Zambia offers some of the best off-the-beaten track safari experiences, from annual migrations to river adventures and walking safaris.
ENJOY A SOUTH LUANGWA WALKING SAFARI
Pioneered by the late legendary conservationist Norman Carr in Zambia, walking safaris are one of the most thrilling ways to see animals up-close, on foot. Spend the day in the South Luangwa National Park with an experienced guide tracking lion and other big game before bedding down at Nsolo Camp (for the full experience, guests can sleep out in the bush). The best time to visit is between June and November.
SLEEP OUT UNDER THE STARS
Sleeping under the stars is the ultimate back-to-nature African safari experience – and there are plenty of chances to lie back, looking up at an inky night sky in Zambia. Some of the best, are in the South Luangwa Park (such as at Nsolo Camp): different camps offer varying levels of comfort but at the very least, there will always be a comfortable mat to sleep on and a protective mosquito net. Dinner is prepared by the camp cook and usually eaten around the campfire. This is a perfect complement to a walking safari.
EXPERIENCE THE WILDEBEEST MIGRATION
There’s not much that beats the extraordinary sight of more than 40,000 wildebeest migrating across the Barotse floodplains in the Liuwa Plain National Park each November. This is Africa’s second largest wildebeest migration and it makes a great pairing with a visit to the Kasanka National Park. The latter is known for its huge annual fruit bat migration when five to ten million creatures swoop through the sky and descend on the area to feast.
MESS ABOUT ON THE ZAMBEZI RIVER
The mighty Zambezi River is a spectacular setting for a peaceful spot of fishing and fly-fishing (tiger fish is highly prized due to its fighting nature; other fish to hook include barbel, bream and tilapia). The best time to see what you can catch is between August to November. Sunset river cruises and guided canoe trails are other fun ways to explore on the water.
JOURNEY ON THE ROYAL LIVINGSTONE EXPRESS
Embrace slow travel with a nostalgic scenic steam train ride from Livingstone to the village of Simonga. The beautifully restored Royal Livingstone Express dates back to the early 20th-century and passes through the part of the Mulobezi railway inaugurated by Dr Livingstone. Admire the stunning views of the Zambezi Valley while tucking into a delicious five-course dinner.
VISIT KAWAZA VILLAGE
A trip to Zambia doesn’t only centre on the animals – it’s about meeting the local people too. Kawaza village in the South Luangwa National Park is an authentic Kunda community where you can learn about daily life and take part in activities such as picking crops, cooking and fetching water. After your efforts, you’ll sit down and enjoy a traditional meal with the villagers. There is also the chance to visit a school, local clinic and healer too. A fascinating insight into how Zambians live.