The Wildest of Wild Dogs

We recently ran a post on one of the best offerings in the Zambezi River Valley; Zambezi Grande on the Zambian side. This luxury lodge provides amazing access to the Lower Zambezi National Park and its incredible wildlife.

Safari Guide Robbie Ball was recently on a trip to Zambezi Grande, and tells us here of one of the wildest things he’s ever seen in the bush:

We’d heard stories of the huge pack of African Wild Dogs that were resident in the Lower Zambezi Park and asked our guide if we could try and find them one morning.

Zambezi Grande is literally on the water’s edge, and water activities form a huge part of the offering here, so in true Zambezi River style, we set off downstream before dawn in one of the lodge’s boats whilst our ranger drove the vehicle round to meet us in the area the dogs had been seen the day before.
We enjoyed a spectacular sunrise from the boat, passing fish eagles, pods of hippos and elephants ambling along the bank.

It was about a 45 minute boat ride to where we disembarked, and shortly after linking up with the vehicle, we were guided to where the pack of wild dogs were sleeping by the tell-tale signs of vultures in the trees nearby.

The pack numbered 46 at the time, which must surely make them one of the largest packs in Africa!

After sitting with them for 30 minutes or so, we noticed a large dust cloud billowing up from the winterthorn forest nearby, which signalled the approach of a herd of buffalo. We could hear their bellowing from a long way off, which meant the dogs could hear them too, but they pack stayed snoozing.

The buffalo came into view and still the dogs did nothing, when suddenly, with the herd only about 200 metres away, the dogs leapt up and raced towards them. There had been no signal that we could see, not greeting ritual that usually precedes a hunt, no sign whatsoever; they were just up and racing in as a pack.

We tried to keep up with them but the bush was too thick where they led us and the herd had fled to. By the time we caught up a few minutes later the pack had already grabbed hold of a buffalo cow and were in the process of bringing her down.

The rest of the herd was still bellowing nearby but they didn’t come to the aid of the old female.
Wild dog kills tend to be quite gory, but are usually mercifully quick when they involve small game. With a large buffalo cow, despite the number of dogs involved, things were drawn out and difficult to watch.

Eventually the buffalo cow had died from a combination of shock and bloodloss, and whilst the pack gorged themselves, one of the adults trotted back to where they had been resting, to call the pups – who don’t get involved in the hunt – to come and feed.

We were there for maybe an hour and a half, and it was certainly one of the craziest wildlife sightings I will probably ever have in my lifetime!

Visit our Facebook or instagram pages (@iconicafrica) to see some video footage of this sighting…

The Zambezi Grande offers fantastic access – both by river and land – to the wildlife of the Zambezi Valley and Lower Zambezi National Park. Although sightings like the one Robbie witnessed are certainly not the norm, this particular pack has become renowned for taking down adult buffalo.

If a wildlife adventure like this is something you would be interested in, get in touch through


Zambezi Grande: The Perfect River Escape

Different wildlife areas in Africa come into their own seasons of popularity over the years. There always seems to be “the hottest new destination around”, and it is difficult for a single lodge to remain in the forefront of people’s minds for year after year.

Well the star of the Lower Zambezi National Park and surrounds in Zambia seems to be shining brighter and brighter each and every year. It has been on the rise for a while now, and set right on the banks of this amazing wilderness area, in a prime location to take full advantage of what the unique landscape has to offer, one finds Zambezi Grande.

Opened in October 2017, Zambezi Grande Private Game Experience is situated on a prime sector of the Zambezi River front, offering visitors an unforgettable personal retreat, with all the sumptuous indulgences a discerning guest would appreciate. The honk of the local hippo pod will be your wake-up call in the morning, the call of the African Fish Eagle high above will sound throughout the day, and the roar of a lion will add to the nighttime symphony as you sit around the campfire, watching the glow of the fading light reflecting off the gently flowing Zambezi River in front of you.

Bringing the heart and soul of the magical Zambezi into one place, the décor of the lodge is a mix of contemporary design and truly authentic African feel. Reflecting the serenity of its surrounds with neutral colours representing life, renewal, nature, and energy, there is an almost seamless transition between the wilds and the lodge itself. With a seamless open-plan, guests can enjoy the majestic views of the river from all areas of the lodge, and as such be exposed to all the activities by of the local wildlife, be it river-borne or strolling past on the bank.

Since welcoming their first guests in October 2017, the lodge has truly encapsulated the vivid environment they call home. Whether relaxing on the pool deck, enjoying a sundowner cruise on the river, or unwinding on the terrace watching the wildlife passing by, there are so many ways to soak in this enchanted corner of Africa.

Zambezi Grande Private Game Experience neighbours the Lower Zambezi National Park, a bountiful 4,092 square kilometres of rich birdlife, indigenous flora and untamed wildlife. Packs of the rare African Wild Dog roam the winterthorn forests, leopards slink from grove to grove, and the elephants are particularly plentiful, flocking down to the river in great numbers at the end of the dry season to feast on Ana tree pods and quench their thirst from the waters of the Zambezi.

The game viewing along this section of the Zambezi Valley is simply out of this world, and the local guides of Zambezi Grande are well-trained to both find and interpret the high-profile sightings that guests seek,

A variety of habitats ranging from forest to open plains, thick bush to palm groves, complement the safari experience here, and guests will never feel like they are on the same excursion twice, be it a fishing trip, a game drive or a bush walk.

Zambezi Grande features five Superior Suites, each with an exclusive veranda on the banks of the Zambezi River. King size beds allow one to wallow in unspeakably comfortable opulence during the hours of slumber, and the river-facing outdoor shower allows you to refresh yourself whilst feeling completely in tune with the African wilds.

Five Luxury rooms offer their own intimate Zambezi Grande experience, being only slightly smaller than the Superior Suites, but being perfect for a family option, having inter-connecting rooms available.

