Reasons to Visit
Zambia is a safari destination for the connoisseur, boasting a fantastic range of wildlife in its diverse national parks. Many amazing game experiences can be had within the national parks, with lion virtually guaranteed and leopard in abundance. This superb array of game can be appreciated on foot, by car or on the water.
Zambia offers the full range of fascinating, colourful birdlife you’d expect to see on safari, with a range of water based birds in the Lower Zambezi and Kafue National Parks. The Bangweulu Wetlands are one of the few places on the planet where you can see the impressive Shoebill Stork.
An evening cruise on the Zambezi in Livingstone and game viewing from Kafue’s Lufupa River are wonderfully relaxing, but best of all are the water based activities in the Lower Zambezi. Drifting slowly down river, observing elephants coming into drink as the sun goes down is one of the definitive African experiences.
With night drives offered in all of the major national parks, Zambia is arguably the best destination in Africa to observe nocturnal wildlife. The South Luangwa in particular is known for outstanding leopard sightings, and there is a tangible excitement to watching how wildlife behaves after dark.
By any judgement Victoria Falls is an awesome force of nature. During the wet season up to 550 million litres of water cascades over the lip of the Falls each minute, offering an intensely photogenic experience. The spectacle that so bewitched David Livingstone is still equally impressive today.
Walking offers an opportunity to appreciate the birdlife, track animals footprints and learn about the smaller creatures such as a mother and baby warthogs. It makes an excellent contrast to a game drive and allows visitors to understand more about the ecosystems of the South Luangwa.
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Africa and The Indian Ocean
South Luangwa National Park is Zambia's most famous safari park. Most of the game viewing, of which there is plenty, is centred around the Luangwa River. Walking safaris are a speciality in the park.
Zambia's most famous safari destination, South Luangwa National Park is tropical, wild, beautiful and full of game.
Situated in a wide rift valley, the park is flanked by the Muchinga escarpment to the west and the meandering Luangwa River to the east.
Much of the game is found near the river, with herds of elephant and buffalo descending the dusty banks to drink. Large crocodiles laze on sandbanks and at dusk hundreds of hippo leave their pools and lumber up the banks to graze. Impala and puku are common and the beautiful Thornicroft’s giraffe can be seen in the dappled forests. Cookson’s wildebeest, Crawshay’s zebra, waterbuck, bushbuck, grysbok and oribi are also found. Predators abound with lion and spotted hyena, while the leopards are always a highlight.
Finally, there are over 400 species of bird with highlights including flocks of crowned cranes, colonies of carmine bee-eaters and a breeding colony of yellowbilled stork.
Walking safaris are a speciality in the Luangwa. Accompanied by guides and scouts, walks explore the riverbanks and pretty dambos with their green Nile cabbage and crocodiles. There are also day and night drives in open 4WDs.
In November the Luangwa receives its first rains. Short downpours followed by warm sunshine lead to an explosion of vegetation. Grass grows to six feet tall, trees flower, pans fill and rivers burst their banks. Animals take advantage of the abundant food to give birth to young, and flocks of migrant birds arrive. It’s a time of plenty, when the parks are colourful and bursting with life.
During the rains Kapani, Nkwali and Tafika run green season safaris exploring the tributaries, flooded pans and accessible plains. These are superb for bird watching and seeing Africa at its most vibrant.
There is nothing quite like approaching elephants or buffalo on foot knowing full well that you are a mere guest in their territory. We take a look at why Zambia is renowned for its walking safaris.
The Luangwa Valley is one of Africa's premier game-viewing destinations, but it often remains criminally overlooked during the Green Season – November to May. It’s a time of plenty, when animals take full advantage of the abundant food to give birth to their young, and when the valley is at its most colourful.
An idea that was originally established in Zambia, safari houses are now common in most of East Africa's popular game parks. We look at a few of the most popular in Zambia and the reasons why they are still a firm favourite amongst some safari-goers.
Every year, from October until December, eight million straw-coloured fruit bats arrive from the Congo to feed on the wild musuku fruits in Zambia's Kasanka National Park. It is the world's largest mammal migration.
The cradle of humanity, Africa is home to some of the world's great tribal cultures. Visiting some of these will not only leave you with some indelible memories; it's also likely your presence will go toward supporting vital local community projects.
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Include a visit to South Luangwa National Park on your tailor-made trip around Zambia by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in ZambiaWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout ZambiaCountry Guides
Other countries in Africa:BotswanaKenyaMadagascarMalawiMauritiusMozambiqueNamibiaRwandaSouth AfricaTanzaniaThe SeychellesUgandaZanzibar ArchipelagoZimbabwe
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