Zambezi Safari

A small safari lodge on the Zambezi River provides a world-class African safari adventure

Zambezi Safari


ORVIS WEEKS 2013: September 3-10* | October 3-10
(see pricing and dates tab for details)
Independent departures available from June 1 through November 7 on dates of your choosing.

"The Lower Zambezi is one of my favorite parks in Africa. The animals roam freely in great numbers and there are only a handful of lodges scattered along the banks. I've been there four times and would go back in a heartbeat."
—Dave Parker, Managing Director-Orvis Travel

  • Thrill to game viewing in the unspoiled wilderness of Lower Zambezi National Park
  • Set out in search of wildlife by safari vehicle, boat, canoe, or foot with eagle-eye guides
  • Indulge in the comforts and services of Chiawa Camp, one of Condé Nast’s Top 10 safari lodges
  • Spot lion, elephant, leopard, hippo, water buffalo, and other iconic game
  • Enjoy a leisurely stay amidst tranquil forests, hills, riparian flood plains, and the mighty Zambezi River
  • Fly-fish on the Zambezi on September and October departures
  • Maximum 8 guests

Lower Zambezi National Park has escaped the spoils of tourism. Protected by the Zambian government, only lodges within the park can ply this stretch of the Zambezi River. So we see little human activity here. In this glorious setting, we'll indulge in the comforts of two intimate riverside camps – the top-rated Chiawa and Old Mondoro – with unforgettable safaris by vehicle, boat, canoe, or foot...and a chance to hook Africa’s notorious tiger fish.

Weather and when to go

This safari operates from June 1 through October 31. July through September is “high season” and the days are dry and not too hot. This is the cool, dry season in southern Africa, when it can easily drop into the 40’s at night. The water on the river can be a little higher in June, but the weather is usually very nice. October is the warmest month with temperatures in the 90’s during the day, but it cools down at night. Game viewing is excellent every month the safari operates.


Orvis International Travel

How to book this trip



Day 1 – Lusaka / Lower Zambezi National Park
In Lusaka, Zambia, meet your bush plane for a thrilling flight into the wild. As we soar over the mile-wide Zambezi River, we often see hippos, water buffaloes, and elephants in its waters or along its banks. Our guides meet us at the Royal airstrip and we’ll journey to Chiawa Camp via rugged 4x4 vehicle and boat. Along the way, we may spot lions, hippos, and elephants.

After our journey and lunch, take some time to rest up. Later, we head out on our first game drive, a skilled naturalist keeping his senses keen to signs of animals. We’ll stay in the wild for 2-3 hours after sunset in hopes of spotting some nocturnal hunters, then return to Chiawa for dinner.

Chiawa rests under a grove of mahogany trees in the middle of big game country. The Zambezi River – a mile wide as it passes here – is our constant companion and its waters attract a large array of wildlife. Your safari tent is spacious and has all the amenities. The dining room and bar overlook the river.

Days 2-4 – Chiawa Camp
Chiawa Camp has been voted one of Africa’s Top 10 Safari Camps by Condé Nast and has won numerous other awards. You’re about to discover why. Its aim is to provide a superb safari experience while conserving the surrounding wildlife and habitats – and they do so in a luxurious yet relaxed atmosphere with personalized service – all in a breathtaking setting.

A typical day at Chiawa, from game drives to tiger fishing. The beauty of our safari is its flexibility. We won’t hold you to rigid activities; rather, each day presents a choice of game drives, nature walks, a pontoon cruise, canoeing, catch-and-release fishing, and birding. You might also opt to relax at the camp. If it’s angling that brings you here, this is perhaps the best spot in Africa to catch tiger fish in September and October, one of the strongest fish you’re ever likely to hook. In fact, Chiawa is featured in Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die by Chris Santella.

There is a rhythm to each day in the bush that begins with a light breakfast at the campfire just after sunrise. Then, you have your choice of safari activities until lunch. We relax at camp during the hottest part of the day. After mid-afternoon tea, we set off again by land or by river, and return for a four-course dinner.

