Online guide to Zambia safari tours, hotels, tour operators, attractions and things to do.
Zambia is a landlocked country located in the southern part of Africa. It is bordered by Malawi to the East, Angola to the West, Democratic Republic of Congo to the Northwest, Tanzania to the Northeast, Botswana and Zimbabwe in the South, Mozambique to the Southeast, and Namibia’s Caprivi Strip to the southwest. Zambia’s topography in most areas is mainly a high plateau with an altitude between 910m and 1,370m, and also there are mountains in the northeast with a height of 1,800m. The climate in most of the parts of the country like in the south and the central is tropical modified basing on the altitude, small patches in the southwest the climate is semi-arid. Lusaka is Zambia’s capital city, the official language is English.
Zambia is among the finest and best safari giving countries on the planet. It is dwelling place for a varied number of wildlife, many national parks, huge water bodies, culture (with welcoming people), amazing daily sunsets and seventeen waterfalls and the spectacular Victoria Falls at the border which is shared by Zambia and Zimbabwe. Zambia safari offers more attractions and things to do there; they are listed below.
Victoria Falls Safari Zambia
Victoria Falls is found in the Southern part of Africa at the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia; these falls are locally known as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” which means “the smoke that thunders.” The Victoria Falls are found on River Zambezi and it is believed that they could be the largest falls in world with a height of 108m and a width of 1,708m. Since the falls are common in two countries; the upper falls are in Zambia and lower ones in Zimbabwe, all of them have unique and magnificent views which give an extraordinary experience. It is said that the Victoria Falls were revealed by David Livingstone who was a missionary explorer and the nearby town where these falls are found is named Livingstone after this explorer.
Victoria Falls can be visited between July and September, months like November and December the falls are very few since they dry to the extent that they look like canyons and between months January and May, this is a wet season and heavy rain falls so the Zambezi river is filled making it hard to watch the spectacular falls since mist formed by the water pressure is like a wall making it hard to see through. There is a natural pool called the ‘Devil’s pool’; it is found just roughly at the falls, it seems terrifying but it’s something one shouldn’t miss out on. Throughout the month of November the water level decreases which then makes it very easy for tourists to swim, it is one of the remarkable and memorable experiences one gets when here.
There are also other activities that can be done at the Victoria Falls such as zip lining, bungee jumping, sun set cruises, water rafting, flight tours over the falls, bridge tours among others.
South Luangwa National Park
South Luangwa National Park is located in the Luangwa River valley; it started as a game reserve in 1938 and later in 1972 was established as a National park. It covers around 9,059 sq km and is home to abundant wildlife making it one of the greatest national parks with a lot of wild life in the world. It is home to 60 animal species which are mainly found around Luangwa River such as hippos, elephants, giraffes, leopards among others and over 400 bird species. The park is also endowed with spectacular views as its vegetation varies with trees like Baobabs and ebony trees, bushes, lush green bushes, wild flowers among others. Activities that can be enjoyed in the park are walking safaris, night and day game drives, they are something wonderful and not to forget.
You can get to the park by air whereby there are daily domestic scheduled flights that fly to South Luangwa and also it can be accessed by road approximately a 10 hour drive from Lusaka through the Eastern province. Most lodges are always open throughout the year so there are no worries of where to stay; so high-end visitors can stay at Mfuwe lodge or Chichele lodge; there are also mid-range/moderate lodges and bush camps in and near the park.
Lower Zambezi National Park
The National Park was established in 1983 and covers an area of 4092 sq km. It is located in the central province of Zambia just near Lusaka. Lower Zambezi is not as famous as South Luangwa but still it has a lot of wildlife especially at the valley floor such as elephants, buffaloes, hippos, crocodiles, fish eagles. The landscape is spectacular and one can view the rolling hills, Zambezi channels, number of fig and ebony trees, thick forests and huge acacias among others. Enjoy activities like fishing, game viewing, hunting, boat cruises and bush camp excursions. There are various accommodation facilities in Chiawa and Chirindu towns.
Kafue National Park
Kafue National Park is among the largest national parks in the world and is Zambia’s largest and oldest park. It is located in the central province of Zambia and covers an area of 22,400 sq km. it is approximately a 3 hour drive from Lusaka; it is a good place to spend a weekend while on safari, it is said that this park has suffered a lot of poaching but it doesn’t take away the fact that it has lots of wildlife to offer including the antelopes, hartebeests, sables among others. Enjoy activities like bird watching, game viewing, and fishing among others. You can stay at any lodge near the park such as Mukambi lodge.
