Plan your own Safari in Zambia

Get first-hand tips to explore Zambia’s abundant wilderness.

#zambia #safari #africa

Zambia, a country slightly larger than Texas at 752,618 square kilometers in Sub Saharan Africa with a population of 15 Million or so, has much to offer the tourist. Africa’s fourth largest river, the Zambezi, passes through and includes the world’s largest dam Kariba and of course the world renowned Victoria Falls, best viewed from March or April when the river is at its fullest. Plentiful Wildlife allows to experience African Safaris of a lifetime.

Viewing the Victoria Falls from Knife Edge Bridge, Zambia’s closest viewpoint, is one way or from Zimbabwe’s walkway opposite of the falls another. A helicopter or microlight flight will give you a bird’s eye view of this truly magnificent spectacle of nature. Bungee jumping or whitewater rafting for the adrenaline junkies at the World largest falls is definitely not for the fainthearted.

Victoria Falls (View from Zimbabwe)

All this can be accessed from the town of Livingston which caters for all types of accommodation. 5-star hotels or lodges to camping give the visitor a complete range to suit their budget. River Cruises are on offer as is The Royal Livingstone Express, a lovingly restored steam train, dating back to 1920. The train will transport you in 5-star luxury courtesy of the Royal Livingstone Hotel to Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. The craft market is a must, bargaining is expected and adds to the enjoyment of reaching a price to suit both parties.

Bungee jumping or whitewater rafting for the adrenaline junkies at the World largest falls is definitely not for the fainthearted.
Baboon showing off proudly his stolen piece of bread

Zambia is blessed with a great choice of Game Parks, and for the more adventurous, self drive is the way to go. For those who can afford there are numerous Game Lodges, Wildlife Safaris, Walking Safaris as well as Hot Air Balloon Flights over the magnificent Basunga Plains in Kafue National Park. Being Zambia’s largest park, it combines both: easy access and the very remote.The Kafue and its tributary the Lafupa, both influence the park. River cruises to game rich plains make this park one of Zambia’s best. Accommodation from camping to high end lodges will suit all budgets.

Common sight every evening – Elephants crossing the Luangwa Riverbed

Liuwa Plains, Zambia’s “Mini Serengeti”, so called as tens of thousands of Wildebeest and Zebras descend on this little known Park when the rains start in November. You have to book private Safaris as access is difficult.

Zambia is blessed with a great choice of Game Parks, and for the more adventurous, self drive is the way to go.

South Luangwa National Park is teeming with big game and it’s the one park you are almost assured of spotting a Leopard or two. It is the only park that is accessible for self-drive during the rainy season or as it is sometimes known as the “Emerald Season”. For this is when the grass is lush, antelopes drop their young and birds are out in full, often seen in full plumage.

Among the highest density of leopards in Africa – South Luangwa National Park

Lets not forget Lower Zambezi National Park which stands out for the many activities available. Fishing, Bird watching, River Cruises, Canoeing. All offered by a small handful of exclusive camps which also offer game drives and walks. Expect to see the big five and much more.

Most of the tourism is situated at the southern and east of the country but the further north you travel the more tropical it becomes. Relaxing on the shores of Lake Tanganyika is most enjoyable. These are but a few of the things to do in Zambia.Zambia-8

Some tips for those driving around in and around Zambia:

  1. Be prepared to spend an hour or two at border as things are chaotic to say the least.
  2. If possible go with two vehicles or more.
  3. Check out the AA booklet which will let you know about things such as “Red Reflective Tape” which needs to be stuck on the car front and back.
  4. If you are pulling a trailer then a “T”must be displayed. Failing to do so will result in a hefty fine.
  5. When stopped at one of the numerous roadblocks be patient and friendly. Smile a lot, it helps.
  6. Petrol stations are few and far between, so make sure to fill up at every opportunity.
  7. There are very few road signs. GPS and a good map book are essential.
  8. Beware of “hidden” speed bumps on the outskirts of just about every village, and make sure to drive extra slow through the villages. You do not want an accident of any sort in Zambia.
  9. When you come across tree branches in the road: this indicates a breakdown ahead, be it a truck, car, donkey cart etc. No such thing as red triangles!

Roads are in “fair condition” on major routes but deteriorate once you leave the tar. All things considered a great place to visit.

When stopped at one of the numerous roadblocks be patient and friendly.
Overloaded truck, common sight on the “Great East Road” of Zambia






Author: George Mostert

Since 2013 I travel together with Marcelle around the world. Finding hidden treasures at the unbeaten trails is where we aim for. We are still discovering best ways to travel cheaply to be able to live our dream. It’s working out quite well up to now. We share our experiences as house sitters and travelers on our websites and hope for a lively exchange with other travelers.

14 thoughts on “Plan your own Safari in Zambia”

    1. Pity we did not see this article before we visited, as we could have found out more things to do. Good to know what others have done and enjoyed. Keep well.

  1. We have never driven in Zambia, but we did visit the Mosi O Tunya National Park to see if we could spot the Big 5! Gorgeous country!

  2. this is the second story I’ve read this year about a self-navigated safari. It sounds like a practical way to save money and get a taste for all of this. But traveling from the US, it’s a long way to go to take all the chances you take trying to do it yourself. From the chance you’ll be in all the wrong places and not see anything to the chance something will go wrong with your car, etc. It’s reassuring to be in the hands of someone who (you hope) knows what they’re doing. thanks for joining #wkendtravelinspiration

  3. Kind of changed my concept of safari in Africa. I’d love to have the time to go overland and drive but the distances are so great. Of course just flying from spot to spot is much more expensive and makes it harder to really connect with a country. Great pictures. Lucky you!

  4. A very exciting thought to travel here. Love the photo of the overloaded truck,

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