Should you choose to angle for tiger fish, we often find them in countless pools and cutbanks near our camp. Our fishing barges have room for two anglers with comfortable chairs for spectators or family. A guide will position you in an ideal spot and give you some tips for catching this notorious fighter.

Day 5 – Transfer to Old Mondoro by riverboat
We have our choice of activities this morning, including another fishing excursion. After lunch, we embark a riverboat for an hour-long transfer to Old Mondoro Camp. As we journey downstream, we’re cruising through floodplains and past lagoons and islands that attract 50 species of mammal and 400 bird species. We might spot hippos, crocodiles, water buffalo, and other wildlife. We arrive at our next camp in time for an afternoon game drive.

Day 6-7 – Old Mondoro
Welcome to the classic safari experience! The Old Mondoro camp harkens back to a time when safaris were not accompanied by the whir of motors and the harshness of electric light.

We visit Old Mondoro because we find Africa to be at its most serene here, a step removed from the ultra-luxury camps and a rewarding complement to Chiawa. At Old Mondoro, we savor the authentic and remote safari that focuses more on the overall bush experience, and provides a closer look at one of Africa’s finest wildlife sanctuaries.

An open and adventurous feel amidst unrivalled comfort. Old Mondoro recalls the mobile tents of East Africa that – unattached to cumbersome generators – were relocated and rebuilt to follow wildlife migrations. Each “bush chalet” sits on a temporary platform. And though this approach may seem rustic, you’ll have en-suite facilities. By day, your tent is open to the elements. By night, canvas walls drop for privacy, and paraffin lanterns cast a warm and comforting glow. Like Chiawa, Old Mondoro sits on the Zambezi River.

We don’t need to go far to view incredible wildlife. Nearby, within sight of our camp, massive bull elephants often feed on acacia trees and hippos loiter on a maze of islands midstream. But if you do choose to set out, the open woodlands here make for ideal walking safaris, which Old Mondoro typically offers in the morning. These leisurely “micro-safaris” were pioneered in Zambia, and they provide a rare opportunity to step out of a vehicle and feel a real connection to the African wilderness. We often spot elephants and water buffaloes, and our guides are highly trained and armed for your safety.

All in all, Old Mondoro provides an uncomplicated safari experience, yet one that does not sacrifice comfort or amenities.

Day 8 – Depart
After breakfast, we board our 4x4 vehicles and drive to the Jeki airstrip along the Zambezi. En route, we have a final chance to spot wildlife. Upon arrival, we fly back to Lusaka, where our journey ends.


Orvis International Travel

How to book this trip




Viewing African wildlife is the heart of this safari, and you can walk, drive, canoe and cruise in riverboats with outstanding guides who know all the nuances of tracking wildlife. With forested hills, flat flood plains, and the mile-wide Zambezi River, there are habitats for a very wide variety of animals and birds. You will see elephant, hippo, lion, fish eagles, and much more on game drives early in the morning, throughout the day, and after sunset. There are canoes for excursions on the Zambezi where it stays cool even in the warmth of mid-day.

Fly fishing - the best time for fly fishing is from late August to late October, when the resident tiger fish spawn, although you might land one in other months. Serious anglers will want to reserve a boat and guide for exclusive use (an extra $500 per day fee).


Orvis International Travel

How to book this trip




Chiawa Camp
Located right on the banks of the Zambezi, Chiawa has 9 spacious tents on raised platforms, each a suite with a deck overlooking the river, a well-appointed bathroom, and indoor and outdoor showers. It accommodates only 16 guests and the staff devotes personal attention to everyone.

It’s owned and operated by the Cummings Family, who built it as one of the first camps in Lower Zambezi National Park. They treat you like old friends, and willingly share the knowledge of the park gained over decades of game drives.

There’s a thatched roofed open-air dining room with a veranda, a bar, and a campfire area for swapping tales over a cocktail under the moonlight. Both the bar and the dining room overlook the river, and they are in an excellent spot for game viewing of the animals that come there to drink.

