Category: News

Start the search at Nanzhila!

Nanzhila Plains has a new website and we would like to celebrate its launch with a special Easter themed hunt for bed nights during our 2019 season

We have “hidden” 6 free bed nights across our booking calendar for 2019 in various rooms across various months. We will obviously know where these are and we will keep them secret until you confirm your booking. At this point, if your booking falls over or close to one of our “Free Bednights” we will let you know and you have 1 free bed night on us!

CLICK HERE to enquire and start the search!

  • Terms & Conditions:
  • The value of the booking will be equal to 1 bed night on the same package that the rest of your booking is.
  • Only applicable for new bookings.
  •   The search ends on 24th April 2019.
  • Park fees and levies are excluded on all free nights.

Phenomenal sightings and exciting new packages

The 2018 Nanzhila season has been phenomenal so far! Despite the long grass and very late rains, clients have still been able to see Wild Dog a number of times and we now have a resident leopard that is being seen regularly. The roads through the plains are still very waterlogged and we have had to rescue umpteen self drivers who took the wrong route. However our guests have still been able to get some really good sightings on their visits and as usual, cheetah and serval are being seen often.

2019 Rates and Packages!

2019 Rates are out! Please contact us if you haven’t got a copy yet and would like to get a copy – email us.

We are in the process of finalising all the 2019 packages but the Classic Kafue package remains as before and we are very excited to be working with SAFPAR and THE EXPLORER CLUB to offer Zambia’s Wildlife and Waterfalls.

Birding Big Day

Finally, if you haven’t told your keen birders about our Birding Big Day – there are still places available for the first competitive birding event in the Kafue National Park.

Photo © Michalyn Simpson

News from Nanzhila

We’ve had a late start this year and its been all hands on deck preparing for the upcoming season that begins with our first clients arriving on the 11th.

Nearly all of our annual rainfall occurred in February, about 500mm. We’d normally plan getting into camp to start preparing for the season at the end of March but the area was inundated with water making access before mid-April all but impossible. So since mid-April we’ve added a new deck to the main nsaka, new window gauze in the chalets, re-varnished the window sills in the chalets and decking in the tents and dug an enlarged soak-away for the kitchen, in addition to all the standard maintenance and cleaning that takes place at this time of the year.

Having so much rain in such a short period of time has caused some erosion and wash-away on our main access road from Livingstone. At this time of the year the plains are under water and access to the lodge from Dundumwezi Gate is via the southern boundary and cordon roads. We are expecting the plains road to open sometime in July. Until then the transit time from Livingstone will be a bit longer than normal.

A consequence of the late rains is that we still have plenty of surface water around and the bush is lush and green and the grass very high. Absolutely lovely but it does make wildlife viewing somewhat challenging. Wildlife tends to be naturally dispersed at this time of the year becoming more concentrated as surface water dries up. The plains are still inaccessible so in May and June will be concentrating our game viewing efforts to the west, on higher ground, particularly in the Mafuta Loop vicinity and as far north as the Ngoma area and Lake Itezhi-tezhi, and bush-walking areas along the Kasha and in the Zebra Pools areas.

Although wildlife is difficult to see on account of the high grass we have seen most of the antelopes and plenty of evidence of the cats, particularly lion and cheetah, that at this time of the year tend to use the roads to avoid the grass. On the birding front most of the migratory species seem to have left for warmer climes but the residents are out in force. The openbill stork are still on their nests with active heronry’s up and down the length of the Nanzhila River.

Zambia’s First Birding Big Day!

It’s a first for Zambia! Hidden Gems of Zambia is hosting Kafue National Park’s first ever BIG BIRDING DAY ! 2 camps, 8 guests each and 48 hours to record as many different bird species as possible and claim the title of Birding ‘King of the Kafue!’

On the 9 – 12 November 2018, two Kafue safari camps – Nanzhila Plains and Kafue River Lodge will do battle (with 8 keen birders at each camp) to record as many different bird species as possible over a 48 hour period. The winning camp will receive the annual floating trophy and title ‘Birding King of the Kafue.’

The dates are set, the camps are ready – you just need to choose your team and which venue to go to!

Sneak into the Kafue for 2 minutes!

[VIDEO] If you never got to visit the Southern Kafue this year, now is your chance…this could be the best 2 minutes of your week! Many thanks to the brilliant team from The Rusty Mokoro for their efforts in producing this video.

5 Days in the Southern Kafue

Guests have been spoilt for choice recently at Nanzhila with some superb wildlife sightings – just some of which include serval, eland, sable, cheetah and 6 cubs (click here to view video!) lion and more. Guest reviews and a selection of photos can be seen below:

“Thank you Cindy and Steve for 5 marvellous days and nights in your fantastic camp! Nanzhila plain is one of the finest places in the Southern Kafue!” – Adrian Hirschi, September 2017

“Don’t cry because its over, smile because it happened” We will cry a little to be honest – such a beautiful lodge, location, wildlife, but above all the beautiful people. Thanks Steve, Cindy, Brett and Caesar. Miss you and the rest of the team.” – Karina and Raymond, The Netherlands.