Lake Kariba is located in the south province along the Zimbabwe and Zambia border; it’s the largest manmade reservoir by volume and lake in the world. The lake was mainly formed to provide hydroelectricity power to the two countries hence construction of Kariba dam. The construction started in 1955 and ended in 1977, throughout the construction of the dam a number of natives, birds and animals shifted since there was a risk basically from the increasing quantity of water. It is approx 40 km wide and 223 kilometers long covering up an area of 2,150 sq miles.
Lake Kariba is among the best places to unwind and chill, as it is endowed with great opportunities of boating, fishing, sun bathing, watching dazzling sunsets, and water sports among others. Also enjoy great spectacular views from the islets on the lake like the Mazze Island, Sekula Island, Snake Island, and Bed Island along with many others. The weather is mainly sunny as it gets hot during summer, the nights are balmy. Visitors can settle for any up market cottage on the banks, moderate cabins and also campsites.
Lake Tanganyika is the second longest by volume, oldest and deepest fresh water lake in the world, this lake s shared by four counties; Burundi, DR Congo, Tanzania and Zambia. The lake covers an area of 32,900 sq km, a distance of 677 km and about 50 km in width, but Zambia only shares around 7% of this area. Enjoy activities like Lake Game viewing whereby a lot of fish can be seen while snorkeling, also explore the more and have fun by engaging in water sports like water skiing, swimming, water boarding, boating, kite surfing, kayaking, and scuba diving among others. Stay at Ndole Bay lodge or any other accommodation facility of your choice.
The Livingstone Museum was formed in 1934. It is the oldest and largest museum in Zambia; located near the Victoria Falls in Livingstone town. It was formerly known as David Livingstone Memorial Museum, then Rhodes-Livingstone Museum and later in 1966 it was named Livingstone Museum which is the name up to date. It is a great place to visit for those interested in history; there are artifacts such as musical instruments, photographs and other possessions of David Livingstone. These mainly concern the pre-history and local history of Zambia.
Kasanka National Park
Kansaka National Park covers an area of 450 sq km and is one of the smallest National Parks in Zambia; it is situated in the Central Province in Serenje District. This park is renowned for largest migration of giant fruit bats (Eidolon helium), this migration happens every October as over 10 million bats migrate, it is an exciting and also terrifying moment at some time but these bats are harmless.
The park is home to around 114 species of mammals such as Hippos, sitatungas, reedbucks, elephants, waterbucks, rare blue monkeys, buffaloes, zebras among others; it also harbors over 330 bird species such as the water crane, pygmy goose, the Pel’s fishing owl the osprey, Ross’s loerie, also shoebills can be spotted but on rare occasions. Kasanka National Park is mainly dominated by forests, wetlands, meadows, lagoons, lakes, and rivers which is where a lot of wildlife find their habitat. Activities like walking safaris, game drives, bird watching, boating can be enjoyed while here.
Ngonye falls are located in Sioma village; they are also referred to as Sioma falls. They are stunning falls on Zambezi River they appear in form of a horseshoe-shape. It is difficult to reach these falls from Lusaka since it takes around 2-3 days to reach there. They are a great place where by one can have spectacular views while there. Visitors can get there by road from Lusaka and it is advised to spend a night at a lodge like Maziba Bay Lodge which is around five kilometers to Sioma village. There are also available camps, and still here visitors are able to visit the falls.
Ngonye falls can be visited any time of the year, but those interested in wildlife viewing are advised to visit between July and November since the water level is low and many animals are always near the river banks. Those into adventurous activities like rafting are encouraged to consider months like February to May after the rains the water levels are increased. Try not to miss out on the Nyonge falls on you Zambian trip.
Lusaka National Museum
The Lusaka National Museum was opened in 1996 and it is found in Lusaka Zambia’s capital. It is an attractive place and one of those places not to leave out while on a city tour in Lusaka. It is where mainly the country’s culture and history is kept. The museum has storage rooms and galleries and other floors where a lot is kept. It is a large place for education purposes and research to both the locals and foreigners.
Take a walk through compounds with a guide. A greatest number of urban Zambian natives stay in neighborhoods also known as compounds. So you can take walk in one of the two major compounds such as Kalingalinga and Bauleni, this will expose you to how Zambians live, also you will meet new people, make new friends- don’t miss out on tasting the locally made corn meal known as shake-shake chibuku.
