoteness of your chosen camp or lodge. This may seem eye-wateringly expensive, but it can be reduced by traveling out of season. South Luangwa, for example, has a spectacular Emerald season, just after the rains when the land is still lush, although animals can be trickier to spot. The number of parks you visit will also impact on your costs, with bush flights often required between them. And you’ll also need to factor in international flights, visa costs, tips, medications (malaria is present) and insurance.”


Zambia Reviews

4.6/5 106 Reviews
Sue Watt  –  
United Kingdom UK

Sue is an award-winning writer who specializes in African travel and conservation. She writes for national newspapers, magazines, Rough Guides and Lonely Planet.

Zambia: A safari-lover’s dream

Zambia is a safari-lover’s dream, and one of my favourite countries. Its national parks including Kafue, North and South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi evoke a sense of unspoiled Africa, full of exciting wildlife but with comparatively few...

Full Review

Stephen Cunliffe  –  
South Africa ZA

Stephen is a travel writer and avid conservationist whose work appears in prestigious magazines such as Africa Geographic and Travel Africa.

Africa’s Hottest Safari Option

It is only in the last decade that Zambia burst back onto the African safari scene, re-building its safari reputation on the back of some epic national parks and outstanding wildlife. Anyone even vaguely familiar with Zambia and its...

Full Review

William Schelling  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Jul 16, 2023
Under rated.

We booked to a part of Zambia that we were not familiar with. South Lawanga, not hard to get to but not all that easy, which made it perfect for us. We did not want the over touristing that can occur in some parks. The Thornicroft Lodge...

Full Review

Lyn Nguyen  –  
United States US
Reviewed: May 16, 2023
Wild and natural- an untamed destination

Enjoyed my safari to south luangwe national park and the booking went really smoothly. Your company, Ntanda tours, who offered the itinerary and safari bookings were really communicative and I got fast and helpful responses. Would use...

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Veronica Alvarez  –  
Norway NO
Reviewed: Apr 24, 2023
Fortunately not too popular yet. We were two of very few tourists in amazing and beautiful places.

We went during the green season, at the end of the rainy season. Lovely weather, very few tourists, a lot of wildlife easy to spot if you are with an experienced guide. Unfortunately some roads were still flooded and closed, but it didnt...

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Lisa Wilson Foley  –  
France FR
Reviewed: Nov 8, 2022
Wonderful Zambia

Zambia is a country that I had not ventured but perhaps I was saving it to understand it’s beauty after having visited many of the more frequented African countries. The Zambezi River is a phenomenal place to get close to wildlife via...

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