This ideal family vacation combines wildlife encounters and adrenalin adventures on the Zambezi River with a luxuriously intimate safari experience in Botswana’s northern treasure, the Selinda Reserve.

Your safari begins in Zambia's Lower Zambezi National Park with an adventurous introduction to the wilds of Africa at gorgeous Chongwe House. Explore the park on game drives and the fabled Zambezi River by motorboat and canoe before travelling upstream to Tangala House. This private villa is near Victoria Falls, perfectly placed for you to enjoy all that Africa's Adventure Capital has to offer. Having feasted on the thrills and spills of the falls, you travel across the border to neighbouring Botswana, where the wilderness experience of a lifetime awaits you at Selinda Explorers Camp.

Fully serviced, exclusive-use accommodation and private guiding make this tour ideal for a family or group of friends looking to get away from the crowds and explore Africa at their own pace. Comfortably paced with plenty of time for rest and relaxation, this vacation combines easily with an Indian Ocean island for an unforgettable safari and beach holiday.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Private guiding throughout
  • Exclusive, serviced accommodation
  • Excellent wildlife viewing
  • Day & night game drives
  • Walking & canoeing safaris
  • Adventure activities at Victoria Falls
  • Suitable for families or groups

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Zambia

Arrive at Lusaka International Airport and catch a charter flight to the country's most admired reserve: the Lower Zambezi National Park, where your safari begins. Your destination is Chongwe River House at the confluence of the Zambezi and Chongwe Rivers, where the Zambezi Valley escarpment drops dramatically down to the floodplains of the river and warm smiles welcome your arrival

Sensitively constructed to be very much a part of its spectacular surroundings, Chongwe River House's architectural lines mimic the flow of branches and water. Interconnected open-plan spaces allow a seamless flow between outdoors and indoors with Chongwe's four en suite rooms set around a central lounge and dining area opening onto a generous pool deck. The whole establishment looks out over the picturesque river and birdsong fills the air.

With expert private guides, exclusive-use vehicles, canoes and a motorboat at your disposal, Chongwe offers the full range of expeditions into the Lower Zambezi National Park. This magnificent and pristine wilderness is right on the lodge's doorstep, providing you with some of the very best game viewing in Zambia. The dedicated and charming housekeeping team includes a private chef and will see to your needs so well that the only thing required of you is to soak up every aspect of the experience.

Days 2-4

Zambezi Magic

For the next three days, you settle into the rhythm of the Zambezi River. Rise with the sun as it paints the escarpment in gold and take an early morning game drive into the park. Animals are active while the air is cool, and tracks from the night before cover the ground. Your guide points out where a herd of buffalo passed; lion spoor follows behind it. The distant whooping of spotted hyenas and a trail of circling vultures tell you that these are tracks worth following - and so the morning begins. Exciting sightings such this are often followed up on the afternoon drive, and with night drives also on offer, Chongwe's guides can show you to the secret world of Africa's natural nightlife too.

The park may also be explored on foot in the care of an armed scout and experienced guide. Walking in the wilderness, twigs crackling underfoot, each your senses becomes fully engaged: you distinguish scents - dust, wild sage and fresh water, the sound of bird chatter distills into clear whistles and twitters, details become sharper, and every moment enriched.

Another fascinating perspective is paddling the Zambezi River in a canoe. Your vantage point is unique as you glide silently past animals venturing to the water's edge to drink. The sheer size of a bull elephant seen from this angle is simply astonishing, as is the elegant delicacy with which a giraffe bends and sips the water. Swooping fish eagles provide flashes of drama, basking crocodiles keep a wary eye on you and the rumbling grumble of dozing hippos is never far away.

There is also plenty of time to relax at Chongwe River House. Spend a lazy afternoon on the sun-drenched pool deck before setting out on the boat for a river cruise, drifting along with a cocktail in hand as the sky becomes a kaleidoscope of colour, the Zambezi gurgling beneath you. Return at dusk to a table laid out on the terrace, glassware glinting in the light of lanterns while delicious aromas waft over from the kitchen.

