“How much excitement can a person take in a day?” Our safari companion was clearly on a high! Within the last half hour, we had encountered a pride of lions, dozens of basking hippos and large herds of buffalo on the plains of eastern Zambia’s South Luangwa River Valley…
So began our magazine feature story about a journey to Zambia.
Zambia, located in southern Africa just east of Angola, is now considered one of the world’s premier destinations for game viewing. Less well-known than Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa, the country is unbeatable, according to those who’ve been there. In fact, one of the most widely traveled couples we know recently said to us, “Of all the countries in Africa, Zambia was best for wildlife…it’s off the beaten path, and we could travel forever without seeing another human being!”
Since our own Zambian adventure several years ago, the range and quality of accommodations have become even better. Here’s hot-off-the-press news about Zambian safari camps:
Robin Pope, one of the most respected guides in Africa, specializes in unique walking safaris (supported by mobile camps) as well as day and night game drives from four permanent safari camps. The most luxurious tented camp, Tena Tena, was recently moved and re-built at a new site, shaded by mahogany trees, along the Luangwa River in southern Zambia. Guests refer to a stay here as the ultimate “glamping” experience! (robinpopesafaris.net)
Chongwe River House & Chinzombo
Norman Carr Safaris operates several safari camps in Zambia. The Chongwe River House, chosen Best Safari House in Africa by Good Safari Guides in both 2011 and 2012, was just refurbished with tribal textiles, re-cycled glass chandeliers that resemble stunning waterfalls and handmade Zambian furniture, made of wood re-cycled from old fishing boats. Situated on the Chongwe River, it sleeps eight people in four spacious bedrooms and provides an ideal safari base for a family or group of friends wanting a very private experience. The house comes fully staffed with a guide, house manager and private chef.
Opening in June, 2013, is the company’s Chinzombo Camp. Designed by award-winning, South African architects— Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens— Chinzombo promises to bring a level of comfort and luxury previously unseen in Zambia’s Luangwa River Valley. The architects’ signature style is low-impact, eco design, using local craftsmen. Six spacious villas made of natural materials come with luxurious bathrooms and private plunge pools on shady decks that overlook the Luangwa River. The camp is situated within 60 acres of private land teeming with wildlife. (normancarrsafaris.com, chongwe.com)