The Finest Bush Camping in Zambia | Fauna Travel

The Finest Bush Camping in Zambia

Muskese Camp, Kafue National Park / Courtesy of Classic Zambia

10 Days

Zambia has a wide range of safari options, but it is perhaps best known for its bush camps. These intimate camps have less than six tents, and what they lack in amenities, they make up for in experience. There is little besides a thatched wall or mosquito net to separate you from the wilderness. The price is often better than an equivalent safari elsewhere, but you won’t be missing out. Zambian National Parks are some of the best in Africa, with healthy populations of elephants, buffalo, leopards, lions, and wild dogs. They also operate more like private reserves and allow some off-roading and night safaris.

This itinerary unites three of our favorite bush camps in Zambia and shows off the wide range of activities and wildlife the country has to offer.

This itinerary unites three of our favorite bush camps in Zambia. Start your journey on the water in Lower Zambezi National Park before heading to South Luagwa, the epicenter of walking safaris in Africa. End your trip in the remote Busanga Plains in northern Kafue National Park. This little-visited region is one of Africa’s largest national parks and is home to lions that stalk the wetlands.

Day 1-3: Lower Zambezi

Accommodation: Kutali Camp

Arrive in Lusaka in the early morning on your international flight from Johannesburg or Dubai. After passing customs, you will be greeted by a representative and directed to a short flight to Jeki airstrip in Lower Zambezi National Park. This stretch of the Zambezi River attracts plentiful game, especially in the dry season of May through November, and you will see large herds of elephants congregating along its banks.

You will be staying at Kutali Camp, which is located in a remote and exclusive area of the park in a scenic winterthorn forest. The camp consists of authentic canvas tents with comfortable beds and bucket showers. The biggest draw of Kutali and Lower Zambezi is the range of activities. Game drives, walking safari, boating, and tiger fishing are all on offer. However, Our favorite way to see the park is by canoe. The camp operators pride themselves on a high standard of guiding, and Kutali is just downstream of a sheltered island that offers some of the best canoeing in Africa. Spend your time on the river trying something new each day.

Day 4-6: South Luangwa

Accommodation: Kuyenda Camp

Wake early on your final morning and fly from Lower Zambezi to Mfuwe airstrip at the gateway to South Luangwa National Park. The walking safari as we know it was invented here in the 1950s, and the tradition remains strong to this day, with many guides being second or third-generation. There are also plenty of great bush camps in the park to choose from. Kuyenda is one of the simpler camps, but it is also one of our favorites. It’s in the more remote interior of the park, away from the river, and natural springs nearby make for excellent game viewing.

The guides here are excellent, and you will spend three days doing a mix of game drives and walking. Often, they blend together, and you have the freedom to stop on a drive and get out to walk when you see tracks of animals like lions to pursue. The Luangwa Valley has one of the highest densities of leopards on the planet, and this is the best place to see one on foot. You will also get a closer look at some of the smaller plants and animals that you often pass by when driving. It’s an immersive and thrilling way to safari.

Day 7-9: Busanga Plains

Accommodation: Muskese Camp

After the first two parks, you’ll be an experienced Zambian safari-goer, so the final stop takes you to a more remote destination, the Busanga Plains in northern Kafue National Park. To get there, you will have to fly back to Lusaka and connect to another short flight west to Muskese Camp along the Kafue River.

Muskese Camp, Kafue National Park / Courtesy of Classic Zambia
Muskese Camp, Kafue National Park / Courtesy of Classic Zambia

This area is a vast seasonal floodplain that attracts plentiful plains game like sable, hartebeest, and zebra, and these are pursued by predators, including large prides of lion. You will also have regular sightings of elephant herds during the dry season. Muskese Camp offers unparalleled wildlife viewing in Busanga, partially because of the dedicated conservation work of their team.

Musekese Camp comprises five newly constructed canvas tents that are both spacious and comfortable. They are equipped with modern en-suite bathrooms that feature flush toilets and showers with hot water, so you won’t feel like you’re roughing it. The experienced guides will tailor the safari experience to meet your interests, and you can do walks, game drives, and even boating in season. Birders will enjoy the wide variety of species found here. It makes for an exciting and unique ending to your Zambian adventure!

Day 10: Departure

Return to Lusaka in the morning for your flight home.

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