Zambia: holidays, festivals, climate
|1st of May
|Africa Day (anniversary of the founding of the OAU)
|7th of July
|8th of July
|Day of Unity
|4th of August
|December 25th and 26
Source: Countryaah – Zambia Holidays
When visiting Zambia, one of the most beautiful experiences for most travelers is to get to know one of the many traditional festivities that are celebrated so numerous in the country. If you are planning your trip to a certain festival, you should make sure beforehand that the festival in question will also take place, because not all of them are celebrated annually and in the same month as the previous year. You should definitely have a lot of tolerance towards crowds, heat and dust as well as a lot of patience for seemingly endless speeches from all possible local authorities and functionaries.
The most famous and interesting festivities in Zambia include Kazanga. This festival, one of the oldest traditions in Zambia, is celebrated in Kaoma, i.e. in the central western part of the country, between June and August. Kazanga, which is at least 500 years old, is ideal for getting to know the old Nkoya customs and their music and dance.
Around Easter (March/April), Zambia’s most famous festival is celebrated in Lealui/Limulunga in the western province of Kuomboka. It is about the ceremonial migration of the Lozi King (Litunga) from the dry region near Lealui to the more humid region in Limulunga. It is very colorful that day when the litunga, dressed like an ambassador, is brought to its new domicile by hundreds of helpers with musical accompaniment.
On February 24th, the Siamese celebrate their Ncwala, a Ngoni festival near the town of Chipata, with which the first fruit of the new season is welcomed.
Also in Chipata in August there is Kulamba, a kind of harvest festival of the Chewa.
In August, the Likumbi Lya Mize Festival is celebrated in Mize, the official palace of Senior Chief Ndungu. The people of the Luvale tribe then come together to proudly recall their cultural heritage. All kinds of handicrafts are displayed on the occasion, and tribute to one’s own past is colorfully expressed in traditional singing and dancing.
The Livingstone Cultural & Arts Festival has only been taking place since 1994. The colorful festival consisting of dance, music and poetry brings traditional rulers from all Zambian provinces together.
Shimunenga is a ceremony during which one humbly remembers one’s ancestors. The traditional festival takes place on a full moon weekend in September/October. Everything is celebrated by the Ba-lla tribe in Malla.
Finally, the Umutomboko ceremony of the Lunda should be noted, which is celebrated in the Luapula province in Mwansabombwe. On the occasion of the festivities that take place in July, the Lunda and Luba tribes from Kola (today DR Congo) come to Zambia and celebrate with dance and song.
The climate in Zambia differs mainly in the north and south.
The average daytime temperatures are from December to July 25-27 ° C. Until September/October the average temperatures rise up to 31 °C. During the night they fluctuate between 16-17 °C from October to April. From May to July they drop to 7 °C. In the rainy season from December to March there can be up to 25 rainy days per month.
Temperatures are generally higher in the south. From December to April they are around 29-30 °C during the day. In the months of June/July temperatures drop to 25 °C, and in October they can rise to 34 °C. At night it is coldest in June/July with 6 °C. Average temperatures rise to 18-19 °C by October. These temperatures last until February, after which they drop again. From December to February there is a rainy season in which there are around 14-16 rainy days per month.
Zambia: national customs
Zambianese follow a strict patriarchal system according to which women (and younger men) are socially below (older) men and are also less respected. However, the greatest respect is shown to a white person, regardless of their age or gender. This behavior dates back to colonial times and is often perceived as unpleasant by western travelers. One can safely accept this Zambianese form of politeness, because it is meant to be friendly and not as an ironic allusion to the past.
You will quickly notice in the country how curious the people in Zambia are. This curiosity can also be expressed in the fact that you are simply stared at for no reason or that people talk about you and also directly in front of you. Children often shout “Mazungu, mazungu!” counter, which means something like “white man”, and ask endless questions about your own origin, etc. All of this can be quite exhausting, but it should never make you in a bad mood.
Shaking hands, holding hands
Another Zambian custom is to shake hands. This is not uncommon, but many Zambian people hold the hand of their interlocutor for the duration of the conversation, which should not be interpreted as a sexual attitude. People only use it to express their respect. But if you do feel too uncomfortable, just pull your hand away.
Women should avoid shorts and mini-skirts, especially if they are traveling outside of Lusaka, because a woman’s legs are extremely attractive for Zambian men – and not only for them.
Even the briefest conversation or question should always be preceded by a “Hello!” In Zambia. and a “How are you?” (Muli Bwanji?) Start. This appropriate way of greeting is very important in the country because people are not very familiar with the western way of getting straight to the point.
