December 30

10 Best Luxury Safari Lodges in Zambia


By Ian Rowett on
December 30, 2022

Although it's a vast, remote place, you'll find many luxury safari lodges in Zambia. This south-central African country offers some of the best game viewing experiences on the continent. However, it's best known for is being the birthplace of the walking safari as well being home to Victoria Falls. Here's which luxury safari lodges in Zambia to stay at for the best experience.

Romantic sunset at Royal Chundu in Zambia

An idyllic setting on the Zambezi, Image Credit: Royal Chundu

Zen and Zeal in Zambia

You can do as little or as much as you want at the top luxury lodges in Zambia. From legendary walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park and big game viewing in Lower Zambezi National Park to admiring the rare and prolific wildlife in Kafue National Park and rhino tracking in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. Then there's the majestic Victoria Falls for breathtaking views and (for the brave!) swimming in Devil's Pool, nature's infinity pools on the edge of the Falls. 

Matching the incredible wilderness and wildlife experiences, Zambia's luxury safari lodges all feature the trademark Zambian warmth, enthusiasm and pride of her people. And the luxury lodges found here chart a sophisticated path for all safari lodges in the country to follow.

Zambia is a pristine country of unspoiled landscapes, spectacular natural wonders, rich culture and diverse wildlife

Even the most remote corners have luxury safari lodges in Zambia 

Our Favourite Luxury Safari Lodges in Zambia 

As the World's Best Safari Company, we have first-hand experience of all the top luxury safari lodges and exhilarating experiences our continent has to offer. As handpicked by our African Travel Experts, in no particular order, here they are.

1. Royal Chundu River Lodge and Island Lodge

Royal Chundu River Lodge is a sublime safari-style lodge on the Zambezi River that's ranked among the best of Zambia's luxury safari lodges. Or you can board the boat bound for Island Lodge to take the luxury, privacy and romance up to the highest notch. 

Royal Chundu is a pair of ultra-luxury lodges about 30km upstream from Victoria Falls on the Zambian side of the Zambezi River. Gigantic thatched suites open onto decks that seem to hover over the water. Furthermore, both lodges feature tasteful living areas straight out of a décor magazine, and they share the same level of personal service and attention to detail. A wide range of activities, family-friendly and s deep commitment to uplifting the local villages and communities make your stay at Royal Chundu a rewarding and enjoyable Victoria Falls experience.


  • Privacy, luxury and romance on the iconic Zambezi River
  • Community-run Relais & Châteaux property
  • All-inclusive food, drink and activities, including a guided walking tour of Victoria Falls
  • Huge suites and villas with private verandahs at the water's edge

Who's it for?

Royal Chundu offers universal appeal as an intimate and elegant safari lodge. River Lodge welcomes families with children of all ages. And, of course, this setting is pure romance. Therefore, it's ideal for honeymoons and splash-out milestone celebrations.

The world's most romantic dinner setting

Riverside romance, Image Credit: Royal Chundu

2. Thorntree River Lodge

Thorntree River Lodge is on the slick end of Zambia's luxury safari lodges with neat, elegant lines softened by rustic detail to create a chic and sophisticated safari hotel experience. 

Located inside the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and a short drive from Victoria Falls, you can experience a walking safari tracking rhino and a walking tour of the Seventh Wonder of the Natural World. And a whole lot more in between, including river cruises, birding, fishing, cultural tours, canoeing and game drives. Or, you could spend the day relaxing at the lodge, enjoying a workout and spa treatment followed by a well-earned rest by your private plunge pool.


  • Glorious setting on the tranquil and scenic Zambezi River
  • Huge glass-fronted tented suites with private plunge pools, climate control and outside showers
  • Guided tour of Victoria Falls, rhino tracking on foot, game drives and river cruises
  • Family-friendly with a dedicated children's safari club, gym and spa

Who's it for?

Thorntree River Lodge wrote the book on discreet luxury and unbridled romance. It's also excellent for families with the Ngwana Club for children and a gym, spa and childminders for the parents. Solo travellers are given special treatment as well.

Pool overlooking the Zambezi at Thornrtee River Lodge

Welcome to your riverside haven

3. Tongabezi Lodge

Tongabezi Lodge is a fine example of luxury safari lodges in Zambia leading the way in eco-tourism. Charming individually-designed cottages and houses line the Zambezi River upstream from Victoria Falls. 

A warm, intimate and thoroughly welcoming lodge, Tongabezi not only offers a fantastic range of activities from game drives to tours of Victoria Falls but also engages in many community upliftment programmes. Tongabezi is a great family or group celebration venue with exclusive-use houses and special attention to the little ones.


  • Delightfully personal and intimate safari-style lodge on the Zambezi River near Victoria Falls
  • Modest luxury and charming individually designed suites and villas
  • Active community engagement and environmental sensitivity
  • Huge sprawling rooms with private pools and serene views of the river

Who's it for?

