Trips

Remote, vast, wild, magical, intimate. This is Zambia!

Trip At A Glance

  • Trip type: International
  • Category: Active
  • Dates: July 19-29, 2019
  • Duration: 11 days (10 nights)
  • Booking Deadline: September 29, 2018
  • Price: $6,374.00
  • Single Supplement: $690.00
  • Deposit: $1,912.00 (30.0%)
  • Group size: 12

If you’re ready for an unforgettable, truly off-the-beaten track adventure, then join us when we head off to explore the southern African country of Zambia!

The sheer size and remoteness of Zambia’s wilderness and its amazingly diverse habitats & rich eco-systems create a magnificent creature magnet for wildlife galore. It’s an opportunity to meander in the vast, peacefulness of the African bush interrupted only by animal encounters where you come eye-to-eye with the wildlife residents.

For those in the know, Zambia is undeniably the continent’s best safari destination. It’s wilder, more remote, and offers a much more personal, intimate experience given the scarcity of other tourists and lack of commercialism compared to its popular, heavily visited African neighbors. That said, you'll have the opportunity to visit three African countries on this trip! Along with Zambia, you'll have the option to do day trips to Chobe National Park in Botswana and Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe!

For some astonishing reason, this little landlocked country has remained a super secret haven for incredible bush adventures and unique natural beauty. As a National Geographic article commented, "Long overlooked in favor of more established safari destinations like South Africa and Tanzania, Zambia remains one of Africa’s unsung treasures."

But this is finally beginning to change. While tourism in much of Zambia is still only in its infancy, the government recently announced that increasing tourism is at the top of its economic agenda. So the best time to explore Zambia is right now!

Come see for yourself why Zambia is considered the last great safari experience!

A Little about Zambia

Geographically, Zambia is dominated by a high, rolling plateau, deeply cut by the grand valleys of the Zambezi, Kafue, Luangwa and Luapula rivers, which in turn form the backbone of the country’s extensive network of remote national parks. One-third of Zambia is its 19 national parks and protected areas with the core areas being Lower Zambezi, South Luangwa, North Luangwa, Kafue. The diversity of the lands means diversity of wildlife - you’re sure to see the Big Five game animals (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhino).

When it comes to the continent of Africa & safari adventures, most people typically only know of South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania as they are the most visited. More intrepid travelers may be familiar with Botswana, Uganda & Zimbabwe as safari destinations.

But vacationing in Zambia? Now we are really getting off of the beaten track! The only point of interest that brings visitors closest to this southern African country is the world-famous Victoria Falls on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe; however, very few visitors actually continue on to actually explore inside Zambia.

The remote locations of its national parks and the country’s limited tourism infrastructure including safari camps, service providers, roads and other logistics, has kept mass tourism away. But for adventurous travelers – like us – minor inconveniences like getting around via the few roads and long distances means being rewarded with landscapes and wildlife virtually to ourselves!

It’s quite unfortunate that Zambia gets so few visitors given it teems with wildlife and wilderness just as much as its neighbors. But paradoxically, it’s a big reason for the country being such an amazing place to visit – it allows Zambia to remain one of Africa's most wild, untouched safari destinations!

But things are beginning to change, and slowly the word has been getting out – that you can experience fantastic wildlife viewing in Zambia's remote parks led by some of the best safari guides in Africa!

Why Zambia?

Besides the reasons already mentioned, there are other enticing features that make Zambia so special…

Vast swaths of remote protected lands!  The extensive size of Zambia’s remote network of national parks, with 33% of the country designated as national parks, means an incredible variety of different habitats, animals and landscapes. The Zambezi River, from which Zambia takes its name, is the fourth largest in Africa and supports an extraordinary diversity of wildlife.

Lack of tourism & commercialism!  With tourism in its infancy, Zambia is a lot less commercialized than other parts of Africa. This means an authentic, peaceful safari experience without the competition from other tourists for wildlife viewing and no jeep traffic jams. If you’ve been to any of the other popular safari countries like Kenya & South Africa, you know what I’m talking about!

Walking safaris!  Zambia is where the walking safaris was invented! The ability to see wildlife, birdlife & ecology on foot is the original, purest form of safari pioneered in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park in the 1950s. It’s quite a special experience to stroll through the bush listening to the wind blow across the plains & the birds chattering away, and meeting the animals on their terms.

Night safari drives!  They are permitted in all of Zambia’s national parks, which means great opportunities to see a broader range of animals particularly those who are more nocturnal, from the little porcupine to the big leopard.

Zambia has some of the best guides in the world!  Zambian safari guides are trained to very high standards. Most guides in Zambia are born and bred in the Zambian bush, so the wildlife is second nature to them. They genuinely love what they do and their country’s wildlife. You can visibly see many a veteran guide more excited than their guests when witnessing animal sightings! Every year more than one of the companies in Zambia have their guiding team nominated for global industry awards, and many have won these awards year after year.

Wide-open, unfenced spaces!  Zambia is one of the few African countries where you are assured to encounter the full spectrum of Africa's wildlife without being inside a fenced area. All of Zambia's national parks and just about all of its accommodations are unfenced. It’s not uncommon for various mammals like elephants, hippos, giraffes, buffaloes, hyenas & lions to be gallivanting around as regular visitors to many towns, villages, lodges and camps even outside of national parks.

Small, unique owner-operated camps!  While high luxury, 5-star accommodations are readily available (with high prices to match), the real soul and personal service of Zambia is still found in the few smaller, remote owner-run bush camps where of course, we’ll be staying - for a much more intimate & unique experience with nature without the crowds of tourists in the bigger, company-run accommodations. These small lodges basically will be like having our own personal, intimate safari camps! Another one of the joys of staying in small camps is that they tailor activities around our interests.

