Owner run with conservation at our core, the pioneering origins of all of our camps started with a shared single vision, to protect the wild areas of Zambia. Classic Zambia is a new company, but only by name, not by experience. It is the ultimate outcome of the merging of Jeffery and McKeith Safaris, based in the Kafue National Park, Tusk and Mane Safaris, based in the Lower Zambezi and Reel Nature Ltd, film-making and mobile safaris in Liuwa Plains NP.
Here’s a handy illustration of the Classic Zambia family and foundation:
Why Classic Zambia?
Classic Zambia Safaris is one of the few remaining owner–run operations in Zambia, a country with one of the richest wildlife heritages on the African continent. Our camps are located in prime locations at the heart of two of the leading national parks in Zambia and are the perfect spots from which to explore and experience African wildlife at its very best. Our guides are some of the finest in Africa with years of experience not just in guiding, but also being involved in designing the new National Guide Training Program in Zambia. The team at Classic Zambia takes care of all the internal logistics needed for your itinerary from flights to lodge transfers. Last but not the least, conservation is at the heart of what we do, ensuring that both nature and local communities thrive together.
Our camps are situated in two of the most pristine wildlife parks in Zambia (plus mobile safaris in another great Zambian park – Liuwa Plains NP).
The Lower Zambezi National Park is simply stunning. The aesthetics are in part from the 120km of Zambezi River front, the concentration of game along the valley floor and the backdrop of the magnificent Zambezi Escarpment. The range of activities from your doorstep is another stand out feature of the Lower Zambezi and Kutali & Chula are located to make the most of this aspect and to compliment each other.
The Kafue is one of the largest tracts of unfenced wilderness in the world. From vast Plains, to never-ending Miombo woodland, from broad slow-moving rivers to adrenaline-packed white water rapids there is so much to see and explore. Our camps Museke Camp and Ntemwa -Busanga offer the very best Kafue safari experience.
Musekese Camp is perched on the edge of a spectacular lagoon hidden away from the outside world. The camp has made a name for itself with expert guiding, exceptional food and phenomenal wildlife viewing. Explore this game-rich area by vehicle, foot or boat along the emerald green Kafue River. All five rooms at Musekese Camp are spacious and comfortable with all the necessities. This includes en-suite flushing toilets and on-demand hot water showers. All our power requirements are drawn from a well configured solar set up and the main area has plenty of surplus power 24/7 to keep all your devices fully charged and drinks ice cold.
A three-hour game drive to the north-west of Musekese Camp lies Ntemwa-Busanga Camp. Consists of four classic thatched bush-camp in a wilderness area on the southern edge of Busanga Plains. This simple but charming camp is perfectly sited to make the most of the diverse Busanga Plains. Explore its multitude of habitats, from riverine thickets in the south, the tree-lined edges and the productive, flooded grasslands in the centre and the variety of wildlife that inhabit them.
Kutali Camp is located under a stunningly cool Winterthorn forest on the secluded Kulefu Island in the remote eastern sector of the park.With just 5 guest tents, catering for no more than 10 people in camp at once – each tent is carefully and expertly located for the best possible views across the Zambezi River Arguably the prettiest camp location in Zambia combines with a great variety of safari activities, all offered by some of the best guides in the region.
Chula Island Camp is a stunning tented camp with all the luxuries one could wish for, but with the charm and ethos of a true seasonal bush-camp. With just 5 guest tents, catering for no more than 10 people in camp at once – each tent is carefully and expertly located for the best possible views across the Zambezi River. The Chula tents are bespoke and very comfortable, with high quality linen and mattresses, alongside flushing toilets, running water taps and traditional bucket-showers.
