Zambia

Zambia is often overshadowed by its diminutive yet more renowned neighbours. But its unique diversity, tranquil waterways & the iconic Victoria Falls are more than enough reason to explore this sometimes under-appreciated nation.

                                                         

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activities & experiences

The largest waterfall in the world, it is little wonder that Victoria Falls is Zambia’s crowning glory. Yet despite its impressiveness, it is just one of the many attractions in this delightfully undervisited nation. At just under half the size of the biggest game reserve, Kafue National Park is still Africa’s fifth largest park. With the mighty Zambezi meandering along its southern borders and  as the final resting place of the great Dr. Livingstone, Zambia has numerous remarkable attractions to behold.

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Though not the location of Henry Morton Stanley’s legendary proclamation, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” Zambia is the final resting place of the notable doctor, with the southern town of Livingstone both housing a museum dedicated to the explorer and named in his honor.

Zambia’s national parks offer a wealth of natural resplendence, and the country is proclaimed to be one of the best to guarantee a full complement of rare, unique and familiar African wildlife.

  • Witness the now protected white rhino in its natural habitat at Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park
  • Travel back in time and discover the life of missionary, explorer and anti-slavery abolitionist, Dr. David Livingstone.
  • Take a dip in the notorious Devil’s Pool, atop the 350-foot (108m) precipice of Victoria Falls
  • Meet one of the world’s most bizarre birds, the shoebill. 
  • Be awestruck by the world’s largest animal migration, with at least 10 million bats taking to the wing each October in search of freshly ripened fruits 
  • Enjoy a far smaller, yet more ceremonial migration as the Lozi people celebrate their annual departure from flood plains to higher ground
  • Get away from the maelstrom of Victoria Falls and enjoy game watching from the tranquil waters of the Lower Zambezi
  • Experience the wilderness on foot, with a walking safari in South Luangwa National Park
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destinations

From the waterways of the Lower Zambezi to the grass plains of Kafue, Zambia has a diversity of landscapes to explore, each with a distinctly different range of wildlife to enjoy. Zambia is a country of seasons, with the dry and the wet offering remarkably varied experiences. 

Benefiting from the Zambezi’s perennial hydration, even the height of summer presents numerous opportunities to see game enjoying a dip and a drink, and this also allows Zambia to enjoy one of the most bounteous concentrations of wildlife in Africa.

Kafue National Park


One of Africa’s largest national parks, much of Kafue remains not only untouched, it is also unexplored. Zambia, and Kafue in particular, suffered immense levels of poaching in previous decades, but thanks to conscious travel and the unquenchable efforts of both government and people, Kafue is bouncing back. The once heavily poached elephant are rising in number and a huge diversity it returning to and thriving within the wonderfully underexposed park.

Victoria Falls


It would be remiss to discuss Zambia without mentioning its most recognized attraction. Though neither the highest nor the widest, Victoria Falls is considered the largest waterfall in the world in terms of the scale of water that cascades over its brink. While the falls do flow year round, it is vital to visit in the wet season to truly gain the sheer magnitude of one of the planet’s seven natural wonders. Take a dip into the falls, launch into the gorge on a swing or bungee or simply stand in awe of its majesty.

Kasanka National Park


The 10 million seasonal visitors may be what draws many to Kasanka, it being the destination of the fruit bat migration, but despite its diminutive size, this little park has much more to offer. Lush forest borders grasslands and waterways home to hippo and crocodile. An array of antelope live within Kasanka – a private-public cooperative sanctuary – and you can experience its wonderfully untouched landscapes by bicycle, on foot, by four-wheel drive or even paddling a canoe gently along the Luwombwa River.

Liuwa Plain


One of Africa’s oldest protected regions, Liuwa was declared a conservation in 1880. It stands as one of Zambia’s great success stories, with the vastly diminished numbers of many creatures rapidly replenishing to healthy communities. Lion have recently been reintroduced, but hyena and cheetah are regularly observed taking advantage of the second largest wildebeest migration that peregrinates through the park towards the end of each year. The wildebeest are accompanied by huge numbers of zebra and water-loving lechwe deer.

