How to have an action packed adventure in Zambia

Zambia Holiday Feature

If you are looking for an adrenaline – fueled 2019 or 2020 make sure you add Zambia to your list of countries to visit. This hidden gem is spectacular for its safari, adventure and extremely remote and rewarding experiences.

Encompass Africa teamed up with Zambia’s top guides to discover its incredible landscapes and outdoor adventure. For an action packed gateway follow these top tips on what not to miss in Zambia. Plus we will show you how your everyday experience helps make a difference to those living in the area, the wilderness and wildlife.

Zambia holiday highlight

Thrill of the Falls

Victoria Falls is one of the most impressive UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world…. More info on it here.  A great time to visit is for the Lunar Rainbow formation over the Falls. For adventure you can do white water rafting and if you get your timing right, swim in the Devil’s Pools.  For the hikers amongst us, don’t miss the Batoka Gorge (what’s the day trip with NF they do it’s a hike, swim and lunch or something) If water is not your thing, why not soar through the air above the falls in a microlight or helicopter. Ask us about the pot and paddle for something really unique and rewarding.

Zambia holiday highlight

Canoeing on the Zambezi

Perhaps Jonathon and Danica’s happy place, Lower Zambezi is wild and rather special. Imagine a massive river with the edges fringed with thick riverine forest like ebony and fig trees. Inland are floodplains with mopane forest, winterthorn trees and acacias. What we adore is the diversity of wildlife and activities on offer here. Walking, game drives, birding, boating, tiger fishing and canoeing to name a few. Expect to see elephants, good population of lions, leopard if you’re lucky. Owner run Chiawa Camp and Old Mondoro offer exceptional hospitality and a unique safari life. Their founder, Grant said this to us just recently

‘A Lower Zambezi safari adventure is like no other. Thanks to the expansive Zambezi River there are not only incredible vistas and abundant wildlife but the opportunity to explore this paradise by canoe and/or motor boat – aside from day and night game drives and walking safaris. Camps for all tastes, some of the best safari guides in the business and wild but usually co-operative animals make for fabulous adventures, fun, memories and photographs’. Grant Cumings.

Zambia holiday highlight

South Luangwa Safari for the Feet

The ultimate walking safari was born out of Zambia and to this day, an adventure of a lifetime is walking from camp to camp with wildlife all around you. South Laungwa has been dubbed one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world and not without reason. The concentration of wildlife is intense and its river system the lifeblood of this9,059 square kilometre national park. Some 60 species of animals and over 400 bird species makes it a real attraction. Keep in mind the rhino are no longer here due to poaching sadly.

Our favourite is Tafika and their Chikoko Walking Trails plus owners John and Carol are the ultimate storytellers around the campfire and share their lifelong learnings and passion for the bush and conservation. Plus John is a mean mountain biker so you can ride along trails and get close to wildlife. Now that’s a thrill.

‘After almost a lifetime in the Valley, the Luangwa has never ceased to fascinate and beguile me: there are few places on earth where nature is so strong and wildlife so prolific. Being a floodplain which is seasonally flooded and largely inaccessible for almost half of every year, the wildness of the area is guaranteed for years to come.’ John Coppinger

You can visit South Luangwa year round thanks to several lodges remaining open. Wet season begins in November and finishes around March. Dry season is April to October and as you get later in the year, heat intensifies and so do the numbers of animals coming to the river to drink.

Zambia holiday highlight

Kasanka Bat Migration

Kasanka National Park is a rather sleepy little sanctuary on the edge of Lake Bangweulu and one of the country’s smallest just 450 square kilometres. This place does not ‘teem’ with wildlife yet its well endowed landscape is spectacularly beautiful with rivers, lakes, forests, lagoons and meadows. What you do see here is an abundance of birdlife, some of the rarest and plains game abound. The large attraction here is the impressive migration of approximately 10 million fruit bats coming down from the Democratic Republic of Congo. It truly is one of the most spectacular mammal migrations on earth. Can you even contemplate 10 million straw coloured fruit bats with a metre long wingspan migrating to a clump of riverine forest every year around November when season fruit flourishes? It is not for everybody, yet we find seasoned safari travellers love the thrill of the migration and the diversity of landscape and setting.

Zambia Holiday highlight

Kafue Safari

One of our secret gems has to be Zambia holiday highlight Kafue National Park for the ultimate safari. A Kafue Safari sees you exploring an enormous national park, indeed the country’s oldest and potentially least visited. With the Kafue River running north to south through the park, the landscapes are impressive. From the fertile Busanga Plains home to lions and many other species and further south, Nanzhila Plains. It was established back in the 1950s by legendary Norman Carr and of course that means walking safaris here are magical. Close to the river system there is fishing and boating whilst a few offer great canoeing trails. You will also game drive to try and cover the vast virgin bush that remains mostly untouched. There are a number of stunning lodges and tented camps to choose from and the best time to visit is dry season, June to October. Keep in mind it gets chilly in winter – sometimes sub-zero! Busanga Plains is only accessible early July until early November due to water levels.

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