One of the best aspects of our safaris is the variety of activities on offer; whether it’s a love of birds, water, big game or just wanting to feel a little closer to the bush, we’re here to help you plan your safari, make it your trip and your memories. With the most experienced guiding team in Zambia, all under the guidance of Africa-renowned guide trainer Kyle Branch, the guiding expertise and emphasis is something we are very proud of and one that adds a huge ‘x’ factor to make your safari especially memorable
Across all of our camps we have a road network designed to maximize game viewing opportunities for wildlife big and small. Zambia’s parks are blessed with low visitor numbers, as such we never have too many vehicles at sightings, and most times none at all. After stopping for ‘sundowners’ our spotters seek out nocturnal wildlife using a spotlight on night game drives. Nocturnal creatures such as genets, civets, hyena, owls, honey badger and even aardvark to name a few can be seen, with the perfect balance of luck and guiding skill.
This is a quintessentially Zambezian pursuit! A must-do activity for our guests staying at either Chula Island or Kutali. Low angle, silent drifting, tranquility are all words to describe a canoe safari – our expert guides offer a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. Canoe safaris are also a new addition to the activity offering at Musekese in the Kafue and only available in May and June (dependent on water levels seasonally in the Eden Lagoon).
Boating is arguably one of the finest ways in which to experience both the Kafue and the Zambezi Rivers. A boat safari never fails to impress, highlighting crystal-clear perennial waters drawing in boundless wildlife and a stunning array of birds. From Musekese Camp in the dry-season months a boat safari is a hugely rewarding game viewing experience, with swimming elephants and drinking leopards. On the Zambezi, the density of hippo and crocodiles with the background of the escarpment is genuinely spectacular.
Walking is best in the morning when temperatures are cool and tracks and signs are fresh. Walks are tailored to suit, but are typically a more gentle amble through the bush. This allows you to experience the smaller, more intricate things that might be missed from a vehicle. Our guides are highly trained and qualified with guest safety and enjoyment at the forefront of each walk.
A highly recommended experience whilst staying at Musekese Camp, is a visit to the ‘Musekese Conservation’ anti-poaching base-camp. Our guides will take conservation-interested guests to see a real life anti-poaching and conservation camp and get to learn from the officers and wildlife biologists what life is really like in the world of conservation and the specific successes and challenges faced by the team in the Kafue.
Birding is exceptional throughout both the Kafue and the Zambezi (and complimentary between the areas) – whether on a multi-hour birding walk in the bush, or on a short meander around the confines of the camps with your guide and/or host, you will be sure to see birds both numerous and rare, from African Finfoot to Zambian Barbet. Our guides are experts in this field and have the local knowledge to find even the rarest of birds and impart the birders’ passion to the non-birders!
The Zambezi is home to what is regarded as the finest fresh water angling fish out there, the Tigerfish! There is nothing quite like trying your luck and hooking the fish of a lifetime in the company of hippo and elephants.
Meet the Classic Zambia team
Tyrone & Phil
Tyrone and Phil first met while studying degrees at the Durrell Institute of Conservation Ecology in Kent, UK. During that time Phil and Tyrone hatched the idea of establishing an ethical safari business. Their goal would be to utilize expert local knowledge and provide employment to local people while adhering to strong ecological and conservationist values in the Kafue National Park – a place where both men had independently spent a lifetime exploring and working.
Phil is a Zambian and in fact spent some of his early years growing up in the Luangwa Valley with Luke! Phil is still an active guide, but also has his pilot licence and today combines these activities with an active role in the management of Musekese Conservation. Tyrone is from Windsor in the UK, but has spent over a decade in Zambia, guiding and managing. Today Tyrone and Luke head up the reservations and marketing of Classic Zambia.
Luke & Kyle
Luke and Kyle knew each other from a stint working for the same Zambian safari company, where Luke was the Op’s Manager for the entire operation and Kyle was the Head Guide – it was here that they became good friends and with a shared vision and trust in each other and what they could achieve they hatched the idea for what was to come…
Luke Evans was born in Monze, Zambia in 1982, the son of Mark and Virginia Evans, safari operators in the Kafue, South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi National Parks. Luke grew up a bush boy living in all three of these great National Parks. Educated in Kenya and Europe, he is trilingual speaking Chi Nyanja , English and German.
