Zambia

Zambia's premier attraction is undoubtedly Victoria Falls, which it shares with neighbouring Zimbabwe. You can stay in either country but most travelers head to Zambia these days. One of the world's seven natural wonders, the Falls are simply spectacular and when in full flood are the largest falling curtain of water in the world. And you can enjoy an array of activities in the 'Adrenalin Capital' of Africa. Visit the Zambia section on our website.

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  • My Trip | It's My Party And I'll Fly If I Want To

    By Tamlin Wightman |

    I don't like grey hairs and ticking biological clocks as much as the next person, but all those things getting older brings aside, birthdays should never lose their delight. All that hullabaloo over one person, all that cake... Birthdays should be wondrous events that brighten the world, if only for one dayLike our client, Alicja Suchorska from Poland's big day last month. With the help of our tavel expert-ess, Samantha, Alicja's husband, Pawel, whisked her away to the Victoria Falls to celebrate. She has yet to disclose just how many candles lit up her cake this year, but let's throw specifics out the window and marvel at the birthday present of the year.  When your wife, husband, consort of whichever sort, tells you they don't want anything for their birthday, remember this story. Because they will. Below, our birthday girl shares some photos from their adventure, just to let us know what we missed out on - from helicopter flips to zip-lining and micro-lighting over the Falls. It's my party and I'll fly if I want to. "This was a birthday gift from my husband: a wonderful trip to Victoria Falls in February 2014. We stayed in both Zimbabwe at The Victoria Falls Hotel and Zambia at Royal Livingstone. It was a great time with many activities close to the falls or on the Zambezi River.  Thank you Samantha from Rhino Africa for arranging everything so perfectly!" - The Suchorskas And the Husband of the Year Award goes to... Birthday girl got swag... Where They Stayed

    The Victoria Falls Hotel - inside the Victoria Falls National Park with a private footpath leading to the entrance gate of the Vic Falls. From the front lawn of the hotel you can see along the second gorge to the bridge over the Zambezi River and the spray from the waterfalls wafts up behind. The Royal Livingstone Hotel - a short drive from Livingstone and Victoria Falls Airport. On the edge of the Zambezi River, The Royal Livingstone Hotel is the closest accommodation to Vic Falls on the Zambian side.
    Birds flying high; you know how I feel...
    For more information on the Victoria Falls, read our blog, Explore The Smoke That Thunders, and take a look at our video for what to expect.
    Contact one of our travel consultants to start planning your own trip to this natural world wonder!

  • The Big 3 | Explore Cape Town, Kruger & Vic Falls

    By Tamlin Wightman |

    We have just returned from another stupendous New York Times Travel Show! Thank you for having us, now good night! As Simone de Beauvoir phrased it, “There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.” The Big Apple’s incredible spirit captures our hearts and imaginations every time we visit, as we know Africa does for every traveller who steps foot on her precious soil. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting all who popped by our booth at this year’s show and we can’t wait to welcome you to Africa. Helen, Geraldine, Anton and the rest of the team look forward to planning your ultimate vacation – simply drop us an e-mail at anton@rhinoafrica.com or enquire here.


    From the urban jungle of New York to the wilds of Africa...

    We’ve put together an exclusive Rhino Africa special in honour of our New Yorkers, so that we can show off three of our favourite corners of Africa: The Big 3 Special Itinerary - From $7,283 pp* Day 1-5: MannaBay, Cape Town Fly from Johannesburg to Cape Town, transfer from Cape Town Airport to MannaBay for 4 nights in the luxurious Pom Pom Room (breakfast included). Watch the MannaBay videoThe special includes all day tours and sightseeing in Cape Town, including a full day Cape Point tour; Hermanus and Whale Route tour; and Winelands tour. On your last day, head back to the airport for your flight from Cape Town to Kruger Airport. Day 5-9: Chitwa Chitwa, Sabi Sand Take a hop from Kruger Airport to Chitwa Chitwa by charter flight for 4 nights in a luxury suite (fully inclusive with local beverages). With a unique setting overlooking the largest perennial lake in the 63,000 ha, Big 5 game reserve, Chitwa Chitwa is a stylish and luxurious safari lodge situated in the Sabi Sand. Watch the Chitwa Chitwa videoOn your last day, take a charter flight to Kruger Airport for your flight to Livingstone Airport in Zambia.  Day 9-11: Royal Chundu, Zambia From Livingstone Airport you’ll be transferred to Royal Chundu, the first Relais & Châteaux property in Zambia, for 2 nights at River Lodge (fully inclusive with local beverages). Watch the Royal Chundu videoOn the last day, head back to Livingstone Airport for your onward flight to Johannesburg.  *The package includes all services from Johannesburg onward - therefore all internal flights, transfers, sightseeing excursions and accommodation. This Big 3 Special is only an example itinerary, which we can easily tailor to your preferences. Please contact one of our travel experts to chat more about planning the perfect African adventure for you.

