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Lower Zambezi National Park
Lower Zambezi National Park
Lower Zambezi National Park
Lower Zambezi National Park
Lower Zambezi National Park
Lower Zambezi National Park

Be engrossed in the wilderness

The ancient forests are awe inspiring

Walk with the animals ...

The Zambezi River, Zamiba left - Zimbabwe right

Walk with Africa's finest professional guides

Another perspective ...

Lower Zambezi National Park

Lower Zambezi National Park

Flowing wide and slow, the mighty Zambezi defines the park, riverine trees hugging its banks, grassland beyond, wildlife all around.

Its life-giving presence comes courtesy of a huge rift in the earth's crust, charting its course east to the Indian Ocean. Over millennia, volcanic soil deposits have enriched the vegetation, and meanders have given way to oxbow lakes.

For the safari goer, it's a winning combination: the river nurturing the land alongside, lush grazing attracting plains game and predators, and a permanent source of water that proves an irresistible draw as the land dries out each year.

Nestled within the treeline – and sharing the space with elephant, leopard and all manner of woodland birds – are just a few small lodges, some of them owner-run, their creature comforts subtly blending into the environment. With scarcely another lodge in striking distance, each offers a personal safari experience in an exceptionally scenic setting.

In the hands of rigorously trained guides – among the best in Africa – set out in search of creatures big and small. High up on a safari vehicle, between the river and the escarpment, taking in the grandeur of the scenery as you go. On foot, each careful step an adventure in itself. Or on the water. Dotted with islands and firmly the domain of hippo and crocs, the river is enchanting for a leisurely cruise – and thrilling in a canoe.

But above all, the Lower Zambezi invites you simply to stop and stare. At kingfishers hovering above the water. At a pride of lion, lazing in the shade of a tree in the midday sun. At elephant: to watch them racing to bathe in the Zambezi is like watching children come out to play – joyous!

Lower Zambezi National Park

Safaris visiting Lower Zambezi

Just ideas, we'll always tailor-make a trip for you


Itinerary image

Crawshay's Zebra Safari

10 days • 4 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

This superb safari combines two of Zambia’s best national parks, the South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi. The camps are small and high quality with excellent safari guides.

US$9,760 - US$13,820 per person

Itinerary image

Slender Mongoose Safari

5 days • 2 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

A detailed exploration of Lower Zambezi from two top-notch sister camps, each in a prime location in the national park. Expect a high level of care, first-class guiding and superb wildlife.

US$6,270 - US$8,400 per person

Itinerary image

Duiker Safari

10 days • 3 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

Three luxurious bushcamps in stunning riverside locations, split between the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi national parks, offer a wide variety of expert-guided safari activities in stunning game-rich environments.

US$8,060 - US$10,020 per person

Itinerary image

Vervet Monkey Safari

7 days • 2 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

Explore the world-class wildlife of Zambia’s South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi national parks in considerable luxury, guided by experts from two sister camps renowned for their excellent level of care.

US$8,370 - US$10,990 per person

Itinerary image

Greater Bushbaby Safari

8 days • 2 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

The perfect safari for a family or group of friends during which to create everlasting memories. Visit Zambia’s two most productive wildlife parks staying in four-bedroom houses, designed in a unique and fun way.

US$9,400 - US$12,260 per person

View all safaris

Our travellers' most recent reviews of safaris in Lower Zambezi National Park

Click below to browse all 343 reviews from our travellers’ safaris in the Lower Zambezi National Park. All are reproduced in full and are unedited.


99%
343 reviews since August 2007
Excellent
334
Good
16
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Mr F from Amsterdam

Arrived 26 May 2024, 19 nights

"My May 2024 trip"

"Once again an expertly crafted journey by Expert Africa. …" Read Mr F’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Ms Andrea L from USA

Arrived 19 May 2024, 15 nights

"My May 2024 trip"

"Our group was very impressed with Maruska and Expert Africa....Africa is magical …" Read Ms Andrea L’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

safari lovers from UK

Arrived 27 Oct 2023, 13 nights

"My Oct 2023 trip"

"Excellent combination of camps for our first trip to Zambia …" Read safari lovers’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

J & J from York

Arrived 17 Oct 2023, 22 nights

"Our Oct 2023 trip"

