THE PERFECT SAFARI DESTINATION
Set on the high plateau of the tropical belt of south-central Africa, 1300 metres above sea level, Zambia boasts 19 National Parks including two of the largest in Africa in Luangwa and Kafue; two of Africa’s great rivers in the Zaire and the Zambezi; the vast man-made ‘inland sea’ of Lake Kariba; and the magnificent Victoria Falls. The capital is Lusaka, the fastest growing city in central Africa and a stepping stone for discovering the country.
The mighty Zambezi River runs through the country and its name, along with Victoria Falls, evoke images of the wilds of Africa. Livingstone, near Victoria Falls, has much to interest the visitor including fascinating museums and a number of cultural villages. The awe-inspiring Victoria Falls are known locally as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” or the “Smoke that Thunders” and this is fitting for the Zambezi dramatically plunges some 120 metres into a vast gorge creating a spray that rises over 500 metres into the sky.
The Lower Zambezi area is refuge to an abundance of wildlife & birdlife and offers various styles of safari including walking and canoe safaris, which enable one to get close to the wildlife in its natural habitat.
The size of Wales, Kafue is one of the world’s largest National Parks. It has an amazing diversity of eco-systems and a profusion of wildlife and is definitely one of the most interesting and rewarding parks in Africa.
Luangwa National Park offers some of the best game viewing in Africa and provides the rare opportunity of guided walking safaris. The Luangwa Valley forms part of the Great Rift Valley with the valley floor nestling some 800 metres below the surrounding plateau. The valley is dissected by the impressive Luangwa River and is sanctuary to a great profusion of wildlife. North Luangwa is less well-known but offers a unique wilderness experience. Primarily a woodland park it is renowned for its huge herds of buffalo as well as a great variety of other mammals.
Other parks of note include Nyika National Park and Nsumbu, which boasts 180km of Lake Tanganyika’s shoreline.
Zambia is wild but inviting and a must for any serious safari enthusiasts.
During the summer months (Oct-Apr) days are hot and generally sunny in the morning with possible afternoon thunder showers and warm to cool evenings. The rainy season is Nov-Mar. During the winter (May-Sept) days are dry, sunny and cool to warm. Low-lying areas such as the Zambezi and Luangwe Valleys and Victoria Falls can also be considerably warmer all year round.
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
The dry season is the best time to visit Zambia and occurs from May to August. This is the coolest time of the year, with temperatures averaging 25-30°C during the day but it can drop and be quite cold at at night. This is when the safari season, including walking safaris, is in full swing and when Victoria Falls are at their fullest. From September to November the temperatures soar to late 30’s°C and the game reserves and parks get very dry and dusty. However, if you can bear the intense heat then it is a good time for safaris as wildlife congregates in large numbers around the any watering holes. The rains then come between December to April and can come in short sharp showers or it can rain constantly for a few days. A number of the safari lodges close, particularly in the South Luangwa. Temperatures are pleasant and it can be a good time to visit the Falls.
Health & Vaccinations
We recommend that you are up to date with all of the usual vaccinations – Typhoid, Polio, Hepatitis A & B, Tetanus and Rabies. In addition a course of malaria prophylaxis is required. Also a valid Yellow Fever certificate will be required for any clients entering South Africa (even in transit) AFTER entering Zambia. Applies to all persons over 1 year old.
Passport & Visa
British passport holders must be in possession of a full 10-year passport and must have at least 6 months validity beyond the date of the return journey. In addition you will need to have a minimum of 2 consecutive blank pages in your passport if travelling to Zambia via South Africa. Visas for British passport holders can be granted upon arrival into Zambia and currently cost USD $50. Parents travelling with children into or out of South Africa may be asked to show the child’s unabridged (full) birth certificate, and where only one parent is accompanying, parental or legal consent for the child to travel (eg an affidavit from the other parent, a court order or – if applicable – a death certificate). You should travel with these documents in case you’re asked to provide them.
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