Zambia is perhaps Africa's best kept secret! Indeed some would say, relatively untouched by tourism, with its rustic charm and relatively rural and remote safari activities, it is one of the few places left where you can experience living in the REAL Africa! But there are many other reasons to visit this wonderful country: unspoilt National Parks like South Luangwa Park are home to some of the world's highest leopard, elephant and lion populations, the endangered wild dogs and the infamous honey badger; birdlife is prolific; you'll find Victoria Falls a natural wonder of the world on your doorstep; walking safaris originated in Zambia; the guides in the country are world renowned, most born locally with intimate knowledge of their surroundings; and of course the people welcome you with open arms! Why not look at our recommendations on places to stay below...BUT don't forget that we can arrange accommodation anywhere, just contact our dedicated Seyexclusive team.
Shumba camp can be found at the centre of the Busanga Plains, a wildlife paradise in the northern part of the Kafue National Park. Its close proximity to permanent water, together with its easy access to a mix of seasonal and permanent floodplains, makes the camp a perfect location from which to view large numbers of plains predators and the game they feed upon. Shumba is named after the lion, a favourite species in the area, which is home to prides of up to 20 strong! But Shumba's large shady fig trees ensure that camp is also a birders paradise, with constant bird activity in the canopy above. The camps 6 luxury en-suite Meru-style safari tents sit on raised platforms with spectacular views of the plains and indoor and outdoor showers. While the dining/bar area is similarly elevated to take advantage of the beautiful morning sunrise, dinner often takes place in the cosy boma where guests can enjoy elements of the Zambian culture and even have meals prepared on the fire in front of them!
Located in the northern part of Kafue National Park, on the edge of a 'tree island' with views of the Busanga Plains, Kapinga camp offers a unique, isolated wilderness experience! The camp is placed perfectly to view the wealth of game (e.g. Wildebeest, zebra, buffalo and roan and puku antelopes) that make the Plains their home and of course the predators that they attract, including the infamous wild dog, cheetah and prides of lion. The camp also has great bird watching on the doorstep with the special Böhm's Bee-eater often seen in the parking area of the camp! Kapinga camp is designed to blend into the environment, constructed primarily out of natural materials. Its small size, only 4 spacious, luxurious en-suite safari tents, accommodating a maximum of 8, means one can be guaranteed both exceptional and personal attention!
Busanga Bush Camp is a small tented camp that looks out across the stunning Busanga Plains, a vast expanse of seasonal grassy flood plain in the Kafue National Park. The pristine wilderness surrounding the camp delivers exciting wildlife encounters, with some of the best lion viewing in Africa; and incredible birding, with the park boasting 491 different species. Busanga's 4 well appointed en-suite tents, accommodating 8, are nestled in an island of fig trees. And, while the lounge and bar area lie under canvas overlooking the plains and its spectacular pink sunrises and sunsets, the dining area can be found under the shady canopy of a majestic tree, romantically lit by an enormous chandelier!
Kalamu Lagoon Camp lies in the southern part of South Luangwa National Park, a park renowned as the best walking destination in Africa! Located on a beautiful permanent lagoon just off the Luangwa River, in the remote Luamfwa Concession, this camp is a nature-lover's paradise offering both exciting game viewing and unique bird watching. 4 of the 'Big 5', crocodiles and hippos are seen regularly in the area, as is the Thornicroft's giraffe, a species endemic to the valley. The dining and bar area sit under a canopy of giant ebony trees, and along with pool and viewing deck overlook the magical lagoon. Accommodation consists of 8 safari style reed and canvas tents, including 2 family tents, with en-suite indoor and outdoor showers.
Nsefu Camp lies on the sweeping bend of the Luangwa River, in the heart of the South Luangwa National Park. The first photographic camp in Zambia it dates back to the 1950s but was re-opened by Robin Pope Safaris, in keeping with the original style in 1999. It is only one of 2 camps that operate in the Nsefu sector of the park and so offers the charm of total comfort in remoteness and seclusion. The panoramic views from the terraced area, of the river and game grazing, are breathtaking! Intriguingly the bar and sitting room are tucked behind a huge extinct termite mound, overlooking a waterhole very productive for game, especially leopard at night! Mud wallowers like the warthogs, buffalo and elephant are all frequent visitors too, coming down to drink and bath. The 5 twin and 1 double, original rondavels, are furnished with "understated elegance" and authentic fittings dating back to the 50s and have been extended to include spacious en-suites.
"Tena Tena is altogether beyond superlatives, and must be one of the best safari camps in the whole of Africa" The Times, London. This small and intimate tented camp, only one of two in the Nsefu sector, lies within the South Luangwa National Park, on a sweeping bend of the Luangwa River. One of the favourite camps of internationally reputed safari guide Robin Pope, the 4 en-suite tents and 1 double/honeymoon suite, lie under the shade of a grove of majestic mahogany trees, overlooking a game productive watering hole. The camps main area is under a canvas marquee, the sitting area with views 60km down the river toward the hills. Dinner is served on a raised platform, under the stars and has amazing views of both river and waterhole!