"Absolutely loved each park …" Read J & J’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mrs JD from W London

Arrived 30 Sep 2023, 16 nights

"My Sep 2023 trip"

"We had a great trip. …" Read Mrs JD’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr & Mrs R from Surrey

Arrived 4 Sep 2023, 14 nights

"Zambia Sep 2023"

"We highly recommend Expert Africa …" Read Mr & Mrs R’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Dr and Mrs K from Derby

Arrived 3 Oct 2023, 14 nights

"My Oct 2023 trip"

"The trip met our expectations (which were high) …" Read Dr and Mrs K’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr & Mrs S from UK

Arrived 11 Sep 2023, 20 nights

"Our Sep 2023 trip"

"A fabulous trip... We were delighted to have Lucy Copson's help again …" Read Mr & Mrs S’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Dr/Mrs F from Texas

Arrived 27 Aug 2023, 26 nights

"My Aug 2023 trip"

"Every camp held Expert Africa in high regard which made us proud to be clients …" Read Dr/Mrs F’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Ms D from Ireland

Arrived 17 Aug 2023, 15 nights

"My August 2023 trip to Zambia"

"Expert Africa was fantastic..Megan was simply remarkable with her advice.. …" Read Ms D’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

See all Lower Zambezi National Park reviews

Where to stay in Lower Zambezi National Park

Our suggestions for safari camps in Lower Zambezi National Park


Old Mondoro Bushcamp

Old Mondoro Bushcamp

For an intimate safari in the Lower Zambezi, with superb guiding, Old Mondoro is up there with the best.


99% (123 reviews)
Chongwe River Camp

Chongwe River Camp

A blend of the stylish and traditional in a most picturesque site in the Zambezi Valley, Chongwe River Camp offers an excellent safari experience and real value for money.


96% (120 reviews)
Chiawa Camp

Chiawa Camp

One of Zambia's top safari camps, Chiawa is family owned and run, offering superb service and a flexible approach from a location well inside the Lower Zambezi National Park.


98% (89 reviews)
Sausage Tree Camp

Sausage Tree Camp

Sausage Tree is a high-quality safari camp offering a luxurious stay and excellent personal service deep inside Zambia's Lower Zambezi National Park.


98% (43 reviews)
Potato Bush Camp

Potato Bush Camp

Potato Bush is located right in the heart of the Lower Zambezi National Park, with privately guided activities taking you on game drives, walks, boat trips and canoeing.


100% (17 reviews)
Anabezi Luxury Tented Camp

Anabezi Luxury Camp

Anabezi Luxury Tented Camp offers a high degree of understated luxury in a very lovely, quiet part of the Lower Zambezi with outstanding wildlife.


99% (15 reviews)
Amanzi

Amanzi

Opened in 2015, Amanzi is an intimate and rustic yet luxury camp in a very quiet area of the Lower Zambezi, with plenty of wildlife and good birding.


96% (10 reviews)
Kutali Camp

Kutali Camp

Kutali Camp offers the opportunity to experience the wilderness of Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park, in this simple tented camp located on Kulefu Island.


95% (8 reviews)
Chongwe River House

Chongwe River House

Chongwe River House is a stylish four-bedroom house designed for the exclusive use of families and small groups, affording the ultimate in flexibility on safari.


100% (8 reviews)
Kasaka River Lodge

Kasaka River Lodge

Kasaka River Lodge is a relatively simple, family-friendly camp. It's outside the Lower Zambezi National Park and, with a recent change of ownership for the better, it offers a great-value safari destination.


93% (6 reviews)
Chula Island Camp

Chula Island Camp

Chula Island Camp offers the opportunity to experience the wilderness of Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park, in this simple fly-camp located in a natal mahogany grove on a small island on the Zambezi River.


95% (4 reviews)
Lolebezi

Lolebezi

A chic safari spot, luxurious Lolelbezi is the Lower Zambezi’s newest camp and offers a mix of walking, canoeing and game drives led by excellent guides.


100% (1 review)
Tafara Springs Bushcamp

Tafara Springs

Tarafa Springs offers the opportunity to experience the wilderness of the Lower Zambezi National Park, in this rustic bushcamp located next to the main Zambezi escarpment.


100% (1 review)
Royal Zambezi Lodge

Royal Zambezi Lodge

This family-friendly lodge is located just on the outskirts of the Lower Zambezi National Park, in a great location overlooking the river.


