Recent Posts

Connect with us through our stories from Africa's wild places, the people we share and care for them with, and the wildlife that continue to amaze us.

The Diary of a Green Safaris Guest Natasha Parker 2022-10-12 22:53:48 Get starry-eyed while at Kaya Mawa Lodge on your Lake Malawi holiday Get Starry-eyed on Your Lake Malawi Holiday Megan Lewis 2022-10-02 10:29:02 Lion lying on ground looking at camera in front of game drive with family on safari in Zambia Going on a Family Safari in Zambia is Easier than you Think Megan Lewis 2022-09-29 12:51:16 Myth-Busting Green Season Safaris in South Luangwa Megan Lewis 2022-08-29 12:00:33 Bride and groom walk through guests in African print designs at Black Panther inspired wedding above Victoria Falls African Print Designs Dazzle in Black Panther Inspired Wedding Megan Lewis 2022-08-04 10:58:27 Kaya Mawa Revamp Brings More Magic to Your Malawi Holiday Megan Lewis 2022-06-30 06:37:11 Introduction to Conservation South Luangwa Guest 2022-06-29 15:11:27 Introduction to the Zambian Carnivore Programme Guest 2022-06-29 14:54:10 Introduction to Panthera Guest 2022-06-29 14:38:27 Introduction to Project Luangwa Guest 2022-06-29 14:31:38 Introduction to By Life Connected and the Green Safaris Conservation Foundation Guest 2022-06-29 14:21:21 Why Zambia? Ethical Travel is Unforgettable Natasha Parker 2022-06-29 13:41:06 Why a Safari is the Perfect Choice for a Sustainable Honeymoon Guest 2022-06-13 13:39:01 Two people with beers look at each other on Zambezi River because Zambia travel restrictions lifted Great News! Zambia Travel Restrictions Lifted Megan Lewis 2022-06-07 07:19:26 Busanga Plains: Where There are More Lions than Beds for Guests Natasha Parker 2022-05-10 08:28:41 The team at Shawa Luangwa Camp is an example of Green Safaris project of community development in Zambia An Easter Story of Community Development in Zambia Megan Lewis 2022-04-14 13:06:21 2022 Is The Year of The Hippo Natasha Parker 2022-04-08 09:05:49 Experience Our Private Safaris in Africa Megan Lewis 2022-03-15 12:41:33 Leopard are a focus of many wildlife conservation projects in Zambia Showing our Love for Wildlife Conservation Projects in Zambia Megan Lewis 2022-03-03 07:33:10 6 of the Best Things About an African Pyjama Safari Natasha Parker 2022-03-01 13:23:20 Swimming in Devils Pool Victoria Falls is on the best sustainable safari moments The Best Sustainable Safari Moments of 2021 Megan Lewis 2022-01-14 12:26:06 Green Safaris 12 Days of Thankfulness Natasha Parker 2021-12-21 14:47:20 People smile and swim in Devil's Pool during the Zambia safari tour near Livingstone Island above Victoria Falls Highlights from our Team’s Zambia Safari Tour Megan Lewis 2021-12-07 14:03:40 Aerial view of Ila Safari Lodge and Kafue River in Kafue National Park Ila Safari Lodge: The Sustainable Safari Camp Blueprint Megan Lewis 2021-11-04 11:58:20 Condé Nast 12th Best Resort in Africa: The Tongabezi Guests Do It Again! Natasha Parker 2021-09-20 14:11:10 Tongabezi treehouse overlooking Zambezi River for luxury tree house holidays Luxury Treehouse Holidays for Lovebirds Megan Lewis 2021-08-30 16:52:06 Nest suite with elevator at Chisa Busanga Camp built for travellers with disabilities Let’s Make Africa More Accessible for Travellers with Disabilities Guest 2021-08-03 20:04:26 Vaccinating the Tongabezi Team Natasha Parker 2021-05-24 14:38:39 Is Sustainable Travel Possible? Megan Lewis 2021-05-10 07:00:54 Silent safari, Green Safaris, Game drive, Sustainable Safari What is a Silent Safari? Megan Lewis 2021-05-06 07:00:49 Eco-friendly safari, Green Safaris, Chisa Busanga Camp, Chisa Nest, Busanga Plains, Kafue Safari Our Eco-friendly Safari Camps Open in Busanga Plains & South Luangwa Megan Lewis 2021-04-23 10:15:17 Chipasha Mwamba bio Meet the Team Natasha Parker 2021-03-12 07:40:43 Green Safaris Is Planning For Happiness Natasha Parker 2020-11-30 06:23:41 Dangling off the Edge of Victoria Falls from Livingstone Island Natasha Parker 2020-10-26 14:02:53 Talking Tujatane this World Teachers’ Day Anna da Graca 2020-10-05 06:00:22 luxury honeymoon Africa, luxury lodge victoria falls, luxury honeymoon victoria falls Disgruntled Honeymooners Of 2020, This Is For You... Anna da Graca 2020-10-01 11:27:36 Why The Tongabezi Handshake Projects Matter, According to their Team Leaders Natasha Parker 2020-09-29 12:49:50 Meet The 'Tongabezi Handshake' Team Leaders Natasha Parker 2020-08-18 13:49:20 The 'Tongabezi Handshake' Community Projects Natasha Parker 2020-08-18 13:49:02 Tongabezi, Luxury Wellness Retreat, Zambezi River, Victoria Falls A Luxury Wellness Retreat on the Zambezi River Anna da Graca 2020-05-27 14:14:37 Covid Kindness: Supporting Our Village Elders Natasha Parker 2020-05-19 13:31:58 Tongabezi, Ankara Fashion, Chitenge, Luxury Victoria Falls Honeymoon, Gaby Endo An Ankara Fashion Collaboration at Tongabezi Anna da Graca 2020-04-24 11:57:12 Tongabezi Joins the Green Safaris Family  Natasha Parker 2020-02-09 18:46:05 From Netherlands to Likoma Island, Lake Malawi Abby Lane 2020-02-01 00:00:21 Good Karma at Kaya Mawa Lodge in Malawi Laura Birtles 2019-12-01 00:00:24 We Put Vincent Kouwenhoven (Founder of Green Safaris) In The Spotlight Lauren Watson 2019-11-01 00:00:36 Victoria Falls Zimbabwe Tongabezi Voted 9th Best Resort in Africa Natasha Parker 2019-10-11 13:33:56 Green Safaris Lauren Watson 2019-10-01 00:00:20 Green Safaris Conservation Foundation Lauren Watson 2019-08-30 00:00:28 Rise and Fall of the Zambezi Martin Visser 2019-04-24 12:41:23 Lunar Rainbow The Lunar Rainbow: A Unique Way to Experience Victoria Falls Martin Visser 2019-04-24 10:31:04 Walk, Swim and Eat Your Way Across Victoria Falls from Livingstone Island Natasha Parker 2018-10-15 13:01:54 A Nelson Mandela quote for every year he spent in prison in the name of freedom Natasha Parker 2018-07-18 11:38:50 Condé Nast 2018, Tongabezi takes Gold  Guest 2018-02-14 07:15:49

