LAND OF THE SMOKE THAT THUNDERS
Rich in wildlife but scant in tourists, Zambia is less established as a holiday destination than many of its neighbours, making it one of the best places to enjoy an authentic safari experience.
From game drives in one of the country’s 19 wildlife parks, to hearing the roar of the spectacular Victoria Falls or a walking safari in the South Luangwa – Zambia has it all. With lion, leopard, buffalo and elephant in abundance, as well some exciting endemic species, it is also a great draw for birders with almost 800 species.
Republic of Zambia
Area 752,614 sq. km (290,586 sq. mi.)
Capital city Lusaka (population 1,700,000)
Currency Zambian Kwacha (ZMW), USD accepted throughout country
People Bemba, Nyanja-Chewa, Tonga, Tumbuka, Lunda, Luvale, Kaonde, Nkoya, Lozi
Languages English, Bemba, Nyanja Tonga, Luvale, Lozi, Mambwe, Tumbuka
Religion Christianity, Islam, Traditional beliefs
WHY CHOOSE ZAMBIA?
• Rising star of the safari circuit with incredible value for money
• Offers a variety of safari experiences including walking safaris, canoeing, tiger fishing and night drives
• With 19 national parks, 30% of the country is dedicated to wildlife conservation areas
• Livingstone is the adventure capital of Africa
• Home to endemic species
National Parks and Principal Sights
In addition to its world-class wildlife parks, Zambia is also blessed with
around 350 waterfalls including the iconic Victoria Falls near Livingstone.
The Victoria Falls, Livingstone & Mosi-Oa-Tunya national Park
David Livingstone was the first European to see the falls and named them in honour of Queen Victoria in 1857. The falls make a constant roar and are accompanied by a cloud of brilliant spray where the 1.7 kilometre wide Upper Zambezi drops between 90 and 107 metres into the Lower Zambezi. An average of 550,000 cubic metres of water plummets over the edge every minute, transforming the Zambezi from a wide placid river to a ferocious torrent cutting through a series of dramatic gorges.
The river’s annual flood season is February to May with a peak in April. The spray from the falls typically rises to a height of over 400 metres, sometimes even twice as high, and is visible from up to 50 kilometres away – hence the local name for the falls and the surrounding national park – Mosi-Oa-Tunya, “the Smoke that Thunders”!
The park provides a home for numerous antelope species, zebra, giraffe, elephant, warthog and a variety of birds. There are several white rhino who are breeding successfully in the park. Since there are no predators, the wildlife is very relaxed, allowing for excellent photo opportunities.
The South Luangwa National Park
Experts have dubbed the South Luangwa National Park as one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, and not without reason.
The concentration of game here is among the most intense in Africa. Over 60 mammal species are found in the South Luangwa. The diverse and highly productive woodland and floodplain supports a large and varied population of herbivores, and this in turn sustains a large number of carnivores. There are also three sub-species endemic to the valley – Thornicroft’s Giraffe, Cookson’s Wildebeest and Crawshay’s Zebra.
The South Luangwa is home to one of the largest concentrations of hippo in Africa, and the numbers of Nile crocodiles is also remarkable. Several mammals, elephant in particular, are comparatively smaller than related species in other parts of Africa. Hippo, giraffe and impala also fall into this category and the reason for this remains a mystery.
South Luangwa is a paradise for ornithologists and bird enthusiasts and out of Zambia’s 740 species of birds, over 400 have been recorded in and around the park. The area is particularly rich in raptors and includes four species of vulture, various large eagles, smaller goshawks, sparrow hawks and a wide variety of owls.
Kafue National Park
Kafue National Park, one of the largest in Africa, has many varied habitats: the Kafue, Lufupa and Lunga rivers with adjoining peaceful stretches of riverine vegetation, dambos and wetlands, extensive miombo woodland with seasonal floodplains and swampland in the north. Owing to this diversity, Kafue is blessed in wildlife.
- Kafue epitomises all the remote, wild and diverse characteristics of the Zambian wilderness
- The vast Busanga Plains are perhaps the prime wildlife viewing destination in the country
- Despite its remoteness, Kafue is easily accessible from both Lusaka and Livingstone
Namibia Visa Information
This information serves as a guide only. Travellers should check visa requirements pertaining to their citizenship, as entry requirements can vary.
Visas Not Required
Foreigners from some Commonwealth countries are not required to obtain visas for entering Zambia except in cases where the Zambian government has directed otherwise.
Foreigners from most Commonwealth and European Union countries, as well as the United States, are required to obtain visas for entering Zambia.
Please visit http://www.zambiaimmigration.gov.zm for a full list of nationalities which require visas for entry.
Zambia has a tropical climate and is distinguished by three distinct seasons: the dry season (May to August), when temperatures drop at night, but the landscape is green and lush; the hot season (September to November), the best time to see wildlife as flora is sparse; and the wet season (December to April) which is ideal for bird-watching.
October is the hottest month and temperatures can reach over 40°C. During the dry season temperatures range from 6-24ºC while the wet season is much hotter, averaging 25-35ºC. Due to an abundance of water after the rainy season, wildlife is scattered. This time is also known as the Emerald Season because vegetation is lush, green and beautiful, but obscures game viewing.
Safaris camps in Zambia are situated in malaria-risk areas; please consult your medical practitioner regarding any anti-malarials. Please check with your health department/travel clinic prior to departure, in the event there have been changes in the health regulations of the country you are visiting.