Old Mondoro Camp
The Shona word for lion is Mondoro and the name Old Mondoro derives from the local legend of an old, white lion that used to frequent the area. Although the old white lion has long gone, Old Mondoro Bush Camp reflects the wild spirit that lives on in his descendants that still roam free in this unique part of Africa.

The camp is set in a grove of Acacia trees on the banks of the Zambezi River in the Lower Zambezi National Park. It is a beautiful site overlooking a maze of hippo-inhabited islands and channels.

It lodges 8 guests in 4 “bush chalets”, resting on temporary slabs. Each has en-suite facilities with flush toilets, and canvas bucket showers and washbasins. Paraffin lanterns provide natural lighting. The bush chalets are left with open views during the day, and at night canvas drop-down blinds with windows are lowered to provide more privacy and security. All bush chalets have outstanding views of the Zambezi or the Old Mondoro lagoon.

The Main Tent, which serves as a lounge and dining area, rests under a Winter Thorn tree and next to a Sausage Tree overlooking the Zambezi. A traditional bush kitchen supplies outstanding meals and fresh bread baked daily from a homemade oven. The entire experience is unpretentious and uncomplicated, but promises a unique safari that gives guests the best bush experience possible.


Orvis International Travel

How to book this trip


Pricing & Dates

Pricing and Dates - 2013

$3400 June
$4400 July 1 to October 31

$595 park fees
$396 round trip flight from Lusaka to the landing strip in the park

$2800 for children 8-15 years sharing a tent with two adults
17.5% single supplement applies July 1 to October 31 only.

$500 per day fee applies for private fishing boat and guide. Highly recommended for serious anglers.

Included: accommodations; all meals and beverages; guided game drives, canoe trips, bush walks, boat safaris, and angling; daily laundry; and transfers from Royal airstrip to Chiawa Camp, to Old Mondoro, and to Jeki airstrip.

Not Included: air or river transfers to/from Lower Zambezi National Park; angling permits; visa fees; hotels and meals in Lusaka; and tips to crew and guides.

Orvis Weeks 2013: September 3-10* & October 3-10
*Join Orvis Travel Sales Manager Jason Elkins on this African adventure
September 3-10, 2013

Jason was raised in Wyoming and Montana, where he grew up fishing trout streams like the North Tongue River and the Bighorn River. Eventually he became a fly fishing guide based in Livingston, Montana, working on the fabled Yellowstone River. He learned the fine points of saltwater fly fishing at one of the best bonefish, tarpon, and permit destinations in the Caribbean while managing a fishing and SCUBA diving resort in 2003. He became Orvis Travel's Fly Fishing Travel Manager in 2005, and now oversees trip sales for all Orvis Travel fishing, shooting and nature adventures. Jason and his dedicated team of travel professionals specialize in destinations like Africa, South America, Alaska, The Pacific Islands & the Caribbean and Central America. When not in his office in Vermont, providing friendly advice to customers, he’s in the field leading guests and developing exciting new trips. Jason is also an accomplished hot air balloon pilot and has flown balloons in the US, Canada, Australia and France.

Jason will be available to provide fly fishing casting lessons, coordinate activities, and liaise with the camp staff and fishing guides as necessary. If you’ve been on a trip with Jason you know that he’s a very attentive trip leader, a skilled angler, and an all around nice guy.


Orvis International Travel

How to book this trip



Abby Liell - Orvis Travel

Abby Liell
Zambezi Safari Contact
0808 234 3718
00 1 802 362 8790

I have taken a lot of trips over the years. This was my first Orvis Travel trip, and I wish I would have used you sooner. The entire experience was excellent, and very easy.
- Bryan R., Lambertville, NJ

Book This Trip
Print Trip Details (.pdf)

Note: Our North American office is in the Eastern Time Zone, which is Greenwich minus 5 hours. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm

Buy it now

Select an item: EE28XT
  • Initial Deposit:
    Final deposit will be determined when
    you book your trip with Orvis Travel
    by calling 0808 234 3718.

Quantity   Add To Basket

You might also like

▲ ▼
▲ ▼