Tongabezi Lodge is great for honeymooners, couples, families, groups and individuals. With such luxury and attentive service coupled with a range of incredible activities, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Outdoor area with door at Tongabezi Lodge in Zambia

Lounge on the deck and admire the views, Image Credit: Russel Hine

4. Time + Tide Chinzombo

Most luxury safari lodges in Zambia have earned a reputation for excellent game viewing in remote, unspoilt wilderness areas. Time + Tide Chinzombo leads the way with a new breed of luxury safari lodge that's every bit as exciting as the wilderness experience. 

The enormous suites, celebrating the Luangwa River with huge glass sides, are a subtle mix of Scandinavian and African styles. As a result, it's a Zambian speciality featuring ultimate luxury in the ultimate wilderness. The South Luangwa National Park is one of Zambia's premier game reserves. And Time + Tide Chinzombo is one of Zambia's premier safari lodges. Therefore, together they make a fine pair.


  • Prime location on the Luangwa River in the South Luangwa National Park
  • Supreme luxury in the wilderness, including private plunge pools and a spa
  • Welcoming children of all ages with special children's activities and menus
  • Variety of activities including day/night game drives, walking safaris, river safaris, sleepouts, cultural and philanthropic tours, and family and children's activities

Who's it for?

Chinzombo offers a truly wild bush experience from a luxurious safari home base. Suitable for individuals, romantic couples and family adventure, this safari lodge is for everyone.

Views from room at Time + Tide Chinzombo

Views all around, Image Credit: Time + Tide Chinzombo

5. Lolebezi

Leading Zambia's luxury safari lodges to new ground, Lolebezi is a modern and sophisticated iteration on the Zambezi River in the Lower Zambezi National Park. Facilities and amenities belie the ultra-wild, ultra-remote location of this safari lodge. 

The plush, elegant suites – just four double and two family – have private plunge pools with river views, air conditioning, indoor/outdoor showers, bathtubs and a private deck and day area. Game viewing is excellent in the Valley, and your guided activities include walking safaris, game drives, river cruises, canoeing, fishing and wellness at the in-house spa and gym.


  • Extraordinary private concession on the river in the game-rich Lower Zambezi, especially good for elephant and leopard sightings 
  • Great variety of inclusive guided activities on land and water
  • Family-focused: two family suites and the Ngwana Club welcome children of all ages with special activities and meals
  • Luxury lodge with air-conditioned suites, private plunge pools, spa, yoga, gym, open-air cinema, library, campfire

Who's it for?

Lolebezi combines raw wilderness and refined luxury in the Lower Zambezi National Park. Great for luxury safaris, wellness treatments, couples and families.

View from suite and pool at Lolobezi in Zambia

A romantic hideout for couples, Image Credit: Lolobezi

6. Time + Tide Chongwe River House

Where the Chongwe River meets the Zambezi River, you'll find one of the most exclusive of Zambia's luxury safari lodges. Chongwe River House is an exclusive-use villa seemingly hewn from the very ground upon which it stands. With the river in the foreground and steely blue escarpment framing the bush in between, this is one of the most beautiful settings imaginable. 

Furthermore, your private butler and exclusive safari activities make Chongwe River House an exciting luxury family holiday celebration. However, couples and individuals haven't been neglected, as Chongwe River Lodge is equally impressive in its quirky design, sublime setting and impeccable service.


  • Exclusive-use safari house in the Lower Zambezi designed for convivial get-togethers
  • Private butler, game guide and wonderfully personal service
  • Ngwana Safari Club for children of all ages
  • Exceptional game viewing area with varied safari activities on land and water

Who's it for?

Contrary to what the luxury trappings imply, the safari and wilderness experiences really make Chongwe River Lodge and House shine. The exclusive-use house suits groups and large families who want a luxury safari adventure with plenty of activities to suit everyone and all ages in the party. On the other hand, the River Lodge is great for small families, couples and individuals.

Chongwe River House in Zambia

A unique setting for the most memorable holiday in Zambia, Image Credit: Time + Tide Chongwe House

7. Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma Lodge

Most of Zambia's luxury safari lodges occupy prime river frontage on the Zambezi upstream from Victoria Falls. Of these, Sussi & Chuma Lodge is one of our favourites. 

Surrounded by water, the safari-style lodge is inside the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and 12km upstream from Victoria Falls. Peeking through age-old ebony trees that line the river, 12 enormous thatched 'tree houses' look out over the swirling river. Service is warm, friendly and personal, while the activities on offer will keep you busy (or not busy) for days.


  • Beautiful setting on the Zambezi inside the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park upstream from Vic Falls
  • Wonderful activities include guided walking safaris, game drives, canoeing, boating, school visits, community interaction and, of course, a guided tour of Vic Falls
  • Luxury tree houses with air conditioning and private decks
  • Riverview spa treatments with indigenous oils and treatments

Who's it for?

Individuals and couples will feel equally pampered, and families with children over six are well-catered for with special activities and menus. Sussi & Chuma Lodge makes a great base from which to explore and discover the whole Victoria Falls area.

