Zambia is the birthplace of the walking safari, and even though years have passed since the first explorers set foot on its incredible land, it still has a special feeling of being untouched.
Luxury lodges and camps give you a life-changing opportunity to get up-close to magnificent animals and the crashing Victoria Falls while ensuring the preservation of the spectacular country. Here are our top sustainable properties in Zambia.
It’s such a breath of fresh air to know we can use the word “luxury” and “sustainable” to describe the same property. This bush camp was brought to life in a game-rich area where hippos bellow and elephants breed. Proceeds from the camp help fund the relocation of black rhinos to the North Luangwa Conservation Programme which operates a breeding and reintroduction program.
Inside, the Chinzombo Camp’s grass walls and recycled timber floors are topped with colonial accents, making you feel like an explorer of the past.
The surrounding village of Mushekwa and the fishing village of Muluka are right near Royal Chundu, and that means that locals get the opportunity to work for the property. Guests benefit from their neighbors too. Locals will share their traditional knowledge of Zambian cuisine and the flora and fauna of the region with you. Produce is brought in from one village, while the fisherman bring in the local catch, ensuring that the food prepared at Royal Chundu is healthy and fresh. Royal Chundu also uses its tourism dollars to give back to these communities. A small women’s project promotes a beadmaking business, and kids from the age of four to six-years-old receive free education using tablets at the Royal Chundu Foundation School.
This exclusive lodge is nestled in a protected area that dates back to the 1880s, making it one of the oldest in Africa. Preservation efforts have ensured that the hyenas still whoop in the dark night and wildebeests migrate through the Liuwa Plain National Park. Lights stay on thanks to solar power and recycled materials make your private villas not only elegant, but also eco-friendly. King Lewanika Lodge is one of our favorite sustainable properties in Zambia.
Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma
Rent a bicycle from the Chipego Bike shop in Nakatindi Village, established with donations made by the property. The women who run the shop have successfully invested their profits into community programs, including one that provides schooling for orphans. The project has been so successful that it’s going to be recreated at Sanctuary Retreats in Botswana, Uganda, and Tanzania.
Guests can visit the school to see how their donations have helped to refurbish classrooms and expand its gardens. Every day, 850 students fill their brains and their bellies with a healthy lunch. When they graduate, each student receives a bicycle. The kids learn about wildlife in workshops, turning them into future eco-warriors.
Donations also helped to build the much-needed medical clinic, serving 50 people a day to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS. A new maternity ward provides services that make labor and delivery safer for moms and babies in this high-risk region.
Giving back never looked so good. The luxury tented camp gives guests the opportunity to visit the Simonga Village to learn more about education and community enhancement projects aided by tourism dollars. Join the Department of National Parks and Wildlife scouts to monitor endangered rhinos in an effort to ensure the whereabouts of the majestic animals are always known. Back at camp, take a behind-the-scenes tour to get a better sense of the eco-friendly policies in place. Waste water keeps the camp’s nursery green, and the worm farm provides fertilizer for the indigenous trees.