The only quadripoint in the world!  There’s only one place in the world where four countries meet at a single boundary. And that’s at the four-way border between Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia – located at the confluence of the Cuando and Zambezi Rivers.

Zambia is safe & Zambians are the friendliest people you’ll ever meet!  Zambia has 74 tribal communities yet you’ll notice that even with the wide variety of tribes and their different cultures, everyone is so cordial & friendly! And according to the World Economic Forum, Zambia is one of the safest nations in Africa. In fact, it’s rated just about as safe as Great Britain!

Some of the Amazing Adventures You’ll Experience During the Trip

Lusaka – the capital city.  Our visit begins upon arrival when we make our way to Lusaka, the capital of Zambia and the country’s largest city of 1.7 million. Lusaka is the entry point of Zambia’s scenic and safari wonders.

Kafue National Park – one of the last true untouched wilderness areas. Mass tourism does not exist, leaving the park unspoiled and unexplored. This is what a real safari should be like, excellent game viewing with a rich diversity of wildlife and stunning landscapes, overflowing with animals not people! 

Kafue is the largest national park in Zambia and one of the biggest in world, covering an area of about 8,649 square miles or twice the size of Yellowstone National Park and half the size of Switzerland. Enjoy the unmatched variety of wildlife in this magnificent nature paradise that transforms from flat, open savannah grasslands to miombo woodland interspersed with huge granite hills, marshes and riverine forests. We’ll have access to an area of the Kafue that for many years has been completely inaccessible. 

Enjoy unforgettable game drives traversing through Busanga Plains, an extensive floodplain that falls dry after the rainy season, attracting huge numbers of animals and outstanding birdlife. This is one of Zambia's most significant wetland resources and one of the few areas in the world that remain untouched by development and human activity.

Explore Nanzhila Plains while spotting wildlife in one of Africa's pristine, remote areas that includes encounters with solitary leopards, large prides of lions, as well as elephants, cheetah, hyenas, wild dogs, zebras, buffalo, warthogs, jackals, honey badgers, mongoose, bushpigs, baboons, Vervet monkeys, porcupines, bushbabies, civet, genet, serval and pangolin.

Check out the astounding, world-class birdlife with over 500 species! Although many visitors arrive in Zambia saying, "birding is not my thing," soon after spending time on safari, new bird lovers are born with a new found appreciation for our winged friends!

Kafue River starts as a wide sluggish channel in the north, changing to rapids crashing around hundreds of granite boulders in the south before emptying into the man-made Lake Itezhi-Tezhi. Enjoy a range of exciting river-based experiences on a remote, stunning stretch of the Kafue River, with all its myriad of channels, rapids, countless granite boulders, grassy sandbanks and islands, some so big that even leopards live on them!

Experience beautiful river landscapes by boating or inflatable canoeing on the many river trails to access magnificent areas that can only be reached by water. The scenery is spectacular and varied with pods of hippos, crocodiles and elephant regularly encountered as well as a wide variety of bird-life and antelope species. The hippos and crocs in Kafue are uniquely unaggressive which allows you to get closer than normal.

Explore life on the banks of the Zambezi River including sunset cruises, horse rides, photographic explorations, game viewing or simply taking in the incredible sights and impressive sunsets and sunrises. This is a river that needs to be experienced!

Enjoy an exclusive, inspiring visit to Game Rangers International, a Zambian conservation organization that works with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife to protect the wildlife in Zambia. They oversee the important anti-poaching efforts that are making a huge difference in the wildlife numbers. They are funded by amazing organizations in their own right - David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, USAid, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and the Olsen Animal Trust.

Visit a local school and village to learn about life in the local communities. These are not “tourism” outings rather opportunities that we are doing by our request. From time to time, visitors do go to the school and local village, but not in any kind of organized or commercial fashion. This will be a unique way to interact in a more in-depth way with lodge staff and their families who are from the village.

You'll have the option to spend a day at Chobe National Park in Botswana exploring the big five country by boat and safari 4x4.

And, there is an optional day trip to Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe for a bush walk to view the beautiful animal residents with well-known anti poaching and safari guide, Charles Brightman.

And of course, there is the one & only… Victoria Falls! 

Visit Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and largest waterfall on the planet! Nothing can really prepare you for your first sighting of this incredible natural wonder that is nothing less than awe-inspiring. It will leave your jaw open and eyes wide & almost popping out as you gaze out at the spectacle. Those who have been to Africa and visited Victoria Falls, say it's an experience of a lifetime, a feeling unmatched by any other waterfall. Indeed, no superlatives ever seem to do it justice when trying to describe this freak of nature!

Victoria Falls is one of the greatest world wonders - an erosion of the earth's crust that results in the most spectacular view – one million litres of water plunging 355 feet down the Zambezi gorge every second making a vast curtain of water more than a mile across and creating the "smoke that thunders" - in local language "Mosi-O-Tunya." The spray from the falls can be seen rising high above the deep Batoka Gorge from literally 12 miles away or more.

Pick the way you want to experience the waterfall – just take a walk up to the falls or view the falls from a helicopter or microlight. Or if you prefer more adrenaline type activities, try bungee jumping, gorge swings, ziplining, or white water rafting.

Sightsee around the laid-back town of Livingstone, located near Victoria Falls & the banks of Zambezi River along the border with Zimbabwe, including just a walkabout or a bike ride. And if you’re looking for a little bit of luxury, tea at the Royal Livingstone is a nice treat.

