Zambia is a vast country and yet is one of the least travelled, offering one of the most rewarding wilderness destinations in Africa. Vast tracts of land are set aside as National Parks – each one different from the other. It is home to 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 neighbouring Zimbabwe.
The Luangwa River is the most intact major river system in Africa and is the lifeblood of South Luangwa National Park, which experts have dubbed as one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world and where the concentration of game around the River and its oxbow lagoons is among the most intense in Africa. The now famous ‘walking’ or ‘foot safari’ originated in this park and is still one of the finest ways to experience this pristine wilderness.
The Lower Zambezi is Zambia’s newest Park and as such is still relatively undeveloped, but it’s beauty lies in its absolute wilderness state. The diversity of animals is not as wide as the other big parks, but the opportunities to get close to game wandering in and out of the Zambezi channels are spectacular. The Park lies opposite the famous Mana Pools Reserve in Zimbabwe, so the whole area on both sides of the river is a massive wildlife sanctuary. Enormous herds of elephant, some up to 100 strong, are often seen at the river’s edge. ‘Island hopping’ buffalo and waterbuck are common. The park also hosts good populations of lion and leopard and listen too for the ubiquitous cry of the fish eagle.
Kafue National Park is Zambia’s oldest park and by far the largest in fact is the second largest national park in the world, and is about the size of Wales. It has remained underdeveloped until the most recent years and now even areas such as the astounding Busanga Plains in the northwestern section are accessible with comfortable accommodation available. The Lunga, and Lufupa Rivers join the Kafue River on their course to feed the lush dambos in the south. Excellent game viewing includes thousands of red lechwe on the Plains, the ubiquitous puku, the stately sable and roan antelopes in the woodland to the diminutive oribi and duiker. Large prides of lion, solitary leopards and cheetahs are the prime predators. Bird watching and fishing opportunities are superb.
Although Lusaka is the capital city of Zambia, Livingstone with its close proximity to the magnificent Victoria Falls, is better known for its adventure activities such as river rafting on the mighty the Zambezi River and bunji jumping from the bridge over the Falls.