How to get off the beaten track in Zambia MzansiBride

Winona Griggs


Welcome to Zambia, where real Africa awaits

Hey there! If you’re looking for a taste of the exotic Africa that’s beyond the well-trodden paths, then you’ve come to the right place. Zambia is the ultimate destination for South Africans seeking true adventure. It’s a land where the wildlife is abundant, the trees tower high, and the mysteries are waiting to be unraveled. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable journey!

I’ve always dreamed of exploring Zambia, especially its famous national parks. But like many others, I was deterred by the high costs of flights, park fees, and accommodations. However, fate had a different plan for me. As part of my trans-continental charity bicycle ride, I had the chance to travel overland and discover a whole new side of Zambia – one that was surprisingly affordable and just as amazing.

Just 15 kilometers north of Choma in southern Zambia, lies an unassuming sign that reads “Bruce-Miller Farm”. Trust me, this place is a hidden gem. Run by Ian Bruce-Miller, a man with an unparalleled passion for Zambia’s natural wonders, this farm is a gateway to an extraordinary experience. Ian is not just your average farmer – he’s a walking encyclopedia of the country’s wildlife, plants, history, and culture. You’ll find his home filled with a vibrant mix of local farmers, curious travelers, and even scientists studying the birds of the region.

Speaking of birds, did you know that Zambia is home to some unique avian species? If you’re lucky, you might spot the elusive Zambian barbet, the only bird that calls this country its home. And don’t forget about the trumpeter hornbills that grace the skies – they’re a common sight here. Ian’s farm is teeming with wildlife too, from graceful antelopes like sable and roan to the playful impalas and bushbucks. It’s a nature lover’s paradise!

Fifty kilometers to the south of Zambia’s second-largest town, Ndola, there’s a unique game ranch called Nsobe Lodge. This place has an interesting approach to conservation, with a focus on the local community. Mark and Fiona, the owners of the lodge, have given locals the opportunity to start micro-farming projects by providing them with land and capital.

The idea behind these projects is simple: the farmers grow vegetables, raise pigs and cattle, and fish, and in return, their produce is used to supply the lodge’s restaurant and shop, as well as local markets. It’s a win-win situation, where everyone benefits.

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Now, let me tell you a bit about the lodge itself. It’s surrounded by lush bush, right next to a beautiful dam. The lodge offers several cozy chalets where you can stay, as well as a larger fishing hut with three rooms. If you’re more into camping, they also have a really comfortable campsite.

One of the best things about Nsobe Lodge is that you have the chance to see some amazing wildlife. As you explore the lodge’s farm, keep an eye out for sable antelope, eland, puku, and black lechwe. If you’re a bird lover, you’re in for a treat too. You might spot a black harrier, a coppery-tailed coucal, or even a half-collared kingfisher.

So, if you’re looking for a unique experience that combines conservation, community support, and a chance to see some incredible wildlife, Nsobe Lodge is the place for you. Come and see for yourself why it’s such a special place. You won’t be disappointed.

It’s amazing how much the rates for accommodation at Nsobe Game Camp can vary. You can find something as affordable as ZK 35 000 (around R45) per night for camping, or if you prefer a bit more comfort, you can opt for a six-sleeping self-catering cabin for R1 650. But if you really want to treat yourself to a luxurious experience, the all-inclusive Mukuyu Camp is the way to go, starting at around R1 250 per person per night.

Check out for more information on all the options available. It’s definitely worth exploring to find the perfect fit for your budget and preferences.