South Luangwa


If taking to the grasslands on foot is of particular appeal, South Luangwa is an ideal destination to do so. Accompanied by an armed ranger, you are able to wander the veldt in search of elephant, lion, giraffe and many more stunning animals. It is also one of the best opportunities to witness leopard. Normally incredibly elusive, it isn’t uncommon to see at least one leopard on every game drive.

accommodations

Accommodation throughout Zambia is often considered a little more rustic than in other countries, but there are numerous luxury camps and lodges to be found within its 20 national parks. As you journey across the country, you are able to enjoy life under canvas on the plains, lakeside exclusivity and luxury lodgings on the banks of the Zambezi.

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Discover your very own exclusive escape surrounded by the gently flowing Upper Zambezi. Attracting a vast diversity of wildlife, this idyllic location offers pure escapism while providing adequate opportunity to experience a truly fulfilling safari. Wonderfully intimate, this location provides a front row seat night and day to the only neighbors you will have – the wildlife of Africa. From the banks to a private island, the Upper Zambezi has several exceptional accommodations, and just a few kilometres upstream from Victoria Falls.

From riverside lodges, venture to the grasslands of South Luangwa. Tented camps present a more immersive experience, perfectly complementing the opportunity for walking safaris throughout the national park. Though less established and opulent as some of Africa’s tented camps, South Luangwa still offers significant comfort, impeccable hospitality and views that will take your breath away from the moment you wake until the second your eyes close upon another African day.

If you’d like a little more ‘luxury’ and a little less ‘camp’, South Luangwa also offers riverside accommodation in luxurious modernity. Excellent for families or the more senior traveller, the balance of comfort and true safari is exquisitely captured, nestled into the forests with views across the waterways.

Chongwe River House is only a short distance from Mana Pools National Park, set in a wonderfully secluded wilderness. Superb for families or those wishing to spend a little more time in one place, Victoria Falls is an easy day trip, and you can witness game directly from the comfortable venue that feels a little less like a hotel or camp and a little more like home.

Singita Pamushana Lodge

ZAMBIA ESSENTIALS

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BEST TIME: Jun – Oct are drier in climate, though Victoria Falls is also in full flood

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CLIMATE: LOW: 48-73ºF (9-23ºC) Jun – Jul / HIGH: 64-88ºF (18-31ºC)Oct – Nov

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SEASONS: DRY: May – Oct / WET: Nov & April

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BEST FOR: Those wishing for a quieter safari experience, families, adventurers

Zambia’s tourist trade is still growing and invariably overlooked in favor of some of the more popular and renowned destinations. Its lesser renown is far from justified and, with the right guidance and carefully designed bespoke itinerary, a Zambian vacation will offer everything of its peers, and possibly a little bit more.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW LONG SHOULD I SPEND IN ZAMBIA?

Zambia’s diversity often gets a little overshadowed by its most iconic drawcard – Victoria Falls. If this is your sole or primary reason for visiting Zambia, then one to three days should suffice. However, we strongly encourage you to explore all the wonderful offerings of Zambia and, in doing so, spend at least a week discovering its many delights.

From quiet, relaxing camps to abundant game drives, tranquil waterways and the excitement of the Falls and its numerous activities, Zambia will keep everyone entertained for many days.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?

The wet season is, unsurprisingly, wet. But such is the level of rainfall that some venues close for the season – between December and March. This time of year should almost certainly be avoided, unless you are an avid birdwatcher, as this period also sees an abundance of flying fauna.

Of the drier months, from May to October are preferable in weather though the latter months can be a little stifling. From April to July, temperatures are far more comfortable, with the advantage of the prior months’ rains continuing to feed Victoria Falls to spectacular magnitudes.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM ACCOMMODATION IN ZAMBIA?

