The Busanga Plains near Busanga Bush Camp are home to lion.

Zambia | Busanga Plains & Zambezi | 7 Nights Kafue National Park & Lower Zambezi National Park

Its pristine wild places and abundant wildlife make Zambia a hidden gem – relatively untouched and undiscovered. A luxury Zambian safari lets you in on its secrets, with canoe safaris along the Zambezi, catch-and-release tiger fishing, walking safaris and game drives that leave you awestruck and wanting more.

Three nights at Busanga Bush Camp

The beautiful and remote Busanga Plains of Kafue National Park form the location of Busanga Bush Camp. Set on a tree island, just four tents make up this dry-season-only camp, and we felt privileged to be here as we gazed over the vast, meadow-like plains and imagined them submerged during the rains. With some of the best lion- and plains-antelope viewing in Africa, it wasn’t long before we spotted movement: a pair of oribi disguised by the long, yellow grasses. Dinner was served in the open air, lit by lanterns that did little to detract from a night sky dripping with stars.After our morning siesta, we were eager to explore Busanga Plains, setting off on a game drive that traversed grasslands, swampy areas and the tributaries of Kafue River. Our guide informed us that during the dry season, herds of antelope are no longer restricted to the wooded islands and spread out across the floodplains – which explained why we saw so many red lechwe, puku and even roan antelope. After watching a failed cheetah hunt, we enjoyed sundowners, only heading back to camp at nightfall, just in time for drinks at the campfire and a lavish dinner.We woke before dawn the next day, enjoying a coffee as the first light illuminated the plains. We were eager for our scheduled hot-air balloon ride, which would give us a unique vantage point over the wooded islands and wetlands of Kafue. As we ascended, we were joined by a flock of white egrets, although our (later) birding highlight was a rosy-throated longclaw. We saw lechwe bolting at our shadow, two male lion ignoring a small herd of roan antelope, and a pod of hippo wallowing in the water. We returned to a Champagne breakfast, and the rest of the day at our leisure.

The beautiful and remote Busanga Plains of Kafue National Park form the location of Busanga Bush Camp. Set on a tree island, just four tents make up this dry-season-only camp, and we felt privileged to be here as we gazed over the vast, meadow-like plains and imagined them submerged during the rains. With some of the best lion- and plains-antelope viewing in Africa, it wasn’t long before we spotted movement: a pair of oribi disguised by the long, yellow grasses. Dinner was served in the open air, lit by lanterns that did little to detract from a night sky dripping with stars.

After our morning siesta, we were eager to explore Busanga Plains, setting off on a game drive that traversed grasslands, swampy areas and the tributaries of Kafue River. Our guide informed us that during the dry season, herds of antelope are no longer restricted to the wooded islands and spread out across the floodplains – which explained why we saw so many red lechwe, puku and even roan antelope. After watching a failed cheetah hunt, we enjoyed sundowners, only heading back to camp at nightfall, just in time for drinks at the campfire and a lavish dinner.

We woke before dawn the next day, enjoying a coffee as the first light illuminated the plains. We were eager for our scheduled hot-air balloon ride, which would give us a unique vantage point over the wooded islands and wetlands of Kafue. As we ascended, we were joined by a flock of white egrets, although our (later) birding highlight was a rosy-throated longclaw. We saw lechwe bolting at our shadow, two male lion ignoring a small herd of roan antelope, and a pod of hippo wallowing in the water. We returned to a Champagne breakfast, and the rest of the day at our leisure.

Four nights at Old Mondoro

After a mokoro and light aircraft transfer, we arrived in the Lower Zambezi National Park, excited to discover a complete change in landscape and wildlife.Overlooking vast floodplains and open woodlands, the unfenced and wild Old Mondoro camp had four chalets nestled beneath a grove of acacia trees. Of course, we had to enjoy a drink and just take in the views over the Zambezi, which was dotted with the very hippo-dominated islands and channels we’d soon be canoeing through. We spent our first afternoon enjoying similar views from our luxury suite, and rounded off the day with a sunset cruise, which became rather exciting when a small herd of buffalo splashed their way across the river in front of us.As avid birders, we were keen to discover the birdlife of the Zambezi on a canoe safari, and it didn’t disappoint. From patient herons hunting among the reeds and white-hooded fish eagle with their distinctive cry, to pied kingfishers, Goliath herons, hammerkops and carmine bee-eaters, we counted several different types of species. It wasn’t long before we encountered our first pod of hippo sunken in the river up to their nostrils. They watched us balefully as we paddled past, bellowing their annoyance full volume if we came a little too close for comfort!The next morning, we chose to try our hands at tiger fishing and went out with our guide on a sturdy metal boat with a shady canopy. He told us about the famed tiger; a relative of the piranha that can weigh up to 15kg! Passing playful elephant and sinister crocodile, we drifted along the Zambezi for some time before I had any luck: catching, photographing and then releasing my feisty adversary. Feeling like we’d conquered the Zambezi, we motored back to camp, where (tall) tales of our catch were told by the fire late into the night.For our last day of safari, we decided to slow things down with a walking safari along the Zambezi. Leaving early, the air was cool under the dappled shade of ebony and fig trees, although the rising sun would soon warm everything up. We felt completely at peace as we followed our guide, skirting minefields of hippo lying together like kids on a bed, a large Nile crocodile warming up on a sandbar and the cheeky plover nugget that it paid no heed. The adventure offered the perfect mix of adrenaline and security, being truly out in the wild but in the safe hands of our guide.

After a mokoro and light aircraft transfer, we arrived in the Lower Zambezi National Park, excited to discover a complete change in landscape and wildlife.