“Our first trip to Africa, and definitely not our last! Waking up to a fresh kill 200metres from our chalet and finding a pack of 8 wild dogs, 6 of them pups, was an experience to remember forever. Nanzhila Plains Camp is a unique and rewarding safari destination. Thank you Steve and Cindy.” – Hannah and Matthew Debeer, Canada

Cheetah Cubs!

Sneak into the Southern Kafue for 2 minutes…

Watch the video below

[biginfobox color=”#588c7e” textcolor=”#ffffff” title=”It’s high season in the Kafue! Now is the time to visit!” href=” Enquiry” button_title=”Enquire Now”]2 months until camp closes.. email us today enquire availability[/biginfobox]

Cat Sightings in the Kafue

Predators put in an appearance at Nanzhila

August and early September have been very busy for predator viewing in the Southern Kafue! Starting from the ‘biggest’ – lion movement has been consistent although we hear them a lot more than they are seen! We had a great sighting of this young male again who has been in the area for awhile – maybe a sign of shifting power balances in the Southern Kafue lion prides?

Some very nice pics caught by Karina and Raymond here who left this very kind feedback in our guestbook:

“Don’t cry because its over, smile because it happened” We will cry a little to be honest – such a beautiful lodge, location, wildlife, but above all the beautiful people. Thanks Steve, Cindy, Brett and Caesar. Miss you and the rest of the team.” – Karina and Raymond, The Netherlands.

Leopard sightings are always special and Eirene and Gabriel saw a leopard on their transfer out of Nanzhila but it is the 2 smaller spotted cats that have been stealing the show of late. Although we have been seeing 2 male cheetahs quite frequently, it is the appearance of this cheetah mom with no less than 6 cubs that really got our attention. She is staying nearby with that many cubs and hopefully for her sake, the lions remain too focused on whatever they are doing to notice her little ones! We got a great little clip (View Here) of this “super-mom” in the making and she caught the attention of our recent guest, Richard:

 “ Waouh – Great – 7 cheetahs! I’ll be back!” Richard Schneider – Switzerland.

But as mentioned, cheetah have not been the only spotted predator to perform in recent weeks and we were absolutely delighted by this sighting of a serval which did a wonderful job posing for us!

Finally, our resident wild dog pack with their pups were seen earlier in August when they dramatically made a kill near camp although sadly there were no pics from this sighting – only these kind words from our guests that we close off with:

“Our first trip to Africa, and definitely not our last! Waking up to a fresh kill 200metres from our chalet and finding a pack of 8 wild dogs, 6 of them pups, was an experience to remember forever. Nanzhila Plains Camp is a unique and rewarding safari destination. Thank you Steve and Cindy.” – Hannah and Matthew Debeer, Canada

Sneak into the Southern Kafue for 2 minutes…

Watch the video below

In memory of a friend of Nanzhila

Earlier this year, the Nanzhila community (and indeed the greater Kafue National Park community) were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Peter Moss. He was instrumental in helping us set up our online guidebook  and was a great supporter of the whole of the Kafue. Barely a week would go by before Peter was back on email or Skype with introductions or ideas to encourage people to visit the Kafue and his support is greatly missed.

Together with help from Steve Adams of the, we have erected a memorial bench at Nanzhila in memory of Peter and herewith a few pics and words from Steve Smith – the owner of Nanzhila about Peter:

“Peter Moss was a close personal friend of ours and Nanzhila. He dedicated a large part of his life to the conservation, preservation and promotion of the Kafue National Park and all of us who live and work here today owe him a great debt of gratitude. He undoubtedly was the most knowledge person on the Park’s fauna and flora and was responsible for at least two of the Park Management Plans, the Business Plan and the book “A Visitors Guide to the Kafue National Park.” He had a great love for the southern Kafue and in particular the Nanzhila Plains that we shared together. His knowledge, guidance and friendship are sorely missed.” – Steve & Cindy Smith

Steve Adams ( who co-sponsored the memorial bench (with Nanzhila)  and Cindy, and Sport Beattie and Clive Dickinson of Game Rangers International.

High season in the Southern Kafue

July has been an interesting month so far…we were finally able to open the Kalenje Track – more than a month later than last year which shows you how much more rain and water we had last summer. Accordingly, the game has been widely dispersed and so it’s really only been during the last 2 weeks that we are starting to see denser groups of animals as the water resources start to dry up. Looking back over the month though, you really do get an appreciation of the incredible diversity of life in the Southern Kafue with sightings of the following antelope:

Sable, Roan, Eland, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, blue wildebeest, kudu, reedbuck, impala, common duiker, oribi along with a variety of the smaller and more secret life with some great serval sightings, the famous Nanzhila honey badgers spotted in daylight and no doubt off to raise a caucus somewhere and civet being spotted most evening drives. There were sporadic sightings of lion, cheetah and leopard. Wild dog have been seen by staff regularly near the back of camp, which hopefully means that they are denning near by.