Zambia’s semi-permanent camps, those in the more aquatic regions, have developed a respectable reputation in recent years for their comfort and acute attention to luxurious detail. The camps have a more intimate feel to those in other countries and you will feel attended to on a more personal level. While we have aligned with a range of luxury camps and lodges across Zambia, there are also more rustic camps that are no less worth attending for their uniqueness and location.

Zambia has a large disparity of accommodation options, with several private luxury family lodges on the banks of the Zambezi, reclusive tented camps and much more on offer. More recent developments have given rise to some exceptional accommodations comparable to any in Africa.

OTHER DETAILS:

Visas are required for most visitors and can be paid for upon arrival, and inoculations may be recommended, in addition to a course of anti-malaria medication. We suggest you contact your travel designer or a travel medicine specialist for advice.

International flights will arrive at Zambia’s capital of Lusaka or at Livingstone Airport. The nation is developing its tourism industry rapidly but it still requires organization and knowledge to navigate your way between national parks and destinations. Of course, this will be arranged well in advance by your Travel Designer.

English is predominantly spoken throughout Zambia and you should have no communication difficulties throughout your journey.

While service and hospitality is exceptional and wonderfully personal, gourmet cuisine is not Zambia’s greatest strength. That isn’t to suggest that your food won’t be absolutely divine. Though a la carte may be a little thin on the ground, your talented chefs will create wonderful dishes, even when cooked over an open fire at some of Zambia’s tented camps.

Unconventional, however, is much of Zambia’s appeal. If you are desiring the quintessential safari experience, you may find Kenya or Tanzania more to your liking. What Zambia lacks in the epitome of Africa it more than makes up for in a wonderfully intimate, personal and less populated safari with a deeper connection to the landscapes and environment.

ZAMBIA SAFARIS

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

Wow, wow, wow!! We are back in LA now, recovering from jet lag and still in shock and awe regarding our experience. From the moment we landed in South Africa to the moment we touched down in LA, our experience was seamless and amazing. 

- Amy Lundberg

We were thrilled with the trip. It was as good as or better than described at every turn. The prep, attention to detail, willingness to make changes and ensure we were ready and prepared was outstanding. Our Travel Designer was awesome! 

- Betsy Robertson

Choosing a safari expert is never easy given the choice and lists upon lists of "top suppliers"....but we made the BEST choice for us....why....because above all, Rothschild listened ....really listened to what we wanted to experience.

- Dawn Jacobs

It was a well organized trip. It was easy to get around since we were guided through all of our itinerary. Everyone was pleasant and very helpful. This is an excellent way to travel. Rothschild Safari did very well and brought a fantastic African experience to us.

- George Kowalski

My trip was beyond AMAZING! I truly enjoyed every moment. The itinerary allowed me to experience a variety of different activities all of which I enjoyed! When I originally thought of going to Africa I was just thinking of safaris. This trip opened my eyes (and my family/friend's) to so much more Africa has to offer.

- Jackie Smith

Trip was PERFECT!! Every single detail was planned out and the accommodations and people were wonderful. This trip exceeded all of our wildest expectations. Every place we stayed was just lovely and each each camp had a different vibe, which was really neat. Everyone we worked with was outstanding. 

Jamie Scarlett

On behalf of the Moravec’s and the Stone’s……thank you for arranging a trip of a lifetime. Every detail was accounted for and all the recommendations were perfect. It honestly could not have gone any better.

Joe Moravec

Meggan Woody and Kim Killick were extraordinary at crafting THE PERFECT safari for our family of 8. They both listened (actually 'read' my email) to EXACTLY what we wanted, within the budget that we needed, and miraculously pulled off miracles in obtaining the properties that we wanted! 

Kim Mather

Every aspect of my trip went according to plan and the plan Rothschild's help me to orchestrate was magnificent! I loved every lodge that I was blessed to be in! They were all very different yet all high end and very accommodating.

Lisa Anderson

It was the most exciting, scenic, inspiring trip we've ever taken. To say it was a trip of a lifetime doesn't begin to capture our experience. Pam Langhoff and the Rothschild team did an outstanding job of helping us plan this trip.

Mary & Rob Johannigman (& family)