The Diary of a Green Safaris Guest

For your entertainment, and for our own, we have collected a number of guest anecdotes, reviews, and experiences, and thrown them together into one (only slightly fictional) “Green Safaris Circuit” Diary. If you have been struggling to imagine what it would be like to stay at our properties, this is exactly what you have been waiting for.

This is what a 12-day Green Safaris itinerary — starting at Victoria Falls in Zambia and ending on a beach on Lake Malawi — looks like. This itinerary includes all of our properties except Sindabezi and Chisa Busanga, and both can be added depending on the length of your trip and the time of year you would like to travel.

(We are giving 30% discount on last-minute bookings for this itinerary. So, book this Green Safaris itinerary and finish the year off with a well-deserved break, for less!)

Map it out – this is what a Green Safaris itinerary looks like.

Day 1                                                                                                                  TONGABEZI LODGE

Landed in Zambia today. All six of our family together at last. Debrah cried at the Tongabezi Lodge welcome song. Luckily Brenda, our personal valet, swiftly distracted her by mentioning an organic garden on site. Thank goodness for vertical-growing strawberries, or some such thing. Apparently, when Tongabezi had to close due to the pandemic, any staff who they couldn’t keep at the lodge itself were invited to learn about sustainable farming. Now most of them are back, and the Tongabezi menus are almost entirely farm-to-table. I do love a tasty silver lining.  

Day 2

Swam on the edge of Victoria Falls! I literally held my arms off the edge of one of the Natural Wonders of the World and got a picture to prove it to my students back home. I had a few well-deserved Sindambe cocktails afterwards (Brenda assures me Sindambe is basically a flower and incredibly healthy, and I do feel fantastic).

Day 3                                                                                                      

After a morning spent in a helicopter around Victoria Falls, zooming through the Batoka Gorge like we were in Mission Impossible, none of us thought the day could get much better. But that was before we visited the Tongabezi Trust School.