As in most other African countries, homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender people are officially exposed to great discrimination and are openly stigmatized. In the country, consensual acts among members of the same sex are also considered punishable. You can be punished with a prison sentence of up to 14 years.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that ZA stands for the nation of Zambia as a two-letter acronym.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
This waterfall of the Zambezi is the longest uninterrupted waterfall on earth and one of the most famous waterfalls worldwide.
The water masses of the Zambezi – up to 10,000 m³ per second during flooding and 170 m³ per second during the dry season – pour over a width of around 1,710 m over a 110 m sloping rock face. The resulting sprays rise up to 300 m and can still be seen at a distance of 30 km. In the language of the natives the waterfall is called “Thundering Smoke”. In the vicinity of the falls, a railway bridge built in 1905 crosses the Zambezi Gorge.
The waterfalls have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1989. This world natural heritage crosses borders and is also part of the UNESCO world natural heritage of Zimbabwe.
Chingola, a town of 149,000 people that has existed since 1943, is located in the Zambian Copperbelt Province. The second largest open cast copper mine in the world belongs to the mining town. The crisis caused by the fall in the price of copper in the 1990s hit Chingola long and hard. In the meantime, however, the city has regenerated and developed further in terms of infrastructure. Apart from the chimpanzee rearing station Chimfunshi, which is well worth seeing, Chingola doesn’t offer much for tourists.
Kitwe (also Kitwe Nkana or Nkana-Kitwe)
Zambia’s third largest city with around 408,000 residents is located in the north of the country in the Copperbelt province and, thanks to the Nkana mining complex, is the most important location for Zambian copper processing. The city, to the south of which Zambia’s gem mines are expanding, struggled for a long time with the fall in copper prices in the 1990s, but is slowly back on the road to recovery. The economic heart of everyday life is the Chisokone Market, which is used daily by numerous traders, while Kitwe can be proud of the Copperbelt University of one of Zambia’s universities.
In 1904, Livingstone was the first Zambian city to be founded, today the capital of the southern province of Zambia. The city, also known as Maramba, emerged together with the completion of the Victoria Falls Bridge and was named after the Scottish Africa explorer David Livingstone. Between 1911 and 1935 it even acted as the capital of Northern Rhodesia, today’s Zambia. About 110,000 people live in the city, which borders the large Mosi oa Tunya National Park and is the tourist starting point for trips to the famous Victoria Falls.
About 1.4 million people live in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital. The city has undergone tremendous changes in recent years. When walking through the city, the new shops stand out, and above all the numerous construction sites; old buildings are being restored and new, modern structures are being built. There is a university that opens up new perspectives for the whole country because the Zambian intellectual class is no longer forced to migrate to other countries. Continue here >>>
Ndola is not only one of Zambia’s economic centers, but also the country’s second largest city with around 400,000 residents. The Zambian city, which was founded after Livingstone in 1904 and is therefore the second oldest Zambian city, was an important center of the Arab-African slave trade long before it was founded, as the city’s coat of arms still reminds of. Ndola, where a campus of the University of Zambia was set up, has a multifaceted tourist potential with its markets, hotels and shops, cinema and good connections to Lusaka.
Chilenje House No. 394 in Lusaka
In the suburb of Chilenje in this house Kenneth Kaunda lived from 1960-1962. The original furniture of Dr. Kaunda and his family can be visited here every Wednesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Freedom Statue in Lusaka
This statue shows a man breaking the chains of colonization. It is dedicated to the victims of the struggle for independence and stands in front of the UNIP headquarters.
Kariba Dam in Lusaka
The 128 meter high and 579 meter long double-curved concrete arch dam with a total volume of 1,032,000 m³ was built between 1955 and 1959.
Karibastausee am Zambezi
The reservoir is 280 km long and with a maximum water surface of 5,580 km² has a storage capacity of around 181 km³. The lake’s 181 billion tons of water weight have caused numerous earthquakes in the region since the lake was filled.
Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka
On the corner of Independence Avenue and Chikwa Road is the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Cross, built between 1957 and 1962 – the original name of the Christian sacred building. The foundation stone for the church was laid by none other than the Queen Mother.
Le Soleil in Lusaka
The building on a 300 meter high hill is a center for conferences, culture, art, wellness and beauty. Here you can admire arts and crafts by artists from all over the country. You can also take part in courses and events or have a bite to eat in the pool restaurant and enjoy the magnificent view of the African expanses.
