Experience the classic Zambian safari
Taking its name from the Zambezi River that flows through it, Zambia is a large landlocked country in Southern Africa. It is a well-known safari destination with a number of National Parks, great for the first-time safari goer and the seasoned traveller. Walking safaris are a highlight here, pioneered in the early 1960’s by Norman Carr. Zambia is not only a Big 5 safari destination but with over 750 bird species, is an excellent birding destination as well. It also offers unique sightings such as the Thornicroft species of giraffe and Cookson’s wildebeest only found in the South Luangwa.
Get a taste of it all
Swim to the edge of the Victoria Falls, snorkel in Lake Tanganyika, walk across the Luangwa Valley, or watch elephants from the banks of the Zambezi River, Zambia offers incredible safari experiences to suit all travellers. This diverse country has some of the largest national parks in Africa so you can spend a significant amount of time here either in one location or perhaps combine a few national parks and fully indulge in what is on offer here - be it tracking big game on foot, up close with hippos on a canoe or from above on a hot air balloon over the Kafue. Chances are you will be back as there is always more to discover.
What you need
Things that are worth knowing about when traveling to Zambia
Did you know the largest mammal migration is that of the African Straw-coloured Fruit Bat?
Between October and December each year, more than 10 million of these bats fill the sky and descend upon a small patch of evergreen swamp forest in Kasanka National Park – a truly incredible sight. You can get a bird’s eye view over the Kapabi Swamp and spot Sitatunga antelopes from the 18m hide perched in a mululu tree, or canoe along the Luwombwa River in hopes of spotting the rare Blue Monkey. It may be one of Zambia’s smallest National Parks, but it has a lot to offer.
Bangweulu meaning “the place where the water meets the sky” is an apt name for this watery haven, with its diverse ecosystem forming one of Africa’s most important wetlands. This is one of the best places to view the rare and prehistoric-looking shoebill as well as hundreds of other bird species. Bangweulu is also home to the black lechwe. These lechwe are great swimmers and are often spotted grazing shoulder-deep in water.
The wide-open landscapes of the Liuwa Plains are unlike any in Zambia and with the start of the rains, these vast grasslands become host to the second largest wildebeest migration on the continent. Without the crowds you may encounter in East Africa, you are able to experience this spectacle more intimately. You may also know of Lady Liuwa, the last surviving lion and with the ongoing conservation efforts here, her legacy lives on. Another highlight in Liuwa Plains is observing the antics of the spotted hyena, which number in the hundreds here!
GeneralWhat do I pack for a safari in Zimbabwe? Please remember that there may be luggage weight or size restrictions on your Zimbabwe safari. Before you travel, we shall advise you on what would be suitable for your specific safari as sometimes you may need a wide range of clothing to cater for the different conditions of your safari. If bush walks are a part of your safari, we advise to not wear white or black coloured clothes. What Stone Ruins are in Zimbabwe? The name Zimbabwe translates as “House of stone”. Between the 11th to 15th Century these stone edifices were constructed around the country and were important centres of trade and government. The main ones being Great Zimbabwe, Khami Ruins and Dhlodhlo Ruins, there are many other smaller ones scattered around. Can I walk by myself in the National Parks? No, you cannot, this is only available in designated areas within Mana Pools National Park after paying for a special permit and signing a disclaimer. We do not recommend doing this, you will have a much better experience being accompanied by a trained professional safari guide familiar with the area. Licensed professional guides working for a registered operator are allowed to take you for walks anywhere within the National Parks. What currency is used in Zimbabwe? The currency in Zimbabwe is the Zimbabwean Dollar. In tourist areas most transactions are quoted and done in US Dollars with South African Rand also possible. What time zone is Zimbabwe in? Zimbabwe shares the same time zone as the rest of Southern Africa, which is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time – (GMT) + 2 hours, in the Central Africa Time Zone (CAT) Can I use my credit cards in Zimbabwe? Yes, but only really in the main cities or tourist areas like Victoria Falls with Visa and Mastercard the most widely accepted. To buy curios or paying for camp extras like National Parks Fees it is better to have actual cash. What power sockets are used in Zimbabwe? In the cities and safari camps Zimbabwe uses 220V power points in the camps mostly using Type G plugs. If you have an item that runs on 110V, please bring a converter. It is also advisable to bring additional universal travel adaptors and extra batteries.
VisasDo I need a visa to travel to Zimbabwe? Most nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival at the port of entry or apply for an e-visa before arrival. However, some nationalities may have to apply in advance through an embassy.Please check with your Travel Designer to find out if you require a visa to enter Zimbabwe.
MedicalWhat Vaccinations do I need for travelling to Zimbabwe? At this time there are no vaccination requirements for tourists visiting Zimbabwe – However if you are travelling to Zimbabwe from areas infected with yellow fever, you must have a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate. We will advise the latest regulations before travelling. If you are unsure about what is best for you, please consult your medical practitioner for professional advice on what other vaccinations may be suitable for you. Medical Evacuations? Air medical evacuations are available in Zimbabwe, but it is important that you have medical insurance with this type of remote evacuation cover and declare the details to your travel designer prior to travel. Do I need to take malaria medication when visiting Zimbabwe? Zimbabwe is in a malarial zone so please consult with your medical practitioner a few weeks before your departure on what the best prophylactic for you would be. Some courses of medication may need to be started in advance of your visit to Zimbabwe.