Zambia (pron.: /ˈzæmbiə/), officially being the Republic of Zambia, is approximately the size of Texas or France. Zambia, a landlocked country, is bordered by Tanzania to the northeast, Malawi to the east, Mozambique to the southeast, Zimbabwe and Botswana to the south, a narrow strip of Namibia known as the Caprivi Strip to the southwest, Angola to the west, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the northwest.
Zambia, as it is now, was known as Northern Rhodesia from 1911. It was renamed on its independence, in 1964. The name ‘Zambia’ was derived from the river which flows through the western region of the country and forms its southern border, the Zambezi, (which may mean God’s river).
Two main river basins form Zambia’s drainage: the Zambezi/Kafue basin covering about three-quarters of the country, in the centre, west and south; and the Congo basin in the north covering the remaining quarter of the country. A very small area of Zambia’s northeast forms part of the internal drainage basin of Lake Rukwa, Tanzania.
The 1.6 km (0.99 mi) wide Victoria Falls, located in the south-west corner of the country, is where the Zambezi falls about 100 metres (328 ft), subsequently flowing into Lake Kariba. Running along the southern border, is the Zambezi Valley, which is both deep and wide. From Lake Kariba eastwards, it is formed by grabens and is a rift valley like the Luangwa, Mweru-Luapula, Mweru-wa-Ntipa and Lake Tanganyika valleys.
On a map, Zambia appears to be squarely in the tropics, but because of its landlocked and elevated position it does have distinct seasons that are as follows:
Dry season – May to August. The coolest time of the year, with temperatures 24-28°C during the day, but can drop as low as 7°C at night. This is the best time of year to visit Zambia: come early in the dry season for bird watching or to see Vic Falls at their peak, or later when the bush has dried up for great game-spotting on safari.
Hot season – September to November. Temperatures can be a scorching 38-42°C and clouds of swirling dust can make driving on dirt roads an asthmatic’s nightmare. If you can tolerate the heat, though, it’s a good time for safaris as wildlife clusters around the few remaining watering holes.
Wet season – December to April. Temperatures cool down to 32°C or so and, true to the name, there is a lot of rain – sometimes just an hour or two, sometimes for days on end. Unsealed roads can become impassable, and many safari lodges close.
The temperatures do fluctuate based on the altitude, if you are in a valley (such as the Zambezi) it will be hotter and if you are higher up (Kasama) it will be cooler.
Blue Lagoon National Park – a small haven for wildlife in the northern part of the Kafue Flats in Zambia’s Central Province. It covers approximately 500 km² and is very accessible to visitors, being about 100 km west of Lusaka. Kafue River’s main channel is about 10 km south of the southern park boundary. Herds of Kafue Lechwe are seen in the flooded areas, Sitatunga in the swamps and zebra, Reedbuck and buffalo graze the drier parts. A large number of bird species can be seen there, especially aquatic birds. The park’s land was once a farm, the old farmhouse is now the Park reception. There are four chalets available for accommodation, and a campsite at the edge of the floodplain
Kafue National Park – Kafue National Park is Zambia’s largest national park, covering an area of about 22,400 km². It is Africa’s second largest national park and home to over 55 different species of animals. Its main access is via the Great West Road from Lusaka to Mongu which crosses the park north of its centre. Seasonal dirt roads also link from Kalomo and Namwala in the south and south-east, and Kasempa in the north.
Lochinvar National Park lies south west of Lusaka in Zambia, on the south side of the Kafue River
It covers two of Zambia’s ecoregions: Zambezian and Mopane woodlands in the south, and Zambezian flooded grasslands over most of the park.
Lochinvar is very similar to Blue Lagoon National Park on the other side of the Kafue on the northern flats.
Being a former ranch, the park was designated in 1972. It is known for its Kafue lechwe and birdlife, with well over 400 species recorded. The antelope and birds thrive in the absence of larger predators, having been killed off by ranchers in the area. It is also offers hot springs, echoing rocks, remains of a Neolithic settlement and an Iron Age village on Sebanzi Hill, also known for its caves, ancient baobab and wildlife, as part of its attraction. Its old colonial-style farmhouse serves as the lodge for the park.
Lower Zambezi National Park – The Lower Zambezi National Park lies on the northern bank of the Zambezi River in south eastern Zambia. The area was the private game reserve of Zambia’s president, until 1983 when the area was declared a national park. This has meant the park has been protected from the ravages of mass tourism and remains one of the few pristine wilderness areas left in Africa. On the opposite bank is Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools national Park. Both parks sit on the Zambezi flood plain ringed by mountains, the area has been declared a world heritage site.