  • My Trip | In the Heart of Africa

    By Tamlin Wightman |

    Anne and Mark Thomas, two uprooted Americans who now call Abu Dhabi home, travelled with us through our bombshell consultant Chantelle last year. After Cape Town and Kruger they stopped in Zambia. Sailors, racers, travellers... and so much more, they're quite capable of telling this story. So I'll let them take you to Africa for a change. Read their stories, see their photos, and try to resist not hopping on the next flight into the heart of Africa. Over to you, Anne...


    Mark admits to our friends that when we first began to travel, he didn’t want to go to Africa. "Oh, you’ll go back," our British sailing friend Martin, who does business there, told us. "Nobody goes to Africa just once." Now having been there, we both want to go back some day. We could not have dreamed of a better experience.

    Mark and I are, more than anything, sailors and racers. Leaving our northern Nevada and California stomping grounds and moving to the Middle East is something we never dreamed would happen, yet here we are. I believe life is best lived by stepping outside the comfort zone, taking on challenges and enjoying adventures... On our tenth day in Africa, after Cape Town and Kruger National Park, we were transported by air and minibus to Zambia, a landlocked country in the heart of the southern half of the continent. It was the third and final leg of our African journey, ending with four nights at Royal Chundu’s Island Lodge on the Zambezi River. [caption id="attachment_23872" align="alignnone" width="550"] "I was mentally prepared for luxury the likes of which I had never experienced. Royal Chundu – the name means “meeting place of the chief” – did not disappoint. From the time we arrived, we were in a state of increasing awe. I am still processing it all."[/caption] [caption id="attachment_23873" align="alignnone" width="550"] "As our minivan approached the gate and we saw the gatekeeper in his uniform, Mark and I both said under our breath, “Welcome to the Raj Palace!” We were reminded of the colonial splendor of our hotel in Jaipur, India. How insufferably global of us! Soon we were being heartily greeted by a trio of staff members headed by the vivacious Aggie, and served a welcome drink on the dockside deck. We were then presented with a menu of activities, ushered onto the pontoon boat, and were heading out to the island."[/caption] [caption id="attachment_23874" align="alignnone" width="550"] "Katombora Island is one of many that clutter the upper Zambezi in the broad floodplain above Victoria Falls. The water was at its lowest, but there was still a swift current swirling around the island, drawn by the 300-foot drop off at Victoria Falls downstream. Our room overlooked the channel between Katombora and another small island."[/caption] [caption id="attachment_23876" align="alignnone" width="550"] "Like the safari drives we went on in Kruger Park, the evening sunset cruises – and in fact, every single boat trip that we did over the four days we were at Royal Chundu – were a wildlife, birding, and indigenous culture safari. The landscape had just exploded into green, and the wildflowers were blooming everywhere. "[/caption] [caption id="attachment_23877" align="alignnone" width="550"] "And like the safari drives, we were served drinks and appetizers – our regular server Micheal had asked everyone ahead of time what they would like to drink, so they could bring it along on the boat."[/caption] [caption id="attachment_23878" align="alignnone" width="550"] "Back at the island, there was a hot bubble bath waiting, and then dinner..."[/caption] [caption id="attachment_23879" align="alignnone" width="550"] "White tablecloths, silver appointments, and a three-course, three-star menu. The aura was a relaxed, hushed elegance. From the menu we chose Antipasti of Vegetables locally grown in the village; Pumpkin Ravioli, Berry Smoked Quail from the local school, and Zambezi Sea Bream caught by village fishermen. For dessert we split a Chocolate Fondant. "[/caption] [caption id="attachment_23880" align="alignnone" width="550"] "And so it would go for the next four days. Three fabulous meals each day, the likes of which you would expect at the very best restaurants. It was some of the best food I have ever eaten. I really did feel like I was living in a bygone colonial era of fine china, linens, and silver in the African bush."