Zambezi Grande offers guests the perfect way to immerse themselves in this unique corner of the world. Ultimate comfort, a superior game viewing experience, and a prime position that lets you switch off from all the trappings of the fast-paced modern world, make this lodge a must-do if Zambia’s safari scene is something on your bucket list.

Lolebezi: Wild, Remote, Luxurious

The Zambezi is one of Africa’s largest and most iconic rivers.

Originating in the highlands of Zambia, it sweeps out to the west into Angola, then back south through Zambia before forming the border between Namibia as it turns to the east, then the border with Zimbabwe, and eventually crossing into Mozambique where it continues its path to the Indian Ocean.

Wildlife is to be found all along its almost 3000km length, but one section in particular is a verdant paradise; the 150km downstream from the Chirundu border post between Zambia and Zimbabwe. This is part of the Lower Zambezi Valley, and it is here that you will find some of the most spectacular wildlife viewing in one of the most spectacular areas in Africa.
It is here that you find Lolebezi Camp, in Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park.

Lolebezi is the latest offering in the African Bush Camps portfolio, and is one of the most special. An exclusive kilometre of Zambezi River frontage has guests waking up to one of the continent’s great waterways within a few metres of the deck of their rooms, more often than not with an elephant or two in attendance, and at the very least the local pod of hippos. The river teems with life here, especially in the dry season (July – October), when the inland pans evaporate and animals have to flock to the riverbank to drink.

Elephant herds congregate under the Ana trees to eat the fallen pods, impalas and baboons feed together, both acting as sentries for each other, and where there is a multitude of herbivores, the predators are never far away.
Leopards and lions abound here, and the openness in of the area towards the end of the dry season in particular makes the sightings of these big cats more common.

Large packs of the endangered African Wild Dog have made their home in the park, one of the few areas that provides the space that these enigmatic animals require to operate effectively in the huge home ranges they need, whilst simultaneously allowing for a large enough population to establish itself that ensures healthy genetic flow.

The camp itself is paradise.

Sunsets like no other as the sky and the river itself are bathed in golden, red and purple hues. Fish eagles calling from the trees above and the chatter of monkeys from the tree tops serves as constant reminders that you are not separated from nature here; you are immersed in it.

The contemporary design of Lolebezi seamlessly blends modest elegance with a simplicity that can only be found in the African bush. Designed for both family and romantic escapes, Lolebezi has four superior suites and two double family units. The lodge is fully airconditioned, with a private plunge pool and thatched Sala on the river.

The eco-conscious traveller should look no further, as the camp is powered by an off-the-grid solar farm, and the water supply and wastewater are managed to ensure that no pollution enters the river. Everything is done to minimise the human footprint on the land.


Lolebezi is a family friendly lodge, welcoming children of all ages (with the restriction of children over the age of 16 being able to join walking safaris and canoeing).
The small number of suites assures an intimate experience, whether you are travelling as a couple or in a slightly larger group.

The main dining area of Lolebezi is designed out of old railway sleepers, harking back to the long-forgotten days of exploration and giving it a distinctly adventurous atmosphere. The all-day café and pizza bar ensure that you won’t be going hungry whilst on safari here. If you’d rather opt for a more secluded dining experience, you can eat in your own dining room or take advantage of the river-pods for picnics.

Lolebezi is truly a special place. The combination of its immersion in one of Africa’s greatest wildlife areas as well as its superb accommodation and attention to detail make it one of the best offerings in the region.
A short flight from Lusaka (Zambia’s capital) will set you down at the airstrip just two kilometres from camp, and only a short game drive down the road you will be on the banks of the Zambezi, sipping a G&T while taking in the river and its accompanying escarpment in all their glory.

Get in touch to find out more…

Amanzi: Lower Zambezi’s Living Eden

If tranquility in an African bush setting is what you are after, with the gentle current of the Zambezi River flowing past your private deck, a cold Zambezi Lager in one hand, a pair of binoculars in the other and a herd of elephants swimming across the river int he distance, Amanzi Luxury Tented Camp is the place for you.

Set far from the madding crowd in the Lower Zambezi National Park – a place swiftly gaining a reputation as one of Africa’s new hotspots for sensational game viewing – Amanzi is the most remote of the camps in the region, as well as being exclusive-use only, meaning you’ll enjoy a far more intimate wildlife experience.

Guided walks, game drives and river excursions offer multiple exciting ways to explore the area, and all offer their own unique way to immerse yourself in of the continent’s most special wildernesses.

Amanzi is a small camp, being comprised of only four classically styled luxury suites.
Two suites are stand-alone and one is a double-bedroom family styled suite, with the two bedrooms being designed in exactly the same way as the stand-alones.
Wooden walkways link the rooms to the lounge and dining area, and move further through the riparian thickets to the pool and teak viewing deck, situated just above the mighty Zambezi River.

More often than not guests don’t even need to leave their suites to view wildlife, as large hippo pods frequent the area and elephants are an almost constant presence around the camp.

Whilst historically areas like Hwange in Zimbabwe, the Okavango in Botswana, and the Kruger National Park and surrounds in South Africa have been at the forefront of the Southern African wildlife scene, Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park is fast coming into its own as a premier destination for wildlife viewing.
Leopards abound here, packs of wild dogs dominate the floodplains in the dry season, and the local lion population are frequent hunters of the large buffalo herds.

If it’s up-close wildlife encounters that you are after, in a setting almost tailor-made for photography, look no further. The fact that Amanzi is out beyond all the other camps means that a lot of the time, you are all alone with the animals you are viewing.

With amazing rates currently available for Iconic Africa guests (for both international and SADC visitors), this is a fantastic time to think about a safari into this part of the continent. As the area grows in renown it is likely that more and more visitors will want to head there, but for the moment there is still exclusivity and plenty of space to be found.

Get in touch to start planning your safari…

Thorntree River Lodge: Victoria Falls in Style

Imagine a picnic in the middle of the Zambezi River on your own private island.

But this island is barely 40 feet across.

