The 13 best places to visit in Zambia

 

In the north east of the country, covering some 9,850 square kilometres (3,803 square miles) is the Bangweulu Wetlands, a unique eco-system that has been designated one of the most important in the world. The landscape of floodplains, seasonally flooded grasslands and permanent swamps supports large populations of fish, crocodile and water birds, with mammals in the area including zebra, bushbuck, hippopotamus and antelope among many others. One of the most unusual species in the area is the Shoebill Stork, a large endangered bird that can reach up to 152 cm (5 ft) tall.

13. Bangweulu Wetlands

Directly south of the Bangweulu Wetlands, close to the border with the Democratic Republic Of The Congo is the 390 square kilometre (150 square mile) Kasanka National Park, the smallest protected area in Zambia. The relatively flat savannah woodland is home to a number of animal species, including 114 mammals. These include elephant, warthog, baboon, buffalo, mongoose, honeybadger, leopard and offers visitors great opportunities for spotting the rare blue monkey.

12. Kasanka National Park

 

In the far north east of the country, straddling the western shore of Lake Tanganyika is the 2,000 square kilometre (772 square mile) Sumbu National Park, also known as Nsumbu National Park. The landscape around the lake is one of rocky cliffs, sandy beaches and calm water with views of mountains in the distance. Animal species in the park include crocodile, hippopotamus, antelope, buffalo, zebra, elephant, lion and leopard among many others.

11. Sumbu National Park

 

In the extreme west of the country, close to the border with Angola is the 1,390 square kilometre (537 square mile) Liuwa Plain National Park, covering what is essentially a vast flat grassland terrain. This grassland supports a variety of large mammals, allowing visitors the chance of seeing cheetah, leopard, lion, spotted hyena, buffalo and migrating blue wildebeest, which when they gather in tens of thousands create the second largest wildebeest migration in Africa.

10. Liuwa Plain National Park

 

In the far east of the country, close to the border with Malawi is the 4,636 square kilometre (1,790 square mile) North Luangwa National Park, covering a stretch of the Muchinga Escarpment along its western edge. This strict wilderness zone is home to a large number of mammal species, including wildebeest, zebra and elephant among others, with visitors also having the chance of spotting the rare and endangered black rhinoceros.

9. North Luangwa National Park

 

In the far north of the country, on the Kalungwishi River is the large and striking Lumangwe Falls, the largest waterfall that lies completely within Zambia. Measuring approximately 160 metres (525 ft) wide with a maximum drop of 40 metres (131 ft) it has been compared to the world famous Victoria Falls, shared on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

8. Lumangwe Falls

 

In the eastern portion of the country, between South Luangwa National Park and the Bangweulu Wetlands is the 1,500 square kilometre (579 square mile) Lavushi Manda National Park, covering part of the Central Zambezi Miombo Woodlands between the Muchinga Escarpment and the great flat lands. Dominated by the Lavushi Manda mountain range and huge pristine woodland areas, the park is home to at least 50 mammal species, including leopard, lion, African elephant, hippopotamus and baboon.

7. Lavushi Manda National Park

 

In the south east of the country, covering some 9,050 square kilometres (3,494 square miles) is South Luangwa National Park, a world renowned wildlife haven. Located at the tail end of the Great African Rift Valley, the terrain is one of steep escarpments, wild forests, savannah woodlands and rich wildlife filled lagoons. The park supports large populations of elephant, hippopotamus, giraffe, Cape buffalo and crocodile among the 60 mammal and 400 bird species in the protected zone. South Luangwa National Park is among the greatest areas for diversity of habitat for wildlife in Africa, and is regarded one of the best locations for walking safaris.

6. South Luangwa National Park

 

In the western centre of the country, covering a vast area of 22,400 square kilometres (8,649 square miles) is Kafue National Park, the largest protected landscape in Zambia and the second largest national park on the continent. Lying within the relatively flat Central Zambezi Miombo woodlands, the park is home to 55 mammal species including zebras, wildebeest, leopard, cheetah, lion, elephant, hippopotamus, large herds of antelope and the largest crocodile species in southern Africa. The jewel of the park is in the north, in the Zambezi flooded grasslands supporting large herds of animals. In the dry season animals keep close to the swamps making them easily visible for visitors on safari.

5. Kafue National Park

 

In the extreme northern centre of the country, located along the border with Tanzania at the south eastern end of Lake Tanganyika is the beautiful Kalambo Falls. With its 235 metre (772 ft) single drop it is among the tallest uninterrupted waterfalls in Africa.

4. Kalambo Falls

 

In the southern centre of the country, east from the capital, Lusaka, is the 4,092 square kilometre (1,580 square mile) Lower Zambezi National Park, ringed by mountains on the Zambezi flood plains. Being protected from mass tourism and inaccessible by road it remains one of the few pristine wilderness areas left in Africa. Home to Cape buffalo, elephants, lion, leopard, crocodile and hippopotamus among many more species, visitors to the area are few and far between, making for a truly wild experience.

3. Lower Zambezi National Park

 

Dividing the drainage basins of the Zambezi River and the Congo River is Zambia's section of the Great Rift Valley, the Muchinga Escarpment. Forming the boundary for many of the countries protected national parks, this amazing and remote landscape is defined by steep mountains and rich jungle, home to a huge number of wildlife species. Almost inaccessible in parts, the Muchinga Escarpment is a true wilderness zone.

2. Muchinga Escarpment

 

In the far south of the country, where the Zambezi River creates a natural border with Zimbabwe is one of the most famous waterfalls on the planet, Victoria Falls, known by its indigenous Tonga Name, Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning 'The Smoke That Thunders'. Measuring 1,708 metres (5,604 ft) wide, falling a maximum height of 108 metres (354 ft) from the main gorge, it holds the title of the largest sheet of falling water in the world, with only the Iguazu Falls in South America coming close. This marvel of nature is considered a natural wonder of our world, and has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

1. Victoria Falls

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