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Zambia: The 411

by Kelley McMillan

Zambia: The 411

BUDGET

Zambia is still relatively undiscovered, and therefore much cheaper than South Africa. All of the accommodations featured in the story Zambiana Jones were the best on offer — and cost about half of what similarly top-of-the-line properties would cost in South Africa. 

WHEN TO GO & SAFETY

Zambia is much safer than South Africa, and offers more plentiful wildlife viewing than many of the big game parks of South Africa, Kenya, and Tanzania — to say nothing for fewer competing safari jeeps. Peak season is from June to October, and rates vary accordingly. Rainy season is November through May, and many camps are closed then.

HOW TO GET THERE

Fly South African Airways to Johannesberg, the hub for air travel throughout southern Africa. From Jo'berg jump on an hour-long connection to Lusaka, Livingtone (for Victoria Falls) or Mfuwe for access to South Luangwa National Park. 

WHERE TO STAY & WHAT TO DO

Lusaka
Hotel: 
Eight Reedbuck: From $250 per room, single occupancy.

Sites: 
For interesting, lively markets, head to Soweto Market, two streets west of Cairo Road. Or head to Towne Centre Market, where Zambians come to buy everything from household supplies to traditional fabrics and fruit.

South Luangwa National Park
Hotel/Safaris:
Robin Pope Safaris: Multiple lodgings and safari packages throughout Zambia, as well as a new property opening in Malawi in July 2011. Luangwa Safari House, from $515 per person, per night, includes all meals, drinks, game drives, laundry, and transfers.  
Norman Carr Safaris: Five camps in South Luangwa National Park. We highly recommended Kakuli and Nsolo. From $480 per person, per night, includes full room and board, all house wines, game drives, laundry, and transfers.

Sites:
South Luangwa National Park 
Kawaza Village: Book through Robin Pope. From $130 per person, per night, includes very basic room and board. All proceeds go towards the village and the school.

Livingtone
Hotels:
Tongabezi Lodge: From $470 per person, per night, includes full room and board, house wines, and some activities like guided canoeing, sunrise/sunset boat trips, game drive, and Victoria Falls tour.
Sindabezi Island: From $415 per person, per night, includes full room and board, house wines, and some activities-guided canoeing, sunrise/sunset boat trips, games drive, Victoria Falls tour, and more.

Sites/Activities:
Livingstone Island and Victoria Falls tour, rhino walks, helicopter tour, bungee jumping. Tongabezi can organize all activities.

Kelley is a travel journalist who recently moved to Colorado after eight years in New York. She's a city girl with a country soul. She travels for the sensation of feeling tingles up her spine and to find her perfect place.

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