If you’re thinking of travelling to Zambia for a once in a lifetime safari holiday, you’re going to want to do it right. Zambia has an abundance of different accommodation options, but if you’re looking for something extra special to put that big tick on the bucket list, take a look at what we deem to be the top 5 luxury lodges in Zambia for 2020.
We take you on a tour of the best locations in Zambia and consider all factors – location, rooms, amenities, food, service, activities and wildlife, and we are confident these spots will deliver the experience they promise, and more. So, have a scroll and get in touch with us about booking the next holiday that will have you dreaming of Africa for years to come.
The award-winning Tongabezi was one of the first luxury lodges in the Livingstone area, what really sets it apart is its proximity to the exciting Victoria Falls but is also slightly downriver, secluded in amongst the trees and wilderness on the banks of the Zambezi.
With a selection of luxurious and beautiful cottages and houses each with a unique style, uninterrupted views and king-sized beds, Tongabezi is the perfect spot for an exclusive family holiday or a romantic getaway – sink into your very own plunge pool on your deck and bask in the serene beauty of your surroundings.
The hospitality and service here are second to none with all the staff going out of their way to ensure you have the best experience possible, from producing exquisite meals and mixing up a cocktail, to organising the numerous activities available at the lodge included in your stay, and even more available nearby in Livingstone town, nothing is too much trouble. Helicopter ride, microlight, bungee jump and white-water rafting are available for the adrenaline junkies but for the more sedate traveller, a trip to Livingstone Island, game drives in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and sunset cruises may be more your speed.
Privately owned and run, Tongabezi combines exclusive luxury with Zambian warmth to create a product you won’t forget in a hurry.
Open all year (2020)
Prices range from US$735* pppn
The bespoke Lion Camp brings a touch of elegance to the deep South Luangwa bush. Recently renovated and reopened in 2018, Lion Camp is bush luxury at its finest. The camp is located on a floodplain in the remote and lion rich northernmost area of the park far from the park gates and boasts some of the best wildlife around, as well as the privacy of very few to no other vehicles/people around.
With just 10 spacious and tasteful bush suites on elevated wooden platforms and wooden walkways connecting them to the main lodge, the exclusivity of this camp allows you to be at one with nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds and modern life. The unfenced nature of the lodge provides the excitement of truly being in the wild with game often roaming freely through the camp.
Here you can expect great service, delicious and freshly prepared meals, and knowledgeable and cheerful guides guaranteed to deliver a memorable safari experience time and time again.
Open 21 May – 31 Oct (2020)
Prices range from US$735* pppn.
Six luxury safari tents perched on raised wooden platforms in the middle of the glorious Busanga plains marks Shumba Camp, one of just four camps in this area. These remote and wild floodplains are home to a myriad of wildlife, including a healthy cat population of lion, leopard and cheetah, as well as elephant, buffalo, wildebeest, hippo, jackal etc.
Witness the wilderness from your spacious and tranquil safari tent haven or from the pool in the main camp area. If this doesn’t float your boat – up, up and away in their very own hot air balloon and appreciate the majesty with a bird’s eye view and watch the plains game flitting across the plains below you, a bucket list moment that only a handful of people will experience in their lifetime.
The famous Zambian hospitality is at its finest at Shumba, with sumptuous dining, and excellent guides, you will be better cared for than you realised you needed.
End your memorable days gathered around the campfire with a G&T, stargazing and sharing fireside tales.
Open 1 Jun – 31 Oct (2020)
Prices range from US$1050* pppn
One of the earliest protected areas in Africa, the outstandingly beautiful Liuwa Plain is home to the only permanent camp, King Lewanika, and the second biggest wildebeest migration in Southern Africa.
This exclusive 6-villa camp offers outstanding opportunities for wildlife viewing and stunning photography in a truly unspoiled and unique national park. Fly from Lusaka to Kalabo and then hop on their private helicopter for a 15-minute flight to the camp.
King Lewanika is luxuriously designed yet still maintains an authentic African ambience with elevated sweeping decks on every villa and outdoor showers so that you can feel at one with your natural surroundings even in the privacy of your room.
Their award-winning guides will take you on memorable safari excursions in a game drive vehicle or on foot to witness the unrivalled scenery and wildlife that includes lions, cheetah, wild dogs, wildebeest and fantastic birdlife, you’ll have the whole park to yourself.
If you’ve never heard of Lady Liuwa, look her up. After extreme poaching in the area, she was the last lion left in the park for a whole 9 years and thrived as a solo hunter before conservation efforts reintroduced lions back into the park, allowing her to be reunited with her own species and now makes up the famous ‘Lady Liuwa pride’ – a truly moving tale. She sadly died in 2017 at the age of 17 but her legend lives on.
Open 1 Jan – 15 July & 15 Oct – 31 Dec (2020)
Prices range from US$1400* pppn
Lower Zambezi National Park boasts a collection of the most luxurious camps in Southern Africa, among them, is the multi-award-winning Chiawa Camp.
Situated on the banks of the Zambezi River this premier camp offers an opulent holiday with all the trimmings, with game drives, game walks, canoeing, boating and angling all available for you to keep you busy in between the decadent, freshly prepared meals and siestas under the shade of a tree. Lower Zambezi has an array of wildlife including elephant, lion, leopard, hippo and spectacular birdlife. If you’re into your fishing or just keen to give it a go, the Zambezi River is the place to be and one of the best destinations in the world for tiger fishing. Chiawa’s guides will find you the very best spots to catch (and abide by a strict catch and release policy) and will provide you with all the equipment you need.
Rustic meets luxury here where the spaced out and tastefully decorated safari tents exude a cosy, natural charm and blend beautifully into their surroundings. If you want to really up the ante, upgrade to their suite and enjoy your little slice of heaven with a private pool and views you won’t ever want to say goodbye to.
The chefs at Chiawa are second to none, with intricately and carefully planned menus developed over time, each dish shows the love and care that has gone into preparing them and will rival any first-class restaurant around. So, what are you waiting for?
Open 1 May – 21 Nov (2020)
Prices range from US$960* pppn