No reviews yet

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Our travellers’ wildlife sightings in Lower Zambezi

This is their success for sightings in Lower Zambezi National Park. Click on a species for more detail. How we work this out.


Elephant

100% success

Hippo

100% success

Lion

95% success

Buffalo

95% success

Leopard

85% success

Zebra

75% success

Spotted Hyena

71% success

Wild dog

38% success

Aardvark

13% success

Eland

7% success

Sable antelope

5% success

Cheetah

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

When to go to Lower Zambezi National Park

Our month by month guide: What it's like to visit Lower Zambezi in Zambia


Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Zambia in January

At the peak of Zambia’s rainy season, you can expect heavy rainfall for a few hours most days, with sunny spells in between. Temperatures remain high, reaching over 30ºC, with high humidity. The rainfall is yet to make a significant difference to the Victoria Falls, and the flow of water here remains low. The landscapes are green and lush and the air crystal clear, but with the abundance of water the wildlife disperses, and the thick bush can restrict sightings. It severely limits walking safaris too. Migrant birds boost the species count at this time.

With seasonal rivers in flood and dirt roads and airstrips unusable, many camps in Zambia become inaccessible, and close. Only a few lodges in the central Kafue and the South Luangwa remain open. Few people visit in January, so the parks are incredibly quiet and the camps charge their lowest rates.

  • Peak of rainy season: hot & humid, with rain for a few hours most days
  • Majority of camps closed throughout the month
  • Bush incredibly green & lush, with clear air – great for photography
  • Big game dispersed & thick bush makes sightings difficult
  • Very few visitors: the cheapest time to visit

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in January

Zambia in February

February remains in the heart of the rainy season, with dramatic thunderstorms delivering a few hours of rain most days, interspersed with clear sunny skies. There is still an abundance of water in the environment, dispersing game and closing camps. With the thick bush, game viewing is limited and walking safaris restricted, but the swollen rivers allow some activities that would be unavailable in the dry season, such as boat trips on the Luangwa River.

After a couple of months of rain, water will once more be making its way to the Zambezi River, and the flow of water over the Victoria Falls will start to pick up.
Visitor numbers and costs at the few open camps remain low.

  • Peak of rainy season: hot & humid with rain for a few hours most days
  • Most camps closed throughout the month
  • Bush lush & green: good for photography but poor for game viewing
  • Very few visitors, & the cheapest time to visit
  • Water levels at Victoria Falls still low, but starting to pick up

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in February

Zambia in March

March is the last month of the rainy season in Zambia, and there are still heavy downpours most days. Water levels are at their highest making it difficult to get around the country. Temperatures still reach over 30ºC most days, too, with the rain causing high levels of humidity.

Many camps remain closed, and the thick bush limits game viewing and walking safaris. However, many animals are raising young at this time of year, with predators taking advantage of the easy prey, so sightings can be incredible, if sporadic. Wild dogs in the South Luangwa are particularly active at this time of year. With clear air and increasingly frequent blue skies as a backdrop, photography can be spectacular. The birding remains excellent as thousands of birds prepare for their winter migration.

  • Peak of rainy season, hot & humid, with rain for a few hours most days
  • Majority of camps closed throughout the month
  • Bush remains green & lush: good for photography but poor game viewing
  • High abundance of animals with young
  • Very few visitors, & the cheapest time to visit

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in March

Zambia in April

As the rains change from intense downpours to lighter and sporadic showers, April is very much a transitionary period in Zambia. The landscape remains exceptionally green and lush, with sparse viewing of larger wildlife.

Although camps start to reopen in April, most remain closed, and others that were open at the start of the year may shut to prepare for the coming dry season. This is the first month of the year when it’s possible to visit the Lower Zambezi.

The Zambezi River will be at its highest level with the Victoria Falls in full flow, but with huge amounts of spray kicked up views of the waterfall are often obscured.

  • Tail end of the rainy season; hot & humid with light rain most days
  • Some camps reopen; possible to visit the Lower Zambezi
  • Bush still green & lush: good for photography; poor for game viewing
  • Victoria Falls in full flow but with poor views
  • Very few visitors, & the cheapest time to visit

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in April

Zambia in May

May is typically the first month of the dry season. While there is the chance of an odd shower, the majority of days are clear and sunny. As winter approaches, temperatures start to drop, with most days reaching highs of around 26ºC.