Overlooking vast floodplains and open woodlands, the unfenced and wild Old Mondoro camp had four chalets nestled beneath a grove of acacia trees. Of course, we had to enjoy a drink and just take in the views over the Zambezi, which was dotted with the very hippo-dominated islands and channels we’d soon be canoeing through. We spent our first afternoon enjoying similar views from our luxury suite, and rounded off the day with a sunset cruise, which became rather exciting when a small herd of buffalo splashed their way across the river in front of us.

As avid birders, we were keen to discover the birdlife of the Zambezi on a canoe safari, and it didn’t disappoint. From patient herons hunting among the reeds and white-hooded fish eagle with their distinctive cry, to pied kingfishers, Goliath herons, hammerkops and carmine bee-eaters, we counted several different types of species. It wasn’t long before we encountered our first pod of hippo sunken in the river up to their nostrils. They watched us balefully as we paddled past, bellowing their annoyance full volume if we came a little too close for comfort!

The next morning, we chose to try our hands at tiger fishing and went out with our guide on a sturdy metal boat with a shady canopy. He told us about the famed tiger; a relative of the piranha that can weigh up to 15kg! Passing playful elephant and sinister crocodile, we drifted along the Zambezi for some time before I had any luck: catching, photographing and then releasing my feisty adversary. Feeling like we’d conquered the Zambezi, we motored back to camp, where (tall) tales of our catch were told by the fire late into the night.

For our last day of safari, we decided to slow things down with a walking safari along the Zambezi. Leaving early, the air was cool under the dappled shade of ebony and fig trees, although the rising sun would soon warm everything up. We felt completely at peace as we followed our guide, skirting minefields of hippo lying together like kids on a bed, a large Nile crocodile warming up on a sandbar and the cheeky plover nugget that it paid no heed. The adventure offered the perfect mix of adrenaline and security, being truly out in the wild but in the safe hands of our guide.

What sets it apart

If you want an authentic bush experience, you can’t beat Zambia – an enduring paradise that remains relatively untouched. It’s here that you can get close to nature in its rawest sense – from the huge elephant that come within touching distance, to the ominous crocodile and hippo that you canoe past.Both luxury Zambian safari lodges had spectacular settings: Busanga Bush Camp, set on a tree island overlooking the grassy, wild-life rich Busanga Plains of Kafue National Park, and Old Mondoro Camp, with views over the Zambezi River and its many isles and channels. Both lodges shared a reverence for pristine wild places and the passion for conserving them. So, it was fitting that the only thing that could overshadow the stunning vistas from our suites would be the amount of wildlife we saw – whether out on excursions or right at camp.Night skies laden with stars, the call of a lion in the early morning, and over 20 elephant feeding on the albida trees at the river are just a few of the moments that made us feel our own insignificance, and we enjoyed a sense of freedom in acknowledging this, feeling thankful and awed for all we had seen, heard and experienced.Dinner, served in a variety of locations, was particularly memorable, enjoyed in solitude or in the company of like-minded travellers and guides who were happy to share their stories, often late into the night. With its warm and hospitable people who quickly became friends, stunning locations and breathtaking sunsets and sunrises, Zambia has become our safari destination of choice, and we’ve become passionate advocates for the preservation of its heritage and natural beauty.

If you want an authentic bush experience, you can’t beat Zambia – an enduring paradise that remains relatively untouched. It’s here that you can get close to nature in its rawest sense – from the huge elephant that come within touching distance, to the ominous crocodile and hippo that you canoe past.

Both luxury Zambian safari lodges had spectacular settings: Busanga Bush Camp, set on a tree island overlooking the grassy, wild-life rich Busanga Plains of Kafue National Park, and Old Mondoro Camp, with views over the Zambezi River and its many isles and channels. Both lodges shared a reverence for pristine wild places and the passion for conserving them. So, it was fitting that the only thing that could overshadow the stunning vistas from our suites would be the amount of wildlife we saw – whether out on excursions or right at camp.

Night skies laden with stars, the call of a lion in the early morning, and over 20 elephant feeding on the albida trees at the river are just a few of the moments that made us feel our own insignificance, and we enjoyed a sense of freedom in acknowledging this, feeling thankful and awed for all we had seen, heard and experienced.

Dinner, served in a variety of locations, was particularly memorable, enjoyed in solitude or in the company of like-minded travellers and guides who were happy to share their stories, often late into the night. With its warm and hospitable people who quickly became friends, stunning locations and breathtaking sunsets and sunrises, Zambia has become our safari destination of choice, and we’ve become passionate advocates for the preservation of its heritage and natural beauty.

Day 1–3

Busanga Bush Camp’s tented suites afford lovely views over the plains. © Wilderness Safaris

You’ll be met as you disembark from your international flight at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka, and assisted through customs and immigration. After a scheduled light-aircraft flight to Kafue, you’ll take a transfer to the Lufupa River. A mokoro will then take you to Busanga Bush Camp, where you’ll spend three nights.

Day 4–7

Have breakfast with the rising sun at Old Mondoro. © Classic Portfolio

After a mokoro trip from Busanga Bush Camp, you’ll take a transfer to the airstrip. A scheduled light-aircraft flight will take you to Lusaka, and another to the Lower Zambezi. A transfer will then take you to Old Mondoro, where you’ll spend four nights.

Day 8

Your Zambia safari will take you to a land of wild beauty.

After a transfer from Old Mondoro to the airstrip, a scheduled light-aircraft flight will take you to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, to connect with your international flight.

  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, taking into account when you’d like to travel, how long you’d like to be away for, who you’d be travelling with, what safari lodge style you’d prefer, and more.
  • This luxury safari trip idea is simply to show you what’s possible. To see what this type of safari costs, and what’s generally included, click hereFor a general overview of African safari prices, you can click through to our blog.
  • We also offer a curated selection of Zimbabwe & Zambia safari packages, wrapped and priced for your convenience, click here to explore them.

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