Final Words

The writer of ‘Out of Africa’, Karen Blixen’s famous last words were ‘if there was one thing I could do again, it would be to go on Safari.’ 

Join us July 19-29, 2019 as we head out on an adventure of a lifetime - to the remote, vast, wild, magical African country of Zambia - undeniably the continent’s best safari destination!

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OPTIONAL 3-DAY TRIP EXTENSION - SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK 

Described as one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, South Luangwa National Park is half the size of many other safari parks, but has an incredibly dense & varied population of wildlife residents compared to its counterparts. This world-renowned wildlife haven is considered by many to be the last remaining unspoiled raw wilderness regions of Africa and still has that awe-inspiring feeling that you’ve traveled back in time to a place that’s been largely untouched by human beings.

South Luangwa National Park covers an area of about 3,494 square miles bounded by the Muchinga Escarpment on the north & west sides and the meandering Luangwa River to the south. The Luangwa River is the most intact major river system in Africa and is where you find most of the wildlife congregating. While there is a huge variety of animals, South Luangwa is known for leopards. In fact the area is referred to as “Valley of the Leopard.” A CNN Travel article, called “5 Reasons to Visit Zambia Now” summed it up perfectly, “anyone who comes here and doesn't see any leopards needs their eyes tested.”

South Luangwa National Park sits by itself about six hours northeast of Lusaka, the country’s capital. It’s not the easiest place to get to and not in the most convenient location to say the least- as there aren’t any other major attractions in that part of Zambia, so most travelers have to make a special, out-of-the-way trek to check it out. This explains why our visit to this amazing park is being offered as an optional 3-night extension. On the one hand, if you are going all the way to Zambia & can swing it, its absolutely ideal to make it to South Luangwa. But on the other hand, it’s also very understandable that a stop here may not be possible given budget and time constraints. 

We'll be staying at a small, intimate, high-quality, owner-run safari lodge and bush camp in the Luangwa Valley with luxury chalets that have spacious rooms, private verandas & stunning views, and en-suite bathroom with hot & cold running water. The property has a lounge, bar, infinity pool, wellness spa, and the only natural hot tub in the Luangwa Valley! We'd thought we'd end our stay with contiuned amazing experiences but also an opportunity to enjoy a bit of pampering. :)

Actual comment by a guest: "We were blown away with the wildlife we saw in the first 15 minutes out in front of our cabin. We took a game drive into the park that first afternoon and realized our safari was going to be like living in an issue of National Geographic.”

Price: $2,872 for 3 nights

Price includes 3 nights at a highly-rated, high quality luxury safari camp and ALL transportation - transfer to the Livingston airport, domestic flight from Livingstone to Lusaka, transfer from the Lusaka airport to our safari lodge, and transfer back to the Lusaka airport at the end of the trip.

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Southern Sun Ridgeway (Lusaka)

An oasis in the city! Southern Sun Ridgeway, located a quick 30 minutes from the Lusaka Airport, is a local landmark and the hotel of choice for in-the-know professionals and NGOs, Lusaka locals, and off-the-beaten-track visiting explorers! Southern Sun Ridgeway offers personal service and high-quality comfortable rooms in a quiet corner of Zambia’s capital, creating a sense of home whether you’re Africa experienced, or you’ve just arrived.

Lusuka hotel lobby

Rooms are great-sleep equipped with blackout curtains, comfortable beds, and hot showers & baths. Feel-at-home comforts include complimentary wi-fi, flat-screen TVs and 24-hour room service.

Lusuka hotel room

Big green gardens, pool, palm trees, in-house gym, on-site bank and airline offices create an inner-city escape with easy conveniences.

Lusaka hotel pool

Musuku restaurant, next to the pond & courtyard with its resident baby crocodiles, is a central destination for relaxing meals. Specializing in a taste-of-home wherever you’ve arrived from, local favorites like Nshima, Kafue bream and Mosi beer are offered as well as more minstream options like made-to-order pizza, grill classics, and imported bar selections.

Southern Sun Ridgeway is a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence accommodation with silver-awarded eco-initiatives.Lusaka hotel dining outside

 

KAINGU SAFARI LODGE

Set in an area of pristine wilderness, KaingU Safari Lodge offers a magnificent safari experience in the heart of the African bush. The owner-run lodge built with an extraordinary level of detail, is in perfect balance with the surroundings & something unexpected in this remote area. The lodge’s personal attention to each and every guest makes you feel instantly at home. KaingU offers a unique stay for travelers wishing to get closer to the unspoiled wilderness of the ‘real’ Africa, experience the warm and welcoming people of Zambia, and enjoy wildlife and scenery undisturbed.

zambia KaingU chalet view across river

This is a place to unwind, enjoy the chef’s delicious cuisine and be spoiled with an abundance of activities or, if you prefer, just relax and feel the heartbeat of Africa. The Lodge is located in the Namwala Game Management Area (GMA) on a spectacular and remote stretch of the Kafue River. Situated on a plateau 3,379 feet above sea level, KaingU enjoys a year round moderate climate (coolest in July, hottest in October). 

zambia KaingU chalet front porch w river

The Kafue National Park, just opposite the lodge and only a 10-minute boat trip away, showcases magnificent wildflie that you can enjoy viewing from our comfortable open game drive vehicles. The Kafue River, with all its myriad of channels, rapids and islands lends itself to a range of exciting river-based activities which include boat cruises, fishing, birding, canoeing and river trails. From the top of one of the large granite boulders in the Namwala GMA you will get a 360° view over nothing but nature! 

