In July/August 2016 I visited two countries in southern Africa (Namibia and Botswana), and one country in Central Africa (Zambia). The trip was organized by Go2Africa. I was very happy with the organization, everything worked like clockwork.
In Zambia I visited only one lodge, the Kasaka River Lodge. Coming from Botswana, I crossed the border into Zambia near Kasane. A driver picked me up at the border and drove me to the Livingston airport. From there I flew in small airplanes to the Royal Airstrip (with a stop in Lusaka). The Kasaka River Lodge is only a few minutes drive from the airstrip.
I stayed at the lodge for four nights. On arrival I received a briefing on what activities were available (all included in the tour). I chose an afternoon game drive on the day of arrival, a full day safari drive for the next day, a hike with subsequent game drive for the second full day, and a canoe excursion with subsequent game drive for the third full day. This gave me lots of opportunities for watching wildlife. It was a great experience.
The accommodations were very nice. The main room was a permanent tent. In the back was a bathroom/toilet area with adobe walls. Everything was very nice, very clean and comfortable.
The food was very good. It was sit-down dinners with a fixed menu that varied each day. Lunches were in the park. My guide brought a nice selection of sandwiches and salads. He had a folding table and chair for me, so it was very comfortable. The beer in the evenings was included in the price, as were all the excursions and activities. This was one of the best lodges during my trip.
My guide/driver was very knowledgeable, especially about bird life. We were driving an open Land rover. There was always a second guide on the vehicle, to help if necessary. In the morning it was still quite cold, but not as cold as in Botswana. It was okay with the blanket that I had available.
The full day safari drive was great. We drove about 73 km (45 miles) through the Lower Zambezi National Park. We saw a lot of wildlife. I especially liked the leopards. It was amazing how my guide found the leopards. The first one was sitting up in a tree. I don't understand how he spotted the leopard. Just a few minutes earlier another guide had driven by that tree and didn't see anything. The second one was even more interesting. My guide notices some alarm calls of Impalas, so he drove in that direction. Then he saw a baboon acting alarmed around the area, which got us closer to the leopard. Then the leopard called out about the baboon getting too close, that is when my guide knew where it was. It took us a few more minutes driving about the brush outcrop before we finally saw the leopard. In the evening we continued into the night with a red spotlight, to see nocturnal animals. During the three night drives we saw quite a few animals, civets, porcupines, etc. Unfortunately, the red spotlight is not bright enough to get good pictures.
The hike was very nice, about 8.5 km (5.3 miles). We had an armed scout with us for protection. They were mainly concerned about elephants. They can get quite aggressive apparently. We had to make detours twice to avoid an elephant. It was a very nice excursion, different from your regular game drives. In the afternoon we did another game drive in the park, followed by another night drive.
The canoe excursion was very nice. We first took a motor boat to a small side channel of the Zambezi river. There we boarded the canoes and slowly paddled along the side channel for about 7.3 km (4.5 miles). It was very relaxing and we saw a lot of birds, including several kingfishers and a bee-eater colony. It was a very nice experience. During the afternoon game drive I finally saw Lions (Panthera leo, german: Löwe, french: Lion) and African Wild Dogs (Lycaon pictus, german: Afrikanischer Wildhund). That rounded out my Zambia experience very nicely.
On the next day I flew back to Livingston airport via Lusaka, where another driver picked me up to bring me back to the border to Namibia, where I spent the last four days.
It was a very nice experience, with lots of wildlife to see. I really can recommend the Kasaka River Lodge, it is a great place with very nice people.
See the separate page with birds:
Birds in Zambia