Budget Zambia safari

Zambia offers excellent value on exclusive safaris and wildlife activities, but budget travelers will struggle to make the most of what’s available. In part this is because many of Zambia’s best wilderness areas are extremely hard to reach, with wonderfully isolated lodges that are therefore also very expensive to run. Just getting to these areas can hit the budget hard, with long 4x4 transfers or charter flights required. Staying close to Livingston and/or Lusaka will reduce costs, but limits your options to the immediate area.

Renting a camping-equipped 4x4 is certainly the most affordable way to explore Zambia properly, especially if you’re travelling in a small group. With four people in a vehicle you can expect to spend around $120 a person a day, including fuel, camping, park fees and food. Be aware, however, that Zambian roads can be challenging and some previous 4x4 experience is highly recommended.

On a very tight budget, your best bet is to base yourself in Livingstone and take advantage of the excellent adventure and safari options nearby. These can be pricey too, with a Victoria Falls bungee jump at $160 a person and white-water rafting at $130 a day. A double room at a backpackers starts at around $45 a night so If you’re just passing through Zambia you’ll probably spend around $50 a day on basic accommodation, food, drinks and public transport. This can easily become $150 a day with a guided safari and a few adventure activities thrown in.


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Affordable Zambia safari

Zambia offers the best value for money in its midrange and more luxurious deals, with all-inclusive safaris often significantly cheaper than equivalent packages elsewhere in Africa. Equivalence is difficult to measure of course, but the quality and exclusivity of Zambia’s midrange camps and lodges is hard to beat. All-inclusive safaris are also the easiest way to see Zambia’s most pristine wilderness areas and enjoy some of the best wildlife-viewing conditions in Southern…

Cash and payments in Zambia

The Zambian kwacha The currency in Zambia is the kwacha (K). Official regulations state that all payments within the country must be made in kwacha, but US dollars are widely accepted by many of the larger hotels, lodges and tour operators. Indeed, prices for visas at the border, import taxes, and national park fees are all quoted in US dollars, which confuses the matter even more. If you’re on an all-inclusive safari most expenses will be taken care of anyway, and any tips or…

A luxury Zambia safari

Zambia has a number of superb luxury tented camps and lodges, located in some of the most remote, unspoiled wildlife areas in Africa. Private, all-inclusive luxury packages are available from between $600 and $1200 a day, which is good value compared with luxury safaris in Botswana and South Africa. At the lower end of this rather wide price range, the quality is still of a very high standard and it’s this, along with its exceptional wildlife and relatively quiet national parks,…


Popular Zambia Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

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