DestinationsSouthern AfricaZambiaLower Zambezi National Park
Explore Africa’s mighty Zambezi River

The Zambezi is Africa’s fourth longest river and forms the boundary between Zambia and Zimbabwe. 100 km downstream from Victoria Falls the river widens to almost 2 km. On its northern bank is one of Zambia’s best known national parks – the Lower Zambezi. Here the grassy floodplain runs up to a series of steep sided hills, as the river runs through the dramatic scenery that so inspired David Livingstone during his historic journey into the heart of Africa. Most visitors to the park comment on the diverse scenery and wealth of wildlife – the guest comment books at any of the luxury lodges pay tribute to epic safari adventures and authentic African experiences.

From the river there is a gradual change from open plains to woodland and dense forest all with the backdrop of the mountains. The Lower Zambezi National Park covers an area of 4092 square kilometers, but most of the game is concentrated along the valley floor. There is an escarpment along the northern end which acts as a physical barrier to most of the parks animal species. The valley is home to a large number of mammal species including elephant, hippo, buffalo, kudu, zebra, impala, bushbuck, duiker, klipspringer, lion, leopard, hyenas, African wild dog, serval, civet, genet, aardvark, chac-ma baboon and vervet and blue monkeys… just to name a few.

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With the Zambezi River as one of the parks natural boundaries, the area also attracts an abundance of bird life estimated to include almost 400-bird species and if you listen carefully you may hear the ubiquitous cry of the fish eagle. Wildlife seems to be less bothered by people when they are at water level and this park offers spectacular opportunities, to get close to animals from a canoe or boat. If you are keen to get up close and personal and up for a jaunt on the river, you can take a canoe trip down the lower Zambezi. Explore the extreme delights of being on the water in and amongst the wild. The river is wide here and still forms channels as it does in the Upper Zambezi but there are less of these in the main stream and the water is deeper in the middle. Canoeing safaris give you the chance to explore the channels where wildlife converge to drink and graze. This is Zambia’s newest Park and as such is still relatively undeveloped, but its beauty lies in its absolute wilderness state. The diversity of animals is not as wide as the other big parks, but the opportunities to get close to game wandering in and out of the Zambezi channels are spectacular.

The Park lies opposite the famous Mana Pools Reserve in Zimbabwe, so the whole area on both sides of the river is a massive wildlife sanctuary. The river’s edge is overhung with a thick riverine fringe, mostly diasporus, ficus and other riverine species. Further inland is a floodplain fringed with mopane forest and interspersed with winterthorn trees Acacia albida. The hills which form the backdrop to the park are covered in broadleaf woodland.The tranquil river and floodplain scene is punctured by a huge variety of wildlife with antelopes and buffalo wandering in and out of the picture and herds of elephants up to 100 strong. Baboons and vervet monkeys thrive here with their main enemy being the leopard. Lions prefer zebra or buffalo. Territorial hippos and huge crocodiles inhabit the river in abundance. Bird watchers will be thrilled at the colorful array of birds including kingfishers, lovebirds, parrots and hornbills, and also upon hearing the distinctive ‘cry of Africa’ from majestic fish eagles. Fishing is very popular in the Zambezi and the ‘striped river dog’ or tiger fish, attracts anglers from all over the world. They can be caught on fly, spinner or bait.

Enquire with one of our Travel Experts for advice on planning your safari to the Lower Zambezi. They have thoroughly explored the area and the luxury lodges and tented camps on offer and can easily help you plan and book your safari.

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Lower Zambezi National Park

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Fast Facts

A wildlife-rich haven, the Lower Zambezi National Park offers close encounters with large herds of elephant; canoeing through river channels; listening to the cry of the African fish eagle and some of the best fishing in the world with over 75 species of fish.

Insider Information
  • Admire the extraordinary variety of birdlife of this region.
  • Enjoy spectacular game-viewing from a wide choice of camps and lodges.
  • Look out for the nocturnal honey badger, hyena, porcupinie and civet whilst on a night drive.

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When To Travel
  • Although many lodges and canoeing operators are open from April to November, the best time to visit is June to September.
  • Game-viewing by boat is possible year-round, although from late October the weather can become very hot.
  • Angling is best from September to October when the tiger fish are more active.

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