Parliament in Lusaka
Every last Thursday of the month there are guided tours in the Zambian parliament. The building is open to the public every Friday afternoon.
Museums and cultural assets
Copperbelt Museum in Ndola
The museum, located in the Zambian city of Ndola, exhibits jewelry and minerals from the Copperbelt.
Henry Tayali Art Gallery in Lusaka
The art center is located on Lion Lane on the Lusaka event site. It is the headquarters of the national organization for visual arts in Zambia, which was founded by Zambian artists. The gallery is the largest in Zambia and around 10 exhibitions are held every year. The artist Henry Tayali, after whom the museum was named, was born in Serenje, Zambia in 1943 and gave his first exhibition at the age of 15.
The museum located in Livingstone and founded in 1930 exhibits, among other things, archaeological finds from Ingombe Ilede (7th to 16th centuries). These go back to the time of the Munhumutapa Empire. You pay around 4.50 euros to enter, but it’s worth it. One of the most interesting pieces of information you can get in the museum is that the Zambians only got access to a bike with the arrival of Europeans in the 19th century.
Lusaka National Museum
The museum on Independence Avenue is housed in one of the most impressive buildings in the city. The museum tells the history of Zambia in the sections ethnography, witchcraft (witchcraft), history and contemporary art. There are also numerous objects from the independence struggle to see. Since Zambia does not have a national gallery, the visitor is given at least a little insight into Zambian art. Works that have been made in Zambia since independence, such as paintings, sculptures, and ceramics, can be seen here.
National Museum in Livingstone
Exhibits are documents on the city’s history, ethnographic exhibits and archaeological finds.
Slave Tree or Mukuyu Slave Tree in Ndola
In Ndola there is the so-called Mukuyu slave tree, where Arab slave traders sold their human goods in the 19th century. The historical testimony, which unfortunately suffers greatly from termites, is by the way a kind of fig tree.
Zambili Crafts and Café D’Afrique
Kalundu, very close to Lusaka, has traditional African food and cultural events.
Chisokone Market in Kitwe
The Chisokone Market in Kitwe is located near Matuka Street. It is one of the largest and oldest markets in the Zambian city.
Kabwata Cultural Village near Lusaka
In the suburb of Kabwata along the Burma Road you can buy excellent hand-carved goods. There is carving all day long and there are various motifs. As for the price, it is advisable not to necessarily accept the first offer. The cultural village is open every day!
Luburma Market in Lusaka
South of Independence Avenue is the city’s largest market, which has been held here since 1928. There are hundreds of markets in Lusaka, some of which merge into one another and all sell similar goods.
Copperbelt University in Kitwe
The Copperbelt University on Jambo Drive in Kitwe, founded in 1977 as the Technical University of Zambia and as a branch of the University of Zambia, became independent in 1988. Business, environmental, forest and wood management as well as technology are taught at its four faculties. With 1,600 students, it is the second largest university in the country after the University of Zambia. Copperbelt University also includes the Center for Lifelong Education, which was established in 1990 as a training center for employees.
Northrise University in Ndola
The Christian Northrise University in Ndola, Zambia, is the third university in the country. It has existed since 2004 when it was launched by Doreen and Moffat Zimba. Around 100 students are currently enrolled at the NU and are being trained in theology and computer science. Since 2007, work has been carried out on a future agricultural faculty, which is to offer the students board and lodging.
University of Zambia in Lusaka
It was not until 1964 that the University of Zambia (University of Zambia) was founded in Lusaka, which then began its activity in March 1966. About 8,500 students are currently studying here. The campus is about seven kilometers outside of downtown Lusaka on the Great East Road. The training of doctors takes place at the Ridgeway near the university clinic. In addition to medicine, courses in agricultural, educational, engineering, natural, legal and social sciences, veterinary medicine and mining are offered. There is also a Faculty of Science.
Kafue National Park
If you take Kafue Road from Lusaka and turn left just before the Kafue Bridge, you come directly to the river: Visitors can rent boats or canoes here or take part in a barbecue. The 22,400 km² park in the middle of the southern half of the country is one of the largest animal protection areas in Africa. The Kafue River provides the habitat for over 600 species of birds.
Park Numerous mammals such as elephants, hippos, sables, bushbucks, water buffalos and hyenas live in the only 390 km² park with its eight lakes, four rivers, swamps and forests. The rare Shoebill storks can also be found here.
Lochinvar National Park
The park is home to over 400 different species of birds. The Ngwisho hot springs are one of the oldest archaeological sites in Central Africa.
