The Lower Zambezi national park is located in the Southern part of Zambia and from my hometown of Lusaka can take anywhere from 2.5hours – 10hours driving depending on which camp you visit, how accessible the roads are and how deep into the national park you delve.
My personal experiences have led me to Gwabi lodge which is approximately 3hrs away from Lusaka. You also don’t need a 4×4 vehicle because it is located close to the turn off to the parks and if you take it slow you can get your car there without damaging it. There are also flights to the national park with Proflight & Royal Air Charters flying there. I know that for some specific lodges it would take 10hrs to get there driving so a flight may be your best solution. Again, from a local Zambian perspective, flights to Lower Zambezi which only take 35mins tend to be extremely expensive and for me personally it is off-putting and that is why I have never been to any of the lodges that require you fly in to date. I am however open to visiting them if a special Zambian residents’ rate is favourable and or it is just a special offer. For example, I know of a lodge called Tuck and Mane Safaris which offers the unbelievable residents’ rate of ZMK1000ppn. If you manage to get a Proflight savers flight it makes it totally worth it. I am currently on the hunt for one of those flight deals! (fingers crossed).
Gwabi lodge is so beautiful and for the price what you get is so fantastic. Both times I’ve been we have paid $100pn for their superior room overlooking the Kafue river with veranda seating. I researched and researched to find an affordable Lower Zambezi option and I don’t think anything beats Gwabi. Their restaurant, pool, terrace area overlooks the river and has incredible sunset views. Another wonderful thing about them is they have all of the activities that more expensive lodges do, and I really enjoy their personalised service. Whether you want to go fishing, boating, have lunch on a private island or simply lay back and chill they have something for everyone.
1. Sit back and relax with a good book at their pool area whilst enjoying a cold gin and tonic or beverage of your choice.
2. Do a boat ride – they are extremely fun on a hot day and you get to see animals at their drinking spots if you are lucky, especially in the dry season. On all my visits to Lower Zam we have always seen elephants by the river front either attempting to cross from one side to the other or having a drink of water. Such a treat! It is also just nice to be in the middle of the water enjoying the breeze.
3. Private picnic on island. This is such a breath of fresh air and super romantic if you are going with a loved one. On one of our trips for my husband’s birthday (if you have seen my previous blog inserts, you’ll know by now that this is a usual tradition for us), I planned a romantic afternoon picnic on one of the riverbanks on the river. Gwabi were extremely helpful in planning this out and had everything done to perfection. We had cooler boxes with lots of gin and tonic and nice nibbles of braai sausage, fresh bread, cheese and crackers and salad. We spent a lovely afternoon on the sandbank taking in the scenery.
4. Braai on the sandbanks. On my birthday trip to Gwabi I decided to have a celebration on one of the sandbanks. We had a full-on braai which was perfectly executed by the team and we had a great time! One of my favourite memories of Gwabi.
If you haven’t been before, now is your time to make that booking and enjoy a fantastic trip creating beautiful memories. Hope my hints and tips will be of great help! For bookings, I also directly get in touch with the lodge itself because they are always helpful and it is simple to do!