Royal Zambezi Lodge
Lower Zambezi, Zambia
At a Glance
Canoe on the Zambezi amongst the hippos and crocodiles
Enjoy breakfast on the deck overlooking the hippos basking in the sun
Take a sunset boat cruise and enjoy a cold drink while drifting down the river
See an elephant from a different perspective - looking down on them from the lodge's high deck
Take an early morning walk along the river with your expert guide
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
The Lower Zambezi has a moderate to sub-tropical climate with three distinct seasons: from November to March is the Emerald, or the rainy season, April to July is Zambia's winter, when the weather is cool and dry, and August to October is summer, when the weather is hot and dry. In terms of game viewing, the drier months, meaning a higher concentration of game at the permanent water sources, are a superb time to visit. Alternatively come for some superb bird watching at the end of the rains.
Call us on to start planning your vacation to Royal Zambezi Lodge or take a look at our itineraries to Lower Zambezi
Royal Zambezi Lodge, an intimate and stylish property, is situated on the mighty Zambezi River at the edge of the unique Lower Zambezi National Park, in the perfect position to explore this richly diverse little park either on land or on the water.
Set on the banks of the river after which it is named, the lodge’s main areas have comfortable sofas, fireplaces and large decks which extend over the shallows making a perfect spot for starlit dining.
The Classic Suites enjoy a shady veranda and the large green canvas tents nestle under mature trees and are positioned for the maximum enjoyment of the surrounding views and complete privacy. Natural tones, luxurious textures and comfortable armchairs create the perfect retreat while extra-length sprung mattresses with pure cotton linen and feather pillows ensure a perfect night’s rest.
The Deluxe Suites are the epitome of the luxury safari experience. With outside showers, copper baths, plunge pools and private salas they provide an elegant sanctuary while allowing guests to interact with the wilderness surrounding them.
After a day spent fishing, game viewing, canoeing or simply relaxing by the infinity pool guests can swap stories at the Sausage Tree Bar over a pre-dinner gin and tonic.
There are 8 Classic Suites, 4 Deluxe Suites and 3 Presidential Suites at Royal Zambezi Lodge. The tented Classic Suites each have shady verandas and en-suite baths with flush toilets and large showers. The large canvas tents nestle under mature trees and are all positioned for the maximum enjoyment of the surrounding views with complete privacy. The tents are impeccably furnished with a contemporary, understated elegance. The 3 Presidential Suites work well for families as they can easily add in an extra couple of beds.
The Deluxe Suites are the epitome of the luxury safari experience. Two of the suites offer the same tented interior as the Classic Suites whilst also offering an outdoor bath and shower and plunge pool. A further two Deluxe Suites push luxury to an even higher level. These suites are not tented and they also have an indoor lounging area. Outdoors they offer a sala overlooking the river in addition to a shower and copper roll-top bath, sun loungers and private plunge pool.
Children under 8 years old may be accepted to stay the Royal Zambezi Lodge upon request but there are no specific child care facilities available. However, babysitting can be arrange if required and food and meal times can also be adjusted to suit younger guests.
With its classical architectural lines and lofty thatched roofs the open plan reception area, dining room and lounge offers a welcome refuge and a place to relax with its comfortable sofas, enormous fireplaces and cheerful personalized service.
The spacious veranda provides shade from the midday sun and wide timber decks extend over the shallows of the Zambezi River, perfect for fine dining under clear night skies. The lodge also offers a lovely infinity swimming pool for guests to enjoy between safaris.
Royal Zambezi Lodge is situated only a 5-minute drive away from the Lower Zambezi National Park, which is home to huge herds of elephant and buffalo, and offers frequent and reliable lion and leopard sightings. Our qualified and enthusiastic guides have over 50 years of experience guiding in the Lower Zambezi Valley. The river is an ideal place to view both wildlife and birdlife - the riverine ecosystem hosts spectacular birdlife. Clients can opt for open vehicle drives, night drives, walking safaris or boat trips for game-viewing or photographic safaris. Fishing is also on offer.
Louisa Verney (Staff)
Royal Zambezi is a very stylish lodge on the banks of the Zambezi river. It is the perfect place to stay if you want to relax as well as go on safari. There is a delightful small spa on the hillside, with a sauna and steam room. It offers inside and outdoor massages as well as Kahuna massage and Indian head massages.
The rooms are all very spacious and solid feeling so they are great for those who haven't spent that much time in Africa and are feeling a little nervous. I love the variety of activities which are on offer in the Lower Zambezi, from day and night game drives to guided game walks and boating on the Zambezi River.
This is a swankier, more hotel-like camp than others in the area, built three miles from the national park on the banks of the Zambezi. Unlike Chongwe, where guests walk along sandy paths through the bush to reach their tents (often encountering elephants en route), Royal Zambezi is a little more protected from the wild, set on a high bank, with suites linked by walkways. As well as 10 classic tents, simply but comfortably furnished, there are four deluxe thatched suites, more like cottages than rooms, with decadent extras that make you want to hang about all day: plunge pools, deep copper baths with views over the river, outdoor showers, living spaces with leather sofas and, most appealing of all on days that sometimes reach 115F (46C), private shaded salas on the deck, laid with linen and cushions, for afternoon naps.
I stayed only one night, and was treated to dinner under the stars on an island in the middle of the river, lit with paraffin lamps and candles. Like most camps on the Zambezi, the staff couldn't have been friendlier, whether it was around the Sausage Tree bar (set on a deck overlooking the river), on canoe and game trips, or in the spa. My massage, from Zimbabwean therapist Lauren who used Italian natural oils, was top-notch. It took place with views of the river beneath shaded thatched ceilings, beside billowing white curtains. This is an ideal camp for families (this year they will have a family unit), honeymooners and those who like luxuries in the bush. Downsides for me? Too much lighting (in the bush, who wants blaring white light?) and unexciting food (a new chef is apparently on his way).
Activities: Similar to those offered at Chongwe, with both bush and water activities accompanied by such knowledgeable Zambian guides as the charming Luckson Thembo. Particularly recommended is a late-afternoon canoe safari into the Nkalange channel, a haven for birds (kingfishers, cranes, storks, bee-eaters and sunbirds), as well as large game, from elephant and hippo to enormous crocodiles (trailing hands in the water or swimming is not recommended here).
Canoeing on the Zambezi River
The Zambezi is renowned for truly spectacular canoeing as it provides you with the chance to see game from a wholly different perspective...looking up at it instead of down!
Fishing on the Zambezi River
The Zambezi River is host to some of the most incredible fresh water sport fishing in the world with both spinning and fly fishing, on a strictly catch and release policy according to the park rules. The most popular quarry is the infamous Tigerfish.
Game Viewing in the Lower Zambezi
Game viewing in the Lower Zambezi National Park, with varying options such as game drives, boat and canoe safaris, or bush walks, is the highlight of any safari trip to Zambia.
Green Season Game Drives
The Green Season, Rainy Season, Emerald Season, Secret Season - what ever you decide to call it, this is a beautiful time of year to be on safari. Activities are rarely disrupted by weather and the bush is full of life.
Location & directions
Lower Zambezi, Zambia
Royal Zambezi Lodge is located on the banks of the Zambezi River with over 3 kilometers of river frontage and lies on the edge of the Lower Zambezi National Park. It is situated on the Zambezi River at one of its broadest points and lies opposite the famous Mana Pools Reserve in Zimbabwe.
How to get there
10-hour international flight to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Lusaka, followed by a 25-minute flight by light aircraft and 10-minutes by road (game drive) to the camp.