In Zambia, nearly one-third of the land is dedicated to national parks. While the country is overflowing with history and culture, most tourists are ultimately interested in going on grand safaris. The country features both elegant rivers and bountiful savannahs, and visitors can choose to explore the country by foot, jeep or canoe. All of Africa's big game animals are found here, and most people opt to see as many wildlife species as they possibly can. While the national parks are inspiring and breathtaking, some individuals also choose to explore the Zambezi River, which courses through the tropical rainforests in the western half of the country. With a beautifully planned itinerary, tourists can explore the heart of Africa with appropriate gusto.
There are a number of Zambian safaris that are specifically dedicated to birding. In fact, because the landscape is so varied, individuals will have a chance to spot hundreds of different bird species that are found nowhere else in the world. Lochinvar National Park and the Luangwa Valley are both ideal locations for safaris. Most of the park guides are experienced with bird behavior, and personalized tours will allow tourists to range widely over the land. Many of Zambia's parks also offer miniature walking safaris through the forests and savannahs. Armed with a sturdy pair of binoculars and a knowledgeable guide, birding enthusiasts will be able to add several dozen species to their life lists before they return home.
Photographic safaris are dedicated to capturing iconic images of African wildlife. Spotted hyenas, lions, elephants, Nile crocodiles and hippos can all be seen with some degree of success. Nsumbu National Park and Nyika National Park are excellent places to begin. Zambia's Southern Province features large floodplains along the Kafue River where various unique wildlife species spend a majority of their time. Blue Lagoon National Park is especially popular for its flourishing zebra populations.
No visit to Zambia would be complete without a visit to Victoria Falls, which is located on the Zambezi River near Zambia's border with Zimbabwe. The flow of water over the falls can vary drastically between seasons. When the river is at the appropriate height, some tourists choose to swim in Devil's Pool, which is a small eddy above the falls that is protected by a rock ledge. In addition to the usual big game found near the river, individuals can also spot falcons, eagles, buzzards, herons and other kinds of waterfowl.
South Luangwa National Park
South Luangwa National Park is particularly superb for walking safaris. It supports giraffes, elephants, zebras, hippos and crocodiles. Woodland savannahs and grassland areas are crisscrossed by rivers, and most tourists explore the wilderness with a trusted guide. During the evenings, hippos remove themselves from the river water and feed on the shore grasses. Most safari guides are eminently familiar with the park and can lead safari participants to the locations where the wildlife is most likely to be seen.
Kasanka National Park
Kasanka National Park features lakes, forests, lagoons and meadows. The park has been rehabilitated since its nadir in the 1980s and is now one of the most beautiful locations in the country. Hippos, blue monkeys and other vibrant creatures can be seen during the cool of the day. Some tourists choose to hire a boat for fishing in one of the park's pristine lakes.
The Bottom Line
While Zambia is a land-locked country, it is brilliantly positioned for nature lovers of all stripes. From waterfalls and forests to savannahs and marshes, the nation is a popular destination for anyone who wishes to explore the great African wilderness.