Oh to be in Zambia…

My first visit to this wonderful country was back in 1998 when I travelled together with my parents and some of our friends in our own 4×4 convoy. Back then the roads were terrible, infrastructure basically non-existent and the choice of accommodation very limited. Since then, a lot has changed. It amazes me that in relatively short time, Zambia has become one of the best safari destinations for those who wish to combine an unforgettable safari experience together with a true feeling of a classic safari.

Today there are more and more international flights flying into Lusaka than ever before, with good links to Europe and the USA. Lusaka is now a buzzing city with great restaurants, shops and very good nightlife. Certainly a lot more welcoming and friendly than 10 years ago! The safari camps and lodges also have improved a lot, now offering a wide range of accommodation, from the absolute basic to the very luxurious.

It might come as a surprise for many that Zambia is a major contributor to the safari experiences we take for granted today – the walking Safari. Walking Safaris started in Zambia back in the 1950s and have been the foundation of today’s safari industry. Whenever I join a walking safari, I am reminded of how much one misses whilst being on a vehicle. Being on the ground and learning about the bush really is an amazing experience and widens your horizons as to the fact that Africa has more to offer than the “Big Five”. Even during my two years of living in Zambia, I never got bored of exploring the bush on foot with one of the many brilliant guides. There are so many small things that usually get overlooked when trying to spot a Lion or an Elephant, (and let me tell you, seeing one of them on foot is something far more memorable than a photograph taken from a vehicle. )

I have now been to Zambia nearly every year since my first visit in 1998. I love its variety, from the hot and game rich Luangwa Valley, the open Grass plains of the Kafue to the majestic Victoria Falls. During my many visits I was also lucky enough to experience some of Zambia’s less known attractions. The most memorable would have to be the Fruit Bat migration in the remote Kasanka National Park. Imagine, 8 Million fruit bats migrating from all over central Africa to a small woodland in Zambia. It is a spectacle that boggles the mind. The migration is further enhanced by the fact that the bats leave for their evening meal at a very specific time, around 6pm. So, 8 million Fruit Bats departing at once, darkening the skies above you whilst you sit back with a nice drink or try and get as many photographs as possible! The migration happens every year in November and is one of the many specialist attractions Zambia has to offer.

To list all of the possible destinations in Zambia would exceed the length of this blog, but I hope that you will read this and will want to know more. I will keep you posted! I certainly cannot wait to be back again.

Latest Special Offers…

BUSANGA PLAINS COMPLIMENTARY BALLOON OFFER

Busanga - Hot-air Balloon

Experience one complimentary ballooning activity on the expansive and breathtaking Busanga Plains. This is based on a minimum three night stay at one of the following camps:

Busanga Bush Camp, Kapinga Camp or Shumba Camp.

AN EXTRA NIGHT ON US IN ZAMBIA…. STAY 3 PAY 2 (33% SAVING)

Experience the exciting Wilderness Safaris camps in Zambia with a 33% saving on accommodation and get one night free when staying for a minimum of three nights in one or more of the following camps:

Shumba Camp, Kapinga Camp, Busanga Bush Camp and Kalamu Lagoon Camp.

Shumb Camp

Terms and conditions apply – contact Opulent Africa for more information.

Images couresy of Dana Allen.

Exciting 9 night Kafue safari…!!!

Zambia’s Kafue National Park offers a truly remote wilderness safari with good game viewing, comfortable and reasonably priced accommodation.

To get the best out of the Kafue, we recommend a combination of three wonderful camps in the area, starting at Hippo Lodge which is located on the banks of the Kafue River. It’s a perfect destination for nature lovers, bird watchers and anglers alike. Days can be spent game-viewing on foot, by vehicle or boat. Guests can fish the Kafue hot spots, tick away at the bird list or unwind with a “sundowner” in the beautiful natural hot spring.

Hippo Lodge

Hippo Lodge is set in a remote wilderness, teeming with seasonal wildlife. The Zambian Ornithological Society has categorised Hippo Lodge as one of the best birding sites in Zambia – a real birdwatchers paradise.

The lodge is small and traditional with four stone and thatch cottages and two safari tents providing a choice in the style of accommodation. Located on the east bank of the Kafue River, the setting is idyllic with access to particularly remote areas of the Kafue National Park. The diversity of habitats supports a variety of wildlife, including hippo, crocodile, buffalo, elephant, lion and hyena.

Plains Camp

Guests would then be taken on a scenic road and boat journey to Plains Camp on the Busanga Plains – the only independent camp in the area. The Busanga Plains is a wetland area in the far north of Kafue and from July to October the plains are accessible by 4×4 safari vehicle.

Large groups of rarities like red lechwe and roan antelope are always present, as are huge herds of up to 1,000 buffalo, wildebeest, zebra and sometimes eland. Lion are abundant, along with cheetah hunting for their prey on the open plains.

The camp consists of four comfortable safari tents, complete with en-suite bathroom, hot water bucket showers and flush loo. The main boma area for dining and relaxation provides outstanding views across the huge plains and to the fig and palms opposite.

Plains Camp

The third leg of this exciting journey would be Manyukuyuku which is a charming and rustic camp, part Zambian owned. The camp is located on the southern edge of the Northern Sector of Kafue National Park, just 8 km from Mongu Road which allows year round access. Situated close to the banks of the Kafue River, alongside a highly wooded treeline, Manyukuyuku has magnificent views both up and downstream.

The large shady trees and the river’s boulders and rock formations make relaxing days all the more enjoyable and the area is rich in wildlife, so game viewing is a major attraction. The guestbook is brimming with sightings, especially lion, leopard and wild dog.

Opulent Africa’s 9 night Kafue safari costs from £2,295 per person and includes all road transfers, full board accommodation, safari activities and park fees. For more information on this itinerary or any of our current specials, please contact us.

Hot stone massages on the banks of the Zambezi.

There’s a fabulous lodge overlooking the Zambezi River at Victoria Falls, it’s called Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma lodge which is named after the intrepid explorer David Livingstone’s two companions.  The lodge is superbly located in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, which in addition to the mighty roar of the Victoria Falls, also boasts great game viewing opportunities as well.

The main lodge area is built between the giant ebony trees that overlook the impressive Zambezi which enables guests to have the option of relaxing by the pool, at the elevated bar with a drink, or in their air-conditioned room (of which there are just twelve tree house style suites.) Sussi and Chuma have now opened a tranquil treatment room which specializes in massages such as the Ukuchina, a Zambian version of the traditional hot stone massage.

Sussi and Chuma is excellently located on the Zambezi to command stunning views of the river and of course the game that frequents it.  Each of the tree houses is positioned for river viewing and each suite is airy and open plan room with a shower, large bathtub, vanity area and private toilet.

A stop of a few nights at Victoria falls combines well with a few days to a week in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.