I teased Debrah about crying on the first day, but I’m not ashamed to admit that after nearly 25 years of teaching I got a little teary-eyed today. I have never seen so many children so eager to learn. Some of them walk up to 10 kilometres just to get to school, and they do it no matter the weather. The school manages to provide not only education (and a good one, by the looks of their computer room, science lab, competent teachers and smiley faces), but also two meals a day, and then funds the children into high school and university, all thanks to donations from Tongabezi guests. I met teachers there who had started off as students. Can you believe it??

I am now a proud sponsor of Grace, a little girl in Grade 5 who wants to be a nurse and has a determined look in her eye which tells me she is likely to make it.

 

Day 4                                                                                                                       ILA SAFARI LODGE

Arrived late to Ila Safari Lodge but the fabulous local team was waiting with the biggest smiles. And what can you do when your traffic jam is a herd of elephants? Snuffle down your incredible lunch (Debrah’s vegetarian menu was so good, everyone but Dan went veg for the day) and head out to see the elephants again, of course! I will never get bored of elephants.

Day 5

Steve is not usually an early bird, and the Silent Safari vehicles are so quiet they gave him away when he started to snore in the back… he woke up pretty quickly when the lions snored back though! But not only did we get to see lions, we learned all about them today too. Xia, a conservation expert who works for Panthera, sat around the Ila campfire with us for an hour and answered all of Steve’s one million and three questions with much more patience than I ever would. She even told us that our lion sighting that morning had been helpful for their tracking purposes, as our guide had sent an update to her team!

Day 6

It’s absolutely mindblowing how close you can get to the wildlife in these electric game vehicles… and that almost everything from the lodge to the sunset cruise boat runs on solar power!

Front view of Ila Safari Lodge in Kafue National ParkLion lying on ground looking at camera in front of game drive with family on safari in ZambiaTwo people at end of swimming pool point to something across riverAerial view of Ila Safari Lodge and Kafue River in Kafue National Park

Day 7                                                                                                            SHAWA LUANGWA CAMP

Neel says Shawa Luangwa Camp is his favourite so far. Steve reckons it’s because the tent rooms look a little like wizard’s hats, as Neel is a huge bookworm. Neel says Steve has no appreciation for the finer things in life, like our massive sunken bathtubs and 270-degree views. I disagree, as Steve spent an hour in the tub before dinner watching the elephants crossing the river!

Day 8

Our guide, Jacob, told Dan that Luangwa is known as “the Valley of the Leopard”. We should have warned Jacob about how competitive Dan is! Despite seeing hyena, buffalo, Thornicroft’s giraffe (see, I’m learning the names) and hundreds of the most gorgeously colourful carmine bee-eaters today, Dan is determined to see a leopard.

Day 9

We spent the morning on a Walking Safari, which I thought would make me nervous, but Jacob and our scout were just brilliant. I swear I saw Steve writing down some of Jacob’s wildlife facts and jokes to steal for later, and even Dan has forgotten his desperation to see leopard after an afternoon following a pack of Wild Dogs in the Silent Safari cruiser.

Exterior view of Shawa Luangwa Camp in the green season in South LuangwaHead Guide and General Manager side hug and look at cameraat Shawa Luangwa Camp

 

Day 10                                                                                                        KAYA MAWA ISLAND LODGE

I can’t believe it is two quick flights from the heart of one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world (South Luangwa) to sitting on a beach on Lake Malawi with my toes in the sand, but here I am.

Neel and Steve are already competing to see who is the worst paddleboarder. Every time Steve falls in, I take a sip of my lovely Chardonnay. The bartender, whose name is Martin and who has worked at Kaya Mawa for over fifteen years, has already topped my glass up twice. I could definitely get used to this beachside luxury.

Day 11

I forgot to mention it, but my bedroom here is literally on its own personal island. Steve and I have private stairs from our balcony straight into the crystal clear lake (no salt water, either!). So I spent my final morning reading and snorkelling around my room, which of course was so exhausting I definitely deserve a massage later…

Also, I think Debrah may be that guest… she asked our waitress if there was a recipe for our phenomenal vegetable curry. But then the sweetest thing happened: Cephus, Kaya Mawa’s Head Chef, rushed out of the kitchen with the biggest smile on his face to tell us all about his passion for plant-based food. It seems the ‘Green’ in ‘Green Safaris’ isn’t just about sustainability, but literal green growing things too.

Day 12

Today we explored the island on Green Safaris’ electric bikes. We visited the Katundu workshop, where a group of local ladies make the most incredible interior pieces for Kaya Mawa and other lodges. I love knowing that I’m staying at places that are beautiful because they support local people and creativity, and I’m definitely buying a tumbled glass chandelier… but how to get it home? Sounds like a Steve problem!