Let Us Customize the Perfect Luxury Zambia Safari
Below are our recommended places to visit. Contact us today or call 303-778-1089 to learn more about how we are able to customize the perfect luxury Zambia safari just for you!
Described by the Makololo tribe living in the area in the 1800’s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘the Smoke that Thunders’ – Victoria Falls is a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe. Columns of spray can be seen from miles away as more than 38,000 cubic feet of water per second plummet over the edge (at the height of the flood season), which spans more than a mile in width, into a deep gorge more than 300 feet below. The wide basalt cliff, over which the Falls thunder, transforms the Zambezi from a wide, placid river to a ferocious torrent cutting through a series of dramatic gorges. Victoria Falls is a must visit on any Zambia luxury safari.
Visitors to the Falls will find lots of breathtaking viewpoints along the pathways, as well as a good spot to watch bungee jumpers tumbling off the bridge that spans the Zambezi. A river cruise is a fantastic way to ease into your Zambian safari where you can relax and enjoy the Zambezi. You can watch for hippos, crocodiles, myriad birdlife and even swimming elephants while sipping your beverage of choice and watching the sunset (or any time of day).
Thrill seekers have countless opportunities to get their adrenaline going. Whitewater rafting, a gorge swing, bungee jumping, helicopter flights over the Falls, kayaking, river boarding and more are on offer for adventurous travelers. Guided canoeing is a somewhat more placid way to explore the Upper Zambezi and enjoy water-based game viewing.
Anglers can try their rods at catch and release fishing, and those interested in learning about local culture can enjoy a village visit. One AAC favorite activity in the area is to take an exhilarating, Instagrammable dip in the Devil’s Pool on the very edge of the Falls, followed by a gourmet meal on Livingstone Island in the middle of the Zambezi.
The Mosi-ao-Tunya National Park is also found here. This small park is home to several antelope species, giraffe, buffalo and zebra. Visitors can also see rhinos here – even on a short walking safari!
In town, travelers can visit the Livingstone Museum. Zambia’s largest museum hosts a collection of Zambian archaeology, history, culture and natural history. It also does a good job of giving insight into the natural and cultural heritage of Zambia. It is best known for its important collection of David Livingstone’s letters and persona possessions.
It’s important to work with an expert when planning your visit. Different seasons offer different activities and water levels at the Falls. Some months are great to try to view a lunar rainbow while others offer the best rafting or photography. Additionally, depending on what you wish to do at the Falls, we will help you choose whether the Zambian or Zimbabwean side.
South Luangwa National Park
South Luangwa is one of the world’s greatest wildlife sanctuaries. The concentration of game around the Luangwa river and its oxbow lagoons is among the highest in Africa. The Luangwa River is the most intact major river system in Africa and is the lifeblood of the park. The now famous ‘walking safari’ probably originated in this park and is still one of the finest ways to experience this pristine wilderness firsthand. The changing seasons add to the Park’s richness, ranging from dry, bare bushveld in the winter to a lush green wonderland in the summer months. There are 60 different animal species and over 400 different bird species.
Eastern Zambia is home to four national parks with South Luangwa being the most accessible and with the best infrastructure. Covering almost 3,500 square miles of wilderness, the park’s prolific wildlife can be seen on day and night game drives – it’s one of the few national parks in Africa to allow nocturnal game drives – and of course outstanding walking safaris. If you’re a keen walker, ask your Journey Specialist about multi-day walking safaris.
North Luangwa National Park
North Luangwa National Park is remote, wild and seldom visited. Here, walking is the name of the game so it’s the perfect place for active adventurers who want to get away from it all. North Luangwa lies on one of Africa’s rift valleys and encompasses a diverse array of habitats, supporting a dizzying variety of flora and fauna. With over 450 bird species (some seasonal) and over 60 different species of mammals, the wildlife viewing opportunities are rich and rewarding. Large herds of Cape buffalo are often seen as are predators such as lion, leopard and wild dog. Guests may also spot special species such as sable, Crawshay’s zebra, puku, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest and the endemic Cookson’s wildebeest. Learn more about this off-the-beaten path destination.
