12 Best Places to Stay in South Luangwa

Zambia is home to some of the best safari experiences and wildlife encounters in Africa. It’s premier big game destination, South Luangwa National Park, is renowned for its dense concentration of sought-after animal sightings that include the Big 5 (lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard) as well as its pristine, untouched natural landscape of meandering rivers and rugged plains.

Luxurious camps and lodges line the banks of the tranquil Luangwa River, offering armchair safaris of wildlife drinking at the water from the comfort of your deck, as well as easy access to an authentic, off-the-beaten-track safari adventure. Enjoy day and night game drives through the national park that is sure to deliver exceptional sightings. Or better yet, experience a walking safari in Zambia. Being the birthplace of guided walking safaris, this South Luangwa retains its title as the best place in Africa to experience the thrill of traversing big-game country on foot and fully immersing yourself in nature.

1. Time + Tide Chinzombo

Touted as South Luangwa National Park’s most luxurious camp, Time + Tide Chinzombo brings a touch of elegance and style to the rough and rugged plains of Zambia’s popular safari destination. Here, you’ll enjoy seasonal boat cruises on the Luangwa River and fantastic game viewing while on game drives or one of South Luangwa’s famous walking safaris.

Best for…

Honeymoons & romantic getaways

2. Mfuwe Lodge

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Mfuwe Lodge is arguably the best place from which to explore all that South Luangwa has to offer. The intimate award-winning lodge provides all the creature comforts needed for a pleasant stay. It’s also perfectly located to enjoy game drives and walking safaris filled with exciting wildlife sightings. But you won’t have to leave the lodge to see all your favourite animals. The lagoon adjacent to the lodge is constantly frequented by an array of game and if you’re visiting during November you’ll be visited by the local herd of elephant that makes its way through Mfuwe’s lobby to reach the nearby mango trees.

Best for…

Seasoned safari goers & small groups

3. Chindeni Bushcamp

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Chindeni Bushcamp takes full advantage of its enviable location deep in South Luangwa. The stylish and spacious rooms are built on stilted wooden decks and overlook a wildlife-frequented lagoon below and the majestic Chindeni Hills in the distance. The camp is ideal for nature-lovers who can immerse themselves in the tranquil surrounding wilderness on a walking safari, getting up-close to nature and tracking big game on foot.

Best for…

Seasoned safari-goers & nature-lovers

4. Kapamba Bushcamp

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Get off the grid with an intimate getaway at the exclusive and remote Kapamba Buschamp. Nestled on the banks of the Kapamba River, this cosy hideaway guarantees luxury, romance and big game sightings. Spend your days on game drives through the park, walk hand-in-hand along the trails following the course of the river and enjoy candle-lit dinners in the shallow waters of the river as the sun sets behind you.

Best for…

Romantic getaways

5. Chamilandu Camp

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Chamilandu Camp’s classy treehouse-style chalets line the pristine Luangwa River, overlooking breathtaking views of the tranquil body of water and majestic Chindeni Hills in the distance. The best part of this stylish retreat? The armchair safaris you’ll have from your rooms private deck, watching elephant and other wildlife as they drink from the river below.

Best for…

First-timers & small groups

6. Kaingo Camp

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Kaingo Camp, with its photography hides and enviable location, is a nature photographer’s paradise. This charming retreat offers all the comforts of home and more during your stay, while perfectly setting you in the ideal position for enjoying the spectacular views of the natural surroundings and wildlife roaming nearby. While at Kaingo, be sure to spend an unforgettable night under the stars in the Elephant Hide star-bed.

Best for…

Avid photographers, couples & small groups

7. Zungulila Bush Camp

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Zungulila is all about uninterrupted views of South Luangwa’s natural beauty and unforgettable intimate moments. Ideal for lovebirds looking to spend quality time together, this exclusive bush camp promises a classic safari laced with romance. Expect fine dining under the soft glow of the night sky and slow strolls along the riverside. Who knew Africa could be a lovers’ paradise?

Best for…

Honeymoons & romantic getaways

8. Time + Tide Kakuli

Ideally located on the confluence of the Luwi and Luangwa rivers in South Luangwa National Park, Kakuli bush camp is perfect for a classic safari experience filled with exciting wildlife sightings. The section of the park in which the authentic Zambian camp can be found is home to one of the densest concentrations of game in Africa. Game drives and walking safaris are sure to be a treat at Kakuli.

Best for…

First-timers & animal-lovers

9. Flatdogs Jackalberry Tree House

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Built around three ancient African ebony trees, Flatdogs Jackalberry Tree House stands approximately six feet off the ground, providing an excellent perch from which to view the wildlife drinking at the lagoon below. Children are well catered for at the Tree House with exciting educational bush walks around the camp, lessons on tracking wildlife and learning about the indigenous flora and fauna.

Best for…

Families & small groups

10. Nkwali Camp

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Travelling as a family should be fun for every member of the brood. Nkwali Camp caters to travellers of every age group while still offering an authentic safari experience that is sure to bond you all together for a lifetime. While the parents are on one of South Luangwa’s famous walking safaris, children are back at camp enjoying a range of activities under the close supervision of trained staff. And, of course, you’ll all be able to spend quality time together on game drives through the national park.

Best for…

Family vacations

11. Mwamba Bush Camp

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Enjoy a personal safari at your own pace and away from the crowds at Mwamba. With only three thatched chalets on the property, this intimate and authentic bush camp promises a private getaway in the game-rich South Luangwa National Park. Game drives and walking safaris are led by knowledgeable and passionate guides who are sure to elevate your safari experience. In addition to the usual safari activities, guests can enjoy photographic hides overlooking a wildlife-frequented watering hole. Not to mention the picturesque views of the wilderness and tranquil waters of the Mwamba River.

Best for…

A classic safari experience

12. Puku Ridge Camp

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The rugged plains of South Luangwa are seldom associated with luxury and elegance – unless you’re staying at Puku Ridge. The eco-friendly camp promises a luxury safari in one of Africa’s most game-rich regions. Ideal for those looking to spend quality time with their significant other, there’s no shortage of intimate moments to set the romantic tone, from world-class fine dining by candlelight to nights spent under a canopy of stars in a private star-bed tower.

Best for…

Honeymoons & romantic getaways