Open Africa offers self-drive travel routes that are decidedly off-the-beaten-track. This is about as far as you can get from the usual holiday package deal. It is a social enterprise under the patronage of Nelson Mandela, and it has a vision to help sustain livelihoods across rural Africa. It works with communities to establish its travel routes in a network supported by local enterprises. Find out more details of routes and accommodation options and book your authentic Zambian experience using the Open Africa website.
Each route provides a responsible tourism travel opportunity. Open Africa does not offer tours, but many route participants do. You select what interests you on a given route and you make your own itinerary. Then you make reservations directly with the operators on that route via the Open Africa website.
Six routes offered throughout Zambia
Comprehensive details on the Open Africa travel portal
Responsible tourism in remote parts of Africa
Open Africa works with communities to establish off-the-beaten-track, self-drive travel routes supported by local enterprises. Thus it links and protects the splendours and knowledge of rural Africa. Open Africa routes are presented on its comprehensive travel portal www.openafrica.org, as well as through other initiatives, to connect communities to potential travellers.
Since starting in 1995, 63 routes in six countries have been established. This equates to 2,400 participant businesses sustaining over 27,000 jobs. Every job potentially influences a further seven family members. For every job created in tourism there is scope for at least 12 more jobs in the feedback chain.
Open Africa currently offer six routes within Zambia:
Livingstone: This gateway to Zambia is a historic colonial town, rapidly becoming known as the 'adventure center of Southern Africa'. Livingstone offers various adrenalin sports, such as white water rafting through the rapids of the Batoka Gorge and bungee jumping off the railway bridge. There is the unmatched Victoria Falls scenery of breathtaking proportions and many other leisure options for outdoor lovers, as well as interesting cultural excursions such as a visit to Mukuni Village.
Munjili Wilderness Experience: This is 'home of the Muchinga walking safari' and is situated in northern Zambia. It includes Mpika town, the Mutinondo Wilderness Area and Shiwa Ng'andu. The route further extends to cover the major Mpika area from Kapishya Hot Springs in the north to the Nachikufu Caves near Lavushi Manda in the South.
North Barotse Trail: This boasts the remote Liuwa Plains National Park and significant cultural, water and wildlife resources. The route stretches from Senanga to the south through to Mongu and Kalabo town to the North West.
Nsobe Sitatunga Experience: This covers an impressive list of national parks including Kasanka, Lavushi-Manda, Isangano and Mweru-Wantipa. Visitors to the Nsobe Sitatunga Experience are guaranteed an exceptional 4×4 adventure, cultural tours to Chief Chitambo's Palace and Nakapalayo Cultural Village, birding and game viewing as well as a visit to the Livingstone Memorial.
South Barotse Trails: This roughly follows the Zambezi River in south-western Zambia, calling in on the villages and experiencing the charm of the gentle and friendly people of Zambia. It is split into two sub-routes, the Lusu to Ngonye Falls, and Mwandi to Katima Mulilo.
Untamed Kafue: This tourism route in the Kafue National Park is a destination characterised by remoteness, exclusiveness, and peacefulness, with a plethora of wildlife viewing opportunities.
Open Africa routes are marketed through their website which connects communities with travellers. Since 1995, 63 routes have been established in 6 countries, positively impacting 2,400 participant businesses and over 27,000 livelihoods. Every cent is ploughed back into the activities it undertakes to benefit marginalised and rural communities in Africa.
Communities value their nature and cultural resources
A route can be any length, covering varied attractions
Establishing a route takes time and resources
A route is a destination-level partnership clustering travel services such as accommodation providers, tour operators, transport operators, local artisans, guides, food suppliers, other tourism entrepreneurs and local Government. In promoting travel to their area it brings people together from all levels of the community.
Some routes are opened up with finance from government or aid agencies, others through sponsors and benefactors, or a combination of these. Join Open Africa's life enriching journey by partnering with them. If you are inspired by what you see or experience, contact them to discuss how you might get involved.
Ways you can support Open Africa in Zambia
Contribute your expertise to the Open Africa network