Best hotels and hostels in Zambia

  • Lodging in Lower Zambezi National Park

    Kiambi Safaris

    This well-run and atmospheric operation at the confluence of the Zambezi and Kafue Rivers has a smattering of different, relatively affordable accommodation options. Set in attractive, verdant surrounds, chalets and cottages are comfortable and characterful. Campsites come with a powerpoint and firepit, and a tent if you don't have one. The social restaurant and bar is another highlight.

  • Lodging in Lower Zambezi National Park

    Chongwe River Camp

    Right on the Chongwe River that marks the boundary between the GMA and the national park, this camp has an enviable position with plenty of wildlife around the camp but without the park fees. The confluence of the Zambezi is within view and a menagerie of wildlife grazes on a spit of grassland with the park's escarpment in the background – an absolutely Edenic view.

  • Lodging in Kafue National Park

    Mukambi Safari Lodge

    Easily the most accessible of the Kafue lodges and easy to reach from Lusaka, Mukambi makes a great base to explore the park. Tastefully designed rondavels with Adirondack-style chairs on each front porch are set back from the riverfront on a lawn with a manicuring assisted by visiting hippos in the evenings. Activities such as wildlife drives and boat cruises are additional (US$45).

  • Lodging in Kafue National Park

    McBrides Camp

    Situated at the confluence of the Mushingashi and Kafue Rivers, this genuine bush camp is cleverly built around wildlife paths, assuring the regular presence of wild visitors. Not your average high-end lodge, the nine thatch-and-wood chalets are spacious and simple, and offer an authentic vintage safari setup. The campsite is basic, shady and has clean and characterful open-air bathrooms.

  • Lodging in Southern Zambia

    Moorings Campsite

    This is perhaps the most beautifully landscaped campsite in Zambia. It’s a lovely secluded spot on an old farm with plenty of grass and there are open-walled thatch rondavels scattered around the campsite and a braai next to them for cooking. It's perhaps the best place to break a journey between Lusaka and Livingstone, or to access Lochinvar National Park.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Nsumbu National Park

    Ndole Bay Lodge

    Set on a pretty beach just outside Nsumbu National Park, this family-owned lodge has several spacious chalets dotted around the grounds, all made from natural local materials. The newest rooms are stunning and include beautiful furnishings and a huge attached bathroom with Balinese-style outdoor showers. There is also a campsite right under the trees on the sandy beach.

  • Lodging in Eastern Zambia

    Tikondane Community Centre

    This grassroots initiative does wonderful work in assisting to empower local communities. It's a great place to hang around and help out as a volunteer. Otherwise you can spend the night at its Tiko Lodge, which offers camping, dorms and basic rooms in various configurations. The food here is another reason to stop by, with intriguing local dishes on offer.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Kafue National Park

    KaingU Safari Lodge

    Set on a magical stretch of the Kafue River, this lodge overlooks a primordial stretch of lush islands among the rapids, with delightful birdwatching. The four tastefully furnished Meru-style tents are raised on rosewood platforms with stone bathrooms and large decks to enjoy the view. There are also three campsites, each with its own well-kept thatch ablution and braai facilities.

  • Lodging in South Luangwa National Park

    Mfuwe Lodge

    Laid out along an enviable stretch of a well-trafficked oxbow lagoon only 2km from the Mfuwe Gate, this resort-like lodge, one of the largest, is also certainly one of the nicest and most well run. The 18 separate cottages (12 face the lagoon and six the hippo pool) are imaginatively designed with private verandas (and hanging wicker 'basket chairs') and colourful bathrooms with big windows.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Livingstone

    Jollyboys Backpackers

    The clued-in owner here knows exactly what backpackers want, making Jollyboys popular for good reason. From its friendly staff, social bar and restaurant to the sunken reading lounge and sparkling pool, it's a great place to hang out. Dorms and bathrooms are spotless (with a flashpacker option, too), while the private rooms comprise A-frame garden cottages or very comfortable rooms with air-con and attached bathroom.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Lower Zambezi National Park