Saturday Dutch Market
This happens every last Saturday of the month where different people from Zambia and other countries bring their art and crafts in the market at the Dutch Reformed Church. It is a great time if you visit this market you will have chance to interact with lots of people, you will learn a lot about how these people do their crafts and also you can taste different ethnic dishes. Also there is another market that opens on Sundays at the Arcades centre in Lusaka, it is smaller than the Dutch Market but still it’s a great experience there, you will also learn how to bargain, as most vendors can reduce prices if you bargain.
Western Province or Barotseland
This is an isolated province and is located on the Angolan border; it is also where you can find the Liuwa Plains National Park which is the most distant park in Zambia. While here, during the month of November visitors have an opportunity of observing the second largest wildebeest migration, it is a wonderful experience; a 4WD vehicle is recommended. Also during the month of April visitors are in line to see the Kuomboka traditional dance that is performed by the Lozi tribe every year. In most cases the date of the ceremony changes basing on how the rainy season ends. Also visitors are advised not to discuss the Barotseland with the natives since there was a political instability in this province some time back. Apart from that enjoy your time in the Western Province!
Best time to visit Zambia
Generally speaking the country experiences a sub-tropical climate that has a dry and wet season instead of the more familiar winter and summer season. From May October the country is experiencing the dry season which is also considered the best time to visit the country as game viewing is at its best. The day temperatures are pleasant and mild however September and October experience very hot temperatures. The green / wet season on the other hand begins in December to April and throughout that time the vegetation is verdant and thick making it quite challenging to spot wildlife. In addition, many of the safari lodges shut down as a result of flooding cause by the heavy rains which make some remote parts of the country inaccessible.
For those of you interested in viewing the beautiful Victoria Falls from the Zambia side, it is recommended that you visit in March, April and May when the rains season has just ended when the river is fully flooded and the waterfall offers a wide curtain of water that is very breathtaking. however please be -warned that visiting that Victoria falls in October and November you will not enjoy the spectacle of the waterfall as the Zambian side of the falls is dry not receiving any water so you are advised to instead head to Zimbabwe of a thrilling experience. Nonetheless, activities such as swimming at the Devil’s Pool, white water rafting and many others can be enjoyed when the water level is low.
Where to stay / Zambia Accommodation
There are a number of Safari lodges and tented camps found in the different game parks (including the Lower Zambezi NP, Kafue NP and the South Luangwa National Park) and around the renowned Victoria Falls. These range from very comfortable luxury accommodation to the basic budget accommodation.
|Kafue National Park||Bird watching tours, Boat rides, guided walking safaris, Day tours, Day and Night Game drives||From $1,240|
|Zambezi River||Game tracking, Fishing, White-water rafting, Bird watching, Canoe rides, Helicopter flights, Picnics, cultural tours, fishing, Game drives, Guided walks, Sunset cruises||From $1,015|
|Time + Tide Chinzombo
|South Luangwa National Park||Game drives, Game tracking experience, walking safaris, Guided Nature walks, Day and Night drives||From $1,150|
|Lower Zambezi||Game drives, Boat and Canoe rides, Night drives Fishing, Guided walks||From $960|
|Thorntree River Lodge
|Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park||Canoe rides, Day tours, Fishing trips, River cruises, cultural village visits, Game drives||From $630|
|The River Club
|Victoria Falls||Cultural village visits, Picnics, Game drives, Day tours, Fishing, Hiking, Sunset cruises||From $595|
|Sausage Tree Camp
|Lower Zambezi||Boat rides, Bird watching, Canoe rides, Game drives Fishing||From $480|
|South Luangwa National Park||Game drives, Guided walks, Guided walking tours||From $480|
|Royal Livingstone by Anantara
|Victoria Falls||Game drives, Boat rides, Guided walks Helicopter flights tours, Elephant interactive experience||From $410|
|South Luangwa National Park||Bird watching, Game drives, Night drives, Guided walks
The above mentioned prices are per person when sharing
Do you need a Visa to go to Zambia?
Yes, all persons visiting this beautiful country need to have a passport that is valid for at least six (6) months from the date of their safari in Zambia. In addition, with the exception of South African and Zimbabwe nationals who can obtain them for free, others can easily purchase a tourist visa on arrival in the country at any of the entry points such as the sea ports, major national border entry points as well as at the airport.