The Best Boutique Hotels in Zambia

Time + Tide King Lewanika promises a unique stay
Time + Tide King Lewanika promises a unique stay | Courtesy of Time + Tide King Lewanika / Expedia

Whether you visit Zambia for work or a vacation, you’ll need a place to lay your head. Zambia has plenty of offerings such as international hotels, bed and breakfasts – known as lodges – and luxury and budget camps in the national parks. Our tip is to try a boutique hotel where you’ll get more personalised attention and service. Here are our picks of the best boutique hotels in Zambia.

1. Latitude 15

Bar, Boutique Hotel Restaurant, Cocktail Bar, Contemporary, Vegan, European

L-shaped swimming pool outside Latitude 15 with large open doors, monochrome tiles and designer furniture
Courtesy of Latitude 15 / Expedia

Located in the tree-filled suburbs of Kabulonga, Latitude 15 boutique hotel in Zambia is one of the best places to chat with friends over drinks in the lobby, which has a gallery feel with beautiful artwork placed around. For a more relaxed feel, sit by the swimming pool or head to ‘The Other Side’ on the same property which has a private members-only restaurant/bar with weekly live music performances.

2. Royal Chundu Island Lodge

Boutique Hotel, Lodge, Villa

Four poster bed in room with princess netting and arm chairs looking out to deck and river at Royal Chundu Island Lodge
Courtesy of Royal Chundu Island Lodge

Royal Chundu Island Lodge lies on the banks of the Zambezi River on Katombara Island in Livingstone. Each of the four villas has private docks and open-air river-front bathtubs for the perfect view. The rooms are in earthy and blue tones. There is free wifi as well as the Chundu’s Children’s Club which runs activities for children such as birding and frog safaris. There is also an infinity pool to cool off in after a day filled with activities that the lodge organizes — such as trips to the nearby Victoria Falls, cruises and more. If you’d rather spend your time relaxing, there’s a spa on the facility as well.

3. Lilayi Lodge

Boutique Hotel, Lodge

Large circular swimming pool outside the huts at Lilayi Lodge
Courtesy of Lilayi Lodge / Expedia

Guests who stay at Lilayi Lodge can expect to see wildlife such as bushbuck and zebra right outside their windows or on a game drive or horseback safari within the estate. The lodge has 12 individual thatch roof chalets (two are family rooms) with a shower and bathtub as well as an outdoor veranda. Guests can visit the Elephant Orphanage on the property daily from 11: 30 am to 1 pm. There is also a pool and a library available to guests. All meals and drinks (with the exception of alcohol) are included in the room cost.

5. Chongwe River House

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Lodge

The Chongwe River House is a uniquely designed four-bedroom private house located in the Lower Zambezi national park on the banks of the Chongwe River. The house comes with a private chef, a house manager and a safari guide who on request can take guests on a walking or canoe safari. The river house is clearly inspired by the environment, with pebbles from the river incorporated into the ceiling and a massive thorn tree, the branches of which make up part of the structure. Rooms are spread across two floors, with the main room boasting views of the river and mountains in the distance. Guests can fly in via a landing strip located 15 minutes away from the property.

6. Shiwa Ng'andu Manor House

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Lodge

Red brick exterior to Shiwa Ngandu Manor House with archways and arched windows and a woodland behind
Courtesy of Shiwa Ng'andu Manor House

Shiwa Ng’andu is an English-style colonial-era house built in 1911 by Sir Stewart Gore-Browne in Muchinga province. The house overlooks a lake of the same name where guests can enjoy sundowners, boating or fishing. The Shiwa manor house has four ensuite bedrooms decorated with original items from Sir Gore-Browne. Meals are prepared by the owners, Charlie and Jo Harvey who possess great knowledge about the history of the house. Guests also have full access to the library which has letters Gore-Browne wrote over the course of his residence at Shiwa. Other activities that can be enjoyed include hiking to the Nachipala Bareback hill and soaking in the Kapishya hot springs, which are eleven miles from the house.

7. Tongabezi Lodge

Boutique Hotel, Lodge, Treehouse

Double bedroom at Tongabezi Lodge with a four-poster bed and princess netting, a cream sofa and large doors leading out to river-view balcony
Courtesy of Tongabezi Lodge / Expedia

Located on the banks of the Zambezi River that feeds into the Victoria Falls, Tongabezi has five houses and four river cottages that are individually styled. Guests can choose from The Bird House, The Nut House, The Honey Moon House, The Garden House, The Dog House and The Tree House. The river cottages feature high ceilings, large glass doors and pinewood decks. They are perfect for couples or groups booked together, while The Dog House is more suited to families. All-inclusive activities include a trip to the Victoria Falls, fishing, game drives, a trip to the Livingstone Museum, floating dinners on the Zambezi and more.

8. Time + Tide King Lewanika

Eco Hotel, Villa

Tent-like double bedroom at Time + Tide King Lewanika with views over grassland
Courtesy of Time + Tide King Lewanika

King Lewanika Lodge in Zambia was opened in May 2017 as the only permanent camp in Liuwa Plain National Park, the site of the second-largest wildebeest migration in Africa. It has six villas, including a two-bedroomed family villa which were constructed with steel, canvas and thatch. Activities include day and night game drives, boating, walking safaris and guided nature walks. The villas are raised to allow guests to take in views of the expansive flood plains. In April, guests can catch a sighting of the Kuamboka ceremony of the Lozi people. King Lewanika is open from October to July.

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