Main Lodge Area

The focal point of KaingU is the thatched central area (or “Boma”) with lounge, dining area, bar, and all-day tea & coffee station. Attached to it is a redwood deck built over the river and under the forest canopy. This area provides a beautiful and serene setting for dining, sundowners or just relaxing with a book. At night, a fire is lit in the firepit on the deck. Solar-lit paths provide easy access between the chalets and the central area. A curio shop is next to the main area and wifi is available in the central public areas.

zambia KAINGU SAFARI LODGE MAIN AREA2

Kaingu restaurant has built an enviable reputation for food. Fresh and inventive menus that are updated with each new year, as well as seasonal changes, to ensure that your taste senses are looked after. The lodge works closely with a top African chef to design wonderful menu choices. Our head chefs, Wina and Lizzy, are vastly experienced, and KaingU sources produce that includes as many organic ingredients as possible including grass-fed Zambian beef and sustainable wild venison. Meals generally consist of early continental breakfasts before game drives and then a buffet lunch. Dinners feature fresh, local options.

Electrical outlets can be found in the central area of the lodge for charging of electronic devices. Water is heated by individual wood boilers or solar tanks. A flask with filtered drinking water is provided and is always available. Bottled water is also available from the bar, but for ecological reasons, the lodge encourages the use of reusable bottles and filtration.

zambia KAINGU SAFARI LODGE MAIN AREA4

Rooms

KaingU Safari Lodge has 6 double Meru-style chalet tents with en-suite bathrooms, indoor showers and an open-air shower. Set on raised individual private wooden decks, each chalet overlooks the Kafue River. Every tent is roofed with thatch to provide additional cooling and further blend into nature. 

zambia KaingU chalet entire tent

 All chalets have screened-in entrances, doors and windows and mosquito netting over the beds. The two bedside lights and bathroom light are solar powered as are the other lodge facilities.

 zambia KaingU chalet front porch

zambia KaingU room bed

 zambia KaingU indoor bath

Camp activities included in your stay

Game drives.  KaingU Lodge offers game drives in an area of the Kafue National Park that for many years has been completely inaccessible. The majority of game drives are conducted in the National Park, a ten minute boat ride away. The lodge’s new open 4x4vehicles are designed to an extremely high standard with individual, comfortable bucket seats. With short and longer loops available, as well as the entire length of the spinal road, wildlife drives can be tailored to individual wishes and can be from a couple of hours through to a whole day expedition. Shorter night drives on the Game Management Area side of the river are also offered.

Boating.  KaingU Safari Lodge is known to be located at the most stunning section of the Kafue River where you’ll boat among granite boulders and islands. Enjoy the beautiful river landscape on a relaxing boat cruise, ideal for birding as well as seeing hippos, crocodiles, bathing elephants or drinking leopards. The lodge has three aluminum boats with comfortable seating and smaller boats for even more adventurous exploration of smaller channels or getting into tight fishing spots! Rods and lures are available at the lodge and all guides are experienced fishermen. KaingU has even been used as a base for a professional crew filming a popular televistion fishing show!

Safari Walks.  You can experience the vastness of Zambia and the Park by exploring on foot, which can be as long or as short as you'd like. Large menacing boulders add a wonderful feature to the safari nature walks. The short afternoon stroll to Mpamba Rock is a favorite spot to watch a glorious African sunset. Longer walks from the lodge are also conducted to wonderful river locations or other super scenic areas.

Canoeing.  KaingU guests can now enjoy an unforgettable experience on the Kafue River. Specialist guides will take you through truly spectacular areas that one can only reach by inflatable canoes. Canoe trails can be from an hour or three to a full day. The scenery is breaktaking and greatly varied. The pace we keep can be set to suit individual wishes - it can be as sedate or as adventurous as you'd like. If you like rapids then they can be arranged, if you like calm waters then those too can be arranged. Pods of hippos, crocodiles and elephant are regularly encountered as well as a wide variety of bird-life and antelope species. Trails can end at the camp or at a beautiful picnic spot – the options are endless & completely perzonalized!

Out-of-camp dining.  Maybe dining is not classically seen as an activity, but here we believe it is! Imagine a morning game driving or canoeing adventure and then stopping off at an island on the way home to find chef Wina with a full breakfast lurking in a semi-tropical paradise! Or sitting by the rapids around a fire watching the sun go down and then having a 3-course meal as the moon illuminates the rushing water and boulders!

 

NANZHILA PLAINS SAFARI CAMP

Nanzhila Plains Safari Camp is breathtakingly located on the edge of a dambo in the remote southern sector of the Kafue National Park – the only lodge in the southern Kafue! The nearest neighbors are three hours away, so we'll have this 1,158-square-mile area of pure wilderness to ourselves. The owner-operated camp provides guests with well-appointed comfortable accommodations and hosts fantastic game drives with wildlife galore!

zambia nanzhilla pano

The camp has 3 en-suite safari tents and 3 en-suite chalets complimented by a perfectly positioned main ‘insaka’ lodge complete with boma, fireplace, deck and bar! So it really will just be us here in our own personal, intimate safari camp situated among miles upon miles of beautiful woodlands and green plains. Staying in a small lodge like Nanzhila brings you into close proximity to nature - don't be surprised to hear buck crunching twigs underfoot, or the ripping sound of branches as elephants strip the trees close by.

zambia nanzhila elephants

The Main Lodge

The spacious main lodge is a raised, grass-thatched structure (called an insaka) with a beautiful teak deck. Elevated above the Nangandwe pool, it comprises a lounge and dining area, bar and verandah. An adjoining communal open-air fireplace is a great gathering place in the evening, where stories are exchanged under the stars. Enjoy game-viewing and bird-watching from the cool verandah, shaded by a huge jackalberry tree (also known as the African Ebony), which provides an unhindered view of the dambo (vlei or wetlands).

