Sungani Lodge

Surrounded by the wild, beauty of South Luangwa National Park, Sungani Lodge sits on the edge of a tree-lined lagoon that attracts a parade of animals and birdlife. This remote camp fetches guests from the international airport in their small plane for a direct, 20-minute flight that touches down on Sungani’s own airstrip.  

Family-owned, the camp is deeply rooted in its commitment to conservation and community. Previously considered a project “too remote and too challenging,” Sungani was brought to life with hard work and heart. Recruitment and training of Zambians into guiding, scouting, and tourism careers empowers local communities while deterring illegal poaching. Sungani is a remarkable, one-stop Luangwa camp that aligns with Extraordinary Journey’s own sustainable travel values, and we love sending clients there. 

Sungani Lodge has just seven custom-designed tents. (Four king rooms and three doubles; one is configured to accommodate two adults and two children.) Each dreamy canvas suite is set atop a cool, stamped concrete floor and dressed in creamy neutrals. They feature a private deck, plunge pool, and outdoor shower. Leather sofas, woven chairs, and a slipper bathtub with a lagoon view are invitations to sit and linger. Air conditioning is a luxurious touch in this remote of a location.  

Built atop elevated decks, guests can move about the camp unescorted. The main lodge has a generous lounge space with inviting sofas and armchairs, a cozy bar, and accents chairs are strewn about the terrace that melt into the lagoon view. Pool loungers call to bathers at midday; after dark, the fire pit is a convivial place to salute the stars. 

Dining at Sungani is “clean and simple,” letting locally sourced ingredients sing while showcasing African flavors. Watch South Luangwa rouse with a fresh ground coffee on the sun-dappled deck; afternoon tea is a tasty tribute to bygone days; and dinner served unhurried on the banks of the river  

Game drives leave in the early morning and late afternoon, setting out in custom-built vehicles outfitted with individual seats, footrests, and all manner of photography equipment and holders. Meandering through South Luangwa, you might see elephant, lion, leopard, giraffe, buffalo, warthog, hippo, crocodile, eland, kudu, and colorful carmine bee eaters.  

Of course, Zambia is home to the walking safari. Head off on foot to explore the banks of the meandering Luangwa River. Slowing down and absent the hum of an engine, safari’s smaller actors blink into focus. Photographers will adore the unparalleled beauty of the remote Lusangazi sector of park, where big game and incredible birdlife are the timeless subjects. Sungani’s head guide and talented resident photographer has even created a network of hides that gives you the opportunity to get eye-to-eye with a hippo.  

However, Sungani’s best-kept secret is green season. From mid-January to mid-March, grass grows thick and tall, and tree canopies fill out with leaves. With rising water levels, the lagoon connects to the Luangwa River, making it possible to explore flowing tributaries. Minimum booking requirements apply to visiting Sungani in secret season 

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