I started to explore the world on my own just after I turned 18. Many years have passed since I sat on the trains in India crossing the whole nation, backpacking through Southeast Asia, over to Australia, and volunteering in Costa Rica. I had no clue as student in Ghana, that I would spend the coming 10 years visiting the huge and rich African continent every three months for work. +20 African countries later I stood alone, with my 2,5 year old boy, at Kaunda International airport, in Lusaka. Little did we know, that we had moved to a country that would capture our hearts like a sweet hurricane. We spent two years in Zambia, and left the country just before the pandemic hit the world. But at the end of last year (2021) we got the opportunity to go back!
Many people ask me, how can you travel alone with a child? My answer is easy; just go!
If you can take care of your child at home, you can take care of it while traveling, especially if you’re going to be in nature – a massive playground for the little ones! How about the wild animals? Don’t provoke and they will not harm you. We are the ones harming them.
And isn’t there a better way to teach your child the eco system and how we all play a role in it, by visiting national parks packed with lessons in every corner!
Staying at family friendly lodges, with swimming pools and friendly staff helps of course! During our last visit in Zambia in December 2021 we visited two amazing lodges; Kafunta Safaris in South Luangwa and Ila Safari Lodge in Kafue NP.
The feeling when entering Kafunta Safaris, standing on their dreamy deck with the wildlife in front of your nose was unbelievable!
Giraffes, warthogs, antilopes, hippos, elephants, baboons where among many wild animals that passed by while we had lunch, swam in the pool, relaxed in the natural hot tub, or laid in our bed gazing out. The place is perfect for families! And so is the food. It didn’t only look good but tasted delicious! Traveling solo with my 7-year old, we never had a dull moment. The staff were the friendliest, and made our stay feel like home! Being a photographer, the guides knew what I was looking for and made sure we had good game drives, starting as early as needed! The best way to keep your child busy during a game drive is to ask them to count what you spot! We saw 6 lions, 5 leopards, 30 wild dogs, 93 giraffes and lots more!
Another bliss safari experience was in the mighty Kafue NP you can travel east and west, not meeting one single vehicle, which gives you an authentic wild experience! Having a Green Safaris EV just adds to the feeling of truly being in nature, moving around in silence, which is an adventure on its own!
Ila Safari Lodge is not only family- but also Eco-friendly! The concept of Green Safaris who runs Ila Safari Lodge and others is genuinely based on giving back to the communities and mother earth! We fell in love with the place as we took the first step in the mighty entrance and were greeted by not only the welcoming staff but also by a hippo in the pond right next to us! No matter where you sit, eat or chill, Ila provides a serenity and safety that calms your soul, even when traveling with a child! The food blew us away every time, my son even got a birthday cake for his special day! The guides were so responsible, caring and funny, they created enabling and happy moments that we will never forget! This is a must place to visit, with radiating hospitality and friendliness, close to Lusaka and perfect for families – it will give you memories for life!
Nothing beats the sense of being in the wild, and doing it with your child is an incredible experience that will bring joy many years ahead! Zambia is more than a gem!
If you have hesitated visiting, I hope you got some inspo and will book and go! It’s there waiting for you!
Word and images by Izla Bethdavid/@izlaphotography