Kafue National Park

Ila Safari Lodge


A green pioneer

Kafue National Park, the largest and oldest park in Zambia, is one of the last great expanses of remote and unspoiled wilderness in Africa. Amid this on the edge of the Kafue River, Ila is a pioneering ecolodge that’s fully off grid with electric game drive vehicles and a solar-powered boat.

Raised wooden walkways lead to ten breezy tents with sweeping views. Sat on decks, choose between an outdoor shower or bathtub, while families can stay in one of the two four-bed family tents.

An open-sided, thatched boma on the riverbank is the heart of the lodge, with a restaurant, lounge, fire-pit and infinity pool overlooking the water.


At a glance

  • 10 tents

  • Infinity pool

  • Dining area and bar

  • Solar powered

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    Electric game drives

    Blend into the quiet of nature in a near silent electric Land Cruiser, which allows you to experience all the sights and sounds of the bush in near silence. Kafue's diversity of natural habitats house an incredible variety and density of big game and bird life and it is a particularly good area for lions and African wild dogs.

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    Cruise quietly along the Kafue River in our solar-powered e-Boat and watch as birds dive for fish, crocodiles bask and elephants splash in the shallows. A sunset cruise is a must.

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    Walking safaris

    Slow down to nature’s pace as your knowledgeable guide and armed scout leads you on a bush walk that immerses you in the beautiful and biodiverse landscapes of Kafue.

Community & Culture

Green Safaris was born out of a deep connection with Africa’s untouched wild spaces and the wildlife and communities that call them home. A stay here contributes to Green Safaris' Conservation Foundation which supports a number of conservation, community, and environmental initiatives in the Kafue region.

Empowering local people through community development is a strong element that runs through Green Safaris’ lodges and camps. In collaboration with the Zambian NGO By Life Connected, the foundation is implementing several projects in the closest community, such as building secondary school infrastructure in a sustainable way, installing a solar plant to power computer lessons and setting up a community farm.


The foundation actively supports the Zambian Carnivore Project and Panthera, two organisations playing a vital role within the Kafue National Park that are dedicated to conserving large carnivores through a combination of research, active initiatives, education, and capacity-building. For example, the Green Safaris team supported the anti-snaring work of ZCP by upgrading and replacing equipment and supplies. And Panthera operates an anti-poaching unit in the Busanga Plains which is part funded by the foundation who have also contributed to the Panthera-managed radio network which is used all over the park for anti-poaching efforts.


Green Safaris’ sustainability ethos began with Ila Safari Lodge. Ila’s Dutch Founder, Vincent Kouwenhoven, brought together a group of like-minded individuals, local communities and conservation-driven stakeholders to develop Zambia’s first premier eco-luxury property, trailblazing eco-technology in a park that has long been regarded as the jewel of Zambia.

Ila was opened in July 2016 and was purpose-built 'green'. The lodge is off-grid with a huge solar bank providing the vast majority of power. Hot water is generated by solar water heaters and black water is reticulated through a central system. The main boma is made from materials sourced locally and sustainably, with the walls built using sandbag technology that only requires a small percentage of cement.

Ila developed and operated one of the very first electric game drive vehicle in Africa, which was then followed by several eCruisers and an e-Boat.

What makes us different

Why Niarra

Niarra Travel is a forward-thinking travel company headquartered in London born out of a passion to do things differently.

In Swahili, a Bantu language spoken by millions in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, the name Niara means "with utmost purpose" and our team are united by a passion for exploration and a belief that the right kind of travel can make the world a better place.

Our Travel Researchers are here to create incredible trips with a positive impact for you.

  • Unforgettable experiences

    Creating your trip is entirely collaborative and our Travel Researchers are here for every step.

  • Positive impact

    Curated sustainable experiences and accommodation that maximize the benefits to local people and place.

  • Fairness and transparency

    An open, competitive pricing structure that ensures more money goes to where it's needed in the destination.

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