© Scott Ramsay
Home to spectacular wildlife, great adventures and the magnificent Victoria Falls, Zambia is one of the most rewarding wilderness destinations in Africa. It is a landlocked country, bordered by Angola, Botswana, the DRC, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and Tanzania. Unspoiled by mass tourism, Zambia is rich in wildlife, forests and meandering rivers. About 30 % of Zambia is reserved for wildlife and there are twenty national parks. South Luangwa, Kafue, and Lower Zambezi rank among the finest game parks in the world.
Livingstone and the Victoria Falls.
Known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya, (The Smoke that Thunders), this is a bucket-list destination. The great Zambezi river flows over a basalt cliff almost two kilometers (1.24 miles) long and transforms the wide, placid river into a ferocious torrent cutting through a series of dramatic gorges. In the rainy season, columns of spray can be seen for miles.
The town of Livingstone is an old fashioned town and is home to some beautiful hotels which are situated on the banks of the river. These hotels offer activities such as sundowner cruises and helicopter flips over the falls.
Kafue National Park
Two hours drive from Livingstone, the Kafue National Park is Zambia’s oldest national park. First established the 1950′s by the legendary Norman Carr, Kafue is one of the largest national parks in the whole of Africa.
Despite its size and prominent location, it remains little-known and largely unexplored with vast tracts of its virgin bush still untouched. Thanks to its size and variety of habitat types the Kafue holds a fantastic diversity of wildlife and birds.
South Luangwa National Park
Experts have dubbed South Luangwa to be one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world. The concentration of animals and birds around the Luangwa River, and its oxbow lagoons, is among the prolific in Africa. The Luangwa River is the most intact major river system in Africa and is the life-blood of the Park. The now-famous ‘walking safari’ originated here and is still one of the finest ways to experience Africa’s pristine wilderness first-hand.
Lower Zambezi National Park
Lower Zambezi National Park is relatively undeveloped with its beauty lying in its wilderness state. The diversity of animals here is not as wide as the other big parks, but the area presents wonderful opportunities to get close to the game wandering in and out of the Zambezi channels. The Park lies opposite the famous Mana Pools Reserve in Zimbabwe, so the whole area on both sides of the Zambezi River is a massive wildlife sanctuary. There are a several new camps in this area.
The Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park
The Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park includes the Victoria Falls and stretches for approximately 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) up the Zambezi River above the falls. The Park provides a home for numerous antelope species, zebra, giraffe, warthog, and a variety of birds and smaller animals. Elephants cross the Zambezi from the Zimbabwean side and walk through the Park and the surrounding area.
Best time to travel:
- May to October is the best time for game viewing in Zambia as it is the dry season when animals congregate around the rivers and waterholes
- November to April is the wet season. Dirt roads in the parks can become impassable and some of the parks and camps close down however the Mfuwe sector of South Luangwa has sandy soil and all-weather roads, making it accessible all year round.
- March to September is the best time to see the Victoria Falls but this is an all year round excellent place to visit.
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