Our Travel Expert’s Top 10 Rated Zambia Safari Accommodations

We’re highlighting some of our favourite Southern African safari destinations and making sure we share the camps and lodges we think are the best in each country. Having published our safari experts’ choices in Kruger, Botswana, and Namibia, we’re now featuring a water and walking safari wonderland. Our expert, Natasha, has spoken, and we continue with our series of safari guides, so stay tuned as we reveal our top 10 safari accommodations for the next country under the spotlight: Zambia.

Chongwe River Camp, Lower Zambezi 

Such supreme tranquility in this most magnificent corner of Africa: Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park, seen from the cradle of a canoe, gazing up at elephants, and from the luxuriously beachy accommodation at Chongwe River Camp. On the banks of the Zambezi where it meets the Chongwe River, only nine tents are positioned overlooking the river. Safari activities include adventurous canoeing, walking, game drives, fishing, birding, boat cruises, and cultural village visits.

Before you, an elephant wades across the languid river, dwarfed by the mountainous escarpment beyond. The resident hippos bellow their displeasure at this intrusion, breaking the tranquility. A warm breeze drifts past, carrying the earthy aroma of the river. Lean back and breathe deeply, letting the energy of this extraordinary, wild land revitalise your mind and soul.

Watching elephants from a canoe on safari at Chongwe River Camp2

Watching elephants from a canoe on safari at Chongwe River Camp.

Elephants wander into camp at Chongwe River Camp2

Elephants wander into camp at Chongwe River Camp.

Chongwe River Camp view from the tented suites2

Chongwe River Camp view from the tented suites.

Old Mondoro Camp, Lower Zambezi

Keeping it real on the banks of the Zambezi is the low-key, ultra-immersive Old Mondoro Camp, which is small and intimate with only four thatch and reed chalets that perch at the water’s edge. Total comfort in supremely natural surroundings, bound so seamlessly with the environment, Old Mondoro encourages whole-hearted exploration of this beautiful place. Whether on land by 4×4 or by good old fashioned walking, or on the river by canoe or motorised boat; Lower Zambezi National Park is revealed in all its glory. The camp lies in the shade of the forest and the simple chalets are open and airy, blending in effortlessly with their wild location. Old Mondoro is for those who seek to truly submerge themselves in the Zambian wilderness, while enjoying the simple comforts of a bubble bath and a good meal before a peaceful sleep listening to the sounds of the wild.

Fantastic leopard sighting on game drive with Old Mondoro Camp

Fantastic leopard sighting on game drive with Old Mondoro Camp.

Rustic thatched chalets on the banks of the river at Old Mondoro

Rustic thatched chalets on the banks of the river at Old Mondoro.

A bubble bath with a view at Old Mondoro Camp

A bubble bath with a view at Old Mondoro Camp.

Chiawa Camp, Lower Zambezi

Staying with the good stuff in Lower Zambezi National Park, we’re sharing another of our all time favourite Zambian safari accommodations: Chiawa Camp. Until a year ago, this luxury tented camp on the banks of the river only had eight canvas and thatched rooms, and now the addition of a “safari suite” has added another element of exclusivity and romance to honeymooners, or a sense of space and privacy for families. Sister lodge to yesterday’s feature, Old Mondoro, Chiawa offers the more luxurious version of the personalised experience guests get at both camps, with its sleek style, WiFi access, and supreme cuisine. Both camps are committed to delivering exceptional experiences in nature, with wildlife. The Zambezi is the focal point of this river safari spot, so relax and enjoy the ride!

The luxurious Safari Suite at Chiawa Camp with pool at the centre

The luxurious Safari Suite at Chiawa Camp with pool at the centre.

Romantic private dining on the deck at Chiawa Camp Safari Suite

Romantic private dining on the deck at Chiawa Camp Safari Suite.

An elephant comes to visit at Chiawa Camp

An elephant comes to visit at Chiawa Camp.

Mfuwe Lodge, South Luangwa

A Zambian safari has the potential to go from outstanding to unforgettable at Mfuwe Lodge which enjoys the added excitement of a herd of elephants that is not shy to make use of the lodge reception area to get to a wild mango tree on the other side! This iconic event has been happening for a number of years, and it remains one of the most anticipated annual experiences for all at the lodge. Mfuwe is located inside South Luangwa National Park and overlooks a lagoon which is full of hippos and plenty of birds. The thatched guest rooms are very comfortable and the bush spa is one idyllic place to relax! Definitely one of our Top 10.

Stilted thatched chalets overlook the swamp, which is frequently visited by wildlife and birds

Stilted thatched chalets overlook the swamp, which is frequently visited by wildlife and birds.

A jacuzzi with a view of the hippo-filled swamp

A jacuzzi with a view of the hippo-filled swamp.

The herd of elephants moves through tje reception area of Mfuwe Lodge on their way to find the wild mango tree on the other side

The herd of elephants moves through tje reception area of Mfuwe Lodge on their way to find the wild mango tree on the other side.

Sausage Tree Camp, Lower Zambezi

Sausage Tree Camp is exactly what we needed this Monday morning. This luxury tented riverside safari camp itself is so beautifully designed and decorated that we would be forgiven for being absorbed in lodge life entirely, but its location in Lower Zambezi National Park just begs to be explored! Natasha has supplied her list of the 10 best safari camps in Zambia and it’s no surprise Sausage Tree is on that list. Find the big cats on game drive and canoe past pods of hippos and herds of elephants, and feel reinvigorated by the wild.

