Looking for a true African experience? Zambia is it. This landlocked country is right in the heart of Africa and is the perfect place for a properly African safari experience. Zambia has huge tracts of land open for the incredible wildlife that roams pretty freely throughout the country. You can visit Victoria Falls, the Kafue National Park and the southern end of the vast Lake Tanganyika. But let’s look at Zambia in a bit more detail. Here are our top three reasons to visit Zambia.
1. Visit Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls is accessible from both Zimbabwe and Zambia, but some countries have restrictions on visiting Zimbabwe, so Zambia is the ideal route to visit this iconic natural wonder. The Falls form the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia and is locally called Mosi-oa-Tunya or The Smoke That Thunders. This huge waterfall plunges 1688 metres and has water vapour plumes you can see from miles around. Formed by the mass of the Zambezi River as it tips over a basalt cliff, they were named Victoria Falls in the 1800s after the Queen of Great Britain at the time.
At the Falls, you can try kayaking, white water rafting, abseiling, hydro-speeding, bungee jumping, micro-lighting, gorge swinging, or swim in the Angel’s and Devil’s Pools. Not an adrenaline junkie? You can also take a sedate sunset cruise down the Zambezi, enjoy a massage on the river’s edge and take game drives through the surrounding wild countryside.
Where to stay near Victoria Falls
2. Visit Zambia’s National Parks
About 30% of Zambia is devoted to it’s National Parks and wildlife conservancies. Among the most popular are the Kafue National Park, the South Luangwa National Park and the Lower Zambezi National Parks.
Kafue is Zambia’s largest National Park, covering 22,400 km². Kafue is also known as one of the best places in Africa to find leopard, best seen on nighttime game drives or from cruises down the Zambezi River. There are also large packs of African Wild Dogs, which are quite hard to find elsewhere in Africa.
Luangwa, or the South Luangwa National Park, covers 9059 km² around the Luangwa River and is known as one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world. One animal you’re sure to see in Luangwa is hippos! They estimate there are about 50 hippos per kilometre of the Luangwa River, making spotting these majestic creatures a breeze.
The Lower Zambezi National Park is 4092 km², hosts many animals wandering through the channels of the Zambezi. In this park, you should be able to spot the large herds of elephants that drink from the river, as well as lions, leopards and aerial predators, fish eagles.
Where to stay near the National Parks
- Puku Ridge Camp, South Luangwa
- Royal Zambezi Lodge, Lower Zambezi National Park
- Shumba Camp, Kafue National Park
- Busanga Bush Camp, Kafue National Park
3. Incredible Rivers & Lakes
We’ve spoken a bit about the rivers, as they form the backbone of what makes Zambia such an incredibly rich and diverse place to visit. The Zambezi, Luangwa and Kafue rivers crisscross the landscape, attracting herds of wild animals and the predators that prey on them. In Zambia, you can also visit lakes Mweru, Bangweulu, Kariba and the southern end of Tanganyika, the longest freshwater lake in the world.
Although Zambia only lays claim to about 7% of the surface of Tanganyika, this inland sea is an incredible place to visit. One of the oldest lakes on earth, and technically an inland sea, Tanganyika is home to a huge variety of exotic fish and an incredible array of birdlife.
Where to stay near the Rivers & Lakes
- Sindabezi Island Lodge, Zambezi River
- Robin’s House, Luangwa River
- The David Livingstone Safari Lodge & Spa, Zambezi River
Zambia truly is an African experience like no other in the heart of the African continent. From incredible safaris, game drives and wild creatures big and small, to immense rivers, inland seas and so much more. Zambia offers visitors a chance to visit one of the greatest natural wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls. So next time you’re booking a holiday, consider Zambia and have the experience of a lifetime.