There is no shortage of adventurous fun and low-key relaxation to be had in wildly beautiful Zambia. From national parks, like Kafue and South Luangwa, that hold abundant and diverse wildlife populations to the majestic Zambezi River that courses through the country to cascade down at Victoria Falls, Zambia is one for the family holiday books!
Fortunately, you aren’t forced to choose just one of these amazing destinations; combining two or three of your top picks is absolutely possible. A family holiday in Zambia gives you the best of both worlds – a playground of water-based activities and a traditional African safari – along with privacy, comfort and personalised service when staying at a luxury exclusive-use lodge, such as Tongabezi, the newest Green Safaris member.
Experience nature’s contrasts at Victoria Falls and the Zambezi River
Mosi-oa-Tunya or Victoria Falls is one of the most iconic natural wonders on the African continent and a UNESCO World Heritage Site shared by Zambia and Zimbabwe. Before the Zambezi River reaches the Indian Ocean off the Mozambican coast, it puts on quite a show as it crashes down the almost 100m high cataracts of the Falls.
Victoria Falls forms a natural border between Zambia and Zimbabwe © Alicia Erickson / Tongabezi
A special family activity is watching the sunset, chilled drinks in hand and floating gently on the Zambezi, knowing that just a couple of kilometres downstream the Falls is thundering into the gorge below. Then, to experience this powerful force first-hand while touring Livingstone Island or swimming in Devil’s Pool is to truly appreciate the vast contrasts of nature.
Go off-grid in Kafue National Park
Zambia’s oldest national park, Kafue, positions you in one of the country’s – if not Africa’s – most remote wildernesses. This is an excellent and relatively unknown safari destination with an impressive diversity and quantity of wildlife – particularly the four members of the Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo), and beautiful accommodation, like Ila Safari Lodge by Green Safaris.
A game drive makes a stop by a baobab tree in Kafue National Park, western Zambia © Green Safaris
The pre-dawn game drives might be an early start for some but they are so worth it. The gorgeous sunrises, increased visibility of animal life, and expertise of the guides will be all the late sleepers in the family need to get up early again the next morning. After another safari activity in the late afternoon, the day will end back at your tented camp with a relaxed family dinner.
Step out on foot in South Luangwa National Park
The South Luangwa is another of Zambia’s premier national parks and offers family-friendly safari accommodation such as Shawa Luangwa Camp by Green Safaris. It is celebrated as the birthplace of walking safaris that will often follow the Luangwa River and its network of tributaries and oxbow lagoons. This is a refuge for one of the highest wildlife concentrations in Africa and includes endangered species like wild dogs.
Elephants at sunset in South Luangwa National Park, eastern Zambia © Jacob Shawa / Green Safaris
Breakfast in the bush makes the first meal of the day more than just the food on your plate or the coffee in your cup – it is an entire experience only possible on an African safari. Whether spending a single day journeying through the bush on foot or overnighting in a canvas tent under the Zambia sky, a guided walking safari is a must-do activity in the South Luangwa. It is a chance to become fully immersed in nature and get up-close to the creatures and plants you might miss on a game drive.
Zambia really does have something for everyone in the family, with enough balance to make sure you are all kept both entertained and well-rested throughout your holiday.