zambia Nanzhila main lodge

Dining is a special experience with meals that are fresh, wholesome and prepared in the traditional Zambian way. Breakfast, lunch and dinner times are always flexible and only governed by activities and are served either in the boma or at the adjoining communal fireplace/outdoor dining area. Local beers, house wines, soft drinks and bottled water are available as are a selection of imported spirits and South African wines.

zambia nanzhilla outdoor dining

Rooms

Thatched chalets.  The chalets are located along the tree line providing an unobstructed view of the glorious dambo. Here, peace and tranquility reign. To help ensure your bush experience is all the more authentic, chalets are lit with paraffin lamps and hot water comes from donkey boilers. The chalet's en suite facilities include a hot and cold shower, toilet and double basins. Comfy beds are protected by mosquito nets.

zambia nanzhilla chalet

Safari Tents.  There are 3 meru-style safari tents that each have separate, en suite toilet, double basins, and hot-and-cold shower areas for greater privacy. Their walk-in structures provide fantastic views of the bush and the dambo. Lighting is provided by paraffin lamps and hot water by donkey boilers. The tents are spacious and private with large, comfortable beds protected by mosquito nets.

zambia nanzhilla tent

Activities included with your stay 

Game drives, bush walks, night drives are part of your stay with all the major predators present here. Nanzhila Plains provides visitors the opportunity to see 4 out of the Big 5 including lions, leopards, elephants and buffalo. Other special wildlife species inhabit the area such as cheetahs, wild dogs, hyenas, zebras and warthogs. Way more than most areas, most of the safari outings here also have regular sightings of at least 10 different species of antelope including sable, roan, defassa waterbuck, lichtenstein's hartebeest, kudu, eland, wildebeest, common reedbuck, oribi, impala, puku and duiker to name a few. And at least once a week, Nanzhila Plains is visited by a family of honey badgers leaving chaos and delight in their wake. Nanzhila also offers superb sightings of serval, as well as special nocturnal creatures such as bushbabies, civet & genet. Birdlife can best be described as spectacular – more than 500 different species of birds! Another great option is, after breakfast and with a packed lunch in tow, enjoying an all day experience in the bush including a visit to the Elephant orphanage, a drive through the Ngoma Forest and excursion to Lake Itezhi-tezhi.

 

CHUNDUKWA RIVER LODGE

Under the caring and guiding hands of the Zambian born owner-operators, a special experience awaits you on banks of the magnificent Zambezi River at Chundukwa River Lodge. Located 15 miles from the historic town of Livingstone, the Lodge provides easy access to the spectacular Victoria Falls & town-based activities, but remains far enough away to make it the perfect, tranquil retreat that the Zambezi River should be known for. Chundukwa River Lodge blends quality and simplicity in beautiful, natural surroundings and is ready to provide a friendly welcome, personal service and a genuine Zambian experience.

zambia chundukwa pano rooms

Chundukwa offers a refreshing departure from generic hotel experiences and reflects the labor of artisans. The chalets are individually decorated and designed, but all focus on their unique open-fronted layout, offering breathtaking views over the Zambezi. They are designed to sit quietly and comfortably within the natural surroundings. The decor and furniture has been tastefully made by Doug and Gail (the owners) using recycled wood, metal and sustainable reeds. Everything is made locally by their amazing band of tradesmen and women from the local village.

zambia Chundukwa outdoor main area

 

The 5 chalets are built on stilts tucked away along the banks of the Zambezi River. Each chalet is superbly appointed, spotlessly clean & eco friendly with an ensuite bathroom and shower. All chalets have a fan, lock up safe, large ‘walk in’ mosquito nets, cupboard and hanging space, dressing gowns, electric blankets, mosquito spray, tissues, Locally sourced natural shampoo and conditioner using indigenous products, solar lights, water flask and luggage racks. Early morning wake up with tea, coffee, hot chocolate or juice.

zambia Chundukwa rooms1

 

zambia Chundukwa rooms2

Activities during your stay 

Experience the Zambezi. The prime location on the banks of the Zambezi River upstream from Victoria Falls provide a fantastic opportunity to experience the mighty Zambezi. From sunset cruises, birding excursions both on land and water, horse rides, photographic explorations, game viewing or simply taking in the incredible sights and beautiful sunsets and sunrises, this is a river to experience!

Victoria Falls Day Trip. Chundukwa is the only Livingstone lodge to offer a private guide and private vehicle to explore and visit Victoria Falls. No set time departures, no waiting for the late risers – you are free to spend as much time as you want to experience the world’s largest waterfall and the myriad of surrounding attractions.

Zambezi Horse Trails. For those who love and want to ride horses, the lodge has a large stable yard with horses for all levels of riders. Enjoy a morning or afternoon hour and half or do a more extensive ride.

Wildlife. Chundukwa is a natural lovers haven! Enjoy the indigenous surroundings of the lodge and menagerie of animals that share the lives of the local residents. The lodge is a perfect home base for the following optional incredible wildlife experiences.

Walking Safari: Embark on a walking safari which can include a sighting of the rare and endangered White Rhinos in our local Musi O-Tunya National Park

Chobe National Park: Head over the border to Botswana to spend a day in Chobe exploring Big Five country by boat and safari 4x4. 

Zambezi National Park: Head over the border to Zimbabwe for a day trip to Zambezi National Park to walk and view the extensive wildlife with well known anti poaching and safari guide - Charles Brightman.