The park itself is ringed by a much larger game management area. Both animals and people are free to roam across the whole area, as there are no fences between the park and the GMA.
One of the main attractions of the Lower Zambezi Park is its remote location, unlike South African parks there are no tarred roads and you are very unlikely to encounter another tourist whilst on safari. Tourist numbers are kept down due to the park being largely inaccessible by road, unless you have advanced 4×4 driving skills and even then only at certain times of the year. Tourists arrive at the park on either by boat on the Zambezi or by light aircraft flying in from either Livingstone or Lusaka.
Most of the large mammals found in the national park congregate on the floodplain, including buffalo, elephants, lions, leopards and many antelope, crocodiles and hippopotamuses. There are also a large number of bird species.
North Luangwa National Park – North Luangwa National Park is the northernmost three in the Luangwa River Valley. A wide variety of wildlife is found, including Cookson’s wildebeest, Crawshay’s zebra and many antelopes and birds. Access to this park is only available with one of the few safari operators that have been granted permission to conduct walking safaris there. It also has no permanent lodges, and is not yet open to the public.
Nsumbu National Park – is on the western shore of Lake Tanganyika near its southern end, in Zambia’s Northern Province. It covers about 2000 km² and has about 80 km of lake shore including four bays (Kasaba, Kala, Nkamba and Sumbu), and Nundo Head Peninsula. There has been some refurbishment of the park in recent years and game numbers are said to be rising again. One of its bays, Sumbu, offers game viewing as well as sports fishing on the lake, and a beautiful landscape. Swimming is discouraged as crocodile and hippo are common.
South Luangwa National Park – South Luangwa National Park, the southernmost of three national parks Luangwa River Valley, is a world-renowned wildlife haven. It supports great populations of Thornicroft’s Giraffe, and herds of elephant and buffalo sometimes several hundred strong, while the Luangwa River supports an abundance of crocodiles and hippo. It is well known in Africa for walking safaris. It only became a national park in 1972, being founded as a game reserve in 1938 and now covers 9,050 km².The Muchinga Escarpment in Northern and Central Provinces forms the park’s western or north-western boundary. It’s also one of the few national parks that allow night safaris, so making it one of Africa’s great safari destinations
Victoria Falls – The Victoria Falls is known as the ‘greatest known curtain of falling water’. It was described by the Kololo tribe who inhabited the area in the 1800’s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. Victoria Falls is found on the Zambezi River, bordering both Zambia and Zimbabwe. Some 546 million cubic metres of water per minute cascade over the edge at the river’s peak capacity, over a width of almost two kilometres, into a deep gorge more than 100 metres below, this forms columns of spray which can be seen from miles away. Visitors are treated to finest view of the Eastern Cataract, the Main Falls, and the Boiling Pot from across the Knife Edge bridge, where the river’s course heads down the Batoka Gorge. The Falls bridge and the Lookout Tree also command spectacular views of the Main Falls.
West Lunga National Park – is a remote wildlife haven in dense forest in the North-Western Province of Zambia which lies between the West Lunga River and Kabompo River approximately 10 km north of the gravel road from Solwezi to Kabompo, and covers some 1700 km². This park is categorised in the small Cryptosepalum dry forests ecoregion, which exists only in a few patches in the south west of the province. Cryptosepalum trees (local name ‘mukwe’) are evergreen, grow very densely and have a closed canopy. This ecoregion forms the largest evergreen forest in Africa outside of the equatorial zone. It can be accessed by a dirt track from the main road to the park gate and base at Jivundu in its south-west. The lack of water and thickness of the forest has kept human population low in the region and so the forest is believed to be still fairly rich in wildlife. Smaller forest mammals such as duiker and bushpigs live there and some more recent reports also mention puku, hippopotami, Nile crocodiles, vervet monkeys, and yellow baboons.
Chundukwa River Lodge
Chundukwa River Lodge is Situated on the grassy banks of the Zambezi River just 25km upstream from the mighty Victoria Falls, Chundukwa offers the best of both worlds when visiting the Victoria Falls-only 30minutes drive away, however far enough from the busy hotels and buzzing Helicopters to provide a real retreat for the mind and soul.
Here you will find a fabulous array of birdlife (over 450 species at the last count) and stunning views of the Zambezi River from our elevated open-fronted Chalets and Family cottage. An afternoon River Cruise is the perfect way to enjoy our spectacular Sunsets and a closer look at the River inhabitants. With Hippo grunting and campfire glowing, each day comes to an end with a uniquely African lullaby.
