Exclusively Yours – Zambia
This is a country close to my heart, as I worked here for a number of years before joining Aardvark Safaris, including a stint as the manager of a private house in the South Luangwa. We’ll get there in a bit, but first let’s look at what a safari in Zambia offers visitors.
With several national parks which are wildlife rich but scarcely visited, Zambia safaris offer a range of different activities. The best known are perhaps walking and canoe safaris where visitors travel at the gentle pace of the surrounding wildlife.
In the Luangwa Valley and the Lower Zambezi National Park there are plenty of opportunities for guests to immerse themselves in the country’s wilderness whilst staying in complete comfort and luxury in a selection of amazing exclusive camps and lodges.
Chongwe River House and Luangwa House
With spectacular views of the Muchinga Mountains to the north and across Chongwe River from the Lower Zambezi National Park, Chongwe River House is in a prime position for guests to experience the landscape and wildlife on offer in this lush part of Zambia.
The private house is located near the Zambezi and accommodates up to eight guests in its four bedrooms. The house offers a large, open plan sitting room, outside decking area and private pool. With a permanent watering hole in front of the house there is fantastic wildlife viewing from the sun deck and pool. The layout of the house and private facilities makes it perfect for families or a group of friends travelling together and, with private use of a vehicle and guide for wildlife viewing activities, it allows guests to create their own tailored experiences.
The Lower Zambezi National Park, which Chongwe River House overlooks, is fantastic for wildlife viewing and guests are likely to see buffalo, elephant, lion and leopard during the wildlife drives, guided bush walks, canoeing, and boat trips on offer. Birding is also good in this area, and fishing in the Zambezi for tiger fish and bream is also possible.
Further north, another beautiful safari house perfect for families and friends to book exclusively is Luangwa Safari House in the South Luangwa National Park. This picturesque thatched house is the one I managed and accommodates up to eight guests in its four comfortably furnished en-suite bedrooms. It has a large sitting and dining area, swimming pool and viewing platform, from which guests can see plenty of wildlife wandering past, including elephant and giraffe who use the nearby lagoon to feed and water throughout the day.
Luangwa Safari House comes with its own private guide and vehicle and activities are designed to suit each individual group. A range of hosted activities can be organised for children from the age of seven upwards. There is also a private chef and house manager.
Tena Tena, Kakuli, Mchenja, Tusk and Mane
Zambia is a hotspot for wildlife, and for amazing small camps in remote areas of its already far-flung national parks. There are plenty to choose from and even many that are perfect to book exclusively for just you and the family.
Mature mahogany trees shade Tena Tena, a small intimate camp on the eastern bank of the Luangwa River. The camp is set against the majestic backdrop of South Luangwa National Park. The area is rich with wildlife and guests can expect to see herds of elephant and buffalo and prides of lion during wildlife drives.
The camp itself is made up of five large walk-in tents, each with an open-air bathroom, a viewing deck with comfortable chairs, and all with beautiful views across the Luangwa River. The main bar, lounge and dining area, which is shaded by a tented canopy and a mature tree, is a comfortable place to enjoy the view, while many meals are eaten outside, in various locations around the camp.
Kakuli Bush camp is a small intimate camp situated deep inside the South Luangwa National Park. This camp has comfortable reed and thatch rooms with one side with canvas that rolls up to overlook a floodplain from an elevated bank of the Luangwa River. Activities available at the camp include both daytime and night time wildlife drives and walking safaris, with the camp in an ideal location to be used as a stop on a longer walking safari or as a base from where expert guides can take guests on a walking safari around the area.
Also found on the banks of the Luangwa River, hidden in a shady grove of ebony trees is Mchenja Bush Camp. The elegant and stylish camp offers accommodation in four double rooms and one two-bedroom family room built from local thatch with drop down canvas sides, a private en-suite open air bathroom and an inside freestanding roll top bath.
As well as day and night drives in open safari vehicle, guests can also enjoy walks in the company of expert guides or spend time in the hide which, raised on stilts in the ebony grove, overlooks the stream where wildlife comes to drink. Elephant, buffalo and lion are regularly sighted, and guests will have a good chance of seeing leopard whilst staying at Mchenja.
The Lower Zambezi National Park is another area of Zambia where wildlife is prolific wildlife and includes lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, hippo, crocodile, waterbuck, impala, wild dog, aardvark and honey badger, and a huge number of birds. Tusk and Mane safaris operate simple mobile style safari camps, aimed at small groups, in remote parts of Lower Zambezi National Park. The camp is made up of spacious and elegant mobile safari tents, with large comfortable bedrooms, an en-suite bathroom with a bucket shower and a flushing loo, and beautiful rugs covering the floors. The camp has a mess tent with a dining table and a bar, and comfortable chairs and a sofa perfect to relax in with friends and family. Tusk and Mane use a number of different sites for their mobile camps which allow them to move with the season and wildlife patterns. From each of the different sites guests can enjoy day and night wildlife drives, walking safaris, boat cruises, canoeing and fishing. Fly camping is also an option for adventurous guests.
Kaingo Elephant Hide, Tide and Time sleepout
Sleepouts and star beds allow guests to enjoy the African wilderness in ways which they might never have imagined.
Just a short drive from Shenton Safaris Kaingo Camp in the South Luangwa National Park, guests can enjoy a night in the camp’s Elephant Hide Star Bed. Set in an ebony tree on the banks of the Luangwa River, the hide lets its two guests experience the nocturnal noises of the river and the African bush, all from the safety and comfort of the comfortable king size bed. The hide provides guests with sweeping views of the river and the wildlife which visits it, as well as amazing star gazing opportunities on a clear night.
Another opportunity to sleep out under the stars fully immersed in the African bush is with a Tide and Time who offer guests the chance to sleep under the canopy of stars in a number of different locations.
Each destination on offer provides a unique experience and allows guests to fully appreciate the regions beauty and superb landscapes. Guests sleep on either a hammock, stretched tight between trees and covered by a thin fly net, or on a comfortable bed roll surrounded by the sounds of the bush. With 4 “tents” available in total this extraordinary experience is an ideal activity to book exclusively as a small family or small group of friends.
Chikoko River Trail
With a maximum of six people per walk, no roads or cars, and the chance to experience areas of the Zambian wilderness which are only accessible by foot, the Chikoko River Trail offered by Remote Africa is an amazing walking safari for a family or group trip. Chikoko Trails incorporates two small and exclusive bush camps, Chikoko Tree Camp and Big Lagoon, both only accessible by foot and immersed in the remote African landscape.
The walks follow well-worn elephant and hippo trails, not to mention the original footsteps of David Livingstone, through the Luangwa Valley. The areas the trail explores are hot spots for eland, roan, kudu, elephant, giraffe, wild dog, lion, warthog, hippo and crocodile with the chance for guests to spot these amazing animals from foot, accompanied by expert guides as well as from the comfort of the camps.
Any of us would be delighted to help you plan a safari encompassing any of the exclusive stays and trips mentioned here. Our team of experts has travelled widely throughout Africa and can offer expert advice on every type of safari from family and beach holidays to riding and primate safaris. Do get in touch – chatting to people by phone or email is what we do best. We listen, we explain, we answer all sorts of questions even those you didn’t know to ask, and finally we make suggestions. If this is your first time to Africa or your twenty first, we have a team standing by to help make the planning easy and the journey the best ever. Please get in touch whatever stage you’re at.