Photographic holiday in Zambia

Zambia is an incredible country to photograph, with its stunning wilderness landscapes, superb birdlife and some of the best opportunities for up-close wildlife interactions in Africa. Every corner of the country has something to offer, but two experiences in particular stand out. In late winter, ideally just before the rains begin in November, keen photographers should head to Liuwa Plain National Park where tens of thousands of blue wildebeest gather in what is the second largest wildebeest migration in Africa (after the Serengeti). Then, for something truly unique, try a wet season photographic safari to the Luangwa Valley and explore the swollen Luangwa floodplain by boat, drifting across the mirror-like waters through a dreamscape wilderness of half-submerged trees.

Of these two photo safari options, Liuwa Plain is perhaps the trickier to undertake. If you’re self-driving, then some prior 4x4 experience is essential and it’s best to travel in convoy, especially if you’re going for the wildebeest migration which coincides so closely with the onset of the summer rains. It’s difficult to time the journey with precision and if the rains begin early local rivers can flood quickly, turning roads to mud and making driving near impossible.

Unless you’re very experienced it’s best to join an organised tour. Dedicated photographic safaris are available, specifically aimed at capturing the wildebeest. There’s also a single high-end luxury lodge in Liuwa Plain National Park where guests can fly in and photograph the region on private game drives. Liuwa Plain is a fantastic birding destination year-round, but the coming rains signal the return of migrant species and the wet season is the best time to photograph them in their breeding plumage.

Photographic safaris in Africa offer a wealth of inspiration, credit: Africa Travel Magazine

The best way to reach the Luangwa Valley during the wet season is by air, although road transfers from Lusaka to South Luangwa’s Mfuwe Gate are still possible even during the rains. Both regular and dedicated photographic safaris are available, but a boat-based photo safari is not to be missed if you love unusual landscapes and birds. There’s also the opportunity to photograph other iconic African species in a rarely-seen environment. This period in Zambia is commonly referred to as the ‘emerald season’ and it’s unrecognisable from the desiccated wilderness most see when they visit the country in winter. These exclusive rainy-season experiences aren’t cheap, but package rates are far lower than during the July to October peak. March and early April are the best emerald season months, when the floodwaters are at their highest and the afternoon storms less severe.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)

day 1 to 3

Welcome to magical Kenya
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)

day 4

Visit to the capital of Kenya
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)

day 5 to 6

Meet Victoria Falls | Zambia
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)

day 7 to 9

Discover Zimbabwe
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)
  • Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)

day 10

End of Journey

View Full Itinerary

You might also like

Healthcare system Zambia

Zambia’s public healthcare system is very basic by first-world standards and suffers from inadequate funding and a lack of infrastructure and facilities, especially in rural areas. There are good private hospitals in Livingstone and Lusaka and if you have any kind of medical emergency you’ll be transferred there as soon as possible. For very serious or on-going treatment, patients may…

Kafue National Park in Zambia

Kafue National Park is Zambia’s largest wildlife reserve and also one of the biggest in Africa. It covers more than 22000km² (2500km2 more than South Africa’s Kruger National Park), and the terrain varies significantly from north to south. The park’s top third is separated by the M9 highway and this northern section is defined by rivers, large and small. Seasonal floodplains and…

Zambia in December

December is the start of Zambia’s rainy season – generally cooler than the previous few months, but nevertheless still hot and humid. Expect daytime averages of roughly 30°C and nights down to only around 20°C. Rainstorms can be fierce, with heavy downpours rapidly turning the dirt roads to mud. Camps and lodges without fly-in access close completely and many close anyway due to…

Walking safari in Zambia

For a more active holiday, try a walking safari. Zambia is arguably the best country in Africa for guided game walks and is widely recognised for its enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable field guides. Now widespread throughout Southern Africa’s major parks, the concept was first introduced in the Luangwa Valley, which remains the county’s top walking safari destination.…

Zambia in March

Zambia’s wet season is nearing its end in March, but there’s still plenty of rain, especially in the north. Up north, the season lasts longer, but gradually the rains retreat from the south, first from Livingstone and then Lusaka. Hot days remain around 30°C, but the nights get slowly cooler – down to around 15°C by the end of March. Woodland kingfisher Although the…

Packing list for Zambia

The first thing to do when preparing for Zambia is to book an appointment with a local travel clinic and go and speak to a doctor. The internet is full of African health and safety horror stories, but for safari holidays the risks are generally very low and/or easily manageable. If you’re at all concerned, speak to a professional. They’re likely to advise you to get your immunisations…

Popular Zambia Safaris

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

 | Luxurious South Africa and Zambia Honeymoon Safari (10 days)

South Africa and Zambia honeymoon

Explore the romantic Atlantic Ocean with it's multi-cultural heritage and a Big Five safari in the Sabi Sands, finally ending off at Victoria Falls from the Zambian side...

 | Best of Zambia Wilderness Safari (10 days)

Best of Zambia Wilderness Safari (10 days)

With some of the wildest and most remote game areas on the continent, and a remarkably low population in a massive country, Zambia has an aura of mystery waiting to be uncovered....

 | City and Safari in Southern Africa (14 days)

City and Safari in Southern Africa (14 days)

Majestic wildlife and the riches of Africa. ...

Victoria Falls | Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)

Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)

Combine water and wildlife in a journey that takes you from the Victoria Falls to Kafue and South Luangwa national parks – Zambia at its best...

Boating on the Chobe River | Quick Victoria Falls and Chobe Experience (5 days)

Quick Victoria Falls and Chobe Experience (5 days)

Visit Livingstone, Zambia, to marvel at the Victoria Falls – or 'the smoke that thunders' – before going on safari and a river cruise in Botswana's Chobe National Park...

Camp fire | Victoria Falls, Okavango Delta and Chobe Safari (7 days)

Victoria Falls, Okavango Delta and Chobe Safari (7 days)

This three-in-one journey will show you the majestic Victoria Falls, the massive elephant bulls of Chobe and the natural wonder that is the Okavango Delta...

 | Jewels of Zimbabwe and Zambia Safari (9 days)

Jewels of Zimbabwe and Zambia Safari (9 days)

Fall under the spell of three prime attractions in Zimbabwe and Zambia – Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park and the Mana Pools ...

Boat at sunset | Luxury Zambian Odyssey (7 days)

Luxury Zambian Odyssey (7 days)

One week safari to three Zambian national parks, including the flagship South Luangwa, and end in style with a visit to the remarkable Victoria Falls...

 | Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)

Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)

Why not visit more than one exciting African destination? See the Great Migration, Victoria Falls and wildlife-rich Hwange National Park...

Romantic view | Deluxe Honeymoon Safari in Cape Town, Kruger and Victoria Falls (10 days)

Deluxe Honeymoon Safari in Cape Town, Kruger and Victoria Falls (10 days)

Combine three of Southern Africa's most loved destinations into one romantic getaway and you'll share the memories forever...

Ready to start your adventure?

+27 (0)21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    Mon - Fri: 8AM - 9PM GMT+2