14 days, 13 nights
Price Range: $9,478 – $18,431
(all-inclusive price per person, depending on dates & camps selected)
A safari in Zambia is a foray into matchless wilderness. Nearly half the country is preserved in parks and game reserves where untamed rivers, thundering waterfalls and vast herds of wildlife define a landscape that remains little developed or explored. This epic safari adventure encompasses the fullness of Zambia’s treasures, including three national parks. There’s plenty of time to discover them in depth on day and night game drives and the walking safaris that are legendary here.
Our Expert Says
The legendary walking safaris in South Luangwa are just one of the many features that set this incredible itinerary apart. The Luangwa Valley offers some of Africa's greatest and most abundant wildlife viewing, the quintessential African safari setting. Kafue Natural Park, which contains wildlife not seen anywhere else in southern Africa, as well as spectacular Lower Zambezi National Park, add to the unique appeal of this safari.
– Court Whelan
Day 1: Lusaka
Sprawling, frenetic Lusaka is Zambia’s thriving capital and largest city. Once a village along a strategic railway line, Lusaka replaced Livingstone in 1935 as the capital of the British colony of Northern Rhodesia. Today the fast-growing city is a magnet for jobseekers from the rural hinterlands, and the start or finish point for many Zambia safaris. Lusaka is famous for its vibrant markets, including several that specialize in Zambia’s outstanding handcrafts.
Days 2-3: Kafue Nat'l Park
Established in the 1950s, Kafue is the third largest park in Africa. Yet it remains largely unexplored, with 67% designated as wilderness where only walking safaris are permitted. The Busanga Plains are the park’s prized jewel. Seasonal floods generate vast grazing areas for huge herds of buffalo and rare antelope. Kafue is also one of the best places in Africa to see leopard. Lion and cheetah are common, and wild dog are increasingly seen.
Days 4-6: South Luangwa N.P.
The South Luangwa National Park is a legend among safari connoisseurs. The walking safari originated in the Luangwa Valley, whose oxbow lagoons are a magnet for elephant, zebra, 14 species of antelope and huge herds of buffalo that reach 1,000 at the height of the dry season. The river harbors 50 hippos per kilometer. Thornicroft’s giraffe and Cookson’s wildebeest are unique to the park, while wild dog and large prides of lion are notable predators.
Days 7-8: South Luangwa N.P.
South Luangwa, one of Africa’s premier safari destinations, holds such prolific wildlife that it warrants a second stop for in-depth exploration. Nearly 100 mammal species and 400 different kinds of birds thrive within the park’s remote reaches. Storks, egrets, pelicans, herons and cranes mass in noisy flocks as floodwaters recede. Baboons and vervet monkeys provide ready entertainment, while nocturnal primates like night ape and bushbaby are often seen on night drives. Leopard, too, are frequently sighted after dark, often hunting.
Days 9-11: Lower Zambezi N.P.
Zambia’s newest national park, Lower Zambezi, is supreme wilderness, its quiet broken only by the cry of the fish eagle. The park’s lifeblood is the river coursing 90 miles along its eastern edge, drawing spectacular numbers of animals. Lying opposite is Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe, protecting an uninterrupted stretch of habitat for enormous herds of elephant and buffalo. Kudu and waterbuck hop between islands, while prolific lion and leopard lie in wait.
Days 12-13: Victoria Falls (Zambia side)
You'll see the spray first, visible for miles, called Mosi-oa-Tunya – the “smoke that thunders” – by the local people. The roar of the cataract follows, as the Zambezi River plunges 350 feet over a basalt cliff into the gorge below. View Victoria Falls on rainforest trails, from the famous bridge, or via an exhilarating helicopter or ultralight flight – activities abound in Livingstone, including whitewater rafting, canoeing and sunset cruises.
Day 14: Livingstone/Home
Your safari adventure ends today in Livingstone, Zambia.