Elephants browse on the riverbank in the distance, hippos cavort in a shallow pool just upstream, and the call of the African fish eagle sounds from high above. In the distance to the east, the constant cloud of spray that hangs over Mosi-oa-Tunya – “the smoke that thunders” – serves as a constant reminder that Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, is just downstream, and the real reason you are visiting this magical corner of the continent.

This is what awaits you at Thorntree River Lodge in Zambia.

African Bush Camp’s Thorntree River Lodge sits as a haven of serenity overlooking the mighty Zambezi River, right in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia’s smallest but by no means least impactful national park. Wildlife abounds here, even so close to the town of Livingstone – the gateway to this part of the world – and buffalo, giraffes and elephants are a constant presence around the lodge. The park has many historical implications as well. The Old Drift site is where wagons were floated across the Zambezi in the early days of exploration, and the local guides have endless stories to tell about the forgotten days of the area.

The lodge is therefore perfectly positioned not only from a nature point of view but especially for those who want to enjoy the splendour of the Victoria Falls themselves, which is 90% of the reason people journey to this part of the world in the first place.
The falls themselves – the largest curtain of falling water on the planet –  are simply mind-blowing. Although the strength of the cascade varies seasonally and is linked to rainfall in the Zambian highlands, the setting of the waterfall itself and the subsequent descent of the river into the Batoka gorge is simply mind-blowing.

There are a myriad activities to enjoy from Thorntree as a base. White water rafting, bungee jumping, game drives, casting a line for the fearsome tiger fish on an idyllic afternoon boat sojourn… Thorntree River Lodge truly offers it all. Guests will inevitably feel like they should have stayed longer, there is so much to do in such a small area.

The lodge showcases incredible river panoramas from its unique vantage point, tucked between lush riparian vegetation.
The communal areas flow seamlessly together, and the fluid design of the lodge and its integration into its environment make guests feel like they are one with the Zambezi ecosystem. For those wanting to check the occasional email or post a quick reel to their Instagram feed, the library hosts WIFI connectivity. The health conscious can spend time in the gym or spa; definitely a good option when considers how amazing the cuisine and wine are in this stunning setting.

Only ten rooms and two family units ensure an intimate camp experience, and being evenly spaced along the riverbank ensures each has its own private view out onto the Zambezi. Kids are welcome at the lodge, and the Ngwana Club hosts a wide range of activities for youngsters of all ages, ensuring they will be constantly entertained.

Thorntree River Lodge is a perfect place to start off a safari trip. Its easy access to airports both on the Livingstone (Zambia) or Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) side makes it readily accessible from major airports, and it gives you more than enough of an authentic African experience to have the bug bite properly.

Get hold of us through to enquire further, or to start planning your safari…



Zambia: The Next Big Thing in Safari

Although boasting a long history of safari, Zambia has somehow managed to fly under the radar for most, with its cousin Zimbabwe just to the south, and the East African and gorilla safari scenes to the north-east generally taking home all the plaudits.
Recently though, with more and more focus being on exploratory travel, and hardened African visitors looking for a slightly different experience in the bush, the spotlight on Zambia has been shining ever brighter.

Victoria Falls has of course always received the attention it deserves, but is the slightly more remote destinations that are starting to come into their own, and the world-class wildlife viewing, combined with far lower vehicle densities than other countries, make Zambia something special.

The South Luangwa National Park in the east of the country is one of the better known reserves. With one of the highest leopard densities in Africa, open woodland perfect for photography and the Luangwa River itself with its uncountable hippos and crocs, this park is not one to be missed.
Visitors have a wide variety of safari options in Luangwa, from old school walking safaris to the more contemporary game drives in open vehicles, and a selection of camps scattered throughout the almost 10 000 square kilometre reserve provides a whole spectrum of experiences.

A quaint evening setting at Time and Tide’s Nsolo Camp
The open woodlands in South Luangwa are simply jaw-dropping.

Further south and west in the Kafue National Park one finds Busanga Bush Camp, a seasonal camp set on the edge of an enormous floodplain. Here the views stretch to the horizon, and with such limited human presence in the area, the visitor gets a sense of true remoteness. Cheetahs and lions are the apex predators, and the open grasslands provide the perfect habitats for them to pursue the plentiful wildebeest.
The unique habitat and open terrain is a photographer’s dream.

A lechwe at dawn on the Busanga Plains.

Even further west, almost as far as one can go in Zambia, is one of its least well known reserves, but one of its most exciting; Liuwa Plain. First protected in 1880 by King Lewanika of the Lozi people, the reserve is one of the oldest in Africa, and now, Time and Tide’s King Lewanika Camp sits as the only permanent camp in the park, ands therefore one of Zambia’s most exclusive.

Liuwa Plain is all about seasonality,  and the game viewing reflects this, focusing on the wildebeest calving towards the end of the year after the herds have moved south in the reserve, and continuing right the way through to the next winter at which point the herds retreat back north again.

King Lewanika Camp is about expansive African skies…
The seasonal wildebeest herds on the move across Liuwa Plain.

The Zambian wildlife havens are truly untouched, and the country’s lower profile on the international tourist radar has aided this significantly. However, the sheer diversity of landscapes, the wide selection of luxury camps and the feeling of being in true wilderness should put this astonishing country firmly on the bucket list of any ardent safari lover.

Get hold of us to find out more or to start booking your Zambian safari…

Rwanda, Kenya and Zambia Open for Travel

We are excited to let our international travellers know that entry into Rwanda, Kenya and Zambia is now open.
Do not hesitate to book your trip to the land of a thousand hills and endless jungle; the finest wildlife entertainment in Africa; and world-class predator activity!

Rwanda is the ultimate jungle escape for the adventurous traveller. Its gorgeously green and misty forests are home to the magnificent, world-renowned Silverback Gorillas. Rwanda is fondly known as the ‘land of a thousand hills’ because of its remarkably hilly landscape and its spectacular volcanoes.

