Zambia’s 8 Most Luxurious Safari Lodges | Fauna Travel

Zambia’s 8 Most Luxurious Safari Lodges

Suite view at Chinzombo / Courtesy of Time + Tide

By: Scott Dubois, Fauna Travel Designer

With romantic bush camps and immersive walking and canoe safaris, Zambia is an adventure traveler’s dream, but for those who seek refinement, the country isn’t lacking in luxury options. Some of Africa’s best luxury camps are found here – often with better wildlife viewing and reasonable prices. Our favorite Zambian itineraries combine a bit of adventure with a luxury finish. Here are our favorite luxury lodges to indulge in on your next safari.

Chinzombo

South Luangwa National Park

Lounge swing at Chinzombo / Courtesy of Time + Tide luxury Zambia safari
Lounge swing at Chinzombo / Courtesy of Time + Tide

South Luangwa National Park is best known as the birthplace of the walking safari, and Chinzombo is our favorite luxury camp to start or end your walking expedition here. The camp design is tastefully modern and luxurious, blending natural tones with the surrounding bush. Each tent features a spacious covered deck with a private plunge pool, and the main lodge includes a library, bar, and an elegant infinity pool that overlooks the Luangwa River. A stay at Chinzombo is best enjoyed along with one of Time + Tide’s more remote bush camps, which you can learn more about in our Ultimate Zambia Walking Itinerary.

Sungani Lodge

South Luangwa National Park

Tented bath at Sungani / Courtesy of Sungani
Tented bath at Sungani / Courtesy of Sungani

Sungani is a luxury lodge located in the far southern section of South Luangwa National Park. From Mfuwe airstrip, the gateway to the park, visitors must take another short flight to the property to save a three-hour drive. The camp is situated along a large lagoon adjacent to the Luangwa River that has water year-round, ensuring excellent game viewing in the dry season. Sungani is family-owned and operated, which adds extra charm to the stylish camp. The seven large tented rooms all feature fine linens, an outdoor shower, and a private plunge pool. It’s an exciting Zambian destination for those who want to go somewhere wild and remote but don’t want to sacrifice luxury.

Puku Ridge

South Luangwa National Park

Puku Ridge view / Courtesy of Chiawa Safaris
Puku Ridge view / Courtesy of Chiawa Safaris

Puku Ridge has always enjoyed spacious rooms and a great view overlooking a lagoon near the Mfuwe gate in South Luangwa National Park. Since the camp was refurbished by Chichele Safaris in 2019 and placed under the management of Chiawa Safaris, it has become a truly luxurious experience with the service and guiding that discerning clients expect. The camp is intimate and designed in a chic canvas style, including multi-level suites with rooftop star beds and plunge pools. It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy an armchair safari on a warm Zambian afternoon.

Chiawa Camp

Lower Zambezi National Park

Chiawa Camp / Courtesy of Chiawa
Chiawa Camp / Courtesy of Chiawa

Chiawa Camp is a family-owned camp that pioneered luxury safaris in Lower Zambezi National Park. Each luxury tent has breathtaking views of the Zambezi River and features a bench wallow – a sustainable plunge pool alternative. The camp was also built entirely out of local materials. Like many camps on the Zambezi, Chiawa offers a diverse array of activities such as game drives, walks, canoeing, boating, and fishing — with some of the best guides in the area. Honeymooners should book a night in the new star bed, which stands on stilts above the river and is the perfect place to see the many elephants who come to drink. Read more about Chiawa in our Zambian River Safari Itinerary.

Lolebezi

South Luangwa National Park

Bedroom at Lolobezi / Courtesy of African Bush Camps luxury Zambia safari
Bedroom at Lolobezi / Courtesy of African Bush Camps

Lolebezi, by African Bush Camps, pushed the standard of Zambian luxury with a higher level of amenities than you will find in other safari lodges. The massive glass-fronted rooms include soaking tubs and a wide plunge pool to spend an afternoon unwinding after your morning safari. Air conditioning and wifi are also available for those who don’t want to miss out on the comforts of home. The styling of the camp is unique and is designed with bold emerald greens, natural textures, and an afro-futurist aesthetic. The camp offers a range of safari activities and is close to the “Discovery Channel,” an excellent canoeing area created by a large island in the river.

Thorntree River Lodge

Mosi Oa Tunya National Park (Victoria Falls)

Pool at Thorntree River Lodge / Courtesy of African Bush Camps
The pool at Thorntree River Lodge / Courtesy of African Bush Camps

Thorntree River Lodge near Victoria Falls is the only other Zambian property by African Bush Camps. It was recently refurbished and upgraded to Icon status, their highest camp category, making it possibly the best place to stay on the Zambian side of the river. It combines modern luxuries like wifi and private plunge pools with tented roofs and an African ambiance. The main lodge includes a lounge and a fine dining restaurant overlooking the mighty Zambezi River. Thorntree River Lodge is adjacent to Mosi Oa Tanya National Park, which is close enough to the Falls for easy access but far enough away from the bustle to have an air of tranquility about it.

Shumba Camp

Kafue National Park (Busanga Plains)

Shumba Camp / Crookes & Jackson / Courtesy of Wilderness Safaris
Shumba Camp / Crookes & Jackson / Courtesy of Wilderness Safaris

Shumba Camp is situated on an island in the Busanga Plains, a sprawling grassland intertwined with waterways in the remote north of Kafue National Park in Zambia. Abundant herds of antelope and other plains game graze in the plains, attracting large predators like lions. Positioned at the crossroads of numerous pride territories, Shumba Camp is one of Africa’s prime locations for lions – the big cats have even been known to roam about the tents. The camp comprises six luxury safari tents on raised platforms above the floodplain. When water levels are high, boat safaris are offered, and the park is also the only destination in Zambia where you can take a balloon safari.

King Lewanika

Liuwa Plain National Park

Bar at King Lewanika / Courtesy of Time & Tide
Bar at King Lewanika / Courtesy of Time & Tide

King Lewanika is the sole permanent camp within the expansive Liuwa Plain National Park, another vast floodplain in Western Zambia, home to the Earth’s second-largest wildebeest migration. The camp comprises six elegantly simple luxury safari tents with panoramic views. The outdoor shower and large veranda are the perfect place to enjoy the legendary African sunsets. While the camp may not have the large private pools or soaking tubs of some of the others on this list, the camp’s exclusivity and experiential luxury is unparalleled. For a unique experience, spend a night fly camping under the Milky Way out on the plains. Learn more about the camp in our Great Migrations Itinerary.

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