Zambia is for me the last frontier for authentic safaris, this is where you’ll go on some of the best walking safaris and have a bigger choice of activities than any other place I have found in Africa. I think what I love about the safari experience in Zambia is that it gets you out of the vehicle, exploring the South Luangwa on foot or by boat. Canoeing along the Lower Zambezi is still some of my all-time favourite safari experiences.
The camps in Zambia also seem more authentic than those in other regions around Southern Africa. This of course adds to the charm. Most of the lodging you will find here will be in tented camps or reed and wood chalets, although there are a few lodges made out of bricks and mortar it’s certainly not the rule here.
My immediate thoughts (to try and keep costs under control – somewhat) is to travel in June, it’s the end of the “Zambian green season” and from July onwards the (substantially higher) peak season rates start to kick in. A good idea would be to travel towards the end of June – as close to the peak season as possible. (Same experience just a better price).
Unfortunately the most feasible way to get around in Zambia is by small plane, purely because the distances are so incredibly vast. I wouldn’t suggest that you drive to any of the locations unless you enjoy long long road trips….it’s just too taxing for this type of journey to add on long road transfers.
I would recommend starting off in Livingstone, this gives you some time to acclimatize yourself to “African” time, get over the jet lag and find your bush ears and bush eyes. From here I would recommend going to the Kafue, then the South Luangwa and ending off in the Lower Zambezi.
An itinerary outline could look like this:
1 night in Johannesburg (most of the international flights arrive into Johannesburg late and depart early which means we would need to overnight you there on your arrival day.)
4 nights in Livingstone (at Victoria Falls)
4 nights in the Kafue National Park
3 nights in the South Luangwa National Park at camp 1
4 nights in the South Luangwa National Park at camp 2 (I know of camps in the South Luangwa that have special prices for 7 nights or more)
4 nights in the Lower Zambezi (One of the camps I am thinking of has a stay 4 pay 3 night special)
Return to Johannesburg to fly onto your next destination.
Liesl loves to talk about Zambia, and has so much more to say. A Zambian trip like this is perfect for wildlife enthusiasts who have already possibly been on a safari before, but want a more out-there, authentic immersion-into-Africa experience.