Zambia’s three stunning premier National Parks are all different. The raw beauty of the Lower Zambezi, the lagoons and riverine woodland of thebSouth Luangwa, the miombo woodland and vast open plains of the north Kafue are contrasting and all host exceptional game. The camps we would recommend are personalized, sometimes owner-run, offering spectacular safaris in the most remote areas with dedicated guides and excellent wildlife.
There are also more off the beaten track safaris we can recommend, such as to the remote Liuwa Plains National Park, which has some of the best hyena and wild dog viewing in the country, and the 2nd largest wildebeest population after the Serengeti/Mara. There is also the Kasanka National Park famous for its spectacular bat migration, the largest mammal migration on the planet – and both these trips can be undertaken in November just at the end of the typical safari season in Zambia.
Naturally, side trips such as to the world-famous Victoria Falls, with visits to authentic local villages where diverse cultures and ceremonies can be experienced, are available and encouraged.
If you only have time to visit two of Zambia’s National Parks, then visit the Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa. Staying at Chiawa Camp and/or Old Mondoro in the Lower Zambezi NP, and Puku Ridge (or Chichele Presidential Lodge once reopened) in the South Luangwa NP, will offer guests prime locations, abundant wildlife, diverse habitats and some of Africa’s best guides and our famed hospitality, personalized just for you.
Safaris of this level are generally bespoke, customized for your unique requirements and this takes a great deal of investment, knowledge, experience and expertise on the part of your travel agent who is well placed to assist you in booking the African safari of your dreams; and we too are on hand to offer our experience and advice if need be, even if you are considering visiting other parts of Zambia. Fully-inclusive prices range vary significantly depending on seasonality, length of stay, combination of camps and duration at each, time of booking and group size among others.
On offer are our Pay/Stay specials for 3/5/7 nights and more depending on your requirements. Further discounts are available if you include Puku Ridge and/or Chichele Presidential Lodge in your safari to Chiawa Camp and/or Old Mondoro.
Why visit Chiawa Camp, or Old Mondoro, or both?
Visit either or both depending on time, interest and budget as both offer contrasting yet complementary safari experiences with the highest of standards!
Chiawa Camp is the larger, more luxurious and slightly more expensive of the two camps. Located 10km into the Park it is well placed in perhaps the best game viewing area and far enough away from the crowded GMA to its west. It excels at special occasions, and despite its 16 beds offers multi-award-winning, world-renowned flexibility, quality of guiding and quantity of guides (private guide requests for photography or fishing easily managed), hospitality and service. The terrain is more varied and arguably more interesting than at Old Mondoro, and with regular access to three different lion prides, lion sightings are generally excellent and reliable, with lions often seen in and around camp! Single travellers love the ambience of Chiawa Camp which never charges a single supplement!
Old Mondoro is a further 35km into the Park, more intimate and by design closer to nature, but with the necessary comforts and conveniences. Elephants seem to be in camp all the time. Old Mondoro offers the same Lower Zambezi safari activities as at Chiawa Camp, with great flexibility & great guiding. Lion viewing at Old Mondoro is erratic, but this is made up for by its prolific, wild but relaxed leopards, where guests are generally treated to multiple leopard sightings each day/night. The habitat is more open with towering winter thorn trees, great for walking in any direction, and this habitat means more kudu and zebra are seen than at Chiawa Camp. This is a great place to find aardvark and sometimes, pangolin.
Start at Chiawa Camp and then end with Old Mondoro if you can – it seems to work better that way.
Image credits: “Lechwes in the water” and the “Wattled cranes” – Africa Parks