We have to be honest. A family safari in a remote part of Zambia is not going to be the cheapest ten days of your life. But Zambia does represent excellent value when it comes to game viewing in Africa, especially when compared to neighbours Botswana.
Imagine your children going back to school after seeing leopards on the prowl, hippos cavorting, huge flocks of Carmine Bee-eaters and having experienced a bush picnic underneath ancient Ana Trees on the banks of one of the world’s most powerful rivers.
When you consider getting around usually involves flying, and take into account the logistics of supplying bush camps in the middle of nowhere with your morning bacon and eggs and evening drinks, you’ll see its worth every penny. Plus, you’ll be making a difference towards local hospitals, schools and anti-poaching initiatives supported by the safari industry. And perhaps most importantly it buys you the luxury of raw, organic privacy; of being in a national park the size of Luxembourg but with few other visitors.
A holiday in Zambia affords you the luxury of raw, organic privacy; of being in a national park the size of Luxembourg but with few other visitors.
This is the real deal. Wildlife viewing in both South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi National Parks is simply unsurpassed. The former, in particular, is a haven for walking safaris: imagine tracking elephant and rhino with an experienced guide to try to take the perfect photo, or observing a pride of lions dozing in the shade of a tree on a hot day.
Our favourite places to stay include Luangwa Safari House, a stylish 4 bedroom private bush home, the perfect base from which to explore South Luangwa. The guides are some of the best in Africa and its super child friendly, with activities when you want rather than at set times.
Then there’s Chongwe River House in the gorgeous Lower Zambezi which has a completely different eco-system and activities are more focused on the river. Children will love its funky Fred Flintstone design and array of fun things. In addition to game drives, there’s night drives, walking safaris, boating safaris, canoeing safaris and fishing.
Lastly, being centrally located, Zambia is impeccably placed for post-safari adventures. Mosi-oa-Tunya, the smoke that thunders: Victoria Falls is a bucket list sight, whether you take a stroll on the path that runs past them, enjoy a helicopter ride over them or white water raft down the Zambezi from them. It is also worth considering a post-safari destress on Malawi’s beautiful Lake Malawi, or heading to cosmopolitan Cape Town, South Africa – both of which can be accessed by a direct flight.