Zambia general information and map
Getting there: Lusaka is serviced by regular direct flights from the UK. The flying time from London to Lusaka is approximately 10 hours.
Time: GMT plus two hours
Try not to miss: The Lower Zambezi National Park, as this is one of the most attractive and least visited national parks in Africa, teeming with wildlife drawn to the Zambezi River from July until October each year. Wild and Exotic use a selection of the valley’s best lodges, some of which also offer superb guided fly fishing for tiger fish. Expect to see buffalo, giant crocodiles, elephant, hippos, leopard, lion and a rich and colourful array of birdlife. Also the South Luangwa valley, where Robin Pope has pioneered his celebrated walking safaris. This 9000 square kilometre wildlife sanctuary marks the end of Africa’s Great Rift Valley and is home to elephant, buffalo, leopard, lion, giraffe, hippo, and over 400 species of birds. Please ask us for walking safari set departure dates from June to September.
No Zambian safari can only be considered complete without a visit to the awesome Victoria Falls, accurately described as the “the smoke that thunders”. Tongabezi Lodge offers the highest standards of service and comfort, and guests also have the choice of staying on the private island of Sindabezi. The activities include visiting the Victoria Falls, game drives, boating and fishing, as well as day trips to Livingstone Island.
Visas: All visitors from the UK require a visa, which can be purchased on arrival for $50, or organised in advance through the Zambian Embassy.
Why Zambia: Zambia offers unique and genuinely remote destinations for those wanting an unusual safari in areas that are less frequented by tourists. The great Zambezi river valley, together with its tributary the Luangwa, is rapidly establishing a reputation for magnificent wildlife spectacles.
Wild and Exotic bespoke travel sample itinerary
Day 1: On arrival to Lusaka you will be met and transferred to your charter flight to the South Luangwa Valley. On arrival at Mfu airstrip you will be met and transferred to Mchenja Lodge for a 3 night stay.
Day 2 & 3: At Mchenja Lodge. Mchenja, meaning “ebony”, occupies a stunning setting beneath a magnificent grove of ebony trees on the banks of the Luangwa River. Mchenja is a luxurious, elegant and stylish tented camp overlooking a huge sweeping bend in the Luangwa. Each of the five specially designed octagonal tents has their own private en-suite open air bathroom plus Victorian style baths with river view. The beautiful central chitenje (lounge) is built around one of the old fallen Mchenja trees and guests can cool off there in the camp’s plunge pool. Brunch is taken in the shady lounge but dinner is more often served on the river bank under the stars. Guests staying at Mchenja can choose whether they want to view their wildlife on foot or from an open game viewing vehicle. In addition to the ebony grove at camp there are two other stunning groves close by, as is the case with Kakuli, the game viewing in this area is superb and night drives are usually very worthwhile.
Day 4: This morning you will be transferred by private vehicle to Kakuli Lodge for a 2 night stay. The journey takes approximately 45 minutes, but longer if you are distracted by game en route to camp.
Day 5: At Kakuli Lodge. Kakuli means old buffalo bull, and was the nickname affectionately given to Norman Carr by the local people of the valley. This beautiful camp has four traditional walk-in safari tents each with en-suite bathrooms made with natural materials. The bar and dining chitenje (lounge) are constructed of reed and thatch forming the centre point of camp. The entire camp is on an elevated stretch of river bank overlooking a wide grazing lawn which follows the Luangwa River until it meets the confluence of the Luwi River. A lovely thatched chitenje acts as the centre of camp. It is on a wooden deck overlooking the grazing lawn that leads down to the two rivers and is a perfect spot in which to relax and watch the wildlife meander by; the views from Kakuli are spectacular. This area of the south Luangwa is renowned for offering guests some of the best game viewing opportunities in Zambia. Safari activities from Kakuli can be a mixture of game drives and walking safaris; guests are able to decide each day if they want to venture out on foot or with the vehicle. Most evenings however, you will want to explore the area after dark. This stretch of the Luangwa is bustling with predators and the best time to see them in action is during those first few hours of darkness.
Day 6: This morning you will fly via Lusaka by scheduled flight with Proflight to Royal Airstrip in the Lower Zambezi. On arrival you will be met and transferred to either Chongwe Lodge or Kasaka River Camp for a 4 night stay.
Days 7 – 9: At Chongwe/Kasaka River Camp. Your stay here will be divided between fishing and game viewing – the ratio is entirely up to yourself, who will have to make the difficult decision between watching Africa’s largest and most beautiful mammals and casting for her most powerful and exciting fresh water game fish. Other activities such as canoeing trips are also available – during which you paddle past huge pods of hippos wallowing and grunting in the water, and disturb crocodiles that slip silently into the water as they hear your approach.
Day 10: This afternoon you will be transferred to Royal airstrip for a private charter flight back to Lusaka in time for you to check-in to your flight home.
