Zambia : Lower Zambezi National Park
The Lower Zambezi National Park is one of the continent's most
picturesque wilderness areas. There is not as much game here as in the
country's more famous Luangwa Valley, but it is an area of immense
natural beauty with numerous different landscapes and lovely mature
trees largely undamaged by elephant. The area has been zealously
protected in recent years and there's ever-increasing amount of
wildlife and birds to see in its various ecosystems. The Lower Zambezi
is also famed for its tiger fishing. A few days here combines really
well with a safari in the Luangwa Valley or the Kafue.
Sausage Tree is one of the best known camps in the Lower Zambezi, and often features on the pages of glossy magazines. Nestled amongst mature mahogany, acacia and sausage trees, this luxury camp is set high on a riverbank overlooking channels full of hippos and bird life. The epitome of bush chic, it has five large Bedouin-style white canvas tents furnished in minimalist white fabrics and teak, and each one has a large open air bathroom and expansive teak deck. The two honeymoon suites are perhaps the most luxurious accommodation on the Zambezi, and have their own private plunge pool. Gourmet meals are prepared and enjoyed under the African sky, with white linen and atmospheric candlelight, while activities include day and night game drives, walking and canoeing. Kigelia House (new for 2009) is ideal for small groups or families, with two en-suite bedrooms separated by an open plan living area leading onto the private deck and pool.
Chiawa is a luxury, family-run camp set on the banks of the Zambezi River, in a grove of Mahogany and Acacia trees. It has nine superior tents elevated on timber decks, which have spectacular views of the river and offer game viewing without even getting out of bed. They all have luxury en-suite bathrooms and solar powered lighting. The main sitting area is under thatch with an upstairs observation deck bar and dining room. Fishing is a speciality here with excellent tiger fishing and they can be caught on fly, spinner or with bait. Expert guides cater for all levels of anglers and a strict catch and release policy is observed (available all year but best between September and November). Other activities include exploring this magnificent area and game viewing by day and by night in vehicles, on foot or by canoe.
Chongwe River Camp is a family-run luxury bush camp on the confluence of the Chongwe River and the Zambezi, ideal for those looking for a comfortable tented experience without the high price tag associated with some of the other camps in the Lower Zambezi. It has nine comfortable en-suite tents which all face out over the Chongwe River and two fantastic luxury suites, which are slightly independent of the camp. All the tents are custom designed with organic ferro walls interspersed with natural wood. Both suites have a dining room, lounge area and a private pool, but you can join the main camp for meals or drinks. Activities include fishing (tiger fish and bream being both popular catches), canoeing and boating on the river as well as the game drives and escorted nature walks.
For those looking for something a bit special for a family occasion, wedding or if travelling with a bigger group, Chongwe River House is a stunning exclusive use retreat with very unique funky flint and wood interiors and not a straight line in sight. It is all open fronted and even from your four-poster bed you look out through the weird and wonderful rocky archways to the peaceful Chongwe River. The house sleeps up to eight people, and you have your own chef and house staff as well as safari guides, giving you a true sense of exclusivity.
Old Mondoro is a small seasonal bush camp in a beautiful site on the banks of the River Zambezi. Surrounded by vast flood plains and open woodland, it is ideal for walking safaris. Owned by the Cumings family who also run the famously luxurious Chiawa, Old Mondoro is a comfortable bush camp with a very high standard of service, but it offers a much more adventurous experience, capturing some of life’s true luxuries – open space, wild surroundings and peace and quiet. There are four reed and canvas chalets set under acacia trees, facing either the river or a lagoon. Each chalet is simply furnished with comfortable beds and rustic furniture, and lit by paraffin lanterns at night. The en-suite open air bathroom has a bucket shower hanging from a tree, flush loo and open-air splash tub.
Potato Bush Camp is a small exclusive set on the banks of the Zambezi River and adjacent to its slightly larger sister camp Sausage Tree. With just four luxury tented rooms you are guaranteed privacy to enjoy the peaceful surroundings and watch the wildlife visiting the river from your private veranda or while lounging in your private plunge pool. With a range of activities from game drives and walks to boat trips along the river there is plenty to see and do during the day before relaxing at the camp fire at night enjoying the sounds of the bush whilst relishing delicious meals under the African stars.