Kafue National Park
Kafue is Zambia’s oldest park and by far its largest. Spanning more than 8,600 square miles, it was proclaimed in 1950 and is the second largest national park in the world—roughly the size of Massachusetts. The Park is a raw and diverse slice of African wilderness with excellent game viewing, bird watching and fishing opportunities. The park sustains huge herds of a great diversity of wildlife, from massive herds of Cape buffalo, to thousands of red lechwe on the plains, the ubiquitous puku, the stately sable and roan antelope in the woodland, the diminutive oribi and duiker and the predators that subsist upon them all. The defassa waterbuck, herds of tsessebe, hartebeest and zebra make for a full menu of antelope.
Visitors to Kafue can count on an exclusive experience with few other visitors. Guests can enjoy game drives, walking safaris, canoeing and catch and release fishing. The park is seasonal, with many areas only opening to guests during the dry season (June – October).
Kasanka National Park
This small park was Zambia’s first to be privately managed. Its varied ecosystems host a variety of antelope including the sitatunga, as well as many small carnivore species including genet, civet and caracal. The biggest draw in Kasanka is the annual bat migration, the largest mammal migration on earth. Each November and December during the onset of the rainy season, approximately 5 million straw-colored fruit bats take to the skies around dusk. With their 3-foot-wide wingspans, the sight of nearly incomprehensible numbers of the bats ascending to the heavens to seek out fruit to feed on is nothing short of extraordinary. It is one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth.
Liuwa Plain National Park
This very remote park sees few visitors but hosts great numbers of wildlife. Liuwa Plain is truly one of Africa’s best kept secrets. Vast plains host many species including thousands of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo and antelope species. Rain transforms the plains into a watery wonderland driving the movement of wildebeest seeking fresh grass and sanctuary for their young. Predators are also well represented with lion, hyena, cheetah, leopard and wild dog all a part of the ecosystem. Endangered and rare bird species thrive in Liuwa. Guests can take advantage of the chance to go on day and night game drives, walking safaris, canoeing safaris, sleepouts under the stars and cultural activities.
Lower Zambezi National Park
This is Zambia’s newest park and as such is still relatively undeveloped. Its beauty lies in its pristine wilderness and prolific wildlife. The diversity of animals is not as wide as the other big parks, but the opportunities to get close to game wandering in and out of the Zambezi channels are spectacular. The Park lies opposite the famous Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe and the whole area on both sides of the river is a massive wildlife sanctuary.
Most of the game is concentrated along the valley floor and there is a towering escarpment along the northern end which acts as a physical barrier to most of the park’s animal species. Enormous herds of elephant, some up to 100 strong, are often seen at the river’s edge. Island hopping buffalo and waterbuck are common. The park also hosts good populations of lion and leopard, as well as magnificent birds such as the fish eagle.
Visitors to the Lower Zambezi National Park can enjoy game drives, canoeing, river cruises, walking safaris and fishing. Safari goers should note that Lower Zambezi National Park is not a Big 5 reserve (no rhino) and that giraffe are not, nor have they ever been, present in the park.
When to Visit
Zambia has two seasons – wet and dry – each with their pleasures. We’ll describe what each looks like at Victoria Falls and the rest of Zambia.
Visiting Livingstone between March and June will give you the chance to see Victoria Falls at its impressive peak flow, though it can be very wet and difficult to see the Falls themselves. During the dry season (August – October), the water flow is greatly reduced, giving you the chance to take in breathtaking views of the cataracts and the area’s many beautiful geological features.
July to January sees lower water levels, highlighting the Zambezi’s exciting rafting features. This is the best time for full day rafting trips. The high-water months (February – July) may limit water-based activities for safety reasons. Water levels are not entirely predictable, so use this information as a rough guideline and work with your Journey Specialist for your customized visit.
Zambia’s safari destinations are most popular during the dry season, from May – November, though ‘busy’ in Zambia is quiet compared to many other safari destinations. The dry season sees lower vegetation and fewer water sources, making it easier to spot wildlife. It should be noted that October and November can be quite hot. For first time visitors to Africa, Zambia’s dry season can be the best time to visit as animals tend to congregate around waterholes and can readily be seen.
The green/wet season runs from December to March and offers its own delights. Lush, green vegetation is a feast for herbivores and a beautiful backdrop for photography. Animals are in their peak condition with nature’s abundance. Temperatures are pleasant and rain showers and storms are generally brief and refreshing.
Talk with your Journey Specialist about the best season for your customized luxury Zambia safari.