Notes: The price will be inclusive of all international flights, domestic flights, charter flights and all transfers as per the itinerary. The price is inclusive of all activities described, together with full board and lodging, based on two people sharing. Most alcoholic drinks are included however some premium spirits and wines may incur a charge. Please check with the management if in doubt. The price does not include items of a personal nature, gratuities, and visa fees.
Please note that there is a weight limit of 15kgs per passenger for the domestic flights with Ngwazi within Zambia and extra weight may incur a penalty charge. The limit with Proflight is 23kgs per person.
Private charter flight costs exclude domestic departure tax, to be paid at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport prior to departure from Lusaka (at the NACL kiosk next to domestic departure lounge). Current cost is 85 kwacha or US$16 per passenger. These charges can also be paid by card. Passengers will meet their pilot near the information desk in the main hall 30 minutes prior to take off time.
Please note that it is the responsibility of the client to ensure they obtain the correct visa prior to travel or on arrival at Lusaka airport. Wild and Exotic will assist with visa applications if instructed but cannot be held responsible for a client’s failure to obtain a visa for whatever reason.
Neither Wild and Exotic nor the operators or suppliers can accept any responsibility for changes to itineraries or dates that may arise due to weather or unforeseen circumstances such as changes, disruptions or delays to airline flights for whatever reason. This holiday is subject to Wild and Exotic’s terms and conditions, a copy of which is available on this website under the general info tab.
“Back safe and sound from Zambia at the end of a fantastic holiday. Lodge brilliantly run by Yvonne and Mwaka and the guides. All the Lodge “activities” were well organised. I think that between us we did them all including a fantastic 14 hour safari deep into the National Park which involved having to change a tyre in front of 400 Buffalo (Guides estimate) and getting stuck in a dry river bed only to discover that a Pride of 8 lions were sleeping in the shade just a few yards from us! The fishing was good. We should have got more into the boat but we quickly learned about the difficulties of setting hooks in bony mouths. Between us I think we caught 10 tigers, the best fell to Peter Fraser, 12lb . My best was 10lb. Great sport!”
“I am glad to say that the holiday was a total success. All connections/pick-ups were like clockwork. The lodge at Chongwe was excellent; we were extremely well looked after. Game viewing was very good with knowledgable guides. The fishing was fun although, as we knew, it was earlier than the prime fishing season. We thought your and Emma’s organisation of the trip was first class. My 81 year old father had a great time and cant wait to go back!”
“Even now, a couple of days after my return I am looking towards a September departure back to Zambia. To a man every member of staff at Chongwe were superb, I loved the reserve and want to catch a bigger Tiger Fish.”
“We both really enjoyed the holiday. Neither of us had been to Africa before so we had limited expectations – I know some of the others said the safari experience was 100 times better than the busier more commercial safari they had done before. The lodge was heaven – it was so peaceful and to be there early in the season when the camp and Park were quiet was brilliant .The guides were great – they had a real passion for the wildlife and that made it more enjoyable. The food was good too.The upgrade to the lodge was extremely generous and made an already brilliant week. For us it was the perfect balance between being bored on a beach and going skiing which is great fun but there is no time to relax! “
“We had a great time at Chongwe. The camp set up, staff, activities, food, hospitality were all completely excellent. We loved the unspoilt natural setting. “
“Hello and thank you , I really did have the time of my life in Zambia and I didn’t want to come home , the fishing was amazing I had tigers ranging from a couple of pound up to 13 pound and a Vundu catfish of 30 pounds , and the game viewing was amazing at Mwambashi as well. Food at both camps was fantastic as were the hosts and the guides.”
“We can’t thank you enough,we really did have a holiday of a lifetime, it definitely exceeded all expectations, and to be able to finish with 2 days in the Chongwe house was definitely the icing on the cake. Thank you so much again for the perfect safari experience we will definitely recommend you to all our friends!”
“We had the most fantastic time both at Vintage African Safaris and at Mwambashi River Lodge. Seeing 4 Leopards, 3 large male Lions,numerous other game, catching about 40 tigerfish up to 12 pounds and 2 vundu up to 60lbs all in about 6 days says it all. The area around Mwambashi seems to be most idyllic for all animals, plainsgame and predators alike. I have been on numerous safaris over the years and for pure game viewing this will take some beating.”
“We had a fabulous time, it superseded all expectations and the upgrade at the end made it even more special, thank you. The staff were exemplary; the knowledge of the guides was deep and very interesting and in Camp, nothing was too much bother. Zambia was truly fantastic.”
“Thank you so much for organising our trip. We have had a fabulous time. We did stay at the Island one night and canoe back which was great fun and then the last two nights we moved to Chongwe house which was incredible! We saw a huge amount of game, more than we expected and several tigers and catfish caught. Alice caught a 7lb tiger on a spinner. The holiday surpassed everyone’s expectations!”