The lodge is built in local fashion and blends perfectly with its surroundings, providing guests with supreme comfort and privacy. All our chalets have uninterrupted river views, mosquito nets, fans and private bathrooms.
There are 5 open-fronted stilted chalets (including 2 Honeymoon Chalets) and 1 family cottage which sleeps 6. The Family cottage has 2 en-suite bedrooms and a third kids bedroom with bunk beds, a lounge, dining area, plunge pool, deck and private chef and waiter. It is your home away from home.
With a maximum of 16 guests in camp, you are sure to find personalized service and helpful advice on planning your stay in this beautiful corner of Zambia.
Islands of Siankaba
Islands of Siankaba luxury lodge is located on two private islands in the middle of the mighty Zambezi River situated between the ‘Seventh Wonder of the Natural World’, the magnificent Victoria Falls, and the world famous Chobe National Park.
The lodge has been developed as a luxurious five star retreat with outstanding cuisine and uncompromising levels of personal service to exclusively sleep just fourteen guests. Each of Siankaba’ s seven secluded chalets have been uniquely designed to maximize comfort and privacy whilst boasting spectacular views of the Zambezi River.
The unique feature of the lodge is the series of walkways and bridges that link the two islands together. The quirky design incorporates the use of natural materials that blend in with the feel of the surrounding bush while taking full advantage of the beauty of the riverine setting.
The Islands of Siankaba is the perfect retreat for discerning travellers who wish to witness the wonderful Victoria Falls yet also escape the crowds and enjoy being in an area of exceptional natural beauty with quiet, unspoiled surroundings.
Our team of attentive professionals at the lodge looks forward to welcoming you to their ‘home’ and ensuring that your stay is truly an experience of a life time…
Royal Chundu Lodge
Royal Chundu Lodge is a sanctum of quiet solitude and untouched beauty and the first Relais & Châteaux property in Zambia. Our two luxurious lodges are situated on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, just upstream from the magnificent Victoria Falls on a 15km stretch of private waterway which is protected by two sets of rapids.
Royal Chundu was created in complete harmony with its natural surroundings and embraces the tradition and geography of the area while incorporating stylish and sophisticated accommodation, world class service and sumptuous pan-African cuisine.
Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma
Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma is built on a dramatic bend of the Zambezi River in the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, twelve kilometres upstream from the world-famous Victoria Falls.
Named after Dr. David Livingstone’s faithful friends Sussi and Chuma, the lodge is located in one of the most beautiful parts of the Zambezi amidst Jackal berry trees and Phoenix palms, providing unrivalled views and exclusivity. Accommodation is in twelve Sussi tree-houses, connected by wooden walkways. There are also two private Chuma houses, each with two bedrooms.
Built on two levels, the main lodge consists of an elevated bar, superb wine cellar, lounge and open air dining area, curio shop and swimming pool. Full English and continental breakfast is served and high tea is available on request. The elegant shaded deck offers fantastic bird’s eye views across the river. And last but not least, when all the excitement of the day has caught up, a revitalising spa treatment is the order of the day.
Sussi consists of twelve luxury tree houses are built into the canopy of majestic ebony trees lining the river bank. The air-conditioned rooms, all with their own private viewing deck. Boast superb views over the white waters of the Zambezi. And if the fancy takes you, enjoy a private dinner on your deck, while the sounds of the bush provide enchanting background music.
Chuma Houses, the two private Chuma Houses are perfect for families with young children. Each house has two en suite bedrooms, a spacious lounge and dining area and private plunge pool. Each of the houses also come with their own private chef and house staff.
Stanley Safari Lodge
Stanley Safari Lodge is set on a hill bordering the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and overlooking unspoilt bush, Stanley Safari Lodge is only 3km from the Victoria Falls. The views are splendid: the spray of the Falls in the distance, the mighty Zambezi river and on top of that yet another beautiful African sunset. From either our main garden, our infinity pool or from the privacy of your room, views are unmatched.
The open-sided Main House has been designed with space and views in mind and has a truly African feel. Enjoy sun downers in the African style lounge, a 3 course dinner in the dining room or spend some quiet time in the library or upper deck discovering the secrets of Africa.
The atmosphere at Stanley Safari Lodge is tranquil and intimate, and with only 10 private cottages or suites we are able to give you an unmatched level of entirely personalised service.
Each and every cottage is individually designed. But what makes Stanley Safari Lodge really special is the open design of many of our rooms: the optimal way to experience the real Africa. Just like Stanley must have done centuries ago…And if you really want to indulge yourself, ask for one of our suites with private plunge pool.
