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Five unmissable experiences in Zambia

From waterfalls to safari stars, Zambia gives you plenty of reasons to visit. Here are five of our favourite.

Beyond the urban sprawl of Lusaka and the Copperbelt, Zambia’s landscape is defined by nature. The powerful rivers of Kafue, Luangwa and Zambezi carve paths across the country, quenching flora and fauna as they go. Lion, elephant, rhino, hippo – and hundreds more species great and small call this place home. 

During a Zambia holiday with A&K, venture from forest to thicket and from village to valley, discovering this African beauty for yourself. Here are five of our favourite things to see and do in Zambia.

Take a sunset cruise on the Zambezi

The mighty Zambezi meanders 2,574 kilometres, crossing six borders on its way to the Indian Ocean. Take a sunset cruise along the Zambian stretch of this, the fourth largest river in Africa, for the ultimate sundowner. As the sun bows behind the horizon turning the sky pink and gold, toast the view with a glass of champagne. You won’t be the only thing cruising the river – clandestine crocodile glide with nary a ripple, while herds of hippo wallow worry-free. Keep an eye out for elephant cooling off in the water, as well as other critters gathered along the bank. 

Situated within the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park on a secluded river bend, Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma is the ideal spot for your Zambezi adventure. At night, relax in your private tree-house accommodation amidst phoenix palms and jackalberry trees. During the day, head out on the river. You’re just 12 kilometres upstream from our next unmissable sight…   

 

Visit Victoria Falls

Poetically named ‘The Smoke That Thunders’ in Chitonga, Victoria Falls is one of Earth’s natural wonders. It’s the largest waterfall in the world, comprising half-a-billion litres of the Zambezi plummeting into a series of gorges every minute. This UNESCO World Heritage Site can be appreciated from all angles – from the river bank, the bridge, the gorge below or the sky above (we can arrange a helicopter fly-over just for you). 

The Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Hotel provides the perfect five-star base from which to visit this spectacular site. Whilst staying here, take the 15-minute walk to see the waterfalls on foot, or board a boat from its river-side harbour to nearby Livingstone Island. Between August and January, when the Zambezi is at its lowest, you can swim out close to the edge in Devil’s Pool. Wade in the most breath-taking natural infinity pool the world has to offer.

Rainbows can often be seen arcing over the water, but if you visit Victoria Falls during a full moon, you may be in for an extra-special sight. When the smoky spray that fills the gorge catches the moonlight just right, it forms a lunar rainbow. It’s the cherry on the cake (or moonbow on the lake) of any nocturnal trek here.  

 

Set your heart racing

You could take it easy during your stay in Zambia – or you could bungee jump 111 metres over Victoria Falls Bridge. Conceived by Cecil Rhodes, the bridge straddles Zimbabwe and Zambia and was intended to form part of his grand Cape-to-Cairo railway. The track running its length still carries the luxurious Royal Livingstone Express on regular excursions, and offers a spectacular vantage point for appreciating Victoria Falls. It’s also arguably the most stunning bridge bungee spot in the world.

If bungee jumping isn’t your thing, there’s plenty more to quicken your pulse in Zambia. Zipline over the Zambezi from a spot nearby, or tackle the swirling waters below; white water rafting here involves a thrilling tumble through the gorges beneath the Falls, and navigating the Zambezi’s rapids by kayak is just as exhilarating. 

For more high-octane ideas, browse through our suggested 12-day Active Zambia itinerary.

 

Meet the locals

A country’s culture is the product of its people, so for a real insight into modern Zambia, be sure to break bread with the locals. 

While life in the economic hub of Lusaka chugs away at pace, goings on are slower in the villages which dot Zambia’s rugged rural plains. Here, far from the infrastructure enjoyed by city dwellers, communities must look after themselves to survive.  

As part of its commitment to sustainable tourism, Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy (AKP) has been busy working with the people of Nakatindi. This charming conurbation lies three miles from Sanctuary Sussi and Chuma Lodge, along the border fence of Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. During your stay, take a guided tour of the village, meet the locals and learn about the community projects AKP is supporting such as the Chipego Bike Shop

 

Meet the wildlife

Zambia is brimming with wonderful wildlife, and uncountable ways to witness it. Around 30 per cent of the country’s entire landmass is dedicated to wildlife preservation, with 20 national parks both great and small to explore. Kafue, South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi are three of Zambia’s most popular national parks, and a match for the best in Africa.

From the bush to the grasslands, lion prowl, elephant amble, rhino sniff and buffalo graze. By the river, you’ll find yawning hippo and clandestine crocodile. Overhead, hundreds of bird species soar. Zambia is also one of the few remaining places the endangered African wild dog can be seen.  

For a traditional safari experience, take a 4x4 game drive by day or by night. Your expert guide will know exactly where to go for the greatest chance of spotting wildlife. Alternatively, head out on foot during a walking safari for a real sense of the great outdoors. You can even hop in a canoe to cruise and fish along the Zambezi, passing the menagerie of species at the water’s edge.

For more ideas of what to do during your luxury Zambia holiday, visit our dedicated destination page here.