Lions on game drive with Sausage Tree Camp in Lower Zambezi National Park

Lions on game drive with Sausage Tree Camp in Lower Zambezi National Park.

Elephant performance on a boat cruise with Sausage Tree Camp

Elephant performance on a boat cruise with Sausage Tree Camp.

Sausage Tree Camp Luxury Suite on the amid the trees and along the water's edge

Sausage Tree Camp Luxury Suite on the amid the trees and along the water’s edge.

Chindeni Bushcamp, South Luangwa

Chindeni Bushcamp is just the place for a quiet and uncrowded South Luangwa safari experience. It only has four tented suites, elevated on wooden stilts and looking over a busy lagoon, shaded beneath beautiful ebony trees that are filled with busy birds. Such a small and intimate space keeps the experiences exclusive and makes one feel like they are cocooned by the wilderness. The bushcamp experience in Zambia is idyllic offering all the comfort in nature you need with a full emphasis on the wilderness experience! That’s why Chindeni is on Natasha’s list of top 10 Zambian safari accommodations.

A starry sky above Chindeni Bushcamp

A starry sky above Chindeni Bushcamp.

Relaxing views of the river from each guest room at Chindeni2

Relaxing views of the river from each guest room at Chindeni.

Leopard stalks in the grass in front of Chindeni

Leopard stalks in the grass in front of Chindeni.

Chamilandu Bushcamp, South Luangwa

Allll about the fresh air, shady trees full of birds, wide open views of the Luangwa, and not missing a moment of the meandering wildlife: Chamilandu Bushcamp is the perfect small group safari spot. Only open between June and November with only 3 gorgeous reed and thatch stilted chalets, this experience in South Luangwa is exclusive and fully immersive. Each room has an en suite bathroom with a serious view and a shower that opens up to the trees and stars overhead. The river frontage and full shade of the ebony trees makes Chamilandu perfectly positioned for comfort while being totally submerged in the wilderness. This is our Zambian choice for a private 6-person South Luangwa getaway. No contest.

Incredible tree-house-style experience in this star bed at Chamilandu

Incredible tree-house-style experience in this star bed at Chamilandu.

 

Romantically lit, open air bedroom at Chamilandu

Romantically lit, open air bedroom at Chamilandu.

Romantically lit, open air bedroom at Chamilandu

Romantically lit, open air bedroom at Chamilandu.

Busanga Plains, Kafue

Kafue is a very special part of Zambia, and Busanga Plains is a very special part of Kafue. This territory in the northern part of the national park is underwater for most of the year, inaccessible to guests, and then between June and October only a handful of camps open their doors to guests who arrive to experience an exceptional treat. Lions famously parade the floodplains and chase down the new abundance of game that gathers to feast on the grasses. Busanga Bush Camp is one of our top 10 safari accommodations in the country for just this reason. It is a spectacle and it is so secluded, you’re promised an exclusive experience in exceptionally beautiful surroundings.

The famous lions of the Busanga Plains are an intimidating presence

The famous lions of the Busanga Plains are an intimidating presence.

Amazing opportunities to seen the rare roan antelope at Busanga Bush Camp

Amazing opportunities to seen the rare roan antelope at Busanga Bush Camp.

Simple luxury and total comfort in each guest suite at Busanga Bush Camp

Simple luxury and total comfort in each guest suite at Busanga Bush Camp.

Chinzombo, South Luangwa

Venture into one of the most game rich areas of South Luangwa National Park with the award-winning guiding team from Chinzombo, rated as one of Zambia’s premier safari accommodations. Explore the region’s diverse habitats on game drives, safari walks and seasonal boat cruises, or pamper yourself with  spa treatment in the comfort of your own villa during the leisurely midday siesta between safari activities. Or maybe you’ll spend these hours cooling down in a private plunge pool with panoramic views of the floodplain. It really is up to you. The camp retains its bush authenticity with grass and canvas walls and spacious living areas that melt into the exquisitely tranquil riverside setting.

Tranquility and relaxation with massage treatments delivered right to your door, or deck at Chinzombo

Tranquility and relaxation with massage treatments delivered right to your door, or deck at Chinzombo.

Luxury Chinzombo suites

Luxury Chinzombo suites.

Spaciousness and style combine to create this beautiful poolside setting at Chinzombo

Spaciousness and style combine to create this beautiful poolside setting at Chinzombo.

Shumba Camp, Kafue

Shumba Camp is built on raised decks on a verdant tree island, allowing for breath-taking views of the surrounding Busanga floodplains in this captivating part of Kafue National Park. Its six luxury tented units offer spacious living with a cushion-strewn veranda for outdoor contemplations.

Wilderness Safaris says: “We took a leap of faith into remote Zambia, far off the beaten track for most travellers and with a shortened tourism season, to help expand the area’s ecotourism presence, support anti-poaching activities, and provide local employment and other opportunities.”

As with Busanga Bush Camp, Shumba is open between June and October each year, coinciding with the only operational season in this area of Kafue. Undoubtedly, a treat!

Three male lions parading their territory right in front of Shumba Camp

Three male lions parading their territory right in front of Shumba Camp.

Total relaxation enjoying the sunset overlooking the floodplains at Shumba Camp

Total relaxation enjoying the sunset overlooking the floodplains at Shumba Camp.

Gently glowing in the evening light, the luxury suites at Shumba Camp are a work of art

Gently glowing in the evening light, the luxury suites at Shumba Camp are a work of art.

Browsing for some Zambia safari inspiration? Check out our blog on luxury Zambian safari options here, or find out more about exploring this wild country here

Author: Chloe Cooper

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