Zambia is becoming a popular safari destination. The country has been voted one of the safest country’s on the Africa continent and boasts in some of the most remote, unspoilt landscapes in the world, making it the ideal destination for game rich, secluded safaris. The only bustling area is the country’s most popular attraction; Victoria Falls. But the mighty waters of the Zambezi provide visitors with ample activities. In short, Zambia is the ideal safari destination.
The Lower Zambezi National Park is roughly 150 kilometres east of Lusaka, with Mozambique to the east and Zimbabwe to the south. It is one of Zambia’s most beautiful parks, with unspoiled wildness. The only thing that separates the park from Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park is the enormous Zambezi River.
The Lower Zambezi National Park remains one of Zambia’s hidden gems. Though Victoria Falls and the more well-known South Luangwa National Park draw a lot of attention, the Lower Zambezi National Park is equally breathtaking and deserves just as much attention. Here, you will enjoy abundant wildlife, seclusion, and a temperate climate.
The Lower Zambezi National Park covers an area of 4092 square kilometres and boasts a stunning riverfront of 120 kilometres. The native Nsenga Bantu people were the first to settle in the Lower Zambezi region and claim it as their own.
Sleeping sickness epidemics between 1940 and 1945 forced the Nsenga to travel around a lot throughout their history. Many people had been moved to the lower Rufunsa or west to the Chakwenga by 1946. A second epidemic in 1952 forced 1,000 residents of Mwambashi River to flee to Luangwana because of a second epidemic in 1952. Some of the almost 400 individuals who refused to go to Luangwa amalgamated with the Goba of Chief Chiawa, while the others scattered elsewhere.
When the park’s current boundaries were established in 1951, it was designated as a first-class regulated hunting area. Zambia Safaris was awarded a hunting concession in 1969, which lasted until 1971. In the same year, Zambezi Game Management Region (GMA) number 16 was gazetted across the area.
Wildlife Conservation International was given management over the region in 1973 and the land was designated as an international park (WCI). Tourist products between the Mwambashi River and the Chongwe River were created and developed in 1989 and 1990 . On the basis of an EU-funded management plan, the Zambian government in 1995 offered tourism development areas within the park. Almost all of the available sites were rented, with the exception of two plateau locations. The Lower Zambezi National Park’s Management Plan was signed on November 1st, 2001, and it dates back to July of the same year.
On your Zambia safari you have a very good chance of seeing large numbers of elephants, hippo, buffalo, waterbuck, zebra, impala and kudu. There are also solid numbers of leopard, lion and hyena. These animals are considered to be the main predators in the region. Other animals that are often seen are the wild dog, the serval, and the African wild cat.
The Lower Zambezi is also considered to be a paradise for birdwatchers. Whether you‘re a dedicated bird enthusiast or have never considered ‘birding’ before, the Lower Zambezi national park will certainly ignite your passion for these flamboyant species.
There are over 378 bird species in the Lower Zambezi, including several eagle, heron, stork, and bee-eater species. Kingfishers(both colourful and black-and-white) are particularly common in the park. On any given day you may see the pied, gigantic, woodland, malachite, and brown-hooded kingfishers.
Darters, cormorants, egrets, storks, and fish eagles are other common visitors to the Lower Zambezi, frequently seen perched in trees overlooking the water. Wading birds, both permanent and migrant, abound in the Lower Zambezi too. Unusual inhabitants include ospreys, spoonbills, and African skimmers. If none of these names seem familiar, don’t worry: your guide will explain to you where to concentrate your binoculars and impart a wealth of bird knowledge.
The best time to explore the Lower Zambezi National Park is from May to November, with the peak game-viewing season beginning in June. However, October and November may be scorching hot, with daily temperatures far above 40°C. Most campgrounds in the park close once the rains start, which normally happens around mid-November. Most of the park’s lodges close between January and April, however there are year-round lodges and campsites across the Chongwe River. We can provide you with a great itinerary to help you experience the best of the Lower Zambezi National Park.
The lodge has been developed to take advantage of the one kilometre of private river frontage that it possesses on five acres of protected wilderness. Waking up to the gorgeous Zambezi River flowing right in front of your room is simply awe-inspiring!
The Lower Zambezi offers some of the greatest animal sightings in the world, making it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In order to get the most out of your trip, we recommend going on foot with one of our knowledgeable guides from African Bush Camps. Walking through the acacia trees of Africa, seeking out the continent’s famed animals, is one of life’s greatest experiences.