Rwanda African Luxury Saafari Gorillas

One of Rwanda’s most luxurious lodges, Bisate Lodge is a sight to behold—striking in its unique design and set against the backdrop of Rwanda’s verdant forested landscape, Bisate Lodge allows guests to marvel at the wonder that is Rwanda.

Bisate Lodge Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Rooms

And no Rwandan adventure is complete without a gorilla trekking tour! This magical experience will, no doubt, take your breath away and render you speechless. You will be in awe of this most unbelievable and unforgettable, encounter. It is an intimate experience like no other and has been known to bring many people to tears. One hour is certainly not long enough but it is an hour that you will remember for the rest of your days.

Gorilla Trek Tours Rwanda Iconic Africa

Gorilla Trek Africa Rwanda Iconic Africa 3

Rules for entry:
*All countries can visit.
*All countries must fill out a pre-arrival form. Before travelling to Rwanda, passengers must fill out a Passenger Locator Form. To fill out this form, passengers must be able to provide passport information, travel details, negative PCR COVID-19 test results, and booking confirmation at one of the designated hotels for a 24-hour quarantine upon arrival.
*All countries must produce a negative PCR test within 72 hours of boarding. The negative test must be emailed to before your departure and a printed copy of the results brought with you upon entry into Rwanda.
*Upon arrival to Rwanda, visitors will be taken to the designated quarantine hotel of their choice at the cost of the traveller. They will be required to quarantine in their hotel room until they receive a negative COVID-19 result.
*A test will be done upon arrival. The results should be available after 8 hours. Plus another test 48 hours after arrival, both at the cost of the traveller.
*Any traveller who has their negative-PCR test in hand, and is showing no symptoms, will not have to quarantine upon arrival into Rwanda.
*Re-Testing may be done before going on in-country tours or treks.

Popular parks such as Volcanos National Park, Nyungwe National Park and Akagera National Park have all reopened to international tourists, but some protocols need to be followed.

Kenya is an Approved and recognised user of the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safety Stamp. Kenya promises the very best game viewing, hospitality and endless breathtaking landscapes, the origin and epitome of the true safari experience. It is without a doubt the ultimate safari destination. Exquisite luxury lodges and magical tented camps are aplenty, easily accessible and waiting to welcome you with open arms.

Your choice for luxury 5-star accommodation is endless. Take your pick between Giraffe Manor, Mara Expeditions, Ol Donyo, Bateleur Camp, Mara Plains and Angama Mara.

Giraffe Manor Breakfast Feature

Great Migration Tanzania Masaai Mara East Africa Safaris Angama Mara 2

Rules for entry:
*Entry into Kenya is permitted if the passenger does not have a body temperature above 37.5°C (99.5°F); does not have a persistent cough, difficulty breathing or other flu-like symptoms, and has a negative PCR-based COVID-19 test conducted within 96 hours of arrival.
*All passengers arriving on international flights are required to quarantine for 14 days at a government-designated facility or at their Kenyan residence.
*If there is a reported case of COVID-19 on a flight or if the above symptoms are detected, all passengers within two rows of the passenger with the symptoms will be quarantined for testing. If the test results are negative, they will be allowed to leave the facility.
*It is mandatory for all passengers arriving in Kenya to complete the Travelers Health Surveillance Form by the Ministry of Health. The form must be completed online prior to disembarkation. Passengers will receive a QR code after completing the form and will be required to display it to a Port Health Official to proceed through immigration.
*Health screening procedures are in place at airports and other ports of entry.
*The Government of Kenya established an online portal to extend visitor and resident visas.
*Testing is available at Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi Hospital, and Kenyatta National Hospital. The charge for the test is approximately USD 100 at private health facilities and USD 50 at government hospitals. Test results are available within 48 – 96 hours.
*Commercial flights and public transportation are operating.

Here in the warm heart of Africa lies one of the continent’s greatest secrets, the birthplace of the walking safari, Zambia! Sitting on a sprawling plateau, this little gem boasts the Zambezi, Kafue and Luangwa rivers, and shares one of the largest waterfalls in the world, the Victoria Falls with neighbouring Zimbabwe.

Mchenja Zambia South Luangwa - The South Luangwa is renowned for its world class predator action

There is no better way to get up-close-and-personal with the African bush, and its wildlife, than to go on a walking safari. It is, without a doubt, the best way to fully experience and appreciate the magical intricacies that make up a regular day out in the bush. Even if you’ve had many safari experiences in the past, this iconic adventure will, no doubt, take your breath away.

Zambia African Safari Travel

Zambia boasts magical accommodations from South Luangwa National Park to Liuwa Plains and Lower Zambezi Valley. Mchenja Bush Camp, King Lewanika and Chongwe are surrounded by unspeakable beauty and luxury.

Mchenja Zambia South Luangwa - The style and comfort of the suites make you feel like an early explorer on an authentic safari

King Lewanika - Gather after your exciting game drives and swap tales under the stars_

Zambia is open to foreign nationals and issuing visitor visas upon entry into the country. Limited domestic flight schedules are operating twice-weekly between Kenneth Kaunda International Airport and Mfuwe International Airport, and between Kenneth Kaunda and Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone.

Royal CHundu Iconic Africa Why Us

Rules for entry:
*All international visitors are screened on arrival. If you show any signs of COVID-19, you will have to quarantine for 14 days.
*All arriving passengers must have a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test that has been conducted within 3 days of arriving in Zambia.
*Visitors will be expected to adhere to COVID-19 regulations like physical distancing, wearing face masks, and personal hygiene. They will also need to monitor themselves daily for 10 days for symptoms of the virus and report any occurrence to the nearest health facility.

Strict control measures have been implemented in these countries and have to be followed: social distancing, good hand hygiene, and the wearing of masks remain mandatory. Contact us HERE for more information on your next African safari adventure!

Birding in Mana Pools

Are you planning your post-lockdown travel itinerary? If you’ve decided on the far north of Zimbabwe, Mana Pools is the perfect destination for travellers who appreciate and are seeking a great diversity of bird species. This already bucket-list worthy destination has over 380 recorded bird species, spread across more than three different habitats from woodlands to plateaus and savannah areas.