As the landscape dries out, access to the parks improves, and all but the most remote bushcamps reopen. After five months of rain there is still a lot of standing water, but despite the thick bush May marks a distinct improvement in game viewing, and clear air is a continuing bonus for photographers.

The end of the month can be a popular time for visitors, taking advantage of typically good weather, improved game viewing, and the last of the low-season rates offered by the camps.

  • Start of the dry season in a typical year, with mostly clear & sunny
  • Majority of camps open
  • Bush still green & lush, with clear air for photographers
  • Game viewing starts to improve
  • Last month of low rates at the camps

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in May

Zambia in June

Zambia sees virtually no rainfall in June, with a strong chance of sunny days throughout. The humidity drops dramatically and, as winter approaches, temperatures reduce, falling to around 10ºC at night but still warming to 25ºC during the day.

The landscape remains lush but the bush starts to die back significantly, improving visibility for game viewing and walking safaris. All the camps in the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi are open by the start of June. While some have a ‘shoulder season’, others start charging their highest rates.

The water coming over the Victoria Falls starts to recede, reducing the mist and spray kicked up, providing better views of the waterfall itself.

  • Reliably sunny days, but dropping temperatures, especially at night.
  • All camps in the South Luangwa, southern Kafue & Lower Zambezi open
  • Wildlife viewing continuing to improve
  • Increased visibility & cool weather perfect for walking safaris.
  • Viewing of the Victoria Falls at its best

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in June

Zambia in July

As the dry season continues, vegetation and long grasses have mostly died back and water starts to become scarce. Wildlife starts to cluster around the major sources of water and the game viewing approaches its best.

July is the first month of winter, and while daytime temperatures are in the 20s Celsius, temperatures at night can drop to single digits. Early morning and late evening drives in open vehicles are particularly cold, and blankets and hot water bottles are often provided.

Visitor numbers increase significantly and space at popular/small camps can get tight. Nearly all properties are now charging their highest rates. Even floodwaters on northern Kafue’s Busanga Plains have now receded, and all camps in Zambia are open.

  • Warm, dry days; cold, crisp nights
  • Significantly improved game viewing
  • Walking safaris are unrestricted by vegetation, with good temperatures
  • Approaching peak season, so significant increase in costs
  • Northern Kafue now accessible

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in July

Zambia in August

By August, the vegetation has died back and wildlife is now congregating around the remaining water sources, providing excellent game viewing. With virtually no chance of rain you are almost guaranteed sunny days, although dust and smoke in the air means a visible haze starts to appear on the horizon.

Temperatures can drop below 5ºC at night but climb to the 20s Celsius during the day. Jackets and gloves are recommended for morning and evening drives. This is one of the most popular – and most expensive – months to travel. European school holidays have little impact on travel within Zambia, but they do increase international flight costs, and all camps are charging their highest rates.

  • Very dry with warm days but cold nights
  • Excellent wildlife viewing, as animals congregate around water holes.
  • Haze developing on the horizon, potentially affecting photographs
  • Cool temperatures & clear sightlines: ideal for walking safaris
  • Peak season: camps & flights at their most expensive

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in August

Zambia in September

September is the most popular, and arguably the best, time of year to travel. Rain is almost unheard of so humidity is low, and temperatures are starting to climb. Morning drives are more comfortable, with daytime temperatures normally in the low 30s Celsius.

Water is scarce, so wildlife clusters around the few remaining sources. Game viewing is very nearly at its best, with a good chance of seeing interactions between species. Camps are charging their highest rates and are at their busiest, with popular camps often fully booked more than a year in advance.

A significant haze sometimes appears on the horizon, impacting on landscape views and affecting photography. Depending on the rainfall in the wet season, the Victoria Falls can start looking dry, with more cliff face than waterfall on show.

  • Dry hot days with clear skies, & warm nights
  • One of the best months for wildlife viewing
  • Dust & smoke creates a haze over the landscape
  • Peak season: camps are expensive & often full
  • Victoria Falls starting to look dry

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in September

Zambia in October

As the dry season peaks, the landscape in October is brown and barren, with little ground-level vegetation, though the promise of rain may bring the occasional shower. Temperatures can be uncomfortably hot, reaching over 40ºC in the daytime and rarely dropping below 20ºC at night. This is particularly challenging on walking safaris and in camps without air conditioning.