Kyle Branch hails from the farming town of Tzaneen, neighboring the Kruger National Park in South Africa. With a passion for wildlife and tourism Kyle joined &Beyond, one of Africa’s most elite Safari companies. He qualified with excellent grades and guided for five years in their luxury lodges across South Africa. In 2012, Kyle left for Zambia, where for the next 3 years he was a professional guide and manager at Sausage Tree Camp in the Lower Zambezi National Park. He was also highly involved in the mammoth task of designing the new National Guide Training Program in Zambia.
Duncan joins the Classic Zambia team as General Manager. Phil and Tyrone employed Duncan back in 2019 to run, improve and develop the increasingly busy ‘Reel Nature Ltd’. Reel Nature was founded by Tyrone and Phil to cater for the needs of wildlife and documentary film makers in Zambia, a ‘fixing’ company that began with hosting the BBC back in 2012. Duncan hails from South Africa with a university degree in Business Management and many years of experience in the farming and agricultural sector. Today Duncan and his wife-to-be Taylor are kept busy raising their son Angus!
Gilbert is one of the most senior guides in Zambia, qualified to the highest level in several of Zambia’s wildlife areas. Aside to his depth of knowledge he is an absolute gentleman with a subtle sense of humor that is impossible to not be infected by! Gilbert is one of the most senior guides in Zambia, qualified to the highest level in several of Zambia’s wildlife areas. Aside to his depth of knowledge he is an absolute gentleman with a subtle sense of humor that is impossible to not be infected by!
So nice they named him twice! Along with Ernest, Mubita has been with us since the very beginning. A general worker at Musekese Camp, not often seen, but often heard (laughing!), always working hard to feed his family.So nice they named him twice! Along with Ernest, Mubita has been with us since the very beginning. A general worker at Musekese Camp, not often seen, but often heard (laughing!), always working hard to feed his family.
Kapaipi is the main man in the kitchen. Small in stature but large in personality and experience; Kapaipi has always and continues to keep ourselves and our guests well fed in his role as Head Chef. Kapaipi is the main man in the kitchen. Small in stature but large in personality and experience; Kapaipi has always and continues to keep ourselves and our guests well fed in his role as Head Chef.
Community and Conservation
Conservation is at the heart of what we do, ensuring both nature and local communities thrive together.
Here are some of our projects and activities:
Musekese Conservation is our very own non-profit organization tackling the issues of wildlife conservation in the Kafue National Park. We provide holistic resources and solutions for various conservation projects working across the vast Musekese-Lumbeya area. Our primary focus is on law enforcement and ecological research, all initiatives that contribute to the preservation of wildlife and communities within and around the Park
We invest in training up those passionate about preserving the natural world to become ambassadors of Africa’s great national parks. One of our Director’s Kyle Branch is one of Africa’s leading professional guide trainers. A co-founder of the TEVETA national accreditation syllabus and examinations for Zambia’s professional guides, Kyle is passionate about training Zambian’s, including of course our very own stable of young, driven, wildlife enthusiastic trainees – many of whom you will meet on safari with us!
We are long-standing supporters of the work carried out by the highly efficient and effective conservation organisation Conservation Lower Zambezi or ‘CLZ’. Through both monetary and in-kind support we have and continue to work closely with CLZ and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) to further aid their efforts in conservation and law-enforcement of this wonderful wilderness area.
We feel strongly that being ecologically conscious is a fundamental part of being a safari operator in this day and age. Sustainability is a non-negotiable. All of our camps run exclusively on solar power (including water pumps), so no big diesel generators chugging away. We take time to sort our waste and dispose of selected products outside of the wildlife reserves, however before this step we actively procure our produce in a sustainably conscious way, home-grown vegetables, locally sourced meats – all minimizing the impacts of plastic waste and excess.
Local Skills Training
Poaching and other illegal activities often become attractive to the low-income communities in the nearest villages. By offering employment and the associated livelihoods training and skill development, local people are able to find work and prosper without resorting to illegal activity. We are very proud in promotion of young Zambian talent, and our promising junior staff are given opportunities to grow and develop in (and beyond/outside) of Classic Zambia.