Mana Pools National Park includes the south bank and islands of the Zambezi River, which forms the border with Zambia. The park is known for its incredible wildlife… and the exquisite river and vast flood plains. It is on every safari-lovers bucket-list as it is remote, it’s teeming with animals, the scenery is exquisite, sunsets breath-taking… need we say more – it really is Africa at its best.

Some of the avifauna you can expect to lay eyes on are Waterbirds along the banks of the Zambezi River, the Southern carmine bee-eaters during April to November, the African skimmer, Pel’s fishing-owl and Lilian’s lovebird among others.

The best time to feast one’s eyes on the abundance of colours and sounds is during the dry season – April to November – when both resident and migratory birds are plentiful. Although birding in Mana Pools is good year-round, the dry season is when local species begin nesting.

Plan your trip to coincide with the best wildlife viewing which is from June to October to make the most out of your time in this beautiful region. At this time animals congregate around water sources and large numbers of elephants and buffalo can be seen more frequently.

The Zambezi River is known to have luxury safari accommodations nestled along its banks and relaxing boat safaris cruising its waters. The river attracts a variety of waders, including:

Spur-winged Plover,
Green Sandpiper,
Common Ringed Plover,
Grey Plover,
Caspian Plover,
Common Redshank
and Bar-tailed Godwit

Zambezi Crescent, Victoria Falls River Lodge, Zambezi River, near Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Plan a walk along the river or take a canoe/boat trip and try to spot the Afrian Skimmer – breeding along the sand banks from May – November. During Spring, Southern Carmine Bee-eaters excavate their nest holes in the river banks.

Other species to keep an eye out for are:

Mottled & Bohm’s Spinetail,
Horus Swift,
White-browed Coucal,
Western Banded Snake-Eagle,
Rufous-bellied Heron,
and Collared Pratincole.

Back at your camp, look out for the Purple-banded Sunbird or White-bellied Sunbird before heading out for your drive through the woodland.

Zambia’s Adrenalin Factor 

If you’re looking for those specific activities that will add that wow-element to your next trip to Victoria Falls – there’s no better combo than a helicopter flight, swimming in Devil’s Pool and taking a Livingstone Island tour to experience the ultimate rush, see the endless landscape from the sky and truly appreciate one of the worlds 7 natural wonders.

Choose between a 12-minute Flight of Angels or a 25-minute Zambezi Spectacular. The Flight of Angels was coined by David Livingstone when he first wrote about the surrounding area. Experience exactly what he felt when he wrote “a sight so wonderful that angels must have gazed down on it in flight”. Head towards Victoria Falls and fly in both directions as you find your perfect angle to film and photograph. Both air-tours provide the best viewing and photography opportunities that cannot be compared. Fly up the Zambezi River and over the Zambezi National Park as you head back towards the helipad. 

But 15-minutes might not be enough time in the sky – continue downstream over the Batoka Gorge, along the Zambezi River and navigate your way between steep cliffs and over Long Island before your Zambezi Spectacular flight comes to an end. Long Island is home to a great deal of big game and you will be able to see them clearly in the national park. 

If skimming just above turbulent water is not thrilling enough – try something more daring like swimming in Devil’s Pool. This is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is well-managed with safety being the top priority. 

Your guide will take you on a 5-minute boat ride along the Zambezi River – an exhilarating experience on its own, as you slipstream through rocky channels. Once you arrive on the island you are then led to the west of the island where you can jump into Devil’s Pool if you wish. The route directs you to swim slightly upstream in a very slow current. A safety rope is also in place as an added precaution. You then climb out on another rocky outcrop close to the edge of the Falls and the Devils Pool.

The Devils Pool itself is a deep natural pool that has been created by thousands of years of erosion, but what is unique about it is that there is a rock ledge on the lip of the Falls, where the water is only a few centimetres deep. You can now lie on this rock lip at the edge of the Devils Pool. 

The Devil’s Pool is available only when the water level is really low to allow for safe swimming. This is normally from late August to early January.

Once you return to Livingstone Island, you can take the season tour if the water level of the Zambezi River is low enough to allow safe access to Livingstone Island. The best time is from approximately late June to early March. 

For more on our favourite Victoria Falls destinations click here


Why Choose Africa 

“I hope you have an experience that alters the course of your life because, after Africa, nothing has ever been the same” – Suzanne Evans.

Africa receives millions of travellers each year – most of whom come to visit the variety of beaches, mountainside escapes and safari lodges and camps.  Experience everything from cultural immersion, history and enjoy a variety of wildlife at your fingertips. Let us share with you – why we have come to love the continent as much as we do. 

Africa has a special safari destination for every occasion, family size and travel needs. The continent is selected for the exceptional Big Five game viewing, year-round good weather, spectacular birding opportunities, family-friendly and malaria-free safari accommodations, romantic retreats, award-winning chefs, breath-taking sunsets, and unprecedented sceneries. Find luxury, opulence and extravagance in the great outdoors. 

Africa’s expanse and extremely diverse terrains, climate and wildlife can make deciding on a country a tedious task. You may want a view of Mount Kilimanjaro from your lodge or to climb the famous Table Mountain. The continent has been blessed with so many cultures, community projects and great service that contribute to truly wholesome travel – from the Maasai people in Kenya and Tanzania to the San and Shona in the Kalahari and Zimbabwe. Experience modernity and rustic authenticity simultaneously in Africa’s pristine wilderness whilst returning to your luxury suites each night. Whether it is in the Kruger National Park, South Luangwa National Park or the Serengeti – you will stay mesmerised.

You can experience the best of everything, from nature’s wonders; getting up close and personal with some of Africa’s fiercest game accompanied by world-class guides; adventure activities; photography opportunities; artwork and museums and shopping!

