With the Zambezi River flowing through it, the iconic Victoria Falls roaring on its borders, and an abundance of wildlife living within its national parks, Zambia is a true Africa gem. And unlike more popular destinations such as Botswana, Tanzania or Kenya, Zambia offers a wilder, more pristine safari experience, and magnificent accommodation to go with it.
Whether you’re a stone’s throw away from the Zambezi or perched amongst indigenous trees, Zambia’s luxury safari lodges welcome their guests in true African style, while indulging them in the finest pampering the continent has to offer. These mostly owner-run lodges also often have onsite luxury services which include spa treatments and butlers, and amenities like complimentary Wi-Fi and satellite TV, giving you all the comforts of home while in the rugged terrain of Africa.
Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp
Situated on hillside overlooking a floodplain in the popular South Luangwa National Park, Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp has a unique vantage point to spot wildlife, and offers its guests beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding area. Located in a remote, game-rich area of the national park, guests can often spot lions, leopards, elephants and zebras without leaving the camp.
Built to blend in with its surroundings and to leave the lowest possible carbon footprint, the intimate camp is made up of seven oversized safari tents which houses everything guests need — and some things they didn’t even know they needed. Each has a luxurious double bed that you can watch the sunrise from, an en-suite bathroom stocked with indulgent environmentally friendly products, an outdoor shower shaded by forest trees, and a deep oval bathtub from which guests can see elephants bathing in the distance. There is also a viewing deck overlooking the plains where wild dogs hunt.
Sanctuary Puku Ridge takes pride in offering its guests a made-to-order culinary experience. No matter what your dietary needs, chefs are on hand to make and serve you whatever you want to eat. Meals can be enjoyed out in the bush or on your private deck under the stars. It’s the perfect safari lodge for a honeymoon or romantic getaway for two.
Sausage Tree Camp
If you’re looking for a true bush experience with an element of luxury, then Sausage Tree Camp is for you. Located in the Lower Zambezi National Park, Sausage Tree Camp offer guests an eyeful: views of a massive stretch of the Zambezi River, plenty of wildlife on the valley floor, the Zambezi Escarpment as a backdrop. The unique location of the camp also offers guests a variety of activities including world class game drives, walking safaris, canoeing, Zambezi cruises, fishing and birdwatching.
The camp itself is made up of eight white Bedouin-style tents strategically placed along the banks of the Zambezi River, which elephants are known to wander through. Even though they are large, each tent is also completely hidden the others and shaded under mature sausage and mahogany trees, making them a cool place to rest during the afternoon and evening. Each tent is equipped with a four poster bed, an en suite bathroom, and a personal butler who is available 24 hours a day. Honeymoon suites even have their own private pools and decks. The lodge also caters to families or small groups wishing to stay together — the Kigelia House sleeps four people.
Sausage Tree Camp is known for its superb dining experiences, which include African-inspired fusion cuisine made with the freshest ingredients. Breakfast is buffet-style, served in the camp’s dining tent, while lunch is served deep in the bush or on a sandbank of the Zambezi, with cooling water at your feet. Dinner is a three-course, informal affair served with some of South Africa’s finest wines.
KaingU Safari Lodge
The owner-run KaingU Safari Lodge not only offers guests a true safari experience, but also comfortable accommodation that blends into its remote surroundings. Situated in the wildlife-rich 22,440 square-kilometer Kafue National Park, the lodge offers guests a change to experience unspoilt Africa.
KaingU offers accommodation in either the lodge building, or at one of the private, individual campsites. The lodge has six chalets and one family house, while the campsite has three luxury tents. All accommodation includes individual private wooden decks, which is the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon drink.
There are also plenty of activities at the lodge including nature walks, game drives, boating, and canoeing, with a special “Young Adventurer” program which includes baking, fishing, and tracking wildlife for children. With so much to do for the entire family, this lodge is perfect for your next family vacation.
Royal Chundu Island Lodge
Situated upstream from Victoria Falls on Katombora Island in the Zambezi River, Royal Chundu Island Lodge is surrounded by baobabs and 2,000-year-old Jackalberry trees. The lodge comprises four magnificent villas, an intimate boma area for outdoor evening meals, two lounges, a dining room, and an infinity pool. Each room is spacious, has an amazing private deck, and faces outward onto the the flowing Zambezi River. Equipped with the latest amenities and facilities including complimentary WiFi, in-room mini bar, and international adapters, you’ll feel at home from the moment you arrive.
With an in-house spa and restaurant, you could easily spend all your time at the lodge, but if you’d like to explore a little bit more of Zambia, the lodge also offers a variety of tours, including ones to Victoria Falls and surrounding national parks where you can enjoy a game drive.
This article was originally published on August 31, 2015.