The sheer size and remoteness of Zambia’s vast network of national parks mean no safari jeep traffic jams, very personal service and an opportunity to meet massive mammals eye-to-eye. And despite its buzzing and rapidly modernising centre, history and traditions remain very much alive.

Get up close and personal with sunbathing crocs, thirsty elephants and hippo pods on a leisurely paddle along the lower Zambezi River. With Zimbabwe’s sandy shores on one side, a 1 200m-high escarpment creating a rift valley on the other, and a continually shifting landscape of midstream islands, there’s hardly an un-picturesque direction to turn.

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