Zambia safaris- A journey to the heart of Africa

A landlocked country richly diverse in wildlife and culture, Zambia has some of the most spectacular safari opportunities on offer. The stunning scenery includes one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls, which can be incorporated into your safari adventure. This is a country renowned for its walking tours through the inspiring landscape and traditional culture of the ‘real Africa.’

One of the most impressive places to go on a Zambia safari, the Lower Zambezi National Park, offers fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities alongside dramatic geography. The park is situated downstream of the mighty Victoria Falls and follows the Zambezi River as it flows towards Mozambique and eventually the ocean. Its proximity to the Zambezi River makes for fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities in the dry season as high concentrations of animals migrate across the plains to the permanent source of water at the river. Various types of safari activities are available to tour the Lower Zambezi National Park. From day and night game drives, walks, boat cruises or fishing you are sure to find the safari experience that suits you. Taking a canoe trip out onto the Zambezi River is a real highlight for many travellers as you drift along and view buffalo, antelope and elephant herds on the bank.

A visit to the Luangwa Valley and the vast South Luangwa National Park provides a taste of Zambia’s real wilderness for the more adventurous of travellers. Home to the largest concentrations of hippo in the world at around 45 per kilometre on the river; witness some spectacular scenes as these gentle giants rise from the murky waters and gape their enormous jaws. There are also large herds of elephant, buffalo and over 400 species of bird on offer and the South Luangwa National Park also boasts one of the best locations in the world to view leopard. Walking safaris are the traditional way of exploring this park, so set out on foot with a knowledgeable guide and get up close to the abundance of animals on offer.

Zambia is sparsely populated by over 70 ethnic groups giving it a richly diverse culture and providing unique opportunities for visitors to immerse themselves into authentic African heritage. Incorporating a traditional tribal festival into your safari experience offers a chance to explore Zambia’s fascinating traditions and the Mutomoko ceremony hosted by the Lunda people of Luapula Valley is an annual event celebrating the long cherished customs of the tribe. Witness the fascinating dances and rhythmic drumming of a time honoured celebration and observe the reverence and respect devoted to the ancestral spirits of past tribesmen. Guests are encouraged to join in with the celebrations and enjoy an African experience full of rich cultural significance.

The beautifully powerful Victoria Falls is also a must see on any Zambia safari. Trying to comprehend the scale of the mile-wide gorge where the mighty Zambezi River roars over a ledge and drops 400 feet to the valley floor below is a breathtaking experience. Helicopters and microlights are available to view the impressive falls from the air, or for the more adventurous take the world famous bungee jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge. Or simply spend an afternoon gazing at the falls – the perfect highlight to any African holiday.

Brendon has travelled across much of Southern Africa and written extensively for online and print publications.

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