What to do in Zambia
Although Zambia is a landlocked country and does not have its own coastline or beach, it does offer so many other experiences and activities. Firstly, a Zambia safari is something that is on most safari enthusiast’s bucket lists.
While game drives can be done from all national parks (of which Zambia has 20), there are many other activities to enjoy during your Zambia safari. These include night drives, bush walks, canoeing, kayaking, bird watching and boat safaris to name a few.
For those looking to experience the very best and most ‘wild’ of Zambia’s safari experience, enjoy a three or four-day walking safari in the Luangwa Valley. This experience allows you to walk between bush camps.
You will spend the day on foot, walking in the wildest and most beautiful of national parks, arriving at a different camp each night. Your safari guide, ranger, and host of housekeepers and chefs will have everything set up for you so you can relax and enjoy sundowners by the campfire.
Zambia is the birthplace of the walking safari and, although other safari destinations offer walking safaris, nowhere does it quite like Zambia. The pioneer of the walking safari was a British conservationist named Norman Carr. While he was influential in setting up national parks in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe in the 1950s, his presence in Zambia was one of the most memorable. He envisioned the walking safari – a way to enjoy the natural flora and fauna of a place by foot. In his words, “you do not know a place until you have walked it” and we could not agree more. A walking safari in Zambia is truly immersive – allowing you to smell, see, hear, and feel a safari at its most natural. You can enjoy a walking safari in all of the national parks across Zambia and each offer a slightly different experience. While the Lower Zambezi offers a more casual bush walk (around 2-3 hours), parks like the South and North Luangwa allow you to spend a few days walking, sleeping at different bush camps each night and stopping along the way. Image: Chinzombo Time+Tide
This is one of the most exhilarating safari experiences you can do in all of Zambia, if not Africa. The Lower Zambezi National Park is centered around the Zambezi River and its contributing channels. In this park, you can experience game viewing from a small canoe – allowing you to see wildlife from a different perspective and get very close to certain animals and species. Before your safari, you will have a safety briefing from your safari guide to run through the rules and logistics of your canoe safari. You will then get in, with a guide accompanying you. Spending a few hours on the channels of the Zambezi River, you will get the opportunity to see hippo pods, crocodiles (both in and out of the water), antelope, and the potential to see elephants crossing or swimming in the channels. You may also see lions or leopards hiding amongst the vegetation on the river banks, so keep an eye out at all times. Image: Tayla McCurdy – Anabezi Camp
Natural Wonder of the World
Experience Victoria Falls
Home to one of the Natural Wonders of the World, Zambia’s Victoria Falls is certainly worth visiting and usually features at the beginning or end of every itinerary. This incredibly impressive waterfall spans across two countries – Zambia and Zimbabwe. While you can see it from both sides, Zambia offers a fantastic viewpoint and experience of Victoria Falls. We would recommend two nights in the Livingstone area. This gives you enough time to walk around Victoria Falls, do a guided tour, explore Livingstone (named after David Livingstone), or experience some more active excursions like a microlight plane, bungee jumping or white water rafting. Image: Tongabezi, Victoria Falls
Experience the second largest wildebeest migration
Second to the Serengeti and the Masai Mara migration in East Africa, Zambia’s Liuwa Plains is home to the second largest wildebeest migration on Earth. Over 30,000 wildebeest and zebras migrate across the plains of the Barotse floodplains. With such vast plains and savannahs in Liuwa, the game viewing is simply spectacular. There are also a very healthy population of hyena who are, in fact, the biggest predator in the park. They are much larger, and have become very skillful in their hunting abilities. Image: King Lewanika, Time+Tide
In the Lower Zambezi National Park you can do boat safaris out on the mighty Zambezi River, or along smaller channels. From the Zambezi River, you will see Zambia on one side, and Zimbabwe on the other. These parks are the Lower Zambezi and Mana Pools respectively. A boat safari is a relaxing safari experience – one where you can sit back and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the water, allowing you to have a different perspective of game viewing to your typical game drive. You may see elephants swimming in the river, usually making their way to smaller islands for fresh pasture and vegetation. As well as elephants, you will see an abundance of hippo, crocodile, buffalo and a great variety of birds – both resident and migratory. Image: Chiawa Camp
Devil’s Pool is a natural swimming pool offering dramatic views of Victoria Falls and making you feel like you are in the middle of it all. Although water levels vary each year, Devil’s Pool is possible to visit between August and January. Devil’s Pool, along with other exhilarating activities like white water rafting, are closed during the February to May period when the water volume is at its fullest. Your experience of Victoria Falls will vary depending on what time of year you visit. For the most intense experience when the water is at its fullest, visit the falls between February and May which is after the rains. The period of October to November/December is when the falls are at their lowest, and a large proportion of the falls have dried up. This is not the best time to go and see it in all its glory, but if you are limited to this time of year, try to go in October when you can combine a Zambia safari too. Image credit: Christoffer Rosenfieldt, Tongabezi
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