A thick haze on the horizon sometimes turns photographic backgrounds grey-brown rather than sky-blue. The lack of water sees hippos and crocodiles cram themselves into the few remaining shallow rivers, with other wildlife carefully skirting around them in order to drink. Game viewing is at its absolute best, and you’re most likely to see hunts in October.

On the Zambian side, stretches of the Victoria Falls become a dry cliff face.

  • The best month for wildlife viewing
  • Very hot both night & day, with little chance of rain
  • Air can be very hazy with dust & smoke, so not great for photography
  • Victoria Falls largely dry on Zambian side
  • Camps less busy & some start to drop their rates

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in October

Zambia in November

November typically marks the end of the dry season. Although the timing of the rains is always uncertain, temperatures remain reliably high and the humidity builds as the rains approach.

While you may avoid the rains in the first week of November, it’s not unusual to see some spectacularly heavy thunderstorms, followed by an explosion of green growth. Wildlife disperses rapidly after the rains, no longer restricted to limited waterholes closely monitored by predators. However, Kasanka’s bat migration is at its peak, and wildebeest gather on Liuwa Plains.

Many remote camps close, and those that remain open significantly drop their rates. The initial rains have little impact on the Victoria Falls, but do significantly reduce the atmospheric haze.

  • Typically the start of the wet season; very hot and humid
  • Increased chance of heavy rain as the month progresses
  • Greatly diminished game viewing once the rains arrive
  • Bat migration in Kasanka, and wildebeest migration in Liuwa
  • Camp rates lower, & visitor numbers reduced

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in November

Zambia in December

December is typically the first month in Zambia’s rainy season, with heavy thunderstorms most days interspersed by sunny spells. Temperatures start to fall, but still reach over 30ºC in the daytime, with high levels of humidity.

As the rainfall increases it brings plentiful water into the landscape, encouraging the growth of thick green vegetation. Wildlife remains in the national parks and sightings are possible, but overall game viewing is poor. Access to the parks becomes problematic and all but a handful of camps around the entrance to the South Luangwa and the centre of Kafue national parks close. Those that do remain open charge their lowest rates and are very quiet.

The rain removes any smoke and dust from the air, returning the sky to a dazzling blue that is great for photographers.

  • Start of rainy season, with hot, humid & wet days
  • Poor game viewing as wildlife disperses & bush thickens
  • Majority of camps close; others charge their lowest rates
  • Landscape green with blue skies; photographic opportunities improve
  • Victoria Falls still dry

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in December

Lower Zambezi National Park: In detail

Guide to the Lower Zambezi National Park

The Lower Zambezi valley is a huge rift in the earth's crust, through which a mighty river flows. Over millennia, mineral-rich volcanic soils deposited by the Zambezi have nurtured lush vegetation, while old meanders and oxbow lakes add to the attraction for wildlife.

There are national parks on both sides of the river – Mana Pools National Park on the Zimbabwean bank, and the Lower Zambezi National Park on the Zambian side.

The landscape is beautiful: tall leadwoods, ebonies, acacias and figs stand on a carpet of rich grassland. But the main attraction is the area's game, which congregates near the river during the dry season.


Safaris to Lower Zambezi National Park

Safaris to Lower Zambezi National Park

Most visitors to Lower Zambezi National Park fly in by light aircraft to one of the valley’s small airstrips, and stay at one or two of the safari camps or lodges along the river. Although it is possible to drive into the valley, or even to drive part of the way and finish your journey by boat, arriving by air is the most efficient way to maximise your time within the park.

Flights can be organised from Lusaka, Livingstone or South Luangwa's Mfuwe Airport, making a Lower Zambezi safari easy to combine with time in the South Luangwa National Park or a trip to Victoria Falls. On arrival you will be met by someone from your safari lodge, and transferred by 4WD, taking in any game that you see along the way. Back at the camp, you will be welcomed by the team with some time to settle in, before heading out on an activity such as a safari walk or drive.

