Take a relaxing sunset cruise on the meandering Zambezi River, before travelling to the remote and wild Kafue National Park in central Zambia. Embark on game drives and a guided bush walk in wildlife-rich Kafue. Travel into the beautiful Lower Zambezi Valley exploring this untamed wilderness area on game drives, before crossing into Zimbabwe and heading to scenic Lake Kariba for a two-night houseboat cruise. Then, continue to the elephant hotspot of Hwange National Park, where we visit a local homestead, embark on game drives and tour the Painted Dog Conservation Centre to see endangered African wild dogs. Last stop, the thunderous Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
This rewarding Explore Zambia & Zimbabwe Lodge Safari offers an authentic wildlife and wilderness adventure in secluded and incredibly beautiful parts of Southern Africa.
At the start of this Explore Zambia & Zimbabwe Lodge Safari you are collected from the international airport in Livingstone and driven to your first lodge in Zambia.
The lively town of Livingstone is Zambia's main safari and adventure hub, being located at the natural wonder of Victoria Falls. In Livingstone, traces of grand old colonial times mingle with colourful expressions of vibrant African cultures. Our leafy overnight lodge looks out over the mighty Zambezi River and surrounding bush, featuring a riverside deck and bar area.
Meet up with your guide and fellow travellers at the lodge before we set off on a sunset boat cruise along the Zambezi River. This relaxing cruise is the ideal way to start off our safari adventures. Watch your first beautiful African sunset from the water and look out for wild animals, such as waterbuck and hippo, as well as various birds drawn to the river.
After our laid-back river cruise we meet to discuss the journey ahead.
Day two sees us driving north through rural Zambia, as we make our way to the massive Kafue National Park. This is Zambia's oldest and biggest national park, ranked as one of the largest game parks in Africa.
In Kafue one experiences untamed Africa at her best - wild and largely unexplored. The 22 500 km² Kafue Park incorporates a beautiful diversity of habitats from open grasslands to thick woodlands. This national park is one of the most incredible places to visit in Zambia, offering rewarding game viewing in the authentic African bush.
We head to our safari lodge, set on the shores of Lake Itezhi Tezhi inside the legendary Kafue National Park. The wild setting of our overnight lodge near the Kafue River sets the tone for our remarkable game viewing adventure in northern Zambia.
On day three we drive north towards the remote Busanga Plains of Kafue National Park and our traditional bush-style lodge, game viewing en route. The northern areas of Kafue resemble the open savannahs of the Serengeti Plains and are similarly as rich in wildlife. Up north there are plenty of rare red lechwe and more antelopes to be seen, along with numerous other animals, such as zebra, lion and wildebeest.
Day four offers a fun combination of time walking in the bush and soaking in a hot spring. In the morning we embark on a guided bush walk going in search of game. Walking in Kafue National Park is a thrilling experience as you never know what big mammals you will come across - lion, hyena, roan antelope, leopard, zebra or buffalo, and others.
We return to the lodge beside the Kafue River for lunch having worked up a healthy appetite on the exciting game walk. Then it is time for that revitalising soak in the natural hot spring featuring a soft sand-covered floor. On our way to the natural pool and back, we enjoy some more game viewing in Kafue.
Travelling east we transition from unspoilt African wilderness to the bustling city of Lusaka, Zambia’s capital.
We spend the night just outside of the largest urban centre in Zambia, at a quiet and leafy lodge with an inviting pool.
Day six, time for one of the most memorable highlights of this African safari - the Lower Zambezi Valley of Zambia.
Our base for exploring the Lower Zambezi Valley region is a comfortable lodge in wildlife-rich Chiawa, one of Zambia's game management areas. The lodge offers sweeping views of the Zambezi River, inhabited by hippo and crocodile, and is surrounded by the bush where zebra, buffalo, elephant and other mammals roam.
On day seven we we spend the entire day in the bush, taking in the beautiful wild landscapes and spotting game in the Lower Zambezi National Park.
Leaving the Lower Zambezi Valley early in the morning, we drive southwest to scenic Lake Kariba, crossing the border into Zimbabwe. Located along the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, Lake Kariba is one of the biggest artificial lakes in the world, covering an area of over 5000km².
Arriving at the lake that looks like an inland sea, we head to the harbour where we board a luxury houseboat for our two-night cruise on Lake Kariba. First, our relaxing houseboat trip sets off for the far eastern end of the lake, close to the Matusadona National Park. Mooring along the shore or on one of the islands, we spend the afternoon searching for animals and birds, before sipping sundowners on one of the smaller boats.
On the evening of day eight we continue our lake cruise, enjoying dinner on the houseboat before retiring to our cabins. We cruise through the night to reach the Sengwe River Basin, which we explore the following day. Go in search of wildlife and birds in the remote Sengwe River area on day nine, soaking up the stunning scenery.
At the end of the day we enjoy sundowners on the lakeshore and have a barbecue on the beach. We overnight on the houseboat, under starry skies.
Next, we cruise from Sengwe River to Mlibizi, where we disembark from the houseboat and leave lovely Lake Kariba behind.
Our next safari destination is the famous Hwange National Park, one of Africa's top game parks and Zimbabwe's premier national park.
Reaching Hwange we make our way into a private concession area, bordering on the national park. Our next lodge is located inside the wildlife concession area, overlooking an active waterhole frequently visited by wildlife. Arriving at the lodge you have the option of visiting a nearby homestead to meet the locals and get a glimpse into rural life in Africa.
Day 11 is set aside for game viewing in Hwange National Park, renowned for its huge elephant herds and abundance of buffalos, zebras, giraffes and other animals. The Big Five (leopard, lion, rhino, buffalo and elephant) are found in Hwange, as well as one of Africa's biggest African wild dog populations. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife and birds as Hwange hosts diverse and endangered species.
This morning we stop in at the Painted Dogs Conservation Centre at Hwange. Here we see African wild dogs that are rehabilitated for release back into the wild where possible. Find out more about these endangered canines, the Hwange ecosystem and the conservation work carried out by the centre.
Then we leave the game-rich Hwange Park behind, driving north to the town of Victoria Falls, located at the world-famous Victoria Falls waterfall on the Zimbabwe side. This afternoon we take a guided tour of Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world. We walk to various viewpoints to admire the natural wonder, known locally as Mosi-Oa-Tunya, which means 'the Smoke that Thunders'.
After visiting the mighty Vic Falls you are free to relax at the riverside lodge or embark on exciting optional activities in the area. Victoria Falls is considered the Adventure Capital of Southern Africa, offering all kinds of thrilling activities - from helicopter and microlight flights over Vic Falls to bungee jumping and white water rafting on the Zambezi River.
After breakfast at the lodge in Victoria Falls, our Explore Zambia & Zimbabwe Lodge Safari comes to an end.
Transfer to Victoria Falls Airport for your onward flight, or spend few extra days in Victoria Falls after the safari.
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