Below Victoria Falls and the world’s largest man-made lake, Lake Kariba, the Zambezi takes on a more “laid back” personality, worrying less about time as it slows down and gracefully winds its way down to the Indian Ocean. There are many reasons why the “Lower Zambezi” is rated so highly by the Bellingham Safaris team but what really counts is that this stretch of the Zambezi River is arguably the most scenic with exceptional wildlife. African wildlife aficionados often discuss their love of the two iconic national parks that straddle this stretch of river, Mana Pools National Park (in Zimbabwe) and Lower Zambezi National Park (in Zambia) – so we felt a feature on this stunning wildlife destination was long overdue. Not surprisingly, the river is the reason wildlife thrives in this remote part of the African continent – rafts of hippo are common, as are elephants feeding along the river banks, along with a constant procession of interesting birdlife (colonies of crimson coloured carmine bee-eaters, vociferous African fish eagles, flights of African skimmers and so much more). The tall stands of trees lining the river feature some wonderful lodges and are home to their own suite of wildlife – chacma baboons and vervet monkeys play in the branches, warthog, kudu, impala and waterbuck feed beneath the canopy and as the light starts to fade lion, leopard and hyena patrol. With a host of fantastic wildlife activities taking place alongside the river most visitors never get to see the escarpment that stands on either side of this beautiful stretch of river, other than in the evening when it shoulders one of those famed African sunsets to signify the close of day.
WHY WE LOVE LOWER ZAMBEZI NATIONAL PARK
Authentic safari experience
Warm, welcoming and safe
Exceptional tag-and-release fishing
Getting out on foot – Zambia is known as the home of walking safaris
A choice of river-based safaris on boat or canoe OR 4×4 game drives
Please contact us if you would like to travel to beautiful Zambia.
Warm regards from Simon, Jen and the Bellingham team.
- Carmine bee-eater colonies
- African finfoot
- Pel’s fishing owl
- Collared palm-thrush
- Roufous-bellied heron
- Long-toed plover
- Secretary bird
- Saddle-billed stork
- African skimmer
Located in the heart of the Lower Zambezi National Park, only steps away from the banks of the Zambezi River, in one of the most game-rich areas of Zambia, Chiawa Camp, is comprised of nine luxurious “tents”. Founded and run by The Cumings Family who have vast experience in guiding, conservation and the safari industry, guests are assured of the highest standards in all aspects of their safari at Chiawa Camp. What’s even better … with very little human presence in the area, game is plentiful and numerous elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and other species are literally on the camp’s doorstep!
About an hour east downstream by boat from sister camp Chiawa, Old Mondoro is located in the wonderfully open area of Faidherbia Forest. The camp is a far simpler affair than Chiawa yet the guiding levels, activity choice, service and excellent home-cooking remain on par. The comfortable rooms are strung out along a hippo-friendly channel off the Zambezi, enjoying great views with their half-height walls and small decks. Activities at Old Mondoro focus on game drives and boating, though the elephant and hippo activity around camp are enough to encourage a lodge-based safari! Tasty meals are served fireside or in the open-sided thatched dining room, and star-gazing in this remote spot makes a perfect pastime.
Sausage Tree Camp is the epitome of bush chic, set in a stunning location along the Zambezi River at the heart of the Lower Zambezi National Park. The 25m Lap-pool is idyllically situated right on the edge of the riverbank, under shading Mahogany trees with outstanding views. Accommodation is in luxurious suites, completely rebuilt in 2018 to the highest of standards. Suites are generously spaced along the Zambezi River bank allowing the elephants to amble in between. Nearly hidden from one another, and shaded by mature Sausage and Mahogany trees, the tents are cool, private sanctuaries to return to for an afternoon siesta or good nights rest
Photo credits: Elephant opening photo by Simon Bellingham, canoeing with elephant by Sausage Tree, carmine bee-eater colony by Simon Bellingham, lodge photos by suppliers.