Days 5-7

The Smoke that Thunders

With a mile of water pouring into a deep, boiling chasm, Victoria Falls makes an impressive sight from the air as you fly back to Livingstone Airport and transfer to Tangala House. Perched on the banks of the Upper Zambezi in a beautifully landscaped garden near Tongabezi Lodge, Tangala House is a comfortable private villa featuring four en suite bedrooms with king-size beds and a central lounge and dining area that opens out onto rolling lawns and a child-friendly swimming pool. As at Chongwe, you have a private guide, vehicle and boat at your disposal along with a private chef and housekeeping staff to ensure your Victoria Falls experience is as effortless as it is thrilling.

A tour of Victoria Falls is a must-do highlight but this little town is not called Africa's Adventure Capital for nothing. Activities range from famous white-water rafting, bungee jumping and scenic helicopter flips, to sunset cruises and fishing for tigerfish - there is something for every member of the family and plenty to do together. Two truly unique game viewing experiences include joining lion cubs on a nature walk and an elephant-back ride.

After an action-packed day, return to the tranquillity of your private villa for sit-down meals and barefoot barbecues under the stars, prepared to your tastes by the chef and accompanied by an excellent wine. Beyond your lush garden, the sounds of the river and the wilderness raise a chorus of night birds, crickets and frogs to remind you that untamed Africa is close at hand.

Days 8-11

Secret Selinda

A short road transfer takes you across the border into neighbouring Botswana and the village of Kasane, where a charter flight wings you to the Selinda Reserve, a private wilderness between the Okavango Delta and the Linyanti wetlands. A secret gem teeming with game, the spirit of unconquered Africa will fill you with a sense of wonder.

Selinda Explorers Camp takes you back in time to the era of the original explorers. Set in a grove of majestic trees and overlooking the swirling waters of the Selinda Spillway, this exclusive-use camp would have pleased Ernest Hemingway. Four elegantly designed tents and a central dining and lounge area blend perfectly with the natural surroundings. The river is your swimming pool and the wilderness your Garden of Eden.

The emphasis of your four nights here is on a holistic experience of this unique reserve. Game drives reveal Selinda's big game - elephants and buffalo are resident in large numbers with leopard, lion, cheetah and wild dog providing the drama. Again, as on the Zambezi, exploring by canoe and on foot allows you to feel the essence of Africa under your skin.

Canoe along the Selinda Spillway as your guide reveals the secrets of this fascinating ecosystem: the ebb and flow of water in this parched land and the animals that depend on it for their survival. Experience the thrill of walking where nature reigns supreme, following ancient game trails and breathing in the heady aroma of the unknown. See the smaller details of this unique wonderland, from the dung beetle’s unerring navigation to the medicinal uses of plants.  Returning to camp on an exciting night drive as dusk falls, your guide wielding a spotlight, you see Hyena eyes glinting on the roadside, owls fly past in a flash of silent feathers, while genets and bush babies turn to gaze at you from the trees.

Day 12

Homeward bound

There is time for a final drive before you bid farewell to the Selinda Reserve and board your charter flight to Maun International Airport for your onward flights home. As the plane whisks you away from Selinda, you look down on the untamed wilderness that you have shared with your nearest and dearest on this private safari. A wilderness that has touched your core and given you a lifetime of memories: gliding past a herd of elephant in a canoe, following a pride of hunting lions on a night drive, your first sighting of an elusive leopard or pack of rare wild dogs, the murmuring of the mighty Zambezi at sunset and the scents of the wilderness as you explored on foot.


  • 4 nights at Chongwe River House on a fully inclusive basis
  • 3 nights at Tangala House on a fully inclusive basis
  • 4 nights at Selinda Explorers Camp on a fully inclusive basis
  • Inter-camp flights and transfers
  • Selected park fees and conservation levies


  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Additional Tour Notes

Please note that Chongwe River House is closed from 16 November 2016 until 14 April 2017

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