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Zambia’s top 8 camping locations

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Immerse yourself in the great outdoors

Zambia has plenty of breathtaking and beautiful landscapes and wilderness areas for outdoor enthusiasts. Although Livingstone in Southern Province is known as the adventure capital, each province offers some incredible heritage sites for outdoor lovers, the northern part of the country taking the lead. If you’re looking for some outdoor adventure within the country here are eight spots that are perfect for camping.

Do note as well, most heritage sites allow for people to camp and have some of the friendliest staff throughout the country. If you love some outdoor action, the Zambian wilderness is definitely the place for you!

Chishimba Falls

The falls are fed by the Luombe River and are a combination of three successive falls, incorporating Mutumena Falls and Kaela Rapids as well as Chishimba itself. The falls are regarded as a sacred place by the Bemba people. They believe that the spirit Chishimba resides in the cave under the falls. The cave is used as a place of prayer.

It’s the perfect place to picnic at if you’d rather have a day visit but for those that like to rough it out a little, the camping area has a nice view of one of the falls that feeds the Chishimba Falls, with clean toilets and a safe environment. There is a short trail that can take you to the main falls.

Ntumbachushi Falls

The falls are situated on the Ngona River in Luapula Province where it runs over the edge of the northern Zambian plateau into the valley of the Luapula River. Ntumbachushi is about three and a half hours’ drive from Mansa and about one kilometre inside from the Mbereshi- Kawambwa Road. There are no showers available. However, if you are down to hop into the river for a wash, this is the perfect place for you.

However long you intend on staying, your best option would be to carry kitchen utensils and food. The distance from Lusaka to Kawambwa is long but a visit to Ntumbachushi is definitely worth it and I would totally recommend that trip for a solo, group or even romantic camping weekend!

Lake Tanganyika

Lake Tanganyika is one of the African Great Lakes. It is the second oldest freshwater lake in the world, second largest by volume and the second deepest in the world. It is also the world’s longest freshwater lake. The warm waters make Lake Tanganyika particularly pleasant to swim in. The clear water (visibility is around 15 metres) and variety of aquatic life makes the lake ideal for snorkelling.

Most campsites on the lake have ablution facilities, as well as boat transfer services if you prefer to drive up to the harbour in Mpulungu.

Lake Tanganyika is such a wonderful place to pitch up and just relax, and do some kayaking during the day. A favourite activity for outdoor enthusiasts camping at Lake Tanganyika is the hike up to the Kalambo Falls, which are the second highest waterfalls in Africa. The hike is moderate to hard and takes about 3 hours to the top with steep rocky terrain.

Kundalila Falls

Kundalila Falls are waterfalls on the Kaombe River in Zambia in Serenje District. It is set in the wilderness on the edge of the Muchinga Escarpment. It is the only waterfall that is set so high on the escarpment. The term ‘kundalila’ means crying or cooing dove in Bemba. From the top of the falls you can see the Luangwa Valley which is part of the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift. Kundalila Falls is about two hours’ drive north of Mkushi town in Central Province. It is perfect for a camping trip, day picnic or braai. The water at the bottom of the falls is suitable to swim in.

Some sections of the area are suitable for rock climbing (including bouldering).

Mumbuluma Falls

This is a perfect camping spot if you’re based in Luapula. Although the drive up from Lusaka can be a lot, it’s definitely worth it for a fun camping weekend. There are some spots on the falls you can jump off of. There’s a guard at the falls most of the day. The campsite is not by the falls but you can ask to camp by the water. The noise from the water can be a lot for light sleepers but if you don’t mind, it’s the perfect place to set up.

Lake Kashiba

The Copperbelt’s hidden gem: Lake Kashiba, aka the sunken lake in Mpongwe District. The lake is believed to be over 100 metres deep. However, a few people have carried out tests and suggest it is about 300m deep. Lake Kashiba is perfect for cliff diving and camping. An interesting fact about Lake Kashiba is that the locals don’t swim in it because they believe there is a creature that lives in the water and that the water is sacred. They have no issues with visitors swimming though. The charge is free as long as you leave the surroundings better than you found them.

Kapishya Hot Springs

The sulphur-free Kapishya Hot Springs in Muchinga Province are a long way from most places but if you take the trip you won’t regret it. As you let yourself go in the perfectly warm waters you will forget your worries and any low points of your journey there.

The hot springs are located within the Kapishya Hot Springs Lodge premises, which in turn is part of the Shiwa Ng’andu Estate. (Do enquire about a visit to the Shiwa Ng’andu Manor House as you plan your trip to the hot springs.) The campsite has an ablution block and cooking area which makes it great for a short local vacation with friends or family.

Musoka Hill Camp

Musoka Hill camp is located in Shimabala in Lusaka Province at the bottom of a hill. The campsite is run by Mwaba Mwila Adventures, which in addition to the hike up the hill, offers an incredible 32-kilometre hike all the way to Kafue River passing through the incredible Muchito River, which is believed to be occupied by spirits. Because of this, there is no fishing or swimming allowed. These myths help preserve the environment in this area, as most people have a great respect and fear for the spirits.

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