If you can tear yourself away from its beautiful guest rooms, the safari activities at Anabezi tented camp are brilliant. Here are 8 of the top things to do while you’re here.
1. Game Drives
The highlight of an African safari is of course, the game drives. At Anabezi, the morning game drives typically start at around 5.30/6am and the evening game drives generally start around 4pm. All guests are assigned a private driver, so it’s totally up to you when you head into the bush. But the earlier you head off each morning, the best chance you have of catching the end of the nocturnal activity.
The great thing about taking a late afternoon game drive, is you can see both day and night-time animals. Come evening when it gets cooler, the predators begin to get more active so you have more chance of spotting a big cat! Another highlight of a night drive, is you get to stop for sundowners.
Anabezi is built on the land of Kenneth Kaunda’s former retreat. So on your game drive, stop to see the crumbling remains of the house where Zambia’s first president used to visit.
I never thought I’d say this, but fishing is actually fun! Ok, so it helps when you’re on one of the most stunning rivers in Africa. But I actually loved how relaxing it is, and enjoyed the anticipation of what would bite the end of our fishing lines.
We took an afternoon fishing trip at Anabezi, and were told many tales of the huge tigerfish that have been caught in the Zambezi river – so we went with great expectations! Our guide John was very patient with me as I struggled to get the hang of casting my line and I began to wonder whether this fishing malarkey was really for me. But my perseverance paid off and I was soon flinging my line with confidence!
We tried many spots on the river, and I didn’t catch one thing. However just as we were about to give up, BC caught a tigerfish! Fishing is very relaxing and really helps you switch off. Just wait, it’ll be the next mindfulness trend to hit the UK – you heard it here first.
3. Sunset cruises
If you go fishing late afternoon, it’s perfect for combining with a relaxing sunset cruise. The sunsets at Anabezi – and in fact anywhere along the Lower Zambezi – are out of this world. Watching the hippos pop their heads in and out of the water as the sun sank into the horizon was unforgettable.
4. Walking Safaris
Zambia is the land of the famous walking safari, so it seemed wrong not to give this activity a try. At Anabezi, we joined expert guide Lawrence, a park ranger, and another guest from the camp. Things got very exciting (and a little bit nerve-wracking) when we had to divert our route because two male lions were reportedly snoozing by the ‘bush breakfast bar’ where we were heading. But the walking safari was a great lesson in animal and plant behaviour, how hippos mark their territories and the amazing way in which elephants have evolved.
Taking a game drive is an amazing experience, but walking safaris allowed us to appreciate the Lower Zambezi from a whole new perspective. We were in very safe hands the whole time, but you can’t help feel a tingle of fear when you’re this close to the wildlife!
5. Bush breakfasts
At the end of our walking safari, we enjoyed a fantastic bush breakfast (by then, the lions had moved on, thankfully!) All guests can take part in the bush breakfast, whether or not you do a walking safari, and it involves a full feast of fresh fruit; eggs, bacon and toast with pots of fresh tea and coffee. The bush breakfast was a great opportunity to chat to other guests about the wildlife they’d spotted and there’s no better feeling than eating delicious food in Africa’s great outdoors.
6. Canoe & Boat safaris
We decided to combine our canoe safari with our transfer from Sausage Tree Camp to Anabezi camp. It lasted around three hours, but you can take short or long canoe safaris from Anabezi’s front door. Once again, this is a great way to appreciate just how vast the Zambezi river is which straddles the Zambia and Zimbabwe border. We heard and spotted a great variety of birdlife, crocodiles, hippos and various game on the riverbanks such as buffalo, waterbucks and impalas. Check out my post on our canoe trip along the Zambezi here.
You automatically think of seeing The Big Five when you go on safari but the truth is, the birdwatching at Anabezi can be just as rewarding – even for novices. The Lower Zambezi National Park is home to a whopping 500 bird species. And all sorts of cranes, owls, bush chickens (some of my favourite!) and beautiful lilac breasted rollers joined a list of stunning birds which we spotted during our trip.
Ask your guide to tailor your game drives to the birdlife or simply leave it to chance and see what you find. We saw dozens of bird species feeding in the watering holes alone. I can guarantee you’ll be fascinated by these feathered friends in no time.
Typically, safaris can be quite full-on. You’re up at the crack of dawn and you’re busy seeing as much wildlife as you possibly can. But if your budget allows you to stretch your safari a bit longer, Anabezi tented camp is a spectacular place to just relax and enjoy the camp.
The verandahs look out onto the Zambezi riverbanks where elephants, warthogs and all sorts of wildlife can be spotted. Equally, both of the swimming pools look out onto the floodplains where the animals come to feed and drink. So cool down, relax and let the wildlife come to you!
Until next time x