March 12

What Makes a Zambian Safari So Special?


By Xinay De Vries on March 12, 2024

We're harbouring a delightful secret called a Zambian safari, and we're eager not to keep it! In fact, we plan on declaring it for the world to know. Picture us as John Cusack in "Say Anything," proclaiming our revelation with a boombox serenade. So, what is it about this clandestine gem that we're just itching to share? We're thrilled you asked! To ensure our enthusiastic declaration does justice to Zambia, I sat down with two of our Travel Experts, Tara and Ian, delving into their recent Zambian safari escapades. And let me tell you, they had plenty of fascinating insights to share.

Guests spotting an elephant drinking while on a canoe safari

A whole host of game-viewing experiences make a Zambian safari stand out

Why Zambia?

When it comes to making a big statement, nailing delivery is key. So, as I penned what essentially amounted to a love letter to Zambia in Southern Africa, I couldn't help but wonder why Tara and Ian held it in such high regard as a premier safari destination. The answer, as it turned out, was refreshingly simple – authenticity. Their passion for Zambia was palpable when they recounted their safari memories!

"Since I've been back, I've been promoting Zambia like a crazy person because there's literally something for everybody!" – Ian.

A stunning Zambian sunrise, Image Credit: Tara Beckett

Tara, her eyes gleaming with enthusiasm, chimed in to share why she, too, is obsessed with a Zambian safari.

"It’s my favourite safari destination out of all I've experienced. You can’t compare it; it’s truly special." – Tara.

Their genuine excitement echoed through their words, painting a vivid picture of Zambia's allure, and compelling me to delve deeper into what ignited their passion for the country.

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

Hello there, gentle giant, Image Credit: Old Mondoro

Authenticity Reigns 

And it's not just the landscapes and wildlife that's something to write home about. Yes, the smiling faces making your Zambian safari possible are like the cherry on an already decadent cake.

"The people are amazing. They're so friendly, and nothing is too much trouble. For me, Zambia offers the most authentic safari experience available right now. That's why I'm eager to send everyone there as soon as possible; it's still somewhat of a hidden secret." – Ian.

Tara and Anja, two of our Travel Experts, enjoying their time in Zambia, Image Credit: Tara Beckett

"Zambia remains a truly authentic safari experience. It's in the people, the wildlife, the quality of the guiding – it's all about the authenticity of the safari experience." – Tara.

Wildlife Wonders

Undoubtedly, the heart and soul of a safari adventure lie in the guidance offered and the awe-inspiring wildlife encounters that unfold. Curiosity piqued, I probed into their Zambian escapades, seeking tales of the most unforgettable wildlife encounters.

Zambia's wildlife sightings will leave you speechless, Image Credit: Lolebezi Safari Lodge

"It's the first time ever that I've seen a lot of nocturnal animals. We saw civets – I've never seen so many civets on one trip. We also spotted a brown hyena, which hardly ever happens as they are quite shy. It was extraordinary to see nocturnal predators and other unusual wildlife you won't typically encounter in South Africa or Botswana. The game viewing was fantastic! We had really good cat sightings, too. On one trip, we even saw two leopards with kills in trees, which is rare. We also had lovely lion sightings." – Ian.

Sundowners are a classic aspect of a safari experience, Image Credit: Tara Beckett

Tara fondly reminisced about her personal favourite sighting when they were at Lolebezi for sundowners.

"We stopped on a little island, and there was the most beautiful sunset in the distance that illuminated the sky with various shades of orange. We were surrounded by about three different pods of hippos and elephants, and they were making the most incredible noise. That was truly special." – Tara.

Walking Wild

A love letter to Zambia would be incomplete without mentioning what made it so famous in the first place – being the birthplace of walking safaris. This immersive concept was pioneered decades ago by Norman Carr, a swashbuckling conservationist and game ranger who raised two lions – Big Boy and Little Boy – and helped pave the way for modern conservation and tourism in Zambia.

Both Tara and Ian agreed that Zambia is the place for you to lace up your hiking boots, with Tara mentioning that the landscape not only lends itself beautifully to a walking safari but that the scenery is explosive and breathtaking!

Guests on a walking safari observing wild dogs

Experience the birthplace of walking safaris, Image Credit: Tafika Camp

Where Should You Stay in Zambia?

Now that we've revealed our secret and you'll be packing your bags for your Zambian safari, the question remains: where will you be staying?

Well, if it were up to Ian, it would be Lolebezi Safari Lodge, hands down!

"They are the new kids on the block in the Lower Zambezi. Fantastic food and service, the suite is gigantic with a private plunge pool facing the water. It's just next-level!"  Ian.
Main lounge area

Luxury meets an authentic African safari, Image Credit: Lolebezi Safari Lodge

Tara, on the other hand, has a soft spot for Bilimungwe Bush Camp.

"It was so remote, you feel like you are the only person in the park. The wildlife was insane, and we had beautiful sundowners in the river that was close to the lodge."  Tara.

You'll feel like you're the only person in the park, Image Credit: Bilimungwe Bush Camp

Your Zambian Safari Awaits

Well, there you have it. Our secret is finally out and in the open! Zambia is the most authentic safari experience out there and you need to go before everyone else figures it out as well.

So, what are you waiting for? Contact our Travel Experts today and start planning your own Zambian safari.

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About the author 

Xinay De Vries

Born and raised in South Africa, Xinay is no stranger to all the amazing possibilities Africa has to offer. She's a self-proclaimed bookworm and coffee addict with a yen for bubbles and rosé, so you'll often find her exploring the streets of Cape Town looking for the best cup of coffee or glass of wine. With a passion for travel and her home country, she's determined to get others to love Africa as much as she does!

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