Zambia

Zambia is a vast country, friendly and peaceful, that offers superb wildlife and cultural encounters. Landlocked in Southern Africa, Zambia is one of the least traveled and most rewarding wilderness destinations in Africa. Zambia is situated mainly on a vast plateau, and has three of Africa's largest rivers - the Zambezi, Kafue and Luangwa - as well as one of the largest waterfalls in the world, Victoria Falls, which it shares with neighboring Zimbabwe

HIGHLIGHTS

Liuwa Plain National Park

The vast and remote Liuwa Plain National Park is one of Africa's last untouched wilderness areas situated on the upper Zambezi floodplains of western Zambia and is bounded by the Luambimba and Luanginga Rivers.

In addition to its famed lions, Liuwa is home to the second biggest wildebeest migration in Africa. Every year tens of thousands of blue wildebeest graze their way north (starting early July) and then when the rains build up in late October they head southwards again following the numerous pans and nutritious forage they offer. The Park hosts a burgeoning cheetah population, the apex predator, hyena, in clans of up to 50 individuals, abundant zebra, red lechwe and tessebe herds and more than 300 bird species including rare and endangered wattled cranes.

The landscape holds a special magic, with dramatic thunderstorms gathering on the horizon to build up to an awe-inspiring spectacle (Oct/Nov) and the stark contrast of green and gold grasslands against the dark and ominous blue of a rising storm.


 

Lower Zambezi National Park

The Lower Zambezi National Park is nestled between an impressive mountain escarpment to the north and the mighty Zambezi River to the south. The escarpment acts as a barrier for the game, keeping it on the plains and in the rich woodland on the bank of the river. The Park is over 4,000 square kms in size and occupies 120 kms of river frontage.

The Lower Zambezi is a haven for wildlife and bird lovers. Elephant, hippo and antelope are abundant and the Park boasts a healthy lion and leopard population with sightings of hyena and wild dog common. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of game viewing in the Lower Zambezi is the sheer variety of activities on offer. In addition to the traditional game drives and walking safaris, the Zambezi River allows for a variety of additional river based activities and experiences that few, if any, other destinations can offer.

There are relatively few camps in and around the Park. With the absence of mass tourism the park remains a pristine wilderness, free from overcrowding. Game viewing in the Lower Zambezi is primarily done in the dry season between the months of April - November.

South Luangwa National Park

 

Zambia's premier National Park - the South Luangwa, is one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world. Covering 9,050 km2 (3,500 square miles) the Park is unfenced and bordered to the west by a steep escarpment and to the east by the Luangwa River. The Luangwa Valley lies at the tail end of the Great African Rift Valley system, which extends 4,000 km all the way from the Red Sea down to the Pungwe River mouth in Mozambique.

Concentrations of game along the meandering Luangwa River and its lagoons are amongst the most intense in Africa. The river teems with hippo and crocodile and provides a lifeline for one of the greatest diversities of habitat and wildlife, supporting more than 60 species of mammals and over 400 species of birds.

One exciting success story of recent years is the resurgence of the African Wild Dog population. Over the past decade numbers have strengthened considerably and today, although far from guaranteed, sightings of wild dog are common.

 

Victoria Falls

While Lusaka is the country's capital, Livingstone, just 6 miles from the Falls, is better known to travelers as the 'adventure capital' offering adrenalin-packed activities on and around the Falls and the Zambezi River. For those less adventurous, taking in the Falls and visiting a local town can be a great way to fill a day.

HOW
WHEN
WHAT
WHO
Zambia is easily reached with flights from Johannesburg. There are also flights from other Southern African countries and a couple from Europe.

Victoria Falls
There are a number of ways to visit the Falls. Many travelers combine a safari in Botswana, a safari in South Africa, or a safari in Zimbabwe or Zambia with a trip to Victoria Falls. There are daily flights to Victoria Falls from South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Kafue National Park
Kafue National Park combines very well with Victoria Falls as they are an easy flight apart from each other. A trip involving Victoria Falls and Kafue National Park makes for an excellent trip. Travelers can also combine with a safari in Botswana.

South Luangwa
South Luangwa is an important element of a Zambian safari offering an entirely different experience to Kafue and Victoria Falls and good viewing of some species not easily seen elsewhere. It can easily be combined with a trip to Lake Malawi in Malawi, providing a more extensive experience of the Great Rift Valley. There are regular flights from Victoria Falls and from Malawi to the South Luangwa region.
Weather in Zambia is similar to Botswana and has three distinct seasons.

December to April
Warm and wet. The landscape turns green and is very pretty. Viewing birds and animals is very good.

May to August
Cool and dry. The landscape begins to turn from green towards more brown. Game viewing is excellent.

September to November
Hot and dry. The landscape turns more of a brown color. As the lush green is disappearing, viewing animals is sometimes easier.
Victoria Falls activities and excursions include:
Flight over the Falls by helicopter or micro light
Livingstone Island Lunch
Jet Boating or bungee jumping
Sunset cruise on the Zambezi River
Visit to an African village or a local market tour
Elephant Back rides or white water rafting on the Zambezi
Private Guided Tour of Victoria Falls

Kafue National Park
Birdlife is abundant and includes many species that do not occur elsewhere in Southern Africa. Zambia's single endemic species, Chaplin's Barbet, does occur, but the thrill is to be found in the diversity and abundance of nearly 500 recorded species and good concentrations of Wattled crane (Zambia contains more than half the world's population). With more than 150 species recorded, mammals are equally diverse, with regular sightings of lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and cheetah, hippo and good numbers of plains game such as zebra and wildebeest. A number of other species not readily encountered further south are often seen, such as puku, Defassa waterbuck and Lichtenstein's hartebeest, oribi and roan.

South Luangwa National Park
Over 400 species of birds have been recorded in the park including local specials such as Lillian's Lovebird, Racket-tailed Roller and Broad-tailed Paradise Whydah. 60 large mammal species are found in the Park, including herds of elephant and buffalo, puku, impala, waterbuck, warthog and kudu. The Park is home to some 14 species of antelope and to subspecies of wildebeest (Cookson's) and giraffe (Thornicroft's) that occur nowhere else on Earth. Lion viewing is excellent with prides utilizing the lagoons and pools as ambush points for hunting while leopard densities are one of the highest in Africa. It is here that walking safaris were pioneered in the 1950's and every year intrepid safari goers experience the thrill and remoteness of the Luangwa on foot.
Zambia appeals to travelers that enjoy remote destinations. It’s a little harder to get to, and it’s a little more work getting around when in Zambia, but the experience on game drives is excellent. Lodges and camps are very nice and the extra work means lower prices than you’ll see in other areas. Zambia also appeals to travelers who want to spend part of their time on a walking safari instead of being in a 4x4 as some of the best walking safaris are in Zambia.

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