by Jennifer Southwell on July 21, 2017
6 min read

A great African adventure can be had within the borders of Zambia. This incredible country has vastly divergent landscapes and the people are bursting with kindness and enthusiasm. It is truly unspoilt and raw Africa. There are many options for different types of travellers, from the adventurous activities to the more secluded spots. Delve a little deeper and you will find an alluring part of Africa that grants you solitude away from the hustle and bustle.

Zambia – Landlocked but blessed with water

Zambia is a landlocked country,  a surprising fact given the vast amounts of water found here : from Lake Kariba, which some might mistake for the ocean given its vast  220km length and 40km width, to the seemingly endless Zambezi River which flows to the famous Victoria Falls. The country receives up to 1250mm (50 inches) of rain a year in the wet season.

1. Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls adorns a rainbow

There’s no speaking about Zambia without mentioning Victoria Falls. The name ‘Zambia’ comes from the Zambezi River which runs along the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. As one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Victoria Falls is a notorious marvel to visit in the country, and with good reason. The sheer captivating nature of the Falls just has to be seen, and heard, to be believed. Its local name is  ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’, which is Lozi for ‘The Smoke That Thunders’, a fitting name considering the Falls can be heard from up to 40 km away.

Where To Stay?

Thorntree River Lodge is a perfectly situated hotel upstream from the beautiful Victoria Falls. It is an obvious choice for a traveller who admires exclusivity and seclusion. Set within the borders of the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, it offers an abundance of wildlife sightings as well as exclusivity and solitude. The lodge is set on the banks of the Zambezi River and works in harmony with its surroundings with soft natural tones and wooden finishings.

What To Do?

There is an abundance of activities for all holiday-goers visiting Victoria Falls. For those adrenaline junkies, bungee jump off the bridge that separates Zambia and Zimbabwe, and (literally) fall into no-man’s land above the Zambezi. Helicopter flights offering aerial views of the picturesque Falls are also must-do activities.

Sometimes it’s not enough to just peruse the scenery, you have to immerse yourself in it. White water rafting should be on the top of your bucket list if you like adventure and excitement. It is a truly exhilarating and ridiculously fun activity. Speaking of exhilaration, in the drier months, you can swim on the edge of  Victoria Falls in a section dubbed ‘Devil’s Pool’ – definitely not a picture to send to your mom!

For those who prefer to have a more serene holiday have the option to sip their gin and tonic by the river, as the deck sits on the banks overlooking to the Zambezi. Guests can also opt for a calm booze-cruise with tranquil trickling water to calm every muscle in your body, while you watch the sun set over the horizon.

2. Lower Zambezi National Park

A boat cruise in Zambezi River

Photo credit: Andy Lowe

The Lower Zambezi National Park is the youngest of all the Zambian parks, at only 34 years old. Since it’s downstream from Victoria Falls, highlight activities include anything to do with water and bird life.

Where To Stay?

Royal Zambezi Lodge, found brushing the banks of the Zambezi River, is the perfect spot boasting seclusion and exclusivity.

What To Do?

Canoeing, cruising and fishing are all incredible activities to try when visiting this water paradise. An incredible experience in the lower Zambezi is a bush walk in the morning and canoeing in the evening. Compared to Victoria Falls, the wildlife here is abundant but the true shining gem is the birding, hosting rare, and exquisite bird life, including rare carmine bee eater colonies.

3. South Luangwa National Park

Walking across the Mupamadzi on bush safari walks

Photo credit: Robin Pope Safaris

South Luangwa National Park is a vast and abundant wilderness, teeming with wildlife and diverse landscapes. From dense forests and high mountains to wide open plains, this place is the perfect setting for a bush break, to wash off that city life stress. The life-giving river is home to the highest concentration of crocodile and hippopotamus and is the best place to see predators, it has even been dubbed ‘The Valley of the Leopard’. South Luangwa is a bird-watchers dreamland, with over 400 types of birds, including some rare sightings for avid birders.

Where To Stay?

One of the lodges in the Norman Carr portfolio is Chinzombo, which boasts the most luxurious camp in South Luangwa. Chinzombo design tips its hat to the old style safari. With finishes of leather and canvas and long flowing burlap curtains coupled with strong lines and contemporary style, it transports you to pioneering days.

What To Do?

Norman Carr established walking safaris in Luangwa in 1950, where the walking safari originated. It’s an activity that offers an intimate bush experience, where safari-goers sometimes come face to face with wildlife on foot. He believed that the best way to understand the environment and its animals is to walk through it. He asked permission from the tribal kings in the area to walk the lands with tourists and some of the proceeds would go back into the community.

4. Kafue National Park

The African sunset casts a misty silhouette of a buck

Kafue is a vast and seemingly boundless National Park. It is the third largest African National Park and is the size of Wales! This means that there aren’t many lodges and more of a personal experience when visiting this beautiful area.

Where To Stay?

One of the most unique places in Africa is definitely Wilderness’ Busanga Plains. Its remote setting makes for truly reflective moments featuring humble luxury, finished with leather couches and Persian carpets. The tents have a stilted veranda, which is perfect for watching sunrises made up of misty waters and burning red skies while enjoying your morning coffee.

What To Do?

Kafue National Park’s wide open plains the give the illusion of dry dense grass, but underneath the grass lies two meters of water. In this water, you can find hippos and crocodiles and grazing on the edge are thousands of lechwe antelope, which have special hooves that help them stay run through the water.  There is something exceptionally calming about being able to see until the horizon, especially in the claustrophobic cities, we live in these days. It truly gives you an exceptional sense of peace.

No matter what you are after Zambia has it for you. If you would like to visit Zambia why not contact one of our expert sales consultants.