South Luangwa is the best park in Zambia and one of the most majestic in Africa and boasts impressive populations of game and birds. Zambia has the largest water resources in Southern Africa with 5 massive lakes and 17 magnificent waterfalls (apart from Victoria Falls).
There are more than 70 ethnic groups, and most of them live in Lusaka, the capital, or in the cities of the Copperbelt — the two largest, Ndola and Kitwe.
Zambia has a population of 11 million people with the official languages being English and Bemba. The average temperature ranges from 20-32 degrees Celcius all year round. Zambia’s main attraction is the Victoria Falls (Mosi-oa-Tunya) ‘The smoke that thunders’.
Why go to Zambia?
* The ever popular, ever beautiful Victoria Falls
* The World Heritage National Monument
* Adrenalin activities: white water river rafting, bungee jumping, horse riding, lion encounters etc.
* See the mighty Zambezi’s massive whirlpool called ‘the boiling pot’
* The Munda Wanga Environment Park where animals are rehabilitated back into the wild
* Botanical gardens with over 500 plant species where you can enjoy picnics
* The Moto Moto Museum exhibiting the life and history of the Bemba folk
* South Luangwa National Park – the best park in Zambia filled with wildlife for a perfect African safari
* Kafue National Park the second largest park in the world – untouched with raw beauty and animals
* Sore through the skies on a microlight over the falls
Weather in Zambia
Due to the fact that it is a tropical climate, large amounts of rain fall here. The dry season is from May to October, and the wet season is from November to April. The heavy rains can affect tourism in the industry and many parks close down. Below is an idea of when the best time to visit Zambia is.
Best time to visit Zambia
This depends on what you would like to see, so differs from one traveller to the next. Weather patterns have also changed over the years, so one cannot really predict it.
The rains fall from December to March. The north experiences earlier rain and the east receives more rain than the western and lowland areas. This is generally when the camps close because the unsurfaced roads become impassable.
April and May are generally drier, but due to the rain it has experienced, the areas are lush and green. At night it gets cold, especially in the south.
From June to August the rain tapers and the days are clear and warm. Your winter woolies and thermals are needed here for the very cold nights though.
September and October brings relief from the wet conditions and the Lower Zambezi, Mana Pools and Luangwa get soaring temperatures. This is great for game viewing because the animals congregate around the waterholes.
November brings variable weather where it can be hot and dry, but also have much rain. So if you want to see a variation of the climate changes – this is a good time to go!
How to get to Zambia
The main airport in Zambia is Kenneth Kaunda International Airport about 14km from Lusaka. Once you are in Lusaka you can take flights or drive to the various reserves. To reach the popular South Luangwa National Park you could fly to Mfuwe International Airport which will take you just outside the park. If you are heading for Victoria Falls you will probably fly to Livingstone Airport. An airport transfer will be arranged from there.
Facts on Zambia
Zambia has a population of 11 million people with the official languages being English and Bemba
Full name: Republic of Zambia
Capital city: Lusaka
Area: 752,600 sq km; 290,579 sq miles
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +2 ()
Languages: English (official); Bemba (other)
Religion: Christian (50-75%), indigenous beliefs (50-75%)
Electricity: 230V 50HzHz
Electric Plug Details: British-style plug: 2 flat blades & 1 flat grounding blade; European plug with two circular metal pins;
South African/Indian-style plug with two circular metal pins above a large circular grounding pin
Country Dialling Code: 260
Money matters: Currency: Zambia Kwacha (ZK)
Medical matters: Cholera, Malaria, Typhoid, Yellow fever, HIV/AIDS
Where to go in Zambia
The South Luangwa National Park
South Luangwa National Park is situated in the valley of the Luangwa River and is well-known for walking safaris. The river offers some of the wildest and most remote game areas on the continent. The Cookson’s wildebeest and the Crawshay’s Zebra are near-endemic to the valley.
Livingstone is the capital of Zambia and provides a base for tourists visiting Victoria Falls. It is named after David Livingstone, the British explorer, but is also sometimes referred to as Maramba. You can cross over to Victoria Falls via road or rail. The falls will be the highlight of your trip, not only for its astounding beauty and powerful sound of the thundering falls, but also for the adrenaline activities like white river rafting.
The Kafue National Park
Kafue National Park is mostly flat apart from a few granite hills and is covered with orange Kalahari sands combined with silt and clay which is relatively infertile. As a result there are savanna grasslands and Miombo trees that suit this kind of environment and create woodland areas. These woodlands provide food and cover for the African elephant, the African wild dog, the Sable antelope and the hartebeest.
The Lower Zambezi National Park
Seen as a World Heritage Site the Lower Zambezi National Park has so much to offer in terms of a great African safari adventure. Being relatively under-developed, it offers a true wildlife experience, and you can get quite close to game when you enter the Zambezi area.
The Livingstone Falls
One can get mixed up between Victoria Falls and Livingstone Falls, but the two are decidedly different. Livingstone is in the Republic of Congo and is made up of several large rapids on the Congo river. The river has a strong flow (second to the Amazon) due to the channel being fairly narrow with a large volume of water passing through. There are some fantastic water sports available such as whitewater rafting and exhilarating jet boat rides.