    Chiawa Camp

    In a spectacular position at the confluence of the Chiawa and Zambezi Rivers, this luxurious lodge inside the park was the first in the Lower Zambezi. As a pioneer in this area, the owner Grant Cummings knows the park intimately and his guiding expertise is highly regarded. The large walk-in canvas-thatch tents feature pine-clad private bathrooms.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Lower Zambezi National Park

    Sausage Tree Camp

    Overlooking the Zambezi, deep inside the national park, Sausage Tree is wonderfully unconventional. Traditional safari decor is rejected in favour of cool and elegant Bedouin-style tents, each in a private clearing, with minimalist furniture, cream fabrics and vast open-air bathrooms. Each tent has a discreet muchinda (butler; which means service is incredibly personalised), while some come with a plunge pool.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Lower Zambezi National Park

    Royal Zambezi Lodge

    The epitome of luxury bush mixed with a colonial-era vibe, Royal is only a short drive to the eponymous airstrip as well as Chongwe Gate. Despite its understated opulence – think brass fixtures, claw-footed tubs and private day beds on decks overlooking the river – it's unpretentious and exceptionally friendly. Its bar built around the trunk of a sausage tree is a well-received feature.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Kafue National Park

    Mayukuyuku

    This rustic bush camp, small and personal, is in a gorgeous spot on the river with a well-landscaped camping area and four tastefully furnished thatch-roofed safari tents. Each of the latter has hammocks, chairs and table out the front and great outdoor bathrooms (even campers get open-air toilets and showers). If you don’t have your own gear, you can rent tents (US$15/30 small/large tent).

  • Lodging in Kafue National Park

    Konkamoya Lodge

    One of the best lodges in the southern sector, Konkamoya has a wonderful location on the southern shores of Lake Itezhi-Tezhi. Enjoy dramatic views of skeletal tree trunks rising from the water and grassy plains that attract plenty of wildlife. Its enormous and luxurious stilted safari tents come with wicker furniture and panoramic outlooks.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Kafue National Park

    Mukambi Plains Camp

    The approach to this bucolic oasis, basically an island just 7km from the park's northern border, is made all the more dramatic by the wooden walkway over a prairie of 'floating grass'. The four simply but comfortably outfitted safari tents succeed in the exact balance between luxury and offering a safari experience, and feature outdoor bathrooms with bucket showers.

  • Lodging in South Luangwa National Park

    Nkwali

    A long-standing, classic Luangwa lodge, Nkwali has just six small cottages with delightful open-air bathrooms. They’re all very comfortable but with no unnecessary frills, which gives a feel of the bush – rustic but also quite classy. If you’re after privacy, the two-bedroom Safari House has traditional African decor and a private guide, hostess and chef!

  • Top ChoiceLodging in South Luangwa National Park

    Nkonzi Camp

    Run by Jackalberry Safaris, Nkonzi is a bush camp within the national park that offers a wonderful (and relatively more affordable) wilderness experience; it's excellent value for those looking to spend a few days on safari. The seasonal site offers tented accommodation with double bed and attached open-air bathrooms constructed from reed material. Rates include activities led by experienced owner/guide Gavin Opie.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Shiwa Ng'andu

    Kapishya Hot Springs Lodge

    Featuring a scenic river location, with nearby hot springs and lush rainforest, this lodge is popular for good reason. The chalets are light and spacious, with wooden decks complete with fireplaces and views and there's a lovely campsite with hot showers and barbecue areas. The pool and hot springs are wonderful spots to unwind. Excellent meals are also available.

  • Lodging in Kafue National Park

    Nanzhila Plains Camp

    In the very southern section of the park, this isolated camp is beautifully situated on a large dambo. Four thatch- and two Meru-style safari tents are very comfortably furnished. This area, once depleted of wildlife, has seen its return (sable, roan, hartebeest, wildbeest, honey badgers, cheetah and lion) after conservation work done by this camp in conjunction with ZAWA and the Nature Conservancy.