Hey there! Guess what I found? South-east of Nsobe, the amazing Kafue River, one of Zambia’s biggest rivers, flows past Luanshya and then you’ll find Kafue River Lodge. It’s a pretty fancy place where you can stay and they’ve got everything you need. The lodge sits on the beautiful banks of the Kafue River and has big green lawns. You can take a casual canoe trip along the river and check out some cool birds like the Pel’s fishing owl, the white-crowned night heron, and lots of different kingfishers. Oh, and don’t forget to look for the African broadbill too! They also have some awesome animals at Kafue River Lodge like Roan, Sable, and Giraffe. Plus, if you’re lucky, you might spot the super shy sitatunga antelope who loves the water. Prices for staying at the lodge range from about R550.00 for just a room to R1087.00 for everything included. If you want to book, just send an email to [email protected]

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If you want to explore Zambia’s north-eastern regions, you have to travel up the Great North Road. When you get about 70km away from Mpika, you’ll see a sign for Mutinondo Wilderness. Once you turn off, you’ll drive through lots and lots of trees until you reach a big rock called a granite dome. It’s surrounded by other big rocks and it looks super cool. The Mutinondo Lodge is set up to give everyone privacy. They have really big camping spots and 5 semi-open chalets that are all spread out. There’s a big dining room and library and a separate bar with a great view of a wetland called a dambo. You can even see the Luangwa escarpment from here! There’s so much to do at Mutinondo. You can go canoeing, hiking, swimming, and even horseback riding. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can go on a 5 day hike down the escarpment and enter the North or South Luangwa National Parks. It’s a great place for bird lovers and families with little kids. The food at their restaurant is really good, but it’s a bit on the pricey side. They have different pricing options for everyone though. You can camp for about R100 per person per night, or you can stay in a chalet and have all your meals included. The chalets range in price from R880 per person per night for a double to around R990 per person per night for a single. They also have some self-catering chalets and tented camps if you prefer. You can learn more at

Have you heard of Shiba N’gandu? It’s become quite the hot spot for tourists in Zambia, known as the lake of the King crocodile! This place has an interesting history, and I learned all about it in Christina Lamb’s book Africa House. The book tells the fascinating story of Sir Stewart Gore-Browne, who built his luxurious mansion in the heart of Africa back in 1919. Can you believe he constructed this beautiful estate 400 km away from any roads or railways?

Now, let me tell you, Sir Stewart’s life was full of ups and downs. He had this crazy crush on his aunt Ethel, and he faced many challenges trying to keep his dream alive. Some people question the accuracy of the book, but I can tell you that reading it definitely enhances your visit to his stunning home.

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Now, if you’re willing to spend around US$300 a night, you can stay at the English manor house itself. They offer all sorts of activities and meals, making it quite the grand experience. But let me tell you a little secret. After a chilly reception from the hostess, my friends and I found a much more enjoyable and affordable spot just 19 km away. Believe me, it’s worth checking out!

Welcome to Kapisha hot springs! I wanted to tell you about this amazing place owned by one of Stewart Gore-Browne’s grandsons. It has a lodge and a campsite right next to a lively river that flows from the lake. What makes these hot springs so special is that the water is completely fresh, without any of the usual stuff you find in geothermal heated waters. It’s like a hidden gem in nature!

There are so many things to do here. You can go on horse-back rides in the beautiful Shiba estate, or take exciting game drives, walks, and even go white river rafting! If you love bird-watching, you’re in luck. You’ll find amazing birds like Ross’ Touraco, little leaf-love, black-backed barbet, red-capped crombec and Laura’s wood-warbler, all within 50 meters of the camp. It’s a birder’s paradise!

Now, let’s talk about the accommodation. You have a range of options. If you’re into camping, you can pitch your tent for about R80.00 per person per night. If you prefer a more comfortable stay, there are full board packages available for R1200.00 per person per night, which also include some activities. And if you just want a cozy dinner, bed, and breakfast, that’s an option too!

So, how do you make a booking? It’s easy! Just visit and you can organize your stay at Shibwa House or Kapishya. Don’t miss out on this incredible experience!

Hey, if you’re planning a road trip to Zambia from countries like Zimbabwe or Botswana, make sure your budget doesn’t spoil your adventure. While it’s great to explore places like Kafue, South Luangwa, or Kasanka, don’t rush back home too soon. There’s still so much waiting to be discovered!

Hey, if you’re planning a road trip to Zambia from countries like Zimbabwe or Botswana, make sure your budget doesn’t spoil your adventure. While it’s great to explore places like Kafue, South Luangwa, or Kasanka, don’t rush back home too soon. There’s still so much waiting to be discovered!

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