Lower Zambezi National Park
The park, located south of the Victoria Falls on the Zambezi, provides a habitat for elephants, hippos, buffalo, zebras, lions, leopards and countless species of birds.
Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park near Maramba
The small park in southern Zambia is home to the country’s typical wildlife. In addition, some specimens of the rare white rhinos live here.
North Luangwa National Park
The wooded park with its small rivers is home to elephants, leopards, wild cats, hyenas, impalas, zebras and monkeys as well as large herds of buffalo. The 350 bird species found there include the king heron, the crimson bee-eater and the great eagle owl.
Nsumbu National Park
The approximately 2,000 km² large Nsumbu National Park extends on Lake Tanganyika and is structured by wide sandy beaches, bays, granite cliffs and deep valleys. The deepest of these valleys descends 300 meters and was dug by the Lufubu River, which also forms the eastern border of the national park. Unfortunately, the species-rich and fascinating national park is very difficult to reach, because you either have to come with a chartered Cessna from Lusaka or Ndola to Kasaba Bay/Nkamba Bay Airport and be picked up there or start by boat from Mpulungu.
South Luangwa National Park
Elephants, hippos, lions, zebras, giraffes, antelopes, buffalo, monkeys and wild dogs live here.
West Lunga National Park
Located between 1,100 and 1,400 meters high and around 410,000 hectares in size, West Lunga National Park in Zambia’s northwestern province is named after the West Lunga River, which flows through the park from north to south. In addition to the indescribable flora, you can admire buffalo, elephants, waterbuck and antelopes in the park.
The best way to get to the park, which is equipped with lodges, is to take the road from Solwezi to Kabompo.
The Kavango-Zambezi Conservation Area (KAZA) stretches across five countries in southern Africa, including Zambia, Angola, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. The entire area covers an area of around 444,000 km² – which is roughly the area of Germany and Austria. The area has so far been largely spared from tourists. But nature lovers from all over the world are increasingly discovering this cross-border natural attraction with its fascinating flora and fauna.
The protected area serves the following four purposes in particular:
- The preservation of biodiversity
- Creation of development opportunities for the local population
- Promotion of tourism
- Secure peace in the region through cross-border cooperation.
More natural beauties
Two kilometers from Leopards Hill and close to the American International School, this adventure park spreads out and offers various attractions. The different landscape zones are modeled in a botanical garden. There are also various swimming pools for all ages and a volleyball court.
Chaminuka Private Game Reserve
Only 45 minutes from Lusaka, visitors can take part in an exciting safari in a beautiful natural setting. You can also explore the reserve on horseback, fish, swim, play tennis, or relax in the jacuzzi and sauna. More animal species live here than in any other game park.
There is also an excellent art gallery in Chaminuka.
Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage near Chingola
The Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage, about 60 km from Chingola, is an orphanage and breeding station for chimpanzees and as such is unique in the world. The home was started by David and Sheila Siddle in 1983 when a severely wounded chimpanzee was brought to their farm. Since then, the 4.7 km² area made up of wooded savannahs and fruit trees has also acted as a refuge for other animal species. For those who would like to get to know the work of the Siddles, who incidentally received the Jane Goodall Award, the autobiography “In My Family Tree: A Life With Chimpanzees to widespread acclaim” published by Sheila Siddle in 2002 is recommended.
San rock paintings
Probably dating from the late Stone Age, the rock paintings can be found throughout the country, apart from the western regions.
The 1,500 hectare bird sanctuary is 20 minutes from Lusaka. With the owner, visitors can explore the landscape on horseback or watch the birds on foot.
Kalimba Reptile Park near Lusaka
On the Great East Road towards the airport, turn left behind a Caltex gas station, follow the signs! Numerous snakes, crocodiles, turtles and lizards live in this reptile park. There is a children’s playground, a pottery class, and you can buy fresh fish and crocodile meat, as well as bags, belts, etc.
Lake Chilengwa near Ndola
About 15 km east of Ndola extends the Chilengwa Lake, which was formed when a rock fell into an underground limestone cave. By the way, one attaches great importance to the lake for the culture of the area.
Lilyali Game Ranch
The 700 hectare farm is 20 minutes outside of town and includes lodges and a swimming pool as well as a restaurant, which allows visitors to spend a few days here in nature. 19 different antelope species can be admired here; Since there are no predators here, the animals are much less nervous than in the national parks. In addition, there are over 200 different species of birds, all of which can be discovered on hikes or on horseback.
