To explore Zambia is to step back into Africa as it was meant to be. Often described as the ‘real’ Africa, Zambia has been relatively untouched by humans and is famed for its huge protected wilderness areas, its natural landscapes and, arguably, the most diverse range of animals and birds in Africa.
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.