[/caption] [caption id="attachment_23881" align="alignnone" width="550"] "The first morning we rose early, and Vasco took us fishing before breakfast. Mark used a fly rod, trying for the famous fighting tiger fish, and I was given a spin rod, so I might catch a bream. We fished various rapids and eddies without any luck. Still, it was a beautiful morning, a great little tour of the surrounding islands, and a chance to get close to a very large crocodile. Afterward, breakfast for me was delicate fish cakes topped with two of the freshest poached eggs I have ever eaten."[/caption] [caption id="attachment_23882" align="alignnone" width="550"] "Next on the agenda was a midday tour of Mushekwa Village. Vasco took us in a speedboat, along with the other two couples, and we traveled downstream past the River Lodge, pulled up to the shore and were greeted by Edith Mushekwa, the midwife and daughter of the village founder. Beautiful and gracious, Edith is one of those people who just shines like a star."[/caption] [caption id="attachment_23892" align="alignnone" width="550"] "Then it was time for our canoe trip down the river. It started with a drive through the fishing village where the boats were kept, and where Vasco lives. In two inflatable canoes we paddled against a current to get out to the main channel, past hippos which we steered well clear of, and were soon racing through rapids."[/caption] "We pulled up to an island and saw a picnic table, set for lunch. Then, we noticed a tall chef’s hat, bending over a long table with a white cloth on it. After we disembarked a young waiter, with cool cloths, two fruity Pimm's and a big smile, said, “Welcome! My name is Clever. Would you like a drink?"  "There was a full bar and Clever was ready to make whatever kind of drink we wanted next. Lunch was a buffet of a half dozen or so fresh salads and hamburgers, complete with a house-baked bun and fries. "Afterward, Mark and I stretched out on the Persian carpets that were laid out for us – there was also a hammock – and Clever and Thomas set up the umbrella for us to relax under." [caption id="attachment_23930" align="alignnone" width="550"] "That night dinner was a Cultural Tasting Menu. If the river trip is the signature activity, then this meal is surely the signature meal. Having visited the villages and school, gone fishing and taken a nature walk, and cruised the shores of the Zambezi again and again, we were now treated to the best local delicacies. With wine pairings! I am not exaggerating. Mark Sissons, the travel journalist, had told us about the meal: “You don’t want to miss this.” He was right."[/caption]

    "This was our first luxury eco-lodge experience...

    "It was not a 'hang up the towels to show you care about the environment' kind of hotel. At first, it seemed strange that ultimate luxury and ecotourism could go hand-in-hand. “Luxury” implies wealth, privilege, and consumption. I felt guilty, coming to a country with so many poor people... Now, I am thinking that this is the best way to visit a place if you want to enjoy the natural beauty, learn about the people, and contribute to the local economy. Ecotourism is about low-impact tourism that supports the local economy, by giving visitors a once-in-a-lifetime experience, where they blend with the environment and local culture in a way that benefits both." The Thomases got up to a lot more at Royal Chundu, visiting a local school and village. Read more on Wild Card Tavels. [caption id="attachment_23899" align="alignnone" width="550"] “If the employees are treated with dignity and respect as I felt they were at Royal Chundu, and they are sharing their pride in their culture with you, then everyone benefits.”[/caption]
    Take a look at Anne and Mark's blog, Wild Card Travels for more great adventures. Coming up next we'll feature their trip to Victoria Falls. For more information and to start planning your own safari, chat to one of our consultants. Read this great review of Royal Chundu in Opulent Living Magazine: [caption id="attachment_23903" align="alignnone" width="550"] Royal Chundu featured in Opulent Living Magazine[/caption]

