Posted on Nov 9, 2022
We might be biased, but Old Mondoro, an authentic African bush camp, and Chiawa Camp, a perfect family safari lodge, are the best Zambia lodges to see Elephants in camp.
Elephant roam freely throughout the camps. These Chiawa Safaris lodges each have a unique position right on the shore of the mighty Lower Zambezi River within prolific wilderness areas. And with no fences or boundaries, wildlife – including Elephant – visit on a daily basis to grab fallen pods from trees and cross the water to the many islands dotting the vast river.
Old Mondoro, is a Zambia safari camp that perfectly balances the ambience of the classic African bush camps of the past with the right amount of modern luxuries and clean aesthetics desired by travelers today.
Your safari tent will face the hyacinth-filled channel teeming with feeding elephant and buffalo amongst a most magical play of light, or you will enjoy a direct view onto the Zambezi River from which to watch elephant make the seemingly precarious crossing to river islands or all the way to Zimbabwe,
Your backdoor faces the epicenter of this classic African bush lodge, where large herds of buffalo, smatterings of different antelope species, and upwards of 15+ elephant of an array of ages, can be seen roaming and going about their day. It is not at all rare to open your door and see a large bull elephant passing within 10 feet of you, as it makes its way to a pod-filled tree or the green snacks on offer in the channel. Oftentimes, you’ll need to radio for a lift in the safari vehicle to get to and from the main lodge deck, or sitenge, for your meals, as the area cannot be safely traversed on foot!
Chiawa Camp, the pioneer safari lodge of the Lower Zambezi, has recently undergone a revamp of their luxury safari tents, creating a river-front oasis with expansive private deck, on-demand wallow pool and even a relaxing hammock all from which to watch the Zambezi sights and sounds go by.
Certainly one of the best family safari lodges in Zambia, welcoming kids on safari in a safe yet exciting experience. Younger kids can join in on game drives and boat cruises, while the older kids on safari can hop into a canoe for a river safari and go on walking safaris too. And there is no shortage of delicious and kid-friendly food on safari here at Chiawa Camp.
The best time to go on safari in Zambia and especially to visit the Lower Zambezi National Park is during the dry season which is from May to November.
Game viewing is much better at this time because water supplies diminish between June and October, so more wildlife is out and about searching for a watering hole or heading to the river.
September and October are the best time to visit Zambia for ultimate wildlife sightings – just so long as you can stand the heat! Visit our Travel Info page for more information on each month and what to expect.
If you also want to see Victoria Falls on your Zambian safari, then March to May is best for the most powerful waterfall sights.
Zambia, like many African safari destinations, has a rainy season and a dry season.
The wet months of the Lower Zambezi, also called the green season, transforms the landscape, which also means wildlife viewing is lacking. The humidity increases the mosquito population too which is never much fun to experience on safari in Africa. Many lodges, including the best safari lodges in the Lower Zambezi – Old Mondoro and Chiawa Camp – are closed during this time in any case.
A family safari is a holiday together unlike any other. Bringing your kids on safari will create memories to cherish for years to come.
A safari in Zambia exposes your kids to a real life Animal Planet – away from the TV. While on safari, you kids will see wildlife that will make them hold their breath, and award-winning guides will teach them something no book or movie could ever hope to replicate.
Families and children are welcome at all of the Chiawa Safaris camps, with accommodation options, kid-friendly safari activities and age-limits varying between each of our Zambian lodges. Different families will find different camps more appealing but arguably the best family safari lodge is Chiawa Camp.
While kids can go on safari as young as 5 years old, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a lodge that will fulfill both your own safari dreams as well as be able to accommodate your younger kids with the right activities, safely.
Chiawa Camp, a luxury family safari lodge in the Lower Zambezi, welcomes kids 8 years of age and older. Kids 16 and younger must be accompanied overnight by an adult (i.e – you cannot book a separate tent for your kids if they are under 17 years of age). However, the luxury family Safari Suite allows kids on safari as young as 5 years old.
The other safari lodges in Zambia from Chiawa Safaris – Old Mondoro in the Lower Zambezi and Puku Ridge in the South Luangwa – welcomes children on safari 12 years and older. Those 18 years old and younger must be accompanied overnight by an adult.
Oh, where to begin. You needn’t even leave the camp to enjoy your African Safari, as these safari lodges have elephant and other wildlife roaming throughout the bush camps at close distances.
But when you do leave your safari tent to venture out, your day can be filled to the brim with exceptional safari activities.
From heart-racing walking safaris, to classic and up-close game drives either day or night (Chiawa specializes in red spotlight night drives), as well as water activities including Zambezi River canoe safaris, relaxing boat cruises and some of the best tiger fishing in Zambia to be found.
But even going to the bathroom at Old Mondoro is an experience in itself, when you head to the Loo with a View, and find yourself not quite alone during your private moment!
Check out the full list of safari experiences and activities on offer with Chiawa Safaris.
A safari at the best lodges in Zambia will be well worth the price tag. Depending on the time of year – shoulder season can grab you some great deals – you can expect to spend from $985 to $1542 per adult per night and $375 to $575 per child per night, dependent on the time of year and which of the Lower Zambezi safari lodges you choose.
Yes! Chiawa Safaris offers an incredible safari package deal. During the shoulder season, you can stay 3 nights and just pay 2 at either camp (not combinable). And for all seasons, you can stay 5 nights and pay for 4 (or stay 7 nights and pay for 5) at either camp and you can create a combination of both the authentic African bush camp Old Mondoro along with the luxury family safari lodge Chiawa Camp.
Large group bookings of 6 or more along with Exclusive Use entire camp bookings, also enjoy an additional discount for an amazing Zambia safari package not found elsewhere.
If you’re not convinced yet that Old Mondoro and Chiawa Camp are the best safari camps to stay at in the Lower Zambezi, then why not head to their TripAdvisor page and read the lauded reviews yourself!
Both Zambia bush camps receive across the board 5* rating.