We have put together a list of African safari destinations with the highlights from each to help you with your complex travel choices:

  1.     South Africa
  • Explore the beautiful Winelands of the Western Cape where you will find luxurious chateaux, local wines and exceptional views. 
  • Enjoy the beaches, mountains and city-life of Cape Town. The Mother City boasts beautiful architecture with a thriving night-life and an abundance of activities. 
  • Escape to the quiet of the Kruger National Park and enjoy some quality time with the Big Five.
  • Visit the rugged terrains of the Kalahari

  1.     Botswan
  • An untouched wilderness with incredible wildlife sightings. 
  • Cruise along the Chobe River and come face-to-face with the largest concentration of elephant and other predators. 
  • Diverse landscape from the Kalahari to the Okavango Delta. 
  • Selinda Game Reserve is an opportunity to awaken all your senses with the sceneries and wildlife. 
  • Spend some time in the Kalahari where time stands still 

  1.     Kenya
  • The place where safari originated. 
  • An abundance of wildlife. 
  • Visit the Masai Mara and experience a Maasai village. 
  • Experience the Great Wildebeest Migration. 

  1.     Tanzania
  • Explore the unfathomable magic of the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater 
  • Bordering Kenya, Tanzania has a plethora of wildlife 
  • The Serengeti is one of the world’s most famous wilderness areas. 
  • Wonder off the beaten track to a more quiet safari location such as Tarangire National Park 
  • A high density of wildlife throughout the year
  • Choose between a variety of locations from forests to savannahs, beaches or volcanic areas such as Ngorongoro Crater. Even the weather can alter drastically, from snow-capped peaks to lush tropical mountainsides. 

  1.     Zambia
  • Birthplace of the walking safari. 
  • Experience the thrill and views of sitting in Devil’s Pools
  • An alternate and exceptional view of Victoria Falls
  • Great fauna and flora in 20 national parks, our favourites being Liuwa Plain, Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa for its dense leopard population. 

  1.     Rwanda 
  • The beautiful forests are magical and encompass a fairytale setting for outstanding wildlife with exceptional surrounding accommodations. It is the ultimate jungle escape – see Silverback Gorillas and trek through the dense mountainside.
  • Rwanda is home to numerous monkey species.
  • Explore the hilly landscapes and see volcanoes for the first time.   


  1.     Zimbabwe
  • The most tranquil setting for luxury and adventure. 
  • Explore the Zambezi River by boat cruise and watch a masterpiece sunset. 
  • Stand before the most breath-taking Natural Wonder – Mose-oa-Tunya – The Smoke That Thunders 
  • Thrill-seeking activities such as white river rafting, bungee jumping and many more.

  1.     Mozambique
  • The perfect beach escape for couples and families. 
  • Luxury hideaways that exude romance
  • Pristine beaches with silky white sand 
  • Enjoy snorkelling, diving, fishing or simply relaxing with a book
  • Find an amalgamation of flavours and cultures 
  • Find amazing marine life at Azura Benguerra and Azura Quilalea such as turtles, tropical fish, eels, dolphins and rays, maybe even a pod of Southern Right whales.  

Need we say any more? 




Top Spots to See Birds in Africa

Africa is synonymous with safaris and many first-time travellers to the wilderness focus solely on seeing land mammals and marine life. But for those frequent visitors of Africa’s bush, the bird species on the continent is an added bonus and a delight for all our birders. Africa is home to a variety of beautiful birds, both endemic and migratory that range from large flamingos to smaller birds with splash of colour and beautiful voices.

The best part about visiting Africa is most safari destinations not only house hundreds of birds, but these prime bird-watching locations are also some of the top game-viewing areas that support the Big Five as well as many other big and small wildlife like giraffes, zebras and wild cats.

For our enthusiasts, the best time to see our feathered friends is during the wet, green season when the migrant birds are in town and the avifauna are getting the pattern, colour and arrangement of their feathers ready for breeding.

You don’t have to travel long distances, either. Some of Africa’s top bucket-list destinations offer world-class bird-viewing such as the Maasai Mara, which has over 470 recorded bird species and South Luangwa National Park, with over 400 species. Here are some of our top countries in Africa to see aves and some of the species you can expect to see:

South Africa is where all first-time safari goers should go to experience an African safari. With an abundance of wildlife, flora and birds, it’s a dream destination to start ticking off your bucket-list. Mix up your vacation between mountain and sea; wilderness and city life, all in one trip. Here are some other destinations that are the best alternatives to South Africa.


Spend a week in Tanzania on safari. From the volcanically rich soil to the lush forests, interminable golden savannahs, pearly white sands, snow-capped peaks, baobab clusters, lush swamps, fields of sunflowers and a constantly overwhelming sense of space, there is so much to explore.

What you can see:

  • A variety of East-African Endemics
  • Over 20 endemics species
  • Flamingo-filled lakes

Famous bird-watching destinations:

Stay at one of these luxury accommodations.


Here in the warm heart of Africa lies one of the continent’s greatest secrets, and birthplace of the walking safari! Sitting on a sprawling plateau, this little gem boasts the Zambezi, Kafue and Luangwa rivers, and boats some beautiful birds.

Bird-viewing highlights:

  • The shoebill stork
  • The African Pitta

Chongwe Zambia - A tranquility like no other

Must-visit bird-watching destination:

  • The Zambezi River catchment of Zambia

Stay at one of these luxury accommodations.


Kenya is an incredible destination for bird-watching. The density and abundance of wildlife is unreal and the climate and geography of the country leads to the highest numbers of bird species in the country. Travelers can sometimes spot over 342 species in 24 hours.

What you can see:

  • Swallows
  • Waders as well as terns
  • Weavers and the bishops
  • Southern African migrants
  • The Long claw and the magpie shrike


Stay at one of these luxury accommodations.


