Zambia

Often referred to as “Africa’s Undiscovered Gem”, Zambia has long been a favourite of dedicated safari enthusiasts. Since the days of David Livingstone, it has been the land of the legendary African walking safari. With its prolific wildlife and vast areas of wilderness, Zambia beckons to the more intrepid and adventurous traveller.

Zambia was named after the mighty Zambezi River, which flows through Southern Zambia. Combined with its tributaries, the Kafue and Luangwa Rivers, the rivers are the lifeblood for three magnificent National Parks – the Kafue, the Luangwa Valley and the Lower Zambezi. All offer a true wilderness experience, with prolific wildlife and spectacular scenery.

Kafue National Park is one of the oldest wildlife reserves in Zambia and the largest in Africa. Bird life is exceptional and rich in variety. A wide diversity of habitats in the Kafue include the outstanding Busanga floodplains, home of the famous tree-climbing Busanga Plains lions. The floodplains teem with herds of antelope, often stalked by predators.

The Luangwa Valley, which marks the end of the Great Rift Valley, is arguably the finest wildlife sanctuary in Africa. Luangwa is the birthplace of the walking safari, and there is no better way to explore this wilderness. South Luangwa National Park has an abundance of game and birdlife that is rarely seen in other game reserves. The concentration of game around the Luangwa River – crowded with hippos, crocodiles and wading waterfowl – and its oxbow lagoons is amongst the most intense in Africa. Luangwa is excellent for spotting leopard, and Thornicroft’s giraffe and Cookson’s wildebeest are unique to the area.

North Luangwa National Park is one of the most spectacular and untamed wilderness areas in Zambia. Remote, wild and untouched the Park has a lower density of game than the South Park but is famous for its massive herds of buffalo. The beauty of visiting this Park is the remarkable opportunity to experience Africa as it was in years gone by.

Lower Zambezi National Park is Zambia’s newest Park. Situated on the banks of the Zambezi River in the south-eastern part of Zambia, there are remarkable opportunities for waterside game-viewing of the plentiful wildlife. The Zambezi Escarpment provides a dramatic backdrop.

Other special areas include the unique Bangweulu Swamps in northern Zambia, an enormous wetland wilderness of low islands, reed beds, floodplains and shallow lagoons – home to the elusive shoebill stork, along with the endemic black lechwe. The beautiful Lochinvar National Park offers outstanding birding opportunities and is home to thousands of the endemic Kafue lechwe. The small and privately owned Nchila Wildlife Reserve will also enrapture birding enthusiasts.

Described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800’s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘the Smoke that Thunders’ and in more modern terms as ‘the greatest known curtain of falling water’, Victoria Falls – one of the seven wonders of the world – are a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe. Not only do the Falls provide unmatched scenery as the water plunges into the depths of the gorge, but they are also a haven for adventure travel enthusiasts.

All in all, Zambia is a land of spellbinding natural scenery, with vast skies, glorious sunsets and friendly people. A safari in Zambia epitomizes the ultimate wilderness experience. “Zambia – the Real Africa” is certainly no idle boast.

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