Lolebezi: Our full report
Tucked in an acacia forest, beside the broad Zambezi, Lolebezi is an alluring camp with a distinctly luxurious décor.Located within Zambia’s marvellous Lower Zambezi National Park, Lolebezi is the park’s newest safari lodge (opened in June 2022), and consciously set out to be an enticing, contemporary safari destination. International architects and designers, talented local craftspeople and the experienced team from Africa Bush Camps combined their skills to create this striking riverfront camp, and the result is terrific: youthful, edgy, stylish and rooted in in African stories.
Stylish accommodation is in four signature suites and two double family suites.
The four signature suites are wonderful, glass-fronted, contemporary spaces. Their calming, air-conditioned interiors, filled with beautiful Zambian basketry and weaving, plush fabrics and comfortable furniture, are extremely stylish. A muted palette of green and neutral hues is easy on the eye, with sumptuous beds featuring a halo of hand-crafted beads, a mini-bar, lounge seating and ample space.
There’s a huge timber and sage-coloured bathroom complete with a glorious green bath, an indoor and outdoor shower and a beautiful stone vanity unit.
But the ultimate ‘wow’ is the panoramic river view. A opening, glass wall runs along the whole front of each suite affording a stunning waterfront vista and easy access onto the wide, private deck. Spanning the length of the suite, and complete with loungers, a thatched ‘sala’ seating area, and a spectacular infinity plunge pool overlooking the Zambezi River, not to mention the passing elephants who regularly come to drink and cool off at the river’s edge.
The open-sided main area is the hub of social activity at Lolebezi. A cool, cushioned riverfront lounge, quirky sculptural lights, a dining room and a striking, green-marbled bar perfect for selecting sundowners and enjoying a nightcap. Just beckoning you to pull up a jade velvet bar-stool and chat about the day’s safari sightings, it’s a great hangout before heading down to the intimate, waterfront firepit for some Milky Way star-gazing, or taking the spiral stairs to the raised walkway for some splendid canopy views.
Activities at Lolebezi are varied and flexible. There are opportunities for game drives, guided river excursions by boat or canoe, walking safaris and fishing. For guests keen to exercise, there’s a gym, whilst those keen to be pampered can enjoy spa treatments. Open-air cinema evenings can be arranged, bird-watching trips are possible and catch-and-release fishing for the Zambezi’s finest tiger fish, bream and vundu.
Children of all ages are warmly welcomed at Lolebezi (though only over 16s can go canoeing and on walking safaris). The Ngwana Club offers some engaging safari activities for the youngest visitors, with camp nature walks, cookery and bushcraft all on the agenda.
Almost all of the camps in the Lower Zambezi National Park are seasonal: closing when the rains make the roads impassable. Lolebezi plans to open year-round, but driving is unlikely to be possible during sections of the Green Season (November – April), when activities will be limited to boating safaris.
During this time, when the river is high and fast, we recommend that travellers do not go canoeing because of the speed of the current.
We expect Lolebezi to be a beautiful camp with a unique style all of its own, in what we know is a superb location in a fantastic national park: a real riverside gem. Stylish accommodation is matched with strong African roots and great guiding.
We have plans to visit Lolebezi in its first few months of opening, so do get in touch for the latest information. Knowing its sister camps well though, we’d expect this camp to deliver excellent safaris for all, be you honeymooners or families.
Country manager: Zambia
- Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
- Ideal length of stay
- Three or four nights would be a usual stay, though longer would be possible. Travellers will often visit the Lower Zambezi after spending time in South Luangwa.
- Lolebezi is accessed by light aircraft from Lusaka (30mins) or Livingstone (1.5-2hr); it is then a 15min game drive from Jeki Airstrip or a 1.5hr boat cruise from Royal airstrip to camp.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Food quality
- At the time of writing, Lolebezi is just opening so we have not had a chance to sample the food.
Our experience of other camps run by African Bush Camps suggest that it will be fresh and delicious though, with meals served in various locations and afternoon tea available before the afternoon activity.
All food served is Halaal-friendly and special dietary requirements can be accommodated with advance notice.
- Dining style
- Individual Tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Drinks included
- All drinks that are stocked in camp, including premium brand spirits and champagne.
Guests are given a water bottle that is filled up for them before activities etc. Bottled water is available on request.
- A stylish spot putting an African twist on a contemporary camp in a stunning riverfront location. Private plunge pools, romantic starlit dinners, indulgent suites and a raft of memorable activities.
- See ideas for Honeymoons
- Attitude towards children
- Children of all ages are welcomed by Lolebezi, though they must be over 16 years old to take part in walking activities.
- Property’s age restrictions
- No minimum age
- Special activities & services
- Lolebezi make a point that it has guides who are great with children and can offer alternative and slightly tailored activities such as fishing, cookery or nature walks around camp.
They can also offer child-minding from one of their housekeeping team, but note that this will not be someone who is specially trained in child care.
- Generally recommended for children
- Yes – but it's really best for older children who are also sensible and careful, ideally at least 12 years old. The rooms are completely open to the river and the camp is unfenced so parental supervision is necessary at all times.
- Children must be supervised at all times by their parents/guardians, as dangerous big game, including large predators, wander freely through camp. The camp is adjacent to the river which is home to many large hippos and crocodiles.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Lolebezi
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Lolebezi have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.
- Power supply notes
- Each tent has individual solar panel to power lights. However there is also a generator for battery charging.
- Water supply
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- Senior staff and guides have medical first-aid training. The nearest medical facility is in Lusaka and the camp has links to a flying- doctor service.
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Fire safety
- There is a fire extinguisher in each tent.
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- Lolebezi has a good laundry service.
- There is no currency exchange here. There are safes in the tents.
- Accepted payment on location
- If you wish to tip, which is optional, then bring cash with you. Cash is accepted in any major currency and the camp has an old-fashioned swipe card machine for Visa and MasterCard, but not Amex.
Other lodges in Lower Zambezi National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.