Enjoy the luxury and seclusion of an authentic and discerning tropical island holiday in this lush and fauna-filled country. You can expect exceptional bird-viewing along the pristine coastline

What you can see:

  • Coastal migrant waders in the south
  • The striking red and blue double collared sun birds
  • The white tailed blue flycatcher
  • The tiny greenbul
  • The mangrove kingfisher
  • and the olive headed weaver.

Stay at one of these luxury accommodations.


Rwanda is the ultimate jungle escape for the adventurous traveller.  Its gorgeously green and misty forests are home to the magnificent, world-renowned Silverback Gorillas. Rwanda is fondly known as the ‘land of a thousand hills’ because of its remarkably hilly landscape and its spectacular volcanoes. But don’t overlook the endemic birds of Rwanda for these majestic beasts. Because Rwanda is so small, you have a better chance of sighting of the 600+ species.

What you can see:

  • Collared Apalis
  • The Grauer’s
  • Albertine owlet
  • The red collared mountain babbler
  • and the Neumann’s Warblers.

Stay at one of these luxury accommodations.

Which of these beautiful birds have you been lucky enough to see?

Why Tailor-made Luxury African Safaris are the Way to Go

Iconic Africa specialises in bespoke African safaris, custom designed for the discerning traveller. We love  what we do; have loads of knowledge, and have been lucky enough to visit and experience most of our destinations themselves, and… have long standing relationships with many of the lodge owners.

Here’s why we think that choosing a tailor-made safari is definitely the best choice for your African adventure.

  1. Discover Africa’s Most Sought-After Destinations

Browse our destinations to explore everything Africa has to offer. There are countless amazing experiences to enjoy, so take your time.

We are here to help. Once you have an idea of what you would like to experience in Africa let one of our African travel experts guide you according to your preferences and budget. It is never too soon to contact us.

2. Relax & Let Us Do The Rest

Our team will design a luxury itinerary specifically for you, complete with accommodation, activities and travel designed specifically around your very own needs.  We will make sure you have a trip you will remember forever.

So relax, take a deep breath and imagine yourself basking in the hot African sun, sipping a cold cocktail and marvelling at the majestic wildlife we are so privileged to enjoy on the extraordinary continent we call Africa. We will take care of the rest!

Here are just a few more benefits of tailor-made safari…

3. Experience unique and luxurious safari moments.

4. Celebrate the incredible cultures, hospitality, food and wine.

5. Explore uncharted territories with private guides.

6. Choose and plan around specific activities you are interested in

7. See Africa’s breath-taking Natural Wonders of the World in luxury

Giraffe Manor Colonial Luxury Courtyard Aerial

8. Choose between fast-paced adventure destinations and slow safaris

9. Enjoy personalised tours and trips that gets you face-to-face with all the action.

Tailor-made safaris can/may include all flights, transfers and private guides, accommodation, breakfast, all meals on a full board basis, complimentary transfers, wireless internet access, morning tea and coffee with wake up calls, use of spa areas and fitness studio, game drives, walking safaris, private tours and many additional complimentary experiences.

Our consultants will be sure to explain this all to you depending on the trip they have planned for you but these are many of the additional services that are provided. For more info on planning your ultimate tailor-made safari getaway click here. 



Top 10 Reasons to Visit Zambia 

Zambia is a beautiful landlocked country in Southern Africa. Bordered by Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Angola, this large natural attraction is unrivalled when it comes to wildlife, people and activities.  Zambia’s notable size and remoteness guarantees exclusive safari opportunities, at 5 –star accommodations with world-class guides and sightseeing. We are very excited about our new collection of Zambian properties and hope to add more properties soon. Here are our top ten reasons to bump up Zambia to the top of your travel list:

  1. Walking safaris

One of Zambia (more specifically, South Luangwa’s) main attractions is walking into the bush with guides or scouts to track wildlife through the lush thickets or dusty banks – hot on the trail of big cats and mammals. Enjoy a thrilling experience of reading animal droppings and paw prints to see them face-to-face. 

  1. Victoria Falls

David Livingstone describes ‘The Smoke that Thunders’ as “Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” Named after Queen Victoria, Mosi-oa-Tunya truly is a majestic experience. Visit during May when the falls are in full flow, however, it is no less spectacular any other time of the year. 

  1. Canoeing the Zambezi

Visit elephants, crocodiles and hippos along the lower Zambezi River from your canoe. Paddle at your own leisurely pace as you see Africa’s wild from a fantastic vantage point. Or perhaps turn up the romance with a sunset boat cruise down the Zambezi River. 

  1. Rafting 

White water rafting is a thrilling experience and there’s nowhere better than the Zambezi. Whilst you can raft all year round, the best time is the low water season (July – January) when the river at its most ferocious.

  1. The Zambian People

Zambians are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. Experience a new culture, food and lifestyle as you travel through the city and countryside. The local people are always ready to lend a helping hand or simply have a chat. 

  1. A Bird’s Eye View 

Zambia and Victoria Falls is exceptionally beautiful while on the ground, but seeing it from the air will completely take your breath away. Book a helicopter ride or microlighting to see the misty top and green surroundings from the sky. 

  1. Afternoon Tea at The Royal Livingstone

Zambia has no shortage of luxury settings and accommodations. Spoil yourself with some cake and tea at The Royal Livingstone and indulge in some good music, beautiful views and fine china. Perhaps you will see a zebra pass by or a giraffe wonder onto the lawns. 

  1. South Luangwa National Park

South Luangwa National Park has aIl the wildlife that you could possibly want to see and some of the finest luxury safari accommodation. With its great expanse, the reserve is quieter than other parks and offers exceptional sightings without the distractions of other game vehicles.  

  1. Luxury Accommodation 

Experience everything the bush has to offer without ‘roughing it’. Zambia has exceptional luxury accommodation in national parks that allow guests to fully submerge themselves into Zambia’s great outdoors without compromising on luxury and amenities. 

  1. The Lunar Rainbow Tour 

Lunar rainbows are rainbows that take place at night, when a rainbow is seen in the light of the moon. Victoria Falls is one of a very few places in the world which are known for the occurrence of moonbows. The lunar rainbow is a spectacular event that can be seen only during the full moon.

