Lower Zambezi National Park
Fronted by the fast-flowing Zambezi River and backed by the magnificent Zambezi Escarpment, Lower Zambezi National Park is Zambia’s youngest park, with excellent wildlife and varied activities.
We loved seeing a new-born giraffe only a few hours old, and on our canoe safari on a channel in Lower Zambezi we were at eye level with the wildlife.
Downstream from the tumultuous waters of Victoria Falls and the Batoka Gorge, the waters flow more gently into the Lower Zambezi. The river is the life source for the wildlife in what is now the Lower Zambezi National Park, and the evergreen Natal mahogany trees keep the park looking quite verdant all year.
There is plenty to do in this relatively small but strikingly beautiful reserve. A broad range of activities is on offer including, walking, game drives and river safaris. Add to this a choice selection of beautiful lodges and camps along with varied wildlife and birdlife, and you have a choice safari destination.
- Wildlife of Lower Zambezi: This wildlife-rich region is easily explored on game drives from your camp. It’s not quite as diverse or prolific as South Luangwa or Kafue, but it’s still very good. Lions, elephants, hippos, buffalo, crocodiles and plains game are commonly seen here, but you’ll find no giraffes, rhinos, pukus or cheetahs, and wild dogs are rare here. There are common waterbuck (no difasa), chacma baboons (no yellow), and crested guinea fowl (no helmeted).
Birdlife is very good - you could even see the rare narina trogon, and Pel’s fishing owls can be seen from about August to November (especially on the Chongwe River).
- Walking safaris: As with many of Zambia’s other parks, walking is a feature. Zambia is the home of the walking safari and the Lower Zambezi is no exception.
- Boat safaris: Camps along the river offer boat safaris, you may not see quite as much wildlife as you would inland, but wildlife does come to the river for water, elephant feed along the banks, and of course there is an abundance of hippos, crocs and water birds.
- Canoe trips: Most of the lodges and camps offer canoe excursions, something you should definitely try if you have the option. Nothing too strenuous as you paddle downstream taking in the peaceful scenery and wildlife as you go. You’ll be collected at the end of your journey and driven back to camp. For the more adventurous you can opt for a two or three-day canoe trip.
- Fishing: Keen fisherman can try their hand at catching tigerfish, bream or even vundu. There’s nothing quite like that impact when a tigerfish catches your line – mind those teeth when you take the hook out! All fishing is catch and release.
- Seasons: Check out our ‘when to go’ page for more detail. The camps in the Lower Zambezi are generally open May through to November, this is the dry season. We don’t advise travelling here outside of this period.