A panoramic view of three canoes paddling through the reeds on the Zambezi River

Lower Zambezi National Park

overview
Zambia
Another behemoth in the Africa safari opus, Zambia's Lower Zambezi is fast becoming a major game park in the region with excellent wildlife safaris. An absolute draw card for big game in southeastern Zambia. A national park since 1983.
A closeup of an elephant stepping down a sand bank among the reeds.

Closed for the torrential rains that last from November to March, the park takes time off to restore its supplies ready to impress the next round of gaping, awestruck, camera-whirring visitors.

With about 120km of river frontage, this wild and undeveloped park is a vast floodplain of tributaries, islands and channels beyond which its grassy acacia plains rise up to a heavily wooded escarpment. Across the river is Zimbabwe and Mana Pools effectively making one large game reserve of quite magnificent constituents.

At the centre of it all is the Zambezi River. Spreading two km wide at this point, by the time the Zambezi reaches the Lower Zambezi National Park it has travelled 1500km, descended several hundred metres, cascaded over many waterfalls – including Victoria Falls – and formed one of the largest man-made dams in the world. Yet the river still holds a lifetime of surprises.

A safari on water is as relaxing and enchanting as a safari on foot is exciting. The ever-changing scenery is always magical with large heavy-limbed trees overhanging the water, lush islands and winding channels. The game viewing is excellent as you draw no attention and pose no threat in your silent, gliding vessel.

A river safari on the Zambezi is not devoid of excitement though as large pods of hippo snort and grunt just beneath the surface, crocodiles offer the most sadistic smile known to man and lion, elephant and buffalo are often seen at the water's edge.

Game drives, walking safaris, sport fishing, canoeing and night drives all feature on your daily to-do list in the Lower Zambezi National Park with the variety of wildlife and birdlife never far from your binocular vision.

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