Livingstone: As an extension to your Victoria Falls Day Trip or as additional Zambezi experience, you can also try out the following kinds of activities.

-Arial views of Victoria Falls by helicopter, microlight or fixed wing ultralight 

-Bungee jumping, gorge swings, ziplining, white water rafting

-Visit to Livingstone Island for breakfast, lunch or dinner plus a swim in Devils Pool, Steam Train dinners and sundowners, and champagne breakfast with horse ride

-Half and full day canoe trips

-Cultural excursions to Victoria Falls Bridge Musuem, Livingstone Museum, Livingstone Art Gallery, local markets, town tours

-Spa treatments and other pampering indulgences

 

Summary

  • Day 1. Arrival day - Lusaka
  • Day 2. Lusaka - KaingU Safari Lodge
  • Day 3. KaingU Safari Lodge
  • Day 4. KaingU Safari Lodge
  • Day 5. KaingU Safari Lodge - Nanzhilla Plains Safari Camp
  • Day 6. Nanzhilla Plains Safari Camp
  • Day 7. Nanzhilla Plains Safari Camp
  • Day 8. Nanzhilla Plains Safari Camp - Chundukwa River Lodge
  • Day 9. Chundukwa River Lodge
  • Day 10. Chundukwa River Lodge
  • Day 11. Departure day (unless doing 3-day South Luangwa extension)

Details

Fri, Jul 19 Day 1. Arrival day - Lusaka

Welcome to Lusaka – the capital of Zambia! Transfer from Lusaka International airport to Southern Sun Ridgeway hotel. Enjoy an orientation tour of Lusaka. Relax over a casual dinner.

(Note: Thu, July 18 – depart from hometown, overnight flight arrives next day in Lusaka, Zambia)

Overnight Southern Sun Ridgeway

 

Sat, Jul 20 Day 2. Lusaka - KaingU Safari Lodge

Leave Lusaka heading south to KaingU Safari Lodge in the heart of the African bush on a remote stretch of the Kafue River. Arrive KaingU Safari Lodge for a 3-night stay. Relax and enjoy the peaceful, serene, beautiful setting of this unspoiled wilderness area. 

[Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight KaingU Safari Lodge

 

Sun, Jul 21 Day 3. KaingU Safari Lodge

Enjoy your first full day at KaingU Safari Lodge. There are numerous camp activities to choose from that are included in your stay. Most notably game drives in Kafue National Park - the largest national park in Zambia and one of the biggest in world, covering an area of about 8,649 square miles or twice the size of Yellowstone National Park and half the size of Switzerland!

A really impactful, memorable experience is an exclusive, inspiring visit to Game Rangers International, a Zambian conservation organization that works with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife to protect the wildlife in Zambia. They oversee the important anti-poaching efforts that are making a huge difference in the wildlife numbers. 

[Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight KaingU Safari Lodge

 

Mon, Jul 22 Day 4. KaingU Safari Lodge

Take your pick of camp activities. Perhaps start the day out on a river-based experience on a remote, stunning stretch of the Kafue River. Enjoy the beautiful river landscape on a relaxing boat cruise or canoe trip to access magnificent areas that can only be reached by water. Common sightings include pods of hippos, crocodiles and elephant regularly encountered as well as a wide variety of bird-life and antelope species. The hippos and crocs in Kafue are uniquely unaggressive which allows you to get closer than normal. Maybe end the day with a safari walk to explore on foot including a zen-like stop to watch an infamous, glorious African sunset.

[Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight KaingU Safari Lodge

 

Tue, Jul 23 Day 5. KaingU Safari Lodge - Nanzhilla Plains Safari Camp

Relax in the morning and get in any last activities you’d like. Depart for Nanzhilla Plains Safari Camp. We’ll be staying in the only lodge in the remote, vast region of Southern Kafue!

[Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight KaingU Safari Lodge

 

Wed, Jul 24 Day 6. Nanzhilla Plains Safari Camp

Enjoy your first full day at Nanzhilla Plains. Game drives, bush walks, night drives are included in your stay with all the major predators present here. Enjoy unforgettable game drives & spotting wildlife while traversing through Busanga Plains, an extensive floodplain that falls dry after the rainy season, attracting huge numbers of animals and outstanding birdlife. This is one of Zambia's most significant wetland resources and one of the few areas in the world that remain untouched by development and human activity.

[Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight Nanzhilla Plains Safari Camp

 

Thu, Jul 25 Day 7. Nanzhilla Plains Safari Camp

One great option for today is after breakfast and with a packed lunch in tow, enjoy an all day experience in the bush including a visit to the Elephant orphanage, a drive through the Ngoma Forest and excursion to Lake Itezhi-tezhi. 

Visit a local school and village to learn about life in the local communities. These are not “tourism” outings rather opportunities that we are doing by our request. From time to time, visitors do go to the school and local village, but not in any kind of organized or commercial fashion. This will be a unique way to interact in a more in-depth way with lodge staff and their families who are from the village.

[Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight Nanzhilla Plains Safari Camp

 

Fri, Jul 26 Day 8. Nanzhilla Plains Safari Camp - Chundukwa River Lodge

Take the morning to relax or get in any last activities you’d like. Depart for Chundukwa River Lodge near the Zimbabwe border on the banks of the Zambezi River - our base camp for the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls!

[Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight Chundukwa River Lodge

 

Sat, Jul 27 Day 9. Chundukwa River Lodge

A great option is a day trip with our private guide and private vehicle to explore and visit Victoria Falls - one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and largest waterfall on the planet!