  • My Trip | From the Zambezi to "Ka-ka-na-ka"

    By Tamlin Wightman |

    Meet Andy and Fran Browne, two retired American gringos (their words) living in the wild coastal reaches of Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Married for 38 years, the couple had often dreamed of coming to Africa, to explore a wilderness of a different kind. And so, late last year, they did just that. Planning and booking their trip through our senior consultant, Helen, the couple ventured on an African safari, covering the Kruger National Park, Zambia and Botswana, as well as the Garden Route and Cape Town. Andy took it all in through the lens of his video camera, filming their antics as they went along - from tracking the Big 5 to braving the Zambezi's white waters. When they returned home, he compiled his footage in an exciting nine-part video series, letting us join him on their journey. To give you a taste of what to expect our video editor, Luke, created this short trailer...

    Inside Africa | The Official Trailer

    [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="550"] Andy and Fran started their journey with three days at Arathusa Safari Lodge, in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve. On day and night game drives, they witnessed all of the Big 5, "and a whole lot more," says Andy. "During our downtime, we hired a private driver to take us outside the Reserve and show us more about how the local people lived. We got to visit a local school and the home and family of our guide."[/caption] [caption id="attachment_23846" align="alignnone" width="550"] The Browne’s then headed off to explore southern Zambia, staying at the Zambezi Sun. “The Zambezi River has been rated one of the top three aggressive whitewater rivers in the world. Having had the opportunity to raft some pretty awesome rivers in the US, Canada and Costa Rica, I could not pass on the chance to raft this beast while on holiday in Africa. Ourvideo contains original footage shot by Zambezi Memories along with additional footage shot by myself using a Panasonic Lumix TC-3 waterproof handheld camera and a helmet mounted GoPro Hero.”[/caption] [caption id="attachment_23848" align="alignnone" width="550"] Our hardy explorers continued on to Botswana for a second week of safaris. They stayed at Elephant Valley Lodge, in the Kasane Forest close to Chobe National Park, and Xakanaxa (pronounced Ka-ka-na-ka). “What an experience. We saw more animals than one could ever imagine.“[/caption] Lastly, it was on to South Africa. "Having just completed 2 weeks in the 'bush' living amongst some of the gnarliest animals on the planet, it's our turn now to enjoy a week of civilized bliss. Fran and I rented a car and drove the incredible seaside route from South Africa's Port Elizabeth down to Cape Town, to explore the best of what this wonderful city has to offer - Robben Island, Nelson Mandela's prison home for over 20 years, the Cape of Good Hope, and Table Mountain." Thank you so much to Andy and Fran for sharing this wonderful adventure with us!
    Watch the whole series atwww.BoomersOffshore.com  Contact one of our travel consultants to start planning your own African adventure.

  • My Trip | Lori Captures The Victoria Falls

    By Matthew Sterne |

    After the high of Namibia through Lori's lens, I hit somewhat of a slump. A Tom-Petty free fall. A will-I-ever-receive-photographs-like-Lori's-ever-again depression. The possibility that Lori went on other African adventures was the only thing that rescued me from the darkness. Motivated by this flicker of hope, I scrounged through our archives. What I found was an adventure that Livingstone would lift his hat for. A few years back, Lori and her husband Chuck embarked on an epic trip to Zimbabwe and Botswana, organised by our very own, Dee Dlamini. When I first cast my eyes on Lori's photographs of Namibia, I was silly. I was that child in the marshmallow experiment who forfeits a second marshmallow for a more immediate sugar rush. Restraint never occurred to me. A tad overexcited, I had to share Lori's adventures now! But I've learnt from my mistake. This time I'm not going to capture the trip in one fowl swoop. The adventures of Lori just became a mini series. The photographs will be savored and the African landscape mulled over like a fine merlot. We're going on a journey and there's no better place to start than one of the Seven Wonders of the World: the Victoria Falls. In keeping with tradition, I hand the baton to Lori for a firsthand account of ...

