Lusaka is in the south-central region and is the capital city of Zambia. While English is the official language, Nyanja is spoken widely by locals. Livingstone is the Zambian gateway to the magnificent Victoria Falls also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya or ‘the smoke that thunders’. Victoria Falls is famous for being the largest waterfall in the world. Near Livingstone there are several museums and local craft markets to visit. Or rather spend your day enjoying adventurous activities including white water rafting, canoeing and bungee jumping.
South Luangwa National Park offers you an exclusive wildlife experience. This national park has a healthy leopard population along with a variety of game concentrated on the banks of the Luangwa River. This region of Zambia is the ideal Africa safari tour as it offers a rustic wilderness vacation.
Kafue National Park is in the west of Zambia and has the most diverse animal wildlife. The Zambian flooded grasslands eco-region supports large herds of herbivores which stay close to the swamps and marsh regions in the dry months of June to October.
Certainly one of Africa’s best parks for wildlife viewing. South Luangwa has animals in abundance within jaw-dropping landscapes of wide floodplains and groves of trees. Expect to see vast herds of buffalo, elephant, zebra, giraffe, lions and wild dogs. In addition spot leopards which are normally hard to see in other parks however they are frequently spotted here at night.
As the world’s largest waterfall, Victoria Falls is one of Africa’s greatest natural spectacles. Victoria Falls will quite literally take your breath away. It’s likely that you will get slightly wet from the spray as you stand at viewpoints along the cliff edge. Experience the powerful roar of the water thundering down the Zambezi gorge sending up a mist that can be seen more than 50 kilometers away.
Set on the Zambezi River near to Victoria Falls, Livingstone is known as Africa’s adrenaline capital. Endless heart pumping activities on offer to excite even the most fearless adventure seekers. Either take your pick of bungee jumping off a bridge over the river or white water rafting on the Zambezi. Those without a fear of heights will relish in a microlight flight over the falls or abseiling down a cliff. Finish your adventure off by swinging across a deep gorge or taking part in a wildlife safari on horseback.
Kafue National Park is the second largest park in the world although it has few visitors leaving you with pristine wilderness practically all to yourself. It’s spectacular landscape ranges from open grasslands to dense woodlands and massive granite hills. The wildlife density is lower than in Zambia’s other parks however if you’re patient you will be rewarded. Sightings of 20 different antelope as well as lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dog.
Walking safaris were pioneered in Zambia and it remains the best place to explore the bush on foot. A safari on foot is a totally different experience to driving through the bush. It offers you the chance to be completely immersed yourself in the natural environment while you notice smells, sounds and smaller animals usually missed when driving.
Your guide will show you how to track animals on foot and with their direction you might have the thrill of being close to lions, elephant or giraffe. The best reserve for a walking safari in Zambia is South Luangwa National Park as it has a number of specialist walking camps. However walking safaris are also offered in the Lower Zambezi National Park and Kafue National Park.
A canoeing safari along the Zambezi River is one of the best ways to appreciate Zambia’s magnificent wildlife and scenery. Trips range from a few hours to a week-long paddling excursion down the river. With Zambia on the one side of the river and Zimbabwe on the other. The highlight is the chance to get close to pods of hippos and crocodiles. Herds of elephants come down to the banks for a swim along with thirsty buffalo and lion. The trip will also allow you to see hundreds of species of birds while you spend your nights camping in the wild under a blanket of stars.
The World Heritage Site of the Lower Zambezi National Park has so much to offer in terms of a great African safari adventure. As it is relatively under-developed, it also offers an authentic wildlife experience as you get relatively close to the animals.
In November each year, tens of thousands of wildebeest, zebra and red lechwe move between the remote Liuwa Plain National Park. It’s the second biggest wildebeest migration in Africa after the Serengeti and the Masai Mara offering an incredible wildlife experience without the crowds. The area is perfect for photographic safaris with an array of wildlife such as spotted hyena, wild dog and cheetah.
The Zambezi River offers some of the best white water rafting on the continent. Nearly half the rapids on the Zambezi have been categorized as Grade Five which is about as challenging as you can get! Be prepared for a wild and somewhat wet ride as you navigate the churning rapids on this fast-paced adventure.
While on your Zambia tour take a cruise around the largest man-made lake in the world, Lake Kariba. Here you can call a houseboat home for a few days and experience water-based game viewing at a your leisure. Relax on the deck with a book as you spot hippos, crocodiles and elephants, buffalo, water-buck and lion on the shore. Alternatively head out on a tender boat and try your luck with some fishing.
While not as famous as the wildebeest migration which takes place annually in Kenya and Tanzania, Zambia’s bat migration is still a wondrous sight. At the end of every year, 10 million fruit bats migrate to Kasanka National Park from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. Observe as they eat their way through the fruits of the forest which proves to be quite a spectacle and certainly an unusual safari experience.
Zambia is one of Africa’s best safari destinations due to a wealth of national parks and reserves packed with wildlife while free of the safari traffic jams common in southern and east African reserves.
South Luangwa National Park is Zambia’s flagship park, and a perfect place for your first Safari. Its dense concentrations of wildlife such as elephant and buffalo herds along with leopard and lion sightings make for a memorable visit. The incredibly beautiful landscape of woodland, grassland savannah and riverine forest lend itself to walking safaris allowing you to explore the bush on foot.
With over 22 000 square kilometers, Kafue National Park is the largest park in Zambia and the second largest in the world. Often overlooked by visitors due to being remote, it remains raw and rather breathtaking. The park is known for its leopard sightings and a huge diversity of antelope species, including the rare roan antelope along with herds of red lechwe.
The Lower Zambezi National Park sits alongside the Zambezi River. While home to abundant game such as elephants, buffalo, leopard and lion the greatest highlight is going on a canoe safari down the river.
Zambia also offers rare species and migrations to entice seasoned safari goers. The migration of fruit bats in November and December from the Congo to Zambia’s Kasanka National Park provides an unusual spectacle. Also in this park you might be lucky enough to sight the elusive semi-aquatic sitatunga antelope.
In addition the remote and undeveloped Liuwa Plain National Park is home to the second largest wildebeest migration in Africa with thousands of antelope gathering on the vast plains every November. While in the north east of the country, the community-owned Bangweulu wetlands are where you’ll find the world’s only population of black lechwe antelope.
Zambia has a tropical climate with a large amount of rainfall. While the dry season is from May to October. April and May are generally the least rainy months however the areas are still lush and green. Nights are however sometimes cold so pack sensibly.
From June to August the rain is minimal and the days are clear and warm. In September and October the temperature is much hotter especially in the Lower Zambezi, Mana Pools and Luangwa regions. This is however great for game viewing because the animals congregate around the waterholes.
The rainy season is from November to April with heavy rains affecting tourism resulting in many parks closing over this period. It is however hot during this time. The north experiences earlier rain and the east receives more rain than the western and lowland areas.
The main airport in Zambia is Kenneth Kaunda International Airport about 14km from Lusaka. Once you are in Lusaka you can fly or drive to the various national parks. To reach the popular South Luangwa National Park you can fly to Mfuwe International Airport which is just outside the park. Alternatively if heading for Victoria Falls you will should fly to Livingstone Airport. Airport transfers will then take you to the Falls.