Activities on a Lower Zambezi safari

Visitors to the Lower Zambezi National Park, with its location on the wide Zambezi River, can usually choose from an exceptional range of activities. Most Lower Zambezi safari lodges offer two activities a day, one in the early morning, the second in late afternoon - with plenty of time for a leisurely lunch and a siesta between the two.

Game drives in open-topped 4WD vehicles are a regular fixture in all camps, but most also offer the option of a walking safari with a qualified guide and armed ranger.

On the water, there are boat trips to explore the Zambezi, keeping an eye out for hippos, crocodile and an impressive array of birds. The more intrepid might prefer to take to the waters in a canoe, while anglers won’t want to miss the opportunity to seek out the mighty tigerfish (though note that all fishing here is on a catch-and-release basis).

Vegetation of Lower Zambezi National Park

Like the nearby South Luangwa National Park, the Lower Zambezi protects a slice of a huge rift valley which, geologically, is related to East Africa's Great Rift Valley. In fact, most of the park consists of the hilly higher ground on the sides and top of the escarpment - where the bush consists mainly of thick, broad-leafed miombo woodland. However, with little water here the dry season sees the game concentrate on the flat alluvial plain, beside the deep, wide, permanent Zambezi River.

Here the vegetation is very different: rich soils nurture tall, strong trees typical of riverine areas, including ebonies, leadwoods and fig trees. Winterthorn woodlands - where the apple-ring fruits are so popular with hungry elephants - seem to stretch endlessly along the river. The beauty of these areas is that bush growth under the trees is usually sparse or even absent; this allows unobscured views of game, and makes a great environment for walking safaris.

Birdlife of the Lower Zambezi National Park

The park’s birdlife is rich - 378 species have been recorded here, including many species of eagle, heron, stork and bee-eater. Just considering the kingfishers, you'll find pied, giant, woodland, malachite and brown-hooded kingfishers are all common here. Similarly, the river is frequented by darters, cormorants, egrets and storks, and fish eagles are often seen perching in trees that overlook the water. The Lower Zambezi is rich in wading birds, both resident and migrant; uncommon residents include ospreys, spoonbills and African skimmers.

Map of Lower Zambezi National Park

Choices for where to stay in Lower Zambezi National Park


Reference map

Ideas for safari holidays in Lower Zambezi National Park

Visitors to the Lower Zambezi National Park, with its location on the wide Zambezi River, can choose from an exceptional range of activities; there’s no such thing as a “best safari” in the Lower Zambezi!

Most safari lodges offer two activities a day, one in the early morning, the second in late afternoon – with plenty of time for a leisurely lunch and a siesta between the two.

Game drives in open-topped 4WD vehicles feature in all camps, but most also offer the option of a walking safari with a qualified guide and armed ranger. On the water, there are boat trips to explore the Zambezi, keeping an eye out for hippos, crocodile and an impressive array of birds.

The more intrepid might prefer to take to the waters in a canoe, while anglers won’t want to miss the challenge of the mighty tigerfish (though note that all fishing is on a catch-and-release basis).


Showing 1-5 of 5
Name
Duration
Cost
Most popular
12
Itinerary image

Crawshay's Zebra Safari

10 days • 4 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

This superb safari combines two of Zambia’s best national parks, the South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi. The camps are small and high quality with excellent safari guides.

US$9,760 - US$13,820 per person

Itinerary image

Slender Mongoose Safari

5 days • 2 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

A detailed exploration of Lower Zambezi from two top-notch sister camps, each in a prime location in the national park. Expect a high level of care, first-class guiding and superb wildlife.

US$6,270 - US$8,400 per person

Itinerary image

Duiker Safari

10 days • 3 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

Three luxurious bushcamps in stunning riverside locations, split between the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi national parks, offer a wide variety of expert-guided safari activities in stunning game-rich environments.

US$8,060 - US$10,020 per person

Itinerary image

Vervet Monkey Safari

7 days • 2 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

Explore the world-class wildlife of Zambia’s South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi national parks in considerable luxury, guided by experts from two sister camps renowned for their excellent level of care.

US$8,370 - US$10,990 per person

Itinerary image

Greater Bushbaby Safari

8 days • 2 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

The perfect safari for a family or group of friends during which to create everlasting memories. Visit Zambia’s two most productive wildlife parks staying in four-bedroom houses, designed in a unique and fun way.