    The Smoke that Thunders...

    [caption id="attachment_23330" align="aligncenter" width="550"] "Welcome to Mosi~oa~Tunya or Smoke that Thunders. The first known name of the falls was Shongwe, given by the Tokaleya people. Later, the Ndebele changed the name to Amanza Thunquayo, or Water Rising as Smoke. When the Makalolo arrived it was changed yet again to Mosi~oa~Tunya. And finally when Dr. Livingstone was brought to the falls in a dugout canoe on 16 November 1855, he renamed them in honor of the queen. To me, it's so spectacular, it deserves four names, at least."[/caption] [caption id="attachment_23436" align="aligncenter" width="550"] "Once inside the park you'll find a network of tracks, meant to preserve the fragile rainforest ecosystem, and to take you to a series of viewpoints. There are flowering plants, ilala palms, ebony trees and ferns, birds and monkeys. We stepped carefully on the wet stone foot path all covered in moss, sometimes ducking under branches that dripped raindrops on our heads and backs."[/caption] [caption id="attachment_23349" align="aligncenter" width="550"] "We were advised to wrap our cameras in plastic bags, the flow of water was at its height, the flood stage happening between March and May with the water at its greatest between April and June. About five million cubic metres per minute pass over the falls. You're going to get wet!"[/caption] [caption id="attachment_23350" align="aligncenter" width="550"] "Giddy as children playing in the rain, we quickly got our bearings and began to check out every viewpoint. With names like Cataract View (Livingstone Statue is here) where you were meant to climb down a steep rock stairway into the gorge (didn't happen, too much water!) and Danger Point, covered with soaking and slippery moss covered rocks only to look out over an unfenced sheer drop off. Frightening and stunning."[/caption] [caption id="attachment_23327" align="aligncenter" width="550"] "We asked our pilot if he wouldn't mind taking a turn around the falls so we could have another look, an aerial look. Here you can see the Zambezi bridge. On the left is Zimbabwe and on the right, Zambia..."[/caption] [caption id="attachment_23331" align="aligncenter" width="550"] "Victoria Falls was something I'd wanted to see for a very long time, I've had a bit of a crush on Livingstone and his adventures throughout Africa. Being there far exceeded any expectation (although I really have none when traveling, I just love to experience it all!). When describing the majesty of the falls, I think Dr. Livingstone came close with: 'on sights as beautiful as this, angels in their flight must have gazed'."[/caption]

    Lori's wish for you...

    "I hope you will get a chance to see for yourself this great natural wonder of our world. Till then, it's been my pleasure bringing you along with me."
    If you love Lori's photographs and stories as much as we do, why not plan your very own adventure to the Victoria FallsContact one of our expert consultants today to get started. For more of Lori's photographs and stories, take a look at Lori times five.

  • Royal Chundu in Pictures | By Kate Miller

    By Tamlin Wightman |

    "Meeting place of the chief "

    Don't you just want to be here right now? We do. Many of our team of travel experts have stayed here before but a trip to the Relais & Châteaux Royal Chundu Lodge on the banks of the Zambezi never gets old. The Zambezi never gets old. Of course, I've never been there. Not yet. Right, boss? But looking at these photos, a girl can dream. Photographer Kate Miller's images of Royal Chundu perfectly capture just what it is that makes the lodge so special. Our Sales Chief, Billy "Hyperlink" Hare, celebrated his last birthday there and our CEO David is known to weave magical stories about that tub at Island Lodge... One of the best baths with a view in Africa without a doubt, he says. And in case you didn't hear (perhaps you've been off tracking gorillas, climbing Kili or battling the Zambezi rapids), Royal Chundu was voted Zambia’s Leading Safari Lodge 2013 in this year's World Travel Awards. We were happy to share the gala night with them in Nairobi last month when we received our own trophy for Africa's Leading Safari Company.

    Go Africa! #LOVEAFRICA


    For more great photos go to katemillerphotography.co.za and to start planning your getaway to Royal Chundu in Zambia, contact one of our travel experts today.