Zambia is one the most charming, natural and beautifully untouched destinations in southern Africa! Unlike other African countries, Zambia did not boast its attributes with the aim to attract mass tourists, which has paid dividends as it has kept itself natural and un-spoilt. Instead, it has allowed itself to build its own reputation, based on the qualities it offers – and there are plenty!
Zambia took a modernized approach to African safaris – but you would never have known it at the time. In the early 1900’s African safaris were more of a hunting experience – Zambia quickly moved away from this. Thanks to African legends (and Zambian safari pioneers) Norman Carr and Robin Pope – who own a selection of camps that we fondly use – they took the initiative to promote looking and photographing animals, rather than killing them. Furthermore, they saw the local people, not as a hindrance, but as part of the experience – they went on to involve them in wildlife management, guiding and other forms of sustainability. Light-years ahead of its time, it was 50 years later before conservationists took action in Africa. This pioneering and innovative approach was the foundation of safaris in Zambia, and now the modern day conservation policy in Africa.
The emphasis on guiding did not stop here, it went a step further! Zambia is now renowned for having some of the best guides in Africa, and this is no overstatement - guides in Zambia have to do a three year course to get there guiding license where as some destination is only one year – the difference is noticeable too, their knowledge, passion and enthusiasm is infectious, children will go home brimming with tales to tell.
Further to this, Zambia offers a huge amount from a destination perspective. Zambia is rich in wildlife with superb forests and meandering rivers. Of course, it is also the place where you can see the world’s largest waterfall – the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls. It is here that the mighty Zambezi, the fourth largest river in Africa, plummets into a gorge over one hundred metres below. Known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world, the columns of spray from this magnificent torrent of water can be seen from miles away ……..”Scenes so lovely, must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight” said the renowned missionary explorer, David Livingstone, who discovered The Falls in 1855 and named them after Queen Victoria. The Falls span the border between Zambia and neighbouring Zimbabwe.
Zambia offers a taste of the ‘Real Africa’. This is Africa at its most extraordinary. A trip to experience the grandeur of Victoria Falls is obviously a ‘must’ but this should be combined with a visit to the Lower Zambezi National Park - one of the few pristine wilderness areas left in Africa. It lies on the north bank of the Zambezi River in south eastern Zambia and until 1983, when the area was declared a National Park; the Lower Zambezi was the private game reserve of Zambia’s president, thus resulting in the Park remaining relatively undeveloped. Its beauty lies in its wilderness state and on the opposite bank is Zimbabwe’s famous Mana Pools National Park so the whole area on both sides of the Zambezi River is a vast wildlife sanctuary you’re looking for something a little different. Also, here you can go canoeing where you will have peace and tranquillity punctuated by animal magic viewed from a lower eye level – quite wonderful!
Furthermore, Zambia is home to arguably southern Africa’s greatest national park - South Luangwa. Full of game, exceptional camps and top quality guides, South Luangwa has it all. It is known as the home of the leopard, and it is here where Zambia’s famous walking safaris were invented. If you’re after game then it is imperative that you go here.
Zambia experiences its rains from November to March but if you are willing to experience a little shower or two, then this can actually be one of the more beautiful times to visit. The National Parks are bursting with big game in the dry season (July – October).
Zambia is as raw and wild as anywhere on the African continent and its rugged charm is captivating. The international airports are located in Lusaka (the capital) and Livingstone (Zambia’s gateway to Victoria Falls).