Lechwe Game and Fish Farm
Located on the banks of the Kafue River, the farm can be reached in an hour’s drive. The proximity to the river attracts numerous water birds, there are 16 different antelope species.
The Lukanga Marshes are fed by the Kafue River and cover an area of around 260,000 hectares. The wilderness area in the Zambian Central Province, which has not yet been explored, is inhabited by cranes, pythons, sitatungas and other animals. The inaccessible swamps cover a water surface of up to 8,000 km² and form a world of their own in Zambia, which has been abandoned by the state.
The impressive Lumangwe Falls in northern Zambia, formed by the Kalungwishi River, are 30 meters high and 100 meters wide and are often touted as the “Little Victoria Falls”. The waterfalls are well developed for tourists and can be visited as part of a safari trip.
The Mambilima Falls, which are formed by the Luapula River, are about 972 meters high. They arise behind the Mambatutafall, form a band of rapids behind it and finally end in a floodplain landscape, which is bordered by mango trees and Kassava fields.
Munda Wanga Environmental Park near Lusaka
The park has become a functional education and recreation center that is tailored to the needs of both Zambians and foreign visitors. The zoo is also a sanctuary for the lions, tigers, elephants and its other residents. In addition to the zoo, the visitor can also enjoy the atmosphere in a botanical garden. There are also cafes, playgrounds, a swimming pool and much more.
Nembo Scenic Park
The park is located 11 km from Lusaka in Ngwerere. He recreates the map of Zambia on 47,000 m², with the country’s waterfalls and lakes. The Nembo Scenic Park is particularly worth a visit for children and those interested in nature.
The largest lake in Zambia is Lake Tanganyika with an area of 32,893 km². But only a small “corner” of the lake is in the area of Zambia. This part of the lake is located in the northeast of the country on the border with Tanzania (east) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (north). With a maximum depth of 1,470 m and an average depth of approx. 570 m, the lake is the second deepest lake on earth and the deepest in all of Africa. With its area of 32,893 km² it is the second largest lake in Africa. The only around 105 km long Ruzizi River is the skin inflow of the lake and the only outflow of the East African Kiwu Lake.
Zambia: national parks
Blue Lagoon National Park
The Blue Lagoon National Park covers an area of 500 km². On the other side of the Kafue River is Lochinvar National Park. The park differs from the other national parks in the country mainly because of its mostly flat terrain. The dry grassland turns into a moist, lush area in the rainy season. In the park you can see large herds of Lechwe antelopes – and around 450 different bird species. It is interesting that in 1960 the area of what is now the Blue Lagoon and Lochinvar National Park was acquired by a retired colonel in the British Army and his wife – an environmentally friendly farming family – and later sold to the national park administration. Your former house is still preserved.
Isangano National Park
Isangano National Park is practically non-existent – like Lavushi Manda National Park to the south of it – as its animals have been virtually destroyed by poaching and the local people have rededicated more and more land to agricultural land.
Kafue National Park
The Kafue National Park is the largest national park in Zambia with an area of 22,400 km². It was founded in the 1950s. In the north of Kafue in the Lufupa forest Baikiaea plurijuga you can find the coveted teak and the African rosewood.
In the south, the forest first merges into bushland and then increasingly takes on the character of the Kalahari. You can find African wild dogs, bushbuck, spotted hyenas, lions and leopards in the park. Furthermore impala, cape buffalo, kudu, red hartebeest, litchi bog antelope, pukus, plains zebra, blue wildebeest, waterbuck, crown duiker, oribis, roan antelope, sable antelope and warthogs.
Among the local birds is the endangered fig bearded bird.
Kasanka National Park
The Kasanka National Park is the smallest national park with an area of 450 km². There are eight lakes, four rivers, swamps and forests in the park. Numerous mammals such as bushbucks, elephants, hyenas, hippos, water buffalo and sable live in the park. The rare Shoebill storks can also be found here.
Lavushi Manda National Park
The Lavushi Manda National Park is located on the western slope of the southern Muchinga Mountains on the edge of the Bangweulus swamps. Like the Isangano National Park to the north of it, it has practically ceased to exist as a national park because its animals, with the exception of a number of bird species, have been almost destroyed by poaching. There is also no infrastructure.
Liuwa Plain National Park
The Liuwa Plain National Park is located on the upper reaches of the Zambezi between its tributaries Luanginga and Luambimba. The administration of the national park is in Kalabo. It is worth mentioning the migration of huge herds of wildebeest and zebra from Angola to the park during