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5 Best Places to Visit in Zambia

Zambia has some of Africa’s wildest and most beautiful national parks: the game-packed South Luangwa, the peaceful Lower Zambezi with its riverside lodges, and the vast floodplains of Kafue. And then there’s Victoria Falls, a wide curtain of thundering water and where to go in Zambia for all manner of adventure activities - little wonder it’s known as the adrenalin capital of Africa and one of the continent's top places of interest. There is not simply one best time to visit Zambia, as each varying season offers its own unique attractions.

map of Zambia and its national reserves | Go2Africa

 

1. Victoria Falls: Natural Wonder & Adventure Activities

No trip to Zambia would be complete without a visit to Victoria Falls, and it should be number one on your bucket list of things to do in Zambia. Nothing quite prepares you for your first sight of the Zambezi River in full flood thundering over Victoria Falls: the scale, sound and drenching spay are impossible to capture on camera and it really needs to be experienced firsthand.

But if that fails to get your pulse racing, there’s a long list of adventure and wildlife activities ranging from white-water rafting and bungee jumping to helicopter flips and walking with lions; if you’d prefer to slow things down, a leisurely sunset river cruise is highly recommended. Accommodation on the Zambian side is spread out on the banks of the Zambezi upstream from Victoria Falls, and is best for romantic river chalets and luxurious suites.

Discover a Natural Wonder

2. South Luangwa: Big Game & Walking Safaris

For fantastic big game viewing in Zambia, our top choice would undoubtedly be the South Luangwa National Park. Few parks in Africa can match the phenomenal density of game that gathers at this park’s lakes and rivers: massive herds of elephant, hippo and buffalo, well-fed prides of lion, graceful giraffe and ever-watchful Nile crocodiles are among the crowd-pleasers. Go on day and night drives (a great opportunity to see leopard), or set out by foot on one of the best walking safaris in Zambia.

In addition to housing some of the top Zambia safari lodges, South Luangwa is famous for its guided walking adventures that can be anything from a gentle morning stroll from your luxurious lodge to several days in a remote bush camp. Few experiences in Africa can beat walking through an untamed wilderness led by expert, armed guides who are passionate about the bush and take great pride in sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with you.

Set Out On Safari

3. Lower Zambezi: Peaceful Atmosphere & River Activities

The Lower Zambezi National Park is a peaceful reserve with wide floodplains and a wild mountain backdrop; it’s also home to some serious game viewing. A handful of lower Zambezi lodges and camps sit on the riverbank, with a slew of day safari activities perfectly arranged to suit your mood. This top-tier travel destination is ideal for those who want an expertly tailored Zambia safari experience, where you get to decide whether to wake up early for a dawn game drive or sleep late and go fishing – it’s entirely up to you! Just be sure to go on a canoe safari, it’s a fantastic way to get close to animals - and it's from the vantage point of a canoe that you truly understand the meaning of big game.

Traverse Spectacular Scenery

4. Kafue: Wild & Remote, Plenty of Predators

Wild and unspoiled Kafue National Park is bigger than the Kruger Park, yet receives a fraction of its visitors. Those seeking an intimate and unspoilt safari experience will be in their element as chances are you won’t see any other vehicles on your game drives, not even at a big cat sighting! This isn’t the place to come with a checklist but there is plenty of wildlife - large herds of red lechwe and puku provide prey for the many predators of Kafue, especially lion - and it’s where to go in Zambia to see cheetah. Our favourite lodges in Kafue National Park are all on the Busanga Plains - wide open floodplains known for the best game viewing in the park.

Take the Road Less Travelled

5. North Luangwa: Walking Safaris & Untouched Wilderness

Zambia’s North Luangwa National Park will appeal to safari-goers who want to experience Africa at its absolute wildest: there are no permanent lodges, only few roads and just a trickle of visitors. Although you’re unlikely to see as much wildlife here as in neighbouring South Luangwa, the game viewing is still great. Highlights include impressive herds of buffalo and elephant, a large number of lion prides, frequent leopard and hyena sightings, and endemic species such as Cookson's wildebeest.

Activities in North Luangwa focus firmly on walking safaris, some of the best things to do in Zambia, and the only accommodation is at one of a handful of seasonal bush camps that operate during the dry season months of June to October. We recommend Mwaleshi Bush Camp which has just four reed-and-thatch chalets in a beautiful riverside setting – it’s comfortable, well known for its knowledgeable guides and is just about as remote as you can possibly get.