Nkwali Camp, open all year, can be found on Robin Pope's private land (Mfuwe area), on the banks of the Luangwa river, overlooking the South Luangwa National Park. The National Park is accessible within minutes by boat, pontoon or bridge; BUT with the river, beautiful areas of ebony woodland and open grassland nearby, the camp is situated perfectly for superb game viewing both in the park and behind the camp. Sightings of leopard, lion, and Thornicroft giraffe are not uncommon and the majestic elephants too, make regular appearances to cross the river, or even drink from the waterhole near the dining room. Nkwali consists of 5 cool and spacious twin/double chalets and one 2 bed cottage all with en-suites and looking out on the river. The bar area is built around a huge ebony tree with fantastic views across to the park, and with an open deck over the river perfect for moonlit dinners!
Robin's House was the private house of internationally reputed safari guide Robin Pope, now renovated for guests to use. The house lies shaded under a grove of large trees, on the edge of the well reputed Nkwali camp and the banks of the Luangwa River. It has easy access to the South Luangwa National Park, but also its own amazing views of the game coming down to drink in the river! Robin's house accommodates up to 5 adults but more with smaller children. Its 2 luxury en-suite bedrooms, sitting room and dining room, all have spectacular views through large windows! There is a private kitchen and chef, along with valet, giving great flexibility at mealtimes, perfect for families! The house also comes with its own private guide and safari vehicle for game viewing activities allowing you to set your own agenda. There is shared use of the Nkwali camp pool for those moments when you want to cool off, but it is the privacy of Robin's House, that makes it ideal for families and honeymooners alike!
Luangwa Safari House is ideal for those that love the idea of a remote African safari, but preferably without having to socialise with a lot of strangers! It is considered one of the most stylish and luxurious houses in Africa - perfect for families or groups of friends travelling together! Designed by Neil Rocher, Luangwa house sits on a private estate on the edge of the South Luangwa National Park. It accomodates 8 people in 4 luxurious, uniquely styled en-suite bedrooms and has a stunning open-plan living area overlooking the private swimming pool and dining terrace. The terrace, suspended between giant ebony trees, overlooks a seasonal lagoon where families of elephants come to bathe! With its own team of dedicated chefs, waiters and safari guides, Luangwa Safari House offers "five-star pampering and a guarantee of total privacy!"
Toka Leya Camp lies, 12km up from the Victoria Falls, the 7th natural wonder of the world, on the banks of the Zambezi River, in the western sector of the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park. The camp consists of 12 spacious safari-style tents each with en-suite with a glorious view of the great Zambezi. These are connected by raised walkways to the dining and bar area, found under a canopy of trees, overlooking the river and a stunning pool. As with the River Club, here one can get the best of both worlds and either: relax by the pool and make use of the health & beauty spa; or get active with a game drive, flight over the falls, days canoeing, jet boating or even an elephant-back safari!
The River Club is a fairy tale of wonderful hospitality and comfort! It lies in the dappled shade of majestic trees, overlooking the Zambezi River, only 18km downstream from the world-famous Victoria Falls! A beautiful Edwardian house forms the main area of the River Club, with a luxurious lounge, impressive library, large dining room and wide veranda on which to take tea and breakfast. Manicured lawns and a Pimms-soaked croquet game transports guests back to a bygone age. The River Club is perfect choice for those who can't decide whether to relax or get active! Why not do both? Unwind by the tranquil pool, in a hammock on the secluded deck, or with a massage and Jacuzzi in the wellness centre; or feel the rush with a bungee jump, white water rafting, abseiling, visit to the Falls or game drive in the nearby Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park! Accommodating 20, the camp consists of 10 luxury thatched en-suite chalets: including 7 twin-bedded, 2 honeymoon with their own secluded garden and a family unit with double and 2 single beds. Many chalets are split level and all are open fronted with uninterrupted views of the river!
Zambia is generally thought to have a distinctive season for visiting the game rich national parks Apr-Nov (with a few exceptions). This season starts after the rainy season and stretches up to when the first rains arrive. Many Robin Pope Safari camps and houses are open during the rainy or emerald season, offering exceptional birding safaris and spectacular scenery. Birding is exceptional when the migrants are most prolific during their breeding season in the southern hemisphere (Sept-mid Apr). Dec is a good time for young animals, flowers and green grass! The Victoria Falls and Zambezi are spectacular Apr-May just after the rainy season, although the thick spray may obscure your view (a helicopter or micro-light is an amazing way of viewing the falls) BUT Oct-Dec when the water levels are low will also allow you to see the magnificent rock formation of the falls. River rafting is most exciting during low water (Aug-Dec) and is limited at high water. Around mid Feb-mid Apr the endangered wild dog packs come out from the hills and there are regular sightings. Mid March when the rains ease off is the best time to see a beautiful array of moths.
Rainy Season (Emerald Season) Nov-Mar: Huge thunder storms of staggering beauty occur regularly. The wildlife is scattered in most places and the vegetation is lush and green. Great for boating safaris and sundowners on the river. Mfuwe area game viewing is still good as animals non migratory and seek high ground where roads are built.
Dry Season Apr-Oct: Wildlife and game viewing is best toward the end of the dry season Sept-Oct as the wildlife is found mostly around waterholes and along river banks but it is still excellent from Jun-Aug. Oct is the hottest month of the year!
WINTER Jun-July: Nights get colder and you need a fleece for night drives. Nsefu area - Yellow billed breeding colony thought to be largest in Southern Africa.
Areas within Zambia:
South Luangwa - open all year in central area, mid May-Oct in outer areas, some bush camps open in Emerald Season.
Lower Zambezi - open Apr-mid Nov
Kafue - main season Jun-Oct but few central camps open all year