Responsible Travel Guide: Zambia
Learn about Zambia’s endemic wildlife, diverse culture & fantastic conservation practices.Read More
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This Zambia family safari adventure will take you and your loved ones through three of the country’s best and most unique national parks for limitless wildlife watching, followed by time at the famous Victoria Falls, where you can swim in the Devil’s Pool or watch rainbows form in the spray from a thrilling helicopter ride.
You’ll start in South Luangwa National Park, participating in morning, evening and even night game drives (this national park is one of the few in Africa where night game drives are available). Next, you’ll head to Kafue, Zambia’s oldest and largest national park, which is known for its unspoiled wilderness.
Your third national park is Lower Zambezi, where you can take a wildlife-watching boat cruise, go canoeing, or even try your hand at catching a tigerfish. Then, you’ll end your family holiday at the wonderous Victoria Falls, where you can choose from a huge range of activities, including white water rafting, ziplining, and scenic river walks with views of the thundering falls.
You’ll stay at selected family-friendly lodges and camps, which provide a balance between home comforts, convenience, space and an authentic safari experience. Some lodges run activities for children, including first aid and survival skill sessions, whilst others provide nanny services for when you need a break.
Guaranteed to be the trip of a lifetime for kids and parents alike, this Zambia Family Safari Holiday is sure to give you endless memories to look back on together.
You’ll arrive in Zambia at Lusaka Airport and take a scheduled domestic flight to Mfuwe, where you’ll be met by a Wayfairer representative. From here, you’ll take a private road transfer to your first accommodation - Flatdogs Camp, located at South Luangwa National Park.
You’ll be staying in the exclusive Crocodile Nest, a large tented house with views out to the Luangwa River. The property includes two en-suite bedrooms, inside and outside living spaces, plus a private swimming pool. It’s also possible to add a third bed to each bedroom, should you require one.
Amenities at the house include a fridge, a kettle and a radio, so you can order your meals from the restaurant and have them delivered to your family at the house. Flatdogs pride themselves on their family-friendly atmosphere, offering a children’s menu at the restaurant and a nanny/watchman service for when you need a little bit of peace and quiet.
Today, your Zambia Family Safari Holiday truly begins as you start your exploration of South Luangwa National Park. The park is an expanse of 9,050 square kilometres and has been visited by enthusiastic wildlife watchers since its opening in 1972. Look out for giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard, hyena, African wild dogs (sometimes called painted dogs or painted wolves) and many other big game favourites.
Year-round access, open game viewing vehicles, walking safaris, and night game drives make South Luangwa a unique safari destination with a plethora of options for wildlife-watching activities. One of the top wildlife destinations on the planet, the park is home to 60 species of mammals, 450 species of birds, and 2,000 species of plants - and those estimates are a conservative minimum.
Game drives take place in the morning and the evening to escape the heat of the day. However, Zambia is known as the birthplace of the walking safari, and a great way to encourage the budding David Attenboroughs, Jane Goodalls, and Bear Grylls of your family is to take a walk in the bush with a local guide, who can show you how they track animals (note that age limits sometimes apply for walking safaris).
Though South Luangwa is sadly no longer a Big Five destination, having lost the last of its rhino population in the 1980s, there are still plenty of interesting species and sub-species to look out for. Endemic creatures include Crawshay’s zebra, Cookson’s wildebeest and Thornicroft’s giraffe, the latter of which is noted for its different markings.
South Luangwa National Park is one of the few national parks in Africa that offers night game drives, providing you and your family with the opportunity to safari in the dark! This is a chance to see much of Zambia’s nocturnal wildlife, including big cats and other predators hunting at night.
You may wish to mix up your wildlife watching with some cultural activities. Flatdogs Camp is very active in the local community and involved with several community and conservation projects. Guests are invited to visit some of these projects in order to learn about local culture and how your tourism supports these initiatives.
Today, you’ll journey on to your next Zambia safari destination; first taking a road transfer back to Mfuwe Airport, then taking a scheduled domestic flight to Lusaka, then another road transfer to your next accommodation - Ila Lodge at Kafue National Park.
Ila Lodge is a luxury safari camp perched above the Kafue River, comprised of 10 luxury safari tents, including two large family suites (this award-winning lodge has been named one of Tatler’s Top 101 Hotels for Families).
The family suites accommodate four people in two separate sleeping compartments, though an extra bed can be added upon request. All tents feature en-suite bathrooms and either outdoor baths or showers. Mosquito nets are turned down each evening to save you from those pesky bites.
Kafue National Park is the largest and oldest national park in Zambia, with 22,400 square kilometres of the African bush to explore and the artery of the Kafue River winding through it. Yet, even with such a reputation, Kafue remains very much under the radar on the safari circuit and isn’t as frequented nearly as much as South Luangwa or Lower Zambezi, making a visit here a real treat of unspoiled wilderness.
Wildlife to look out for includes big game favourites such as lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, zebra and hippo. Kafue is also one of the best places to see cheetahs in Zambia.
However, don’t miss the many species of antelope which call the park home, as well as a chance to see more elusive creatures such as honey badger, civet, serval, porcupine, bushbaby, bushpig and African wild dogs, which are critically endangered but found in some of their highest numbers in Zambia.
