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.

Introducing Chongwe

Located in Zambia’s Lower Zambezi Valley, Chongwe River House and Camp is one of the most established accommodations. This spectacular region draws travellers in with its world-famous composite of abundant wildlife, natural beauty and bucket-list-worthy activities such as fishing, canoeing safaris and sleep-outs. Here you can come face-to-face with African giants such as the captivating elephant and ancient baobabs.

Experience the Lower Zambezi region at its finest

Set up by a father and son duo in 1992, Chris and his father were captivated by the raw beauty and wilderness of the Lower Zambezi. They set up a camp on the banks of the Chongwe River and in time this overnight campsite has grown into an award-winning luxury collection. Today Chris shares his love of the great outdoors through the remarkable Chongwe safari experience.

Chongwe River House

Stay at your very own safari home, the Chongwe River House. With four spacious en-suit bathrooms, this home-away-from-home sleeps eight. Mirroring the natural landscape laid out before it, River House follows the lines of the termite hills and blends in with its surroundings. With an undisturbed flow of nature, the landscape has been brought into the house with tree trunks, lianas and branches incorporated into the main guest areas and softly coloured pebbles from the Chongwe River set into the ceilings. The rooms open up to the river and the bathrooms feature magnificent waterfall or rain-showers that perfectly incorporate nature into the living spaces making guests feel a dramatic bond with the Lower Zambezi’s environment. Relax at your private pool on the shady deck and take in the breath-taking panoramic view. Chongwe House comes with a private guide, house manager and chef. A private vehicle, canoe, boat and armed guide for walking safaris offers guests a number of ways to explore the beautiful surroundings.

Chongwe River Camp

Experience a technology-detox in one of nine luxury tents at Chongwe Camp, scattered along the woody riverbanks. Chongwe Camp is surrounded by unspeakable beauty with the bellowing hippo disrupting the often silent air. Set at the convergence of the Chongwe and Zambezi Rivers against a beautiful mountainous backdrop, the camp has the best views from the outdoor seating areas. Relax outside your tent near the Winterthorn trees, and try spotting the playful Vervet monkeys you will hear overhead or marvel at the elephant before you as it splashes across the river.

Unrivalled wildlife sightings

The Lower Zambezi is nestled between a notable mountain to the north and the mighty Zambezi River to the south – a noteworthy area for wildlife and bird lovers. With 60 mammal species and 378 bird species, guests are guaranteed quality sightings. Game viewing in the Lower Zambezi is recommended during the dry season between April to November, when the river levels are lower. Plains game is in abundance throughout the park such as elephants, hippos, lions, leopards, buffalo, and plenty of crocodiles. Wild dogs are also regularly spotted and considered a nice bonus since they cover long distances. With fewer crowds in the park at any given time, the region remains a pristine wilderness, free from overcrowding and has limited vehicles in the traversing area. Have you ever been awakened by an elephant outside your room? Or slowly canoed passed a large herd of buffalo on a beautiful afternoon? Add Chongwe to the top of your bucket-list and experience all your safari firsts in one place.

Experience the true essence of African adventure

The unrivalled marriage of land and water not only makes for exceptional game viewing and photography, but allows for perhaps the most exciting aspect of safari – the sheer variety of activities on offer. The Zambezi River allows for a variety of river based activities and experiences that few other destinations can offer. This wistful region is famous for its canoeing safaris, boating trips and catch-and-release fishing.

Day & Night Drives

There’s nothing to compare an encounter with African wildlife during both day and night drives to. Chongwe’s excellent guides provide a plenty of knowledge to enrich the experience and the escarpment and river bank ensures incomparable sightings.

Fishing

When it comes to tiger-fishing, the Lower Zambezi is the place to visit! As Chris implements his conservation efforts, Chongwe is strictly catch-and-release to preserve this and other fish. All equipment is provided, and fishing is suitable for beginners and serious fly fisherman. Fishing is good year round, but peaks in October and November during the tiger fish breeding season.

Boating

A river safari offers a fresh perspective on the breath-taking scenery and wildlife, from predators along the river bank to the diverse birdlife. Chongwe offers boating safari all season due to the Zambezi River’s constant high water level.

Walking Safaris

Become part of the landscape rather than a mere spectator and explore the untamed beauty of the region with our experienced guides at your side. Peak season for walking safari is July to October.

Canoeing Safaris

Book a canoeing safari during the dry months when the wildlife congregates along the river for a peaceful yet exhilarating experience. Enjoy the abundant wilderness and game viewing while quietly passing through the reeds on Africa’s fourth largest river. Float metres away from elephants or buffalo on the river’s edge – a memory you won’t be able to forget!

Sleep-out

Between July and October you can rest under the stars with only the night-sky and roaming wildlife for company. Experience the thrill of early explorers felt while camping out high in the mountain overlooking the sparkling water of the Lower Zambezi region.

Getting there:

Guests can fly into Lusaka or Livingstone Airport and then connect with an air transfer to Royal airstrip. You will be transferred by 4×4 to Chongwe River House or Camp, a short 20 minute drive away.

Why Chongwe?

Beautiful sunsets while on boat cruises.

Excellent for lion and leopard sightings.

Great photograph opportunities.

There are plenty of elephant and predator action right in front of the camp.

There are limited vehicles in the traversing area.

When To Go?

Chongwe River House and Chongwe River Camp are operational from April to November, but the best time to visit this spectacular region is between July and August.

The mornings and evenings are cool and the days are warm and mostly dry. Temperatures range between 27˚C and 30 ˚C with little to no rain.

Clear skies make way for beautiful sunsets and the dry bush improves visibility making lion and leopard sightings more frequent.

July and August is also the beginning of the carmine bee eater season and the Flame creepers are seen in flower.

For more on our other exquisite Zambia destinations contact us now.