US$9,400 - US$12,260 per person

Showing 1-5 of 5
12

Our top 14 lodges and safari camps in Lower Zambezi National Park

Accommodation in the Lower Zambezi ranges from the traditional comfort of Chiawa and the modernised Sausage Tree, through the rather more corporate Anabezi, to the much more simple - but exceptionally rewarding - style of Old Mondoro.

Alongside these are a couple of fly-camps on islands in the Zambezi itself. Just outside the national park boundary, the independently run Chongwe Camp lies close to the family-friendly Chongwe House.

Within the park itself, Chiawa is the oldest camp in the valley and - like its sister "bushcamp" further upstream, Old Mondoro - is still in the hands of the family who founded it. Between the two lies a mix of the old and new: the long-established Sausage Tree, under new ownership in 2023, and the decidedly funky new kid on the block, Lolebezi.

Ask us for more details of what's where, and what's likely to suit you best.


Showing 1-12 of 14
Name
Traveller's rating
No. of reviews
Chongwe River Camp

Chongwe River Camp

A blend of the stylish and traditional in a most picturesque site in the Zambezi Valley, Chongwe River Camp offers an excellent safari experience and real value for money.


96% (120 reviews)
Old Mondoro Bushcamp

Old Mondoro Bushcamp

For an intimate safari in the Lower Zambezi, with superb guiding, Old Mondoro is up there with the best.


99% (123 reviews)
Chiawa Camp

Chiawa Camp

One of Zambia's top safari camps, Chiawa is family owned and run, offering superb service and a flexible approach from a location well inside the Lower Zambezi National Park.


98% (89 reviews)
Sausage Tree Camp

Sausage Tree Camp

Sausage Tree is a high-quality safari camp offering a luxurious stay and excellent personal service deep inside Zambia's Lower Zambezi National Park.


98% (43 reviews)
Potato Bush Camp

Potato Bush Camp

Potato Bush is located right in the heart of the Lower Zambezi National Park, with privately guided activities taking you on game drives, walks, boat trips and canoeing.


100% (17 reviews)
Anabezi Luxury Tented Camp

Anabezi Luxury Camp

Anabezi Luxury Tented Camp offers a high degree of understated luxury in a very lovely, quiet part of the Lower Zambezi with outstanding wildlife.


99% (15 reviews)
Amanzi

Amanzi

Opened in 2015, Amanzi is an intimate and rustic yet luxury camp in a very quiet area of the Lower Zambezi, with plenty of wildlife and good birding.


96% (10 reviews)
Kutali Camp

Kutali Camp

Kutali Camp offers the opportunity to experience the wilderness of Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park, in this simple tented camp located on Kulefu Island.


95% (8 reviews)
Chongwe River House

Chongwe River House

Chongwe River House is a stylish four-bedroom house designed for the exclusive use of families and small groups, affording the ultimate in flexibility on safari.


100% (8 reviews)
Kasaka River Lodge

Kasaka River Lodge

Kasaka River Lodge is a relatively simple, family-friendly camp. It's outside the Lower Zambezi National Park and, with a recent change of ownership for the better, it offers a great-value safari destination.


93% (6 reviews)
Chula Island Camp

Chula Island Camp

Chula Island Camp offers the opportunity to experience the wilderness of Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park, in this simple fly-camp located in a natal mahogany grove on a small island on the Zambezi River.


95% (4 reviews)
Tafara Springs Bushcamp

Tafara Springs

Tarafa Springs offers the opportunity to experience the wilderness of the Lower Zambezi National Park, in this rustic bushcamp located next to the main Zambezi escarpment.


100% (1 review)
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Frequently Asked Questions

Lower Zambezi FAQs

With so many factors involved in planning a holiday to the Lower Zambezi, it’s easy to overlook something simple - yet fundamental. In this section we have tried to answer such questions, from where exactly is the Lower Zambezi, and how do you get there, to a family safari in the Lower Zambezi, and what to expect on a canoe safari.


Where exactly is the Lower Zambezi National Park?

Where exactly is the Lower Zambezi National Park?

Just 79 miles (127km) as the crow flies from the Zambian capital, Lusaka - and taking around 35 minutes by light aircraft - the Lower Zambezi lies on the northern bank of the wide Zambezi River. Islands in the middle of the river accentuate its breadth, and directly opposite is Zimbabwe's equally acclaimed Mana Pools National Park.

