Zambia - More Than a Gem
Updated: Oct 9, 2021
It’s hard to describe Zambia in few words. I think I rewrote the intro to this blog post five times and still, I wasn’t satisfied.
Saying Zambia is a gem would underrate it. Zambia is more than a jewel on the African continent. Let me explain.
Before moving to Zambia I had visited and worked in 50+ countries around the world, more than half in Africa. I’ve been on +20 expeditions and safaris among others in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Malawi, Ethiopia, Namibia, Botswana, Uganda, Rwanda and South Africa. With its friendly and peaceful population, authentic wildlife, Zambia gripped my heart from the first moment! No stress, no panic, and a deep-rooted resilience, no matter the circumstance there is always a way forward and up - so inspiring! Then imagine floating dinners under a star-stretched sky, sunset cruises with close encounters with giant elephants swimming next to your boat. Sleeping under the stars at a dry riverbank midst wildlife, lionesses passing you during sunrise, and tiger fishing in the mighty Zambezi River packed with crocodiles and hippos, are among other things this magical country offers! No doubt that Zambia has an enchanted landscape, not to mention, its located next to the beautiful Victoria falls which never fails to amaze me, offering lots of activities for the more adrenaline-seeking soul!
In every corner of Zambia, you find a national park inhabited by wild cats & dogs, rich birdlife, and lots of other amazing creatures. No visit to Zambia is complete without visiting one of the beautiful national parks! The country caters dreamy lodges, offering incredible experiences in the wild nature. I’ve had the privilege to visit Tongabezi, Anabezi & Amanzi Camp, Time & Tide Chinzombo and also Royal Zambezi Lodge, Mukambi Safari Lodge and Kiambi Safari Lodge. These places offered breath-taking and tranquil pure natural essence in the wild.
What makes Zambia the ultimate safari experience on the continent is, that you get respectfully close to the wildlife and have a chance to spend private time with them compared to other places where cars would fast line up in many numbers.
I will never forget my first encounter with a leopard in the Lower Zambezi NP. She was walking from tree to tree, next to our car, gazing over the grass field, for over one hour! So authentic to enjoy wild beauty alone. Nothing beats first seat moments in the wild like this!
I can experience amazing wildlife, nature, adventure, but what I always think about when I get back home, is the encounters I had with people and their stories. I got the chance to showcase two exhibitions in Zambia, one on Zambian Dads, with images and stories on 13 engaging dads, which was deeply inspiring! In addition, I had my first solo exhibition called “Vitality” at the renowned 37dgallery showcasing images across the African continent, demonstrating that no matter the harsh reality that people may witness, they reflect hope, courage, and the might of humanity.
Even now, Zambia continues to spark & inspire my life! Take the chance and experience Zambia you too! It will take your breath away with extraordinary experiences and will deliver memories that will never fade away! Trust me.
Word and images by Izla Bethdavid/@izlaphotography
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