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Ciara’s Adventures in Zambia and Botswana

February 5, 2024  By: Ciara

Africa Adventure Consultants Safari Concierge Ciara recently enjoyed a safari adventure in Zambia and Botswana. These two countries have so much to enchant travelers – from the thriving wildlife in the pristine Okavango Delta to the powerful waters and abundant game of the Lower Zambezi, safari goers are wowed when they visit. In addition to the incredible wildlife experiences and diverse landscapes, these two countries also offer wonderful accommodations – from romantic, rustic camps to dreamy, luxurious lodges – we have something that will fit your safari wish list.

Ciara has joined us on the blog to share some of the highlights from her Zambia and Botswana safari.

Ciara with rhino

Embarking on a journey through the heart of Southern Africa, my recent trip to Zambia and Botswana was a mesmerizing journey filled with diverse landscapes, extraordinary wildlife and unforgettable experiences. From the birding in some of the best parks and conservancies to adrenaline-charged activities at Victoria Falls, every moment was a testament to the untamed beauty of these two incredible countries.

sunset boat ride

The Lower Zambezi in Zambia has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for some of the best wildlife sightings in Africa. With an abundant leopard population, large elephant herds and even wild dogs, safaris here are breathtaking. Walking safaris are a highlight with Zambia serving as home to some of the best walking guides in Africa. With the mighty Zambezi River as a centerpiece, water safaris are also a must. From canoeing to observe some of the aquatic species as well as terrestrial wildlife on the river’s banks to more placid river cruises and even fishing excursions, there’s an adventure to suit most every traveler!

African pitta

For any avid birdwatcher, Lower Zambezi is a paradise waiting to be explored. As I ventured into the lush wilderness, the highlight of my birding experience was observing the elusive African pitta. With its vibrant plumage and shy nature, this migratory bird is rarely seen and an incredible sighting for bird enthusiasts. Guided by Patrick at Lolebezi, we patiently navigated the dense foliage to have our efforts rewarded with a breathtaking sighting of the African pitta, a moment that will forever be etched in my memory.

Ciara in Devils Pool

After moving from the remoteness at Lolebezi, I traveled to Thorntree River Lodge, perched on the edge of the great Zambezi River and a short drive from Victoria Falls. The sheer power and grandeur of the falls are awe-inspiring, but for those seeking a more intimate connection with this natural wonder, a visit to Devil’s Pool should be on the top of your list. Perched on the edge of the falls, I found myself in a surreal setting, surrounded by the thunderous roar of cascading water. The heart-pounding thrill of looking over the edge into the abyss while a thankfully very strong gentleman held my ankles for safety, is an adventure that I will never forget. Visits to Devil’s Pool are seasonal and dependent on the river’s flow, so be sure to work with AAC to plan your safari during the right time of year!

wild dog

My last stop was the vast expanse of the Khwai Conservancy in the famed Okavango Delta in Botswana, where the circle of life played out before my eyes in a dramatic sequence. A pack of painted dogs, renowned for their efficient hunting techniques, orchestrated a mesmerizing yet intense chase that ended with the swift takedown of an impala. Witnessing this raw display of nature’s balance was both awe-inspiring and humbling, reminding me of the power of the untamed wilderness that thrives in the heart of Botswana. I felt like I was dropped into a National Geographic documentary!

“From the vibrant birdlife of Lower Zambezi to the heart-stopping beauty of Devil's Pool and the breathtaking drama of nature in Khwai Conservancy, my journey through these countries was a symphony of experiences that left an indelible mark on my soul.” - Ciara

Zambia and Botswana, with their rich tapestry of stunning landscapes and incredible wildlife, offer a sensory feast for travelers. As I reflect on the raw beauty of nature, I am reminded that the magic of Africa lies not just in its landscapes but in the untamed spirit of its wildlife and wilderness.

Ciara with lions

Are you ready to embark on a safari adventure in Zambia and Botswana? Contact one of our Journey Specialists to start planning your own customized safari or subscribe to the newsletter below to keep in touch.


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Photos courtesy AAC Safari Concierge Ciara Manning