A guide to Zambia

| June 11, 2020

A guide to Zambia

Zambia’s main national parks are the South and North Luangwa, the Lower Zambezi and Kafue. The magnificent Victoria Falls can also be viewed from Zambia and make an excellent addition to a few days on safari.

South Luangwa National Park

The lush Luangwa valley teems with wildlife. Hippos are easily spotted here, lounging in the river and lagoons, while Thornicroft’s giraffes are unique to the Luangwa valley. The park is also home to 14 types of antelope, including majestic kudus, ensuring a photographic opportunity is never far away. Regular predator sightings include lions, leopards and wild dogs (especially in February), while more than 400 different bird species can be found.

North Luangwa National Park

The North Luangwa is an untapped resource in Zambia’s collection of parks.

The Mwaleshi river, a tributary of the Luangwa river, is the main honeypot and draws the rare Cookson’s wildebeest, elands and particularly confident lion prides. Due to the lack of roads, wildlife viewing is primarily on foot.

Lower Zambezi National Park

The Zambezi river flows through a huge rift in the Earth’s crust, over Victoria Falls, into Lake Kariba and eastwards into the Lower Zambezi valley. The river is flanked by two national parks; Mana Pools on the Zimbabwean side and the Lower Zambezi National Park on the Zambian side. The most notable aspect to this safari area is the wide range of activities on offer, including day and night 4x4 safari drives, walking, canoeing and motorboat safaris. This area supports a wide variety of antelopes, hippos, crocodiles, large lion prides, wild dogs, leopards and huge elephant herds.

Kafue National Park

An enormous area of floodplain and forest, intersected by numerous rivers, Kafue is Zambia’s largest national park. The vast Busanga plains provide very good wildlife viewing, especially during the dry season (July to October). Red lechwe, pukus, kudus, wildebeest, elands and oribi make up a prolific group of antelopes that attract predators. Lion and buffalo densities are high, with species like cheetahs, leopards and wild dogs utilising those areas where lions are not present.

Victoria Falls and Livingstone

On the Zambian side of the river is the historic town of Livingstone, named after the famous Victorian missionary explorer of the same name. A former capital of Zambia, Livingstone has the country’s oldest museum and access to exceptional views of Victoria Falls. One of the best places to witness this immense mass of water is tiny Livingstone Island, the place where Livingstone first glimpsed Mosi-oa-Tunya (‘The Smoke That Thunders’), now a world heritage site. Also on the Zambian side of the falls is the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park where it is possible to track white rhinos.

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