Taita Falcon Lodge
Taita Falcon Lodge is located just 11km from the world-famous Victoria Falls and perched on the edge of the Batoka Gorge, high above the mighty Zambezi River; the exclusive Taita Falcon Lodge provides a unique location and offers its guests the height of luxury, amidst beautiful surroundings.
Taita Falcon Lodge is situated in a natural bush environment, affording both privacy and comfort. The gardens around the lodge are a colourful blend of indigenous plants with an abundance of birdlife including Vereaux (Black) Eagles, Peregrine Falcons and the lodge’s namesake – the rare and beautiful Taita Falcon.
A unique departure from typical hotel fare, the lodge’s focus is on quality and providing guests with a unique and unforgettable African experience. Seven delightful en-suite chalets, constructed using naturally occurring materials from the surrounding area, give a taste of authenticity without compromising on comfort.
Great care and attention has gone into the chalet design and furnishings. To complement the spacious bedroom and living area, each room has a large en-suite bathroom providing guests with all the amenities for an enjoyable stay. The soft furnishings are carefully coordinated with furniture which is made using indigenous materials by local craftsmen.
The reed walls of the chalet are at three-quarter height but can be raised to the full height if required. There are mosquito nets on all beds and coils are used in the evenings. During the cooler months, hot water bottles are used in the beds for cosy warmth. Each room also enjoys the benefit of its own secluded sun garden, complete with outdoor shower for a ‘close to nature’ moments.
Thorntree Lodge is set inside the Oa Tunya National Park, Zambia, 12.5km from Livingstone, a few kilometres upstream from the famous Victoria Falls, Thorntree River Lodge known as home of the elephant – offers a riveting bush experience with breath-taking views over the Zambezi River.
Zambia is regarded as the continent’s greatest destination with pristine wilderness areas ranging from the mighty Victoria Falls to the popular National Parks of the Luangwa and Zambezi valleys with great adventure activities and game viewing opportunities. Thorntree River Lodge is perfectly positioned in this area with nine secluded, comfortable and spacious suites, all with private en-suite bathrooms and thatched verandas overlooking the Zambezi.
Meals are served al fresco African style, quietly under the stars on a private and secluded section overlooking the river, or in the main lodge where guests interact socially around the communal dining room table with flickering candles in true African tradition and spirit, sharing their day’s experiences and travel stories, reminiscing on the lives of famous explorers.
Thorntree River Lodge
Thorntree River Lodge offers stimulating wildlife adventures: up-close and personal encounters with elephants; cruises on the Lady Livingstone, a three-decker vessel perfect for viewing hippos and crocodiles; walks with lions in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and Masuwe Estate; hikes in the rainforest on the lip of the falls chasm; helicopter ‘Flight of Angels’ trips with fabulous vistas of the falls, river and its many islands; picnics on Livingstone Island; game drives, canoeing, white water rafting, tandem kayaking, abseiling, and Bungi-jumping.
The River Club
This owner run lodge, located on a magnificent vantage point, provides stunning views over a sweeping bend on the river. Steeped in history ranging from the establishing of Livingstone as a settler trading post, as a destination for Royal travellers and Hollywood stars over the years, a venue for the most extraordinary sporting events in the past to a gateway for displaced people after World War II.
The large Dining Room can seat all guests at one sitting at the impressively long teak dining table although most meals tend to be served outside on the elegant terrace or the poolside. There is a comfortable Sitting Room with fireplace and a small Library with an interesting collection of books, journals and board games. There is Wi-Fi internet access throughout the main building and to most areas of the property.
7 x Riverside chalets with downstairs bathroom and second toilet on bedroom level.
2 x River suites, Rhodes and Livingstone, with plunge pools on an outside teak deck in private gardens.
1 x Family suite, Litunga, with teak deck and plunge pool. Second bedroom with twin beds and outdoor shower.
The chalets are named after people who in their day played a special part in the history of the country. All are individually set within magnificent trees on the edge of the river and have impressive views over the Zambezi. All are west facing and take advantage of the spectacular African sunsets.
Each room is open-plan and beautifully decorated with furniture and fittings made from Rhodesian teak wood and include Wi-Fi access, mini fridge with bottled water, digital safe, hairdryer, reading lamps, small library, writing desk and a sitting area. Large mosquito nets swathe the beds combined with an electric fan and air-conditioner/heating units to provide a comfortable flow of air above the beds. Each room has a bath, shower, shaver socket and “loo with a view” overlooking the river. Screen doors can be opened to give unimpeded views for those wishing to capture the scenery on camera
The Royal Livingstone is a luxurious 5* Hotel situated on the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls.
The hotel stretches along the banks of the Zambezi River, just a short walk to the entrance of The Victoria Falls.
The Royal Livingstone Hotel
The Royal Livingstone Hotel is named in honor of the explorer Dr David Livingstone, and its interior design reflects the elegance of days gone by using an African architectural style. The hotel consists of 17 colonial-st 173 spacious en-suite rooms: 113 with twin beds, and 54 with king-size beds. Each room has its private verandah.
Three suites offer a separate lounge and bedroom, while the Presidential Suite offers an additional, optional separate bedroom. There are two rooms with disabled buildings, with large verandas. The main hotel incorporates the lounge, a restaurant and a bar.
All guestrooms are elegantly decorated. Each room has large beds with white linen, satellite television, air-condition, mini bar, mini safe, telephone, tea and coffee-making facilities. Bathrooms are in Victorian style with shower and bath.
The Zambezi Waterfront
The Zambezi Waterfront is Fun and lively, The Zambezi Waterfront is the perfect place to stay when you are looking for centrally located, yet affordable Livingstone accommodation.
The Zambezi Waterfront has long been known as the heart of Livingstone, Victoria Falls Zambia. Only four kilometres from the areas main attraction, The Victoria Falls, the resort is ideally positioned to take advantage of the many activities that are on offer in the area.
The Waterfront resort offers great facilities including a restaurant and bar where many a Sundowner has been enjoyed from the deck overlooking the Zambezi River and Siloka Island. Sundowners on the Zambezi River are an essential start to a holiday in Victoria Falls. Each day the HMV Makumbi, the party boat of note, departs from the Waterfront jetty for a sunset cruise up the Zambezi that includes all drinks and snacks, returning as night falls.
Accommodation at The Zambezi Waterfront ranges from comfortable chalets with en suite facilities to budget Adventure Village tents with shared ablutions to camping.
The Zambezi Sun
The Zambezi Sun is located on the edge of the eastern cataract of the Victoria Falls, the Zambezi Sun reflects the richness and diversity of the country’s heritage; unpretentious, fun and welcoming, it captures the very soul of Africa. From the moment you step inside, expect to be greeted with a warm and friendly atmosphere.
Like a glittering gem, The Zambezi Sun features warm and earthy architecture, inspired by an African village. The simple finishes are highlighted in bright mosaics and fabrics, as well as intoxicating Zambian artworks and accessories. Designed with guest’s comfort and convenience in mind, the Zambezi Sun Hotel is set to turn your stay into a memorable experience.
Toka Leya is overlooking the mighty Zambezi River and some of its islands is Toka Leya Camp, consisting of 12 spacious en-suite safari-style tents. Wooden walkways snake between the units and main area, limiting our footprint on this pristine area.
The Tent interiors at Toka Leya Camp boast cool wooden flooring, tasteful, uncluttered African décor in earthy hues, climate-control for a cool summer sanctuary, expansive wooden deck from which to soak up the views of the Zambezi River, often to the sights and sounds of birds, elephant and grunting pods of hippo. The islands in front of camp are intriguing and form part of the braided channel of the Zambezi River with several rapids, a main channel and dense vegetation.
The camp’s dining, lounge and bar areas offer ample space for relaxation and are complemented by an infinity pool, with meals served on the sundeck, the pool deck and dining room all overlooking the Zambezi. The novel pizza oven is a great hit with our younger visitors! A curio shop exhibits a fine selection of local crafts.
Activities (on fully inclusive rate) at Toka Leya Camp include a tour of the Victoria Falls on the Zambian side, game drives within Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, river cruises, fishing excursions and guided nature walks. Tours of Livingstone town and museum and visits to Mkuni Market and a local village are all outstanding ways of learning about the people and culture of this part of Zambia.
Tongabezi Lodge is a romantic hideaway on the banks of the Zambezi River just upstream of Victoria Falls. The friendly team welcomes guests to a selection of houses and cottages, each beautifully styled with furniture and embellishments from all over Africa. Guests can dine beside the river or on their private terrace. Privately owned and run, Tongabezi combines an exclusive ambience with the legendary warmth and hospitality of the people of Zambia.
Tongabezi is the ultimate destination for romance – if you have a special occasion to celebrate, our entire team will be at your service to ensure the ultimate wedding, honeymoon, or anniversary – but the real beauty of the Tongabezi experience lies in its ability to set the scene and inspire a little magical romance in everyone… no occasion necessary!