To the north, the Lower Zambezi is bounded by a steep escarpment that acts as a natural barrier, enclosing a secluded yet surprisingly accessible wilderness covering some 4,092km2. Combining game drives and walking safaris with boat trips and canoe safaris, it is - along with the South Luangwa - one of Zambia's most popular national parks.

How do you get to the Lower Zambezi National Park?

For most visitors, getting to the Lower Zambezi involves a light-aircraft flight to one of the valley's small airstrips. Taking from 35 minutes to two hours, depending on the departure airport and the destination airstrip, flights can be organised from Lusaka, Livingstone or South Luangwa's Mfuwe Airport, making it easy to combine a safari in the Lower Zambezi with time in the South Luangwa National Park or a trip to Victoria Falls.

On arrival you will be met by someone from your safari lodge, and transferred by 4WD, looking out for wildlife along the way. Once at the camp, you will have time to settle in, before heading out on an activity such as a safari walk or drive.

Although it is possible to drive into the valley, or even to drive part of the way and finish your journey by boat, arriving by air is the most efficient way to maximise your time within the park.

What’s the birdlife like in the Lower Zambezi?

With 378 bird species recorded in the Lower Zambezi National Park, it’s a richly rewarding setting for birders – especially during the rainy season when residents in breeding plumage are joined by those on migration.

Pied, giant, woodland, malachite and brown-hooded kingfishers are all common here, as are many wading birds, from squacco herons to yellow-billed storks. The river also draws darters and cormorants, while African fish eagles are often seen perching in trees overhead.

Uncommon residents include ospreys, Pels’ fishing owls, spoonbills and African skimmers. Carmine bee-eaters nest in great numbers in the sandbanks along the river, and southern ground hornbills are distinctive on the plains.

Is Lower Zambezi National Park good for a family safari holiday?

Wild, unfenced, and home to a range of dangerous animals, the Lower Zambezi is not a place for children to run around unsupervised. However, for older children with a genuine interest in wildlife and nature, it can be superb.

The best option for a family holiday in the Lower Zambezi would be Chongwe River House. Here, on the western edge of the park, flexibility is key – from meals and mealtimes to the day's choice of activities. With four huge en-suite bedrooms, the house is available to just one family or group of friends at a time.

The quirky design is an attraction in its own right, but more important is having your own private guide and vehicle. Thus, the choice of activity is up to you, and while children under the age of 12 may not take part in walking or canoe safaris, alternative activities can be arranged for them.

What can I expect from a canoe safari in the Lower Zambezi?

Setting out on a canoe safari in the Lower Zambezi is one of the park’s greatest attractions – but it’s not for the faint-hearted.

From most camps, you'll be paddling a two-person canoe along the main river, though in one or two areas, a narrower channel runs parallel to the main river, as with the Chifungulu Channel near Sausage Tree Camp.

Typically you’ll share the canoe with a qualified guide, but by agreement, a couple could be paddling together, with the guides paddling separate canoes with other guests.

Travelling with the current, there’s little effort required, leaving you to sit back and take in the scenery – and the wildlife. To observe elephant, buffalo, even leopard from water level is an extraordinary and thrilling experience.

It’s important, though, to understand the risks posed by crocodiles and – particularly – hippos. Should any approach too close, it’s crucial that you remain still and do exactly as you’re told; these guides are experienced in handling potential confrontations.

Other areas in Zambia

A safari in the Lower Zambezi National Park is complete in itself, but also combines well with Zambia's equally renowned South Luangwa National Park.

For some, the majesty of the Victoria Falls provides the icing on the cake. For others, it's the lure of walking safaris: look no further than the North Luangwa, where a handful of tiny camps specialise in exploring this little-visited park on foot.

Unrivalled for sheer scale is Kafue National Park, defined by the Kafue River that is an irresistible draw for wildlife, while for sheer remoteness, don't miss Liuwa Plain.

Big game aside, Zambia has some real surprises up its sleeve. Visit Kasanka National Park at the end of the year and you'll be rewarded with millions of fruit bats. Hike in total privacy at Mutinondo Wilderness. Or come face to face with an English stately home in the bush at Shiwa Ng'andu.


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