In addition to the great diversity and wildlife seen outside of camp, Nanzhila Plains also hosted an incredible variety of nationalities this month: We had Italians, Austrians, Germans, Americans, Swiss, Israelis, French, Irish, New Zealanders, South Africans and of course Zambians to name a few! It’s amazing to think that people from all around the world take the time and effort to visit a little corner of Zambia as remote as the Southern Kafue – we are very grateful for the support and some of the kind words written below:

“We would like to thank you again for the really nice and very interesting stay at Nanzhila Plains Safari Camp – we liked it very much and it’s a pity that we couldn’t stay longer.”

 “Thanks to Cindy, Steve and all the staff, we 5 had an amazing time over there. We’ve been literally spoiled with morning and evening game drives and walks, gorgeous and tasteful meals, and cherry on the cake, a dreamful dinner + marshmallows under the milky way… No words to describe those 4 days. Actually, I didn’t want to leave, husband and sons neither. 😉 “

And in keeping to the theme of international variety, we had a comment left in our guestbook which I’ve retyped below (please forgive any inaccurate transcription) and would love someone to translate it us … just hoping it’s good things! :). (Use the comment section below.)

Siamo stati meraniguosamente al Nanzhila…Location, gentilezzae cibocoredi meguiomon potelamo speraze! Abbamo visto fantassimi tipi dianidau: zebre, elefanti, antilopi, scimmie in un ambiente mozzafiato ricorddezemo la gentilezza e la cura inogni cosa di ognuno di voi!”


A game drive ‘selfie’ sent in from our latest guests:

Game drive selfie😎 #nanzhilaplains #selfie #kafue #hiddengemsofzambia #africasafari #travelafrica #travelzambia #safari

A post shared by Nanzhila Plains (@nanzhilaplains) on

[biginfobox color=”#588c7e” textcolor=”#ffffff” title=”High Season is under way in the Southern Kafue! ” href=”” button_title=”BOOK NOW”]Bring your family or friends and come experience the Kafue at its best![/biginfobox]

May 2017 – Nanzhila opens to wet roads and wildlife

Our first blog of 2017 and Nanzhila opened in early May this year to some very wet and muddy roads after above average rains. During this time, it becomes really important to find out the correct routes to drive before you travel as the Southern Kafue is so vast, you can easily take the wrong road and find yourself stuck in the mud for lengthy spells as happened to 2 of our clients in May. Fortunately, the benefit of being an intimate, owner-run camp means that when something goes awry, Steve and Cindy will be on their way to help and find you and have you back in the beauty of Nanzhila in no time. One of our guests had these kind words for us:

“Magical place, what an experience. Living completely outside everything. Steve, Cindy and staff great hosts, thank you.”

From a wildlife point of view, we actually have had a very good start considering May is one of the more difficult months for game viewing. We have witnessed 2 kills – both more unusual…the wild dogs that moved into the Nanzhila area last year have stayed and clients witnessed them on a kill and we also saw an unfortunate frog fall prey to a beautiful vine snake!

A new young but large male lion has been hanging around Nanzhila and his roars were heard frequently until eventually we got this sighting of him below. Although Steve has seen leopard a few times, we haven’t got a shot of one yet and we have also had about half a dozen sightings of cheetah this year. Jackal and serval make up some of the smaller predators to be spotted already.

Although there is still a lot of water, we are seeing more and more plains game – especially for May and Steve also captured this image (below) of these very big crocs on the Kasha river.

With our “High Season” beginning on the 1st of July and Nanzhila enjoying a very busy 2017 season at the lodge, we are looking forward to seeing what the rest of the season holds in store for us and close the May Blog with another kind piece of writing from our Guest Book:

What a unique stay, and thanks to our wonderful hosts and team for making it so wonderful.”

 A room with a view!

A elephant’s visit to one of our chalets was caught on camera last month.. Click to view the video in full!


Nanzhila is the closest true safari destination in Zambia to the Victoria Falls and enjoys nearly 3000 sqkm of the Kafue National Park to itself. An incredible variety of wildlife and birding species, as well as a magnificent location overlooking the dambo, make Nanzhila one of the most memorable safari camps in Zambia.


Reservations & Enquiries
Erroleen Williams
Cell: 0027 82772 0804 (7:00 – 19:00)



Emergency Contact

WhatsApp Only
Steve and Cindy Smith
Cell:+260 963 006 202

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