Introducing Nanzhila Plains safari Camp

Small, owner-run and very exclusive lodge in the stunning wilderness of southern Kafue National Park

Despite its proximity to Livingstone and Victoria Falls, four-star Nanzhila Plains is the only lodge in the southern Kafue. Your nearest neighbours are three hours away, so you’ll have this 3000-square-kilometre area of pure wilderness to yourself. The southern Kafue is a luscious place of beautiful woodlands and green plains, and the lodge itself is set on the edge of a dambo (shallow wetland). Expect a warm welcome from the owner-hosts, good accommodation and, more to the point, excellent game viewing with four of the Big Five, antelope galore, African wild dog, cheetah and 500-plus bird species. Nanzhila Plains is an affordable camp and far from the surging safari crowds.

Nanzhila Plains Safari Camp

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Game drives, bush walks and night drives allow you to track the park’s Big Five members – lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo – as well as cheetah, wild dog, hyena, zebra and warthog, antelope such as reedbuck, Defassa waterbuck, oribi, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest and eland, and, if you’re lucky, roan and sable. Birdwatchers will be in their element, and keen explorers may enjoy an all-day outing to the elephant orphanage, Ngoma Forest and Lake Itezhi-Tezhi (a packed lunch is provided). Pack warmer clothes for evenings and early mornings.


Key Points

The lodge

The raised, thatched main boma is shaded by a huge jackalberry tree. Here, the bar, lounge and dining areas have a relaxed vibe, and meals are convivial, and totally delicious. Outside, the elevated deck is perfect for watching the comings and goings of birds, elephant, antelope, baboon – even serval and honey badger – at the permanent waterhole below. Evenings see guests gathering around the open-air fireplace to enjoy a nightcap, share experiences and watch the astonishingly twinkly night sky.

The rooms

Accommodation is in three en-suite, Meru-style raised safari tents (two with twin beds and one with a queen-sized bed), and three en-suite thatched chalets (again, two with twin beds and one with a queen). They’re far enough apart to ensure privacy, with each overlooking the pool visited by birds and wild animals. Top-quality linen has been used on the netted beds, and the water for the showers is solar-powered.

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The allure of Kafue National Park is its complete and utter untamed beauty. It is so off-the-beaten-track that most of it is only accessible by light aircraft, especially the north-east where most of the park’s camps are situated. Nanzhila Plains however, offers a superb alternative to the hard-to-reach north-east corner of Zambia’s biggest conservation area.

Conveniently located in the wildlife-rich southern section of Kafue, Nanzhila can be reached by driving from both the international airports of Livingstone (near Victoria Falls) and Lusaka (the capital). Being the only safari lodge in the southern Kafue means that you will have a pristine wilderness of about 741 300 acres all to yourself – that’s almost double the size of greater London.

Nanzhila overlooks a well-frequented dambo (a set of complex shallow wetlands) and tucked underneath the canopy of a huge jackalberry tree. Go on daily game drives and guided bush walks to encounter four members of the Big 5 (there are no rhino in Kafue), as well as other predators like cheetah, wild dog and hyena. You will also have an excellent chance of sighting at least 10 distinct species of antelope including rare sable, roan, oribi and puku. The area is a birdwatcher’s mecca of over 500 recorded species and offers near-guaranteed sightings of black-cheeked love birds. Other feathered varieties include Chaplin’s barbet, wattled crane, racket-tailed rollers and Pel’s fishing owl. Fascinating night drives will reveal the shy, nocturnal creatures of Nanzhila Plains like bushbabies, civet and genet.

This welcoming, owner-run safari lodge offers an intimate and authentic safari experience in a remote, yet easily accessible slice of immaculate Zambian wilderness.

Nanzhila Plains Safari Camp

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