Sightsee around the laid-back town of Livingstone, located near Victoria Falls & the banks of Zambezi River along the border with Zimbabwe, including perhaps a walkabout or a bike ride. And if you’re looking for a little bit of luxury, tea at the Royal Livingstone is a nice treat.

[Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight Chundukwa River Lodge

 

Sun, Jul 28 Day 10. Chundukwa River Lodge

The options are endless on how to spend the day. Perhaps explore life on the banks of the Zambezi River including sunset cruises, horse rides, photographic explorations, game viewing or simply taking in the incredible sights and impressive sunsets and sunrises. This is a river that needs to be experienced!

Or opt to spend a day at Chobe National Park in Botswana exploring the big five country by boat and safari 4x4. Or maybe you’ll decide on an optional day trip to Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe. 

[Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight Chundukwa River Lodge

 

Mon, Jul 29 Day 11. Departure day (unless doing 3-day South Luangwa extension)

Depart Chundukwa River Lodge. Transfer to Livingstone airport for international flight home. [Breakfast]

 

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If doing the optional 3-day extension to South Luangwa, depart Chundukwa River Lodge for transfer to Livingstone airport. Domestic flight to Lusaka International Airport. Ground transfer to Kafunta River Lodge.

[Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight Kafunta River Lodge

 

Tue, Jul 30 Day 12. Kafunta River Lodge.

Enjoy your first full day at Kafunta River Lodge. There are many safari adventure options. Take the pontoon boat for a river crossing to the more remote areas of the South Luangwa National Park. Take a short drive by 4x4 vehicle for a game drive through this amazing park teeming with wildlife. The morning hours are ideal and afternoon drives include stopping for sundowners in the bush to fully experience the magnificent African sunsets! Continuing the drive in the dark means being able to spot a whole new different variety of animals, i.e., the nocturnal residents that are only out at night. 

[Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight Kafunta River Lodge

 

Wed, Jul 31 Day 13. Kafunta River Lodge - Lusuka Airport

Another full day to enjoy at Kafunta. Maybe do a walking safari outing. Maybe relax at the lodge with some time at the Fig Tree wellness spa or hang out at the bar/lounge and enjoy the peaceful natural beauty all around you. Try out the infinity pool-like natural hot tub that’s fed by geothermal waters coming from underground.

[Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Overnight Kafunta River Lodge.

 

Thu, Aug 1 Day 14. Departure Day 

Departure day to head home. Depart Kafunta River Lodge. Transfer to Lusaka airport for international flight home.

[Breakfast]

Inclusions

Services start upon arrival at Lusaka International Airport on July 19, 2019 and ending on July 29, 2019 with transfer to the departure airport.

11 days guided touring with professional, local Zambian guide

11 days of transportation services with private van and driver 2 airport transfers (on official arrival and departure days only)

ALL meals included (except on arrival day & departure day excluding breakfast upon check-out):

10 breakfasts

9 lunches

9 dinners

Accommodation for 10 nights:

1 night at Southern Sun Ridgeway in Lusaka

3 nights at Nanzhila Plains Safari Camp including:

-all meals

-local brand drinks

-two safari activities daily (game drives and bush walks)

-park fees

-laundry

3 nights at KaingU Safari Lodge including:

-all meals

-local brand drinks

-two safari activities daily (game drives, bush walks, boat cruises, canoeing)

-park fees

-laundry

3 nights at Chundukwa River Lodge including:

-all meals

-house wine, beer and soft drinks

-1 full day trip by private vehicle to Victoria Falls and Livingstone

-1 sunset boat cruise

-laundry

 

Exclusions

All flights

Visas

Travel insurance (highly recommended)

Airport transfers if not arriving or departing with the group

Gratuities (Guides, Drivers, Waitrons, Rangers, etc.)

Personal expenses and anything not listed in the “Inclusions” list

Early Bird Pricing (based on double occupancy): $6,374 ($250 off)

Early Bird Booking Deadline: July 19, 2018

Regular Pricing (double occupancy): $6,674

Regular Booking Deadline: September 29, 2018

Single Room Supplement: $690

Deposit: 30% of trip price or $1,912 (due at booking)

Final Balance due: April 19, 2019 (90 days before departure)

Estimated Airfare: $1400

Cancellation policy: Only 100% refundable within two weeks of paying your deposit.

Optional 3-Day Extension to South Luangwa: $2,872 (includes transfer from Chundukwa River Lodge to Livingstone airport, flight from Livingstone to Lusaka, transfer to Kafunta River Lodge)

We recommend a premium Trip Insurance policy via a reputable company like TravelSafe, which can be booked easily from our trip booking website. Premium trip insurance policies include the 'cancel for any reason' benefit. These premium policies must be paid for within 10-14 days of your initial trip investment.

While a 30% deposit is due at booking, the balance can be paid over time up until departure using our self-service payment feature. You can make payments of any size at anytime by logging into your account on the Gen X Travel Club website. This is a great way to finance/budget for the cost of a trip - instead of paying a larger single lump sum payment for the balance, you can make small monthly payments over time. And since you can book the Zambia trip more than one year in advance of the departure, you have over a year to make easy monthly payments!

A Bit About Pricing 

People often ask… why is Zambia so expensive?

Zambia is the opposite of the popular African safari countries (like Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, etc), which have an established tourism industry where the tourist circuit infrastructure is mature & tourist crowds are plenty.

In comparison, traveling to Zambia can be a relatively higher cost adventure due to lack of infrastructure, complicated logistics, and limited number of safari camps & lodges available to support the incredible adventure you experience where very few people have the chance to visit.

