The northern belt of Zambia has seen substantial investment from government in the last two years to attract infrastructure development and looking at the region it’s not hard to see why.
This area boasts some of the most spectacular natural wonders, and yet has not been fully explored. The investment and activity in the north is part of the government’s plans for diversification, which aim to increase and support domestic tourism visits.
The Country of Lakes and Rivers
Known as the country of lakes and rivers, the Northern, North-Western, Muchinga and Luapula provinces boast over five major lakes that include Lake Tanganyika, as well as 10 waterfalls, 20 national parks countrywide, and dozens of rivers and tributaries.
The Luapula Expo 2018 brought together investors, existing tour operators, government, the Zambia Tourism Agency, and members of the community to brainstorm the business case for developing tourism in the north.
Although the full realisation of this development may be years away, travellers still have the opportunity to visit the tourist destinations with the existing tour operators.
As the north comes into its own as a tourism destination the Lower Zambezi is one of the country’s best-kept secrets.
The Luscious Lower Zambezi
One of the most beautiful stretches of land is sprawled beneath the Zambezi escarpment – the Lower Zambezi National Park and Game Management Area (GMA) in the Chiawa District of Zambia. Although not the biggest, it’s certainly the most luscious in Zambia.
The park was established in 1983 with a specific aim: to ensure that the wildlife and natural habitat remain pristine and protected.
Due to years of poaching and conflict, there now exists a respect for the co-existence between man and animal. Private tour operators, lodge owners, and the community have taken hands in their strive towards enhanced livelihood, preserved culture, and community growth.
“Travellers who want to experience wildlife often look forward to the animal sightings during bush and river safaris, but here you also get the chance to visit the Mugurameno Village, where the chief provides a warm welcome.
“The villagers take the visitors to the local traditional museum, artefact exhibitions, and song and dance performances,” says Alexander Jonker, head of marketing at Zambezi Grande Private Game Lodge.
The lush garden and deck attract an array of wildlife – from the elephant that potters through to help itself to some tree leaves and branches, to the rich birdlife that provides a constant symphony.
Sit long enough on the deck and you will notice, just beyond the river on the sandy banks, a gathering of hippo and elephants foraging. Very often they are in the presence of crocodiles.
Zambezi Grande Private Game Lodge
The lodge itself is hard to leave behind. Reflecting the serenity of its surrounds, the colonial elegance and old-world luxury of Zambezi Grande Private Game Experience is the ideal destination for those seeking a 5-star escape with untamed safari experiences and endless indulgences.
Offering boutique accommodation, the 10 guest rooms and suites boast magnificent vistas and plenty of space, whilst the main lodge has a seamless open plan so guests can enjoy the majestic views of the river throughout the day.
Activities on offer include game drives, river and walking safaris, fishing and cultural village visits, or lazy days by the infinity pool watching the river flow by.
The galaxy of stars, the soundtrack of crickets and the calls of the wild give this destination a profound sense of space and magic.
SAA flies to Lusaka daily from Johannesburg. Book your tickets today!