To see all of our Zambian properties, click here.


6 Different Ways to Experience the Bush

Most people list an African safari as a top bucket-list activity. For those of you who have already been, you’ll know how addictive it is. For our first-timers, here are a few secrets to seeing some amazing wildlife and getting the most fun out of your trip…

While some travellers are privileged to see almost everything on their first safari – from the Big Five to wild dogs, birds and marine life, others may only spot a handful of wildlife. But that’s okay! A safari can be more than sitting at the back of an open 4×4 vehicle, walking alongside a guide or looking down from a hot air balloon.

Here are six incredible activities to add to your itinerary to maximize your time in the bush. Take your time, enjoy the excursion and take in the scenery for an experience of a lifetime.

  1. Horse riding

This is an incredible opportunity to experience nature and a very unique way of going on safari! Some lodges in Africa let you ride in the wild even if you are a complete novice. The more seasoned rider can choose from further options, like riding alongside an elegant giraffe or carefully walking with an elephant.

  1. Stargazing

Far away from any light pollution, the stargazing in Africa is phenomenal! It is as if the sky was made for the sole purpose of displaying the stars’ beauty. While you lie back and focus on absorbing all the sounds and calls of the animals and birds; your guide will take you on an astrological journey through the universe.

  1. Camel safari

A camel safari is almost like being on horseback, but you have a slightly more elevated view and the ride is a bit quieter thanks to the extra padding in camels’ feet. Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya all offer camel safaris, as an additional activity or solely as your mode of transport on a mobile safari. Kenya is by far the best place to do this!

  1. Canoeing

Canoeing can be done as a single activity or as part of a trail where you canoe between campsites for 3–7 days. Among the more popular canoe trails is the 4-day Selinda Canoe Trail in Botswana. You can expect to see an array of birdlife, as well as larger animals like hippos and elephants.

  1. Hides

Zimbabwe has some of the best hides in Africa and a large elephant population that is reliant on the pumped waterholes making this an incredible experience. There is nothing quite like being at arm’s length from a herd of elephants simply going about their routine, drinking and splashing in the waterhole. If this is on your bucket-list, check with your safari specialist whether the lodges you are going to stay at offer this activity.

Lions Sands Sabi Sands Luxury Safari Leopard

  1. Fishing

Africa plays host to some of the most fearsome freshwater fish species in the world such as the tigerfish. The waterways of Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana offer your best chance of coming face to face with it. The coasts of Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique also offer some of the most productive saltwater fishing in the world!

We hope you return to tick off more wildlife sightings and safari experiences. Keep notes of everything you see, so that you can keep track of which animals you have seen and properly identify them in your pictures. It will also help you with you ‘must-see’ list for your next trip.


Our Pick of the Best Tented Camps in Africa

If you feel that you’re too old to pitch a tent but want to live your dream of camping in the great outdoors, luxury safari tented camps offer guests the comfort and service of five-star lodging while allowing you to spend your nights sleeping under the stars. Enjoy walking in nature, going on game drives and spotting wildlife or simply immerse yourself in a good book on your private deck; and spend your nights under canvas, in a furnished private tent amongst the trees. Staying on the bend of

Here are our favourite six luxury tented camps located in beautiful sceneries, each featuring luxurious amenities such as romantic claw-foot baths, outdoor showers, and private swimming pools.

Ngala Tented Camp– Timbavati Private Game Reserve

Ngala’s tented camp evokes the romance and spirit of the African wild. It combines the extravagant appointments of a five-star lodge with the wilderness immersion that a canvas tent allows. Each of the nine tents are raised on decks allowing for unfettered views over the lawns and onto the dry Timbavati River where elephant, bush buck and buffalo bulls are frequent visitors.

Elephant Camp– Zimbabwe

The 12 tented suites blend into the Zimbabwean wild, conjuring an era of Victorian frontier camping – crystal glasses, white canvas, leather luggage and wooden trunks – but with an unsurpassed level of modern luxury. The airy and spacious, lounge, bedroom and bathroom all look out north over the Masuwe River and east to the cliffs of the Zambezi gorge.

Bateleur Camp– Kenya

Recently refurbished with all the latest deluxe comforts, Bateleur Camp is even more inviting than it’s ever been before. The two camps of nine suites each, boast polished wooden floors, vintage carpets and exquisite furniture ensuring a stately yet welcoming feel. A cosy central fireplace sits at the heart of the twenties style sitting room, scattered with delicate ivory lamps, substantial tree trunk stools, lanterns, old English portraits, classic suitcases, tartan throw pillows and soft delicate mohair blankets.

Alex Walker’s Serian– Tanzania

Stepping into the main tent is like walking into your lounge at home. It’s laid back, relaxed and down to earth, slowing you down to the pace of the natural world around you. With no more than six tents in each camp, it is intimate, quiet and peaceful. Sit in the lounge, put your feet up and investigate some of the old classic coffee table books, have a game of solitaire or try your hand at some sketching.

Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp– Tanzania

The ten en-suite tents are tucked into the shade of an evergreen forest on the banks of a tributary of the famous Grumeti River. From buffalos, to lions, to hyenas, to baboons you are fully immersed in the sounds and goings on of the animals surrounding you. From your own private patio watch the game drinking, the colubus monkeys playing or the sunbirds, kingfishers and starlings darting around in their daily routines.

Zarafa Dhow Suites Villa

Zarafa Dhow Suites – Botswana

The Zarafa Dhow Suites offer a lavish experience in the Okavango Delta. At this remote location you are able to ‘unplug’ and reconnect with nature, while still feeling totally at ease and luxuriated.

Immerse yourself in nature and have an authentic wilderness experience without compromising the comforts of luxury accommodations. Wherever you decide to visit, you are promised extraordinary views with stylish but classical décor and impeccable service. Don’t hesitate to tick off another bucket-list experience, enquire about one of our tented camps here.