Zambia offers an exclusive, exceptional experience far, far away from the beaten path! Spending time in pristine, far-flung landscapes virtually devoid of visitors where you can encounter some of the most intriguing creatures on earth are extraordinary & unique moments. The kind you remember forever!

However, with limited resources in Zambia, these kinds of experiences tend to have a higher price tag due to a number of factors:

-With limited infrastructure that’s not always in the best shape, getting around can be challenging, and vehicles, parts & fuel are not cheap. And of course, there are long distances involved to get to Zambia's safari areas.

-And the more remote you go, staying at bush camps / tented lodges, the more difficult logistics become and the higher cost involved.

-Offering amazing activities such as game drives, night drives, boat river adventures in remote locations adds to the costs.

-Providing high-quality, personal service with a high ratio of staff to guests through trained, experienced guides, scouts & drivers that meet the standards of European & American travelers is expensive in a country that does not have the same level of standards as in deveoped Western nations.

-Building, maintaining and running a lodge far away from population centers is not easy; the investment is rather big. There are sizeable costs associated to daily functions such as getting & transporting supplies including food.

-Lack of moderately priced bush camps and safari lodges are hard to come by as many local entrepreneurs have made the decision to go upscale, glamorous, top luxury with premium prices to match. Many foreign tourists are willing to pay literally tens of thousands of dollars to go to a remote, far-flung location (to stay in a kind of luxury bubble as opposed to good quality accommodations where they can better immerse themselves in the unique, stunning surroundings they’ve traveled so far to get to).

-Safari season is very short in Zambia with many camps only open between mid-April and mid-November. As a result, prices are high since being open for business is for such a small window each year.

Many Zambia trips are around the $10k range - these are over the top, luxury vacations with all the bells & whistles. Using some in-the-know local contacts & advanced planning, our trip is as reasonably priced as it gets for such high-quality (regarding every aspect of the trip).

And then there is the cost-comparison confusion 

It can be confusing when doing cost comparisons across safari trips - the devil is in the details.

Often an ultra low-cost trip reflects low-cost features and low-cost experiences. For example, many of the accommodations tend to be cut-rate 3-star camps or truly just hotels with the ambiance of a Days Inn off any major highway. To keep prices down, barebone transportation services mean being tightly packed in a vehicle with the maximum number of passengers they can fit along with everyone's stuff. And good chance you'll being going in the rainy season when 95% of all camps are closed because it can rain all day. The quality of the guides are unknown. There are logistics that don't make for a relaxing, well-paced trip due to them eating up much of the day. 

On our thoughtfully desgined trip, you'll travel in the right season for the best weather and to maxmize wildlife sightings and other opportunities. You'll have high-quality, well-trained and very experienced  private local guides & drivers. You'll have comfortable ground transportation in modern, well-maintained private vehicles with a limited number of people per vehicle. You'll stay in small exclusive authentic camps not in the bigger, touristy accommodations that aren't very good - quality of the accommodation as well as service.

Like a friend & local Zambian travel professional said to me when we were discussing low-cost Zambia trips compared to this trip, "It really is like comparing a forced march discount hotel trip bruised apple to a wonderful, unique African safari juicy orange. What's the best safari deal?"

 

 

International Flights

For your international flight, you'll need to buy a one-way flight to Lusaka International Airport to begin the trip. On the return, you'll need a one-way flight departing from Livingstone International Airport. 

If you are doing the 3-day extension to South Luangwa, the international flight is roundtrip in & out of Lusaka.

Estimated international airfare is $1400-$1500.

Visas

Zambia offers visitors landing at Livingstone (renamed Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport) or Lusaka airports a single-country visa good for 90 days.

Currency

The country's official currency is the Zambian kwacha (ZMW), but US dollars are also widely accepted. Most sizeable towns have ATMs that accept foreign ATM cards.

Tipping

Hotels - Lodges and camps often provide separate envelopes to provide a tip for staff and guides if guests wish to tip.

Restaurants - A 10% tip is very appreciated for good service, though if restaurants include a 10% service charge, an additional tip isn’t required.

Safari Guides & Drivers - Around US$5 to US$10 to the driver and guide per day is appropriate, with a higher amount if you’re happy with their service, knowledge and guiding skills.

Seasons

The dry season, which is prime for wildlife viewing, generally lasts from May to November. Rainy season runs from December to April, and due to weather and access issues, some lodges close during this time.

Recommended Vaccinations

The Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends the following shots for most travelers to Zambia.

Hepatitis A - CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Zambia, regardless of where you are eating or staying.

Typhoid - You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Zambia. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.

Malaria - You will need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria. Your doctor can help you decide which medicine is right for you, and also talk to you about other steps you can take to prevent malaria.

 

We always recommend trip insurance & suggest TravelSafe insurance - a reputable company with competitive pricing and great coverage options.

Here are a few reasons to get trip insurance:

● Reimbursement for cancellation penalties (which can be 100% of your investment) in the event of an unforeseeable illness, injury or death of you, your travel companion or a family member.

● Reimbursement for cancellation penalties if you are called for jury duty, your home is damaged due to fire, windstorm, flood or vandalism or military leave cancelled.

● Reimbursement for unused portion of your trip if it is interrupted.

● Medical evacuation/repatriation expenses to an appropriate medical facility or back home in the event of a serious illness or injury while traveling.

● 24-hour help line for any travel emergency, such as medical, lost tickets, lost passports, and other travel documents.

We recommend a premium Trip Insurance policy via a reputable company like TravelSafe. Premium trip insurance policies include the 'cancel for any reason' benefit. Note: The 'Cancel for Any Reason' premium policy must be purchased within two weeks of your initial trip deposit.