Poolside relaxation at Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma Lodge in Zambia

Riverside relaxation. Credit: Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma

8. Shumba Camp

Many luxury safari lodges in Zambia are famous for their connection to the wilderness. For some, luxury comes in the form of complete isolation and immersion in the wilderness. For others, luxury comes in the form of fine dining beneath a canopy of stars. 

Either way, Shumba Camp, on the Busanga Plains, in the Kafue National Park ticks both boxes. Admirably so. Occupying its own little island among the seasonal channels and waterways of the plains, Shumba Camp is a paired-down safari lodge surrounded by over-the-top wilderness and wildlife action.


  • Exclusive and very remote, this is wild Zambia at its most wild
  • Just six suites make Shumba Lodge a very intimate experience
  • Incredible lion sightings and rare species including sable, roan, lechwe, wild dog and cheetah 
  • Wide variety of birdlife with nearly 500 species on record

Who's it for?

This remote, wild safari camp has a stunning setting, and the beautiful tented suites are made for privacy and comfort. Ideal for families, solo travellers and couples. In fact, anyone who wants to be very far from the human world and deeply immersed in the wilderness. Most notably, photographers, birders and wildlife enthusiasts will fall in love with this place.

Spectacular sundowners at Shumba Camp

Spectacular sundowners at Shumba Camp, Image Credit: Shumba Camp

9. Toka Leya Camp

Many of Zambia's luxury safari lodges have embraced the family safari. And of these, Toka Leya Camp is a shining example with family suites, children's activities, minders and legendary pizzas. 

The tented suites, built on stilts around giant trees, are enormous. Secluded decks pay homage to the glorious river views, and the tranquil beauty of Toka Leya belies the adventure and contagious excitement of nearby Victoria Falls. Built along the Zambezi River in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Toka Leya is a tranquil, scenic and ever-so-luxurious base camp from which to explore the area.


  • All-purpose luxury safari lodge for adventure, relaxation, wellness, romance, river, wildlife and cultural experiences
  • Inside the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park offering game drives and rhino tracking activities
  • Short drive to Victoria Falls, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World
  • Olympus photo hub, spa, gym, swimming pool, children's activities, pizza oven and firepit

Who's it for?

With so much going on at camp and in the area, Toka Leya is great for families. However, please note that children must be six years old and older as this lodge is in a wildlife area. It's also a perfect safari lodge for romantic celebrations and solo travellers after a bit of luxury and post-safari pampering.

Toka Leya suite with view

Your dreamy suite, Image Credit: Toka Leya

10. Old Mondoro

There's much talk about Zambia's classic, no-frills safari camps that immerse you deeply into the surrounding wilderness. However, when it comes to Zambia's luxury safari lodges, the magic of Old Mondoro is its sublime setting and authentic bush experience. 

Luxury comes in the form of a hot shower, a large tented suite and delicious meals serenaded by Africa's wild sounds. The safari is the obvious focal point at Old Mondoro, with day and night game drives, walking safaris and river safaris a daily feature. Lion, leopard and elephant encounters are widespread, and most days, the camp sees its share of wildlife passing right through.


  • With only five guest suites, you get a very intimate, personal safari experience
  • Lower Zambezi National Park is an incredibly game-rich, elephant-packed neighbourhood of the Zambezi River
  • Game drives, walking safaris and river safaris with good chances of seeing elephants and leopards, other big cats, plains game and prolific birdlife
  • Authentic bush experience safari camp with excellent personal service and just the right level of comfort-to-wilderness ratio

Who's it for?

Old Mondoro is perfect for couples and individuals who want a comfortable safari that is all about the safari. On the Zambezi River and very, very far from any humans, this is as authentic a safari experience as you'll ever get. Children 12 and over are welcome and catered for. On the other hand, the sister camp Chiawa is best suited for families welcoming children aged six and up with a range of exciting safari and entertainment activities.

Elephant in front of two people at Old Mondoro Lodge (Photo by Marsel van Oosten)

Hello there gentle giant, Image Credit: Old Mondoro

Inspired to Stay at These Luxury Safari Lodges in Zambia?

These are just a taste of the many excellent safari lodges in Zambia's many excellent national parks. In fact, for every lodge on this list, we had a handful of similar to choose from. 

With such a range of safari styles – from chic and ultra-luxurious villas to glamping – Zambia has a safari experience just for you. Contact one of our Zambia Travel Experts today and start planning a safari of a lifetime. See you in Africa! 

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About the author 

Ian Rowett

Born in Zimbabwe and, having bluffed his way through a Journalism Degree at Rhodes, Ian turned his reluctantly nomadic life into a successful career as a travel writer. With stints in Harare, Joburg, Cape Town, Swakopmund, Port Shepstone and Greyton, he has travelled the length and breadth of southern Africa. Now living in Knysna, Ian combines his innate tendency to write for a living with a deep-rooted love of Africa’s wilderness and a keen interest in the hospitality trade.

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