If you’re tired of the “African massage” provided by your safari vehicle, choose from a range of alternative safaris or activities at Kafue to enjoy the environment. Solar-powered boat cruises offer a smooth ride down the Kafue River either at dawn or at sunset, whilst fishing for big bream in the river’s waters can also be a rewarding way to spend a morning.
To learn more about Zambian culture and the area around Kafue, we recommend visiting local villages and markets for local encounters and authentic souvenir shopping. Ila Lodge also runs a project called Lunch with the Ladies Club, where you can meet with the Ladies Club in the Chunga Community to try local cuisine and learn about local customs and traditions.
Kafue is a diverse landscape of woodlands, wetlands, riverbanks and savannahs, creating a wealth of habitats for Zambia’s large collection of bird species. An incredible 478 out of Zambia’s 733 bird species can be found in Kafue, making this national park one of Africa’s best birding destinations.
Species to look and listen out for include Chaplin’s barbet, Pel’s fishing owl, ground hornbill, woolly-necked stork, fish eagle, saddle-billed stork, African finfoot, purple-crested lourie, Goliath heron, African wattled and crowned cranes.
Today, you’ll move on to Lower Zambezi National Park, leaving Kafue by road transfer and heading to Lusaka Airport. From there, you’ll take a scheduled domestic flight to Jeki and a second road transfer to your next accommodation.
You’ll be staying at Potato Bush Camp, a luxury safari camp consisting of three canvas and rosewood safari tents, plus a two-bedroom family house.
The spacious family-sized tent includes a central living area, dining and balcony area, a large plunge pool, a fridge and two bedrooms with en-suite bathroom facilities, including twin showers, twin basins and large four-claw bathtubs. The tent sleeps four, though extra beds can be added to the rooms. Beds are covered with large walkaround mosquito nets and fitted with a fan.
Lower Zambezi National Park is an expanse of 4,095 square kilometres, with beautiful scenery provided by the Zambezi River, Zambezi Valley and escarpment, as well as the dramatic southern limit of Africa’s Great Rift Valley. Across the river lies Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe, but the animals here cross the water freely, roaming both sides of the border.
Common sightings here include elephant, waterbuck, impala, kudu, lion, leopard, hyena, buffalo, hippo, zebra and bushbuck. However, you might be lucky enough to encounter some rarer creatures, such as the African wild dog, African wild cat, side-striped jackal, mongoose, genet, serval, civet, honey badger, porcupine and aardvark.
Game drives and walking safaris are the most popular activities, but there are also options for birding, canoeing and cruising down the Zambezi River. Keen anglers might also like to try to tackle or fly fishing, as the Zambezi is known for its tigerfish, amongst other fish species.
Potato Bush Camp also offers a range of activities for children, available in two age groups (four to eight years and eight to twelve years). These include children’s game drives (shorter and more interactive) and children’s bush walks, as well as after-game-drive activities, such as palm weaving, first aid, survival skills, marshmallow roasting, sandbank soccer, catch-and-release fishing and stargazing after dark.
You’ll leave the national parks and wildlife watching behind as you head to the final stop on your Zambia Family Safari Holiday at Livingstone, home of Victoria Falls. To get there, you’ll take a road transfer back to Jeki, then a scheduled domestic flight to Livingstone, before taking another road transfer to Chundukwa River Lodge, where you’ll be staying.
Chundukwa is around 25 kilometres from Livingstone, offering privacy away from the hustle and bustle of the town, swapping roads for a quiet stretch of the Zambezi River, which feeds nearby Victoria Falls. The property consists of five chalets and a family house, which all have an open-fronted layout and boast incredible views of the Zambezi.
You be staying in Chundu, a family cottage ideal for groups travelling together. The house has two double rooms (one of which is en-suite), as well as an upstairs loft space, a large verandah, a private deck and a swimming pool. Your meals will be prepared in the house, with a dedicated team of staff to take care of your family during your stay.
Victoria Falls is both a UNESCO World Heritage site as well as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, making this dramatic waterfall an unmissable destination in Zambia. Depending on when you visit Victoria Falls and the water levels of the river, there are lots of exciting things to see and do in the area.
Adrenaline junkies can choose from white-water rafting, abseiling, bungee jumps from the Victoria Falls Bridge, ziplining and “flying fox” activities (including a glide along the “Victoria Falls Bridge Slide”), as well as a swim in the exhilarating Devil’s Pool – a deep, natural pool created by thousands of years of erosion, which allows those who are brave enough to swim right out to the edge of the falls without being swept over.
Today, you can continue to appreciate the falls with more fun activities. If chasing adrenaline isn’t your thing, then take a more leisurely approach to enjoy this natural wonder. Walk along footpaths and river trails to feel the spray on your face, take a helicopter flight over the waterfalls for bird’s eye views and explore the historical town of Livingstone.
Alternatively, you can explore the surrounding bushlands on horseback with Ride Zambezi Horse Trails, organised by Chundukwa River Lodge. These rides can be enjoyed by all levels of riders, including children.
Sadly, your Zambia Family Safari Holiday comes to an end. After checking out of Chundukwa, you’ll take a road transfer to Livingstone Airport, then a scheduled domestic flight to Lusaka in plenty of time for your onward journey.
However, from seeing herds of elephants bathing in river waters to hearing a lion’s roar to feeling the spray of Victoria Falls on your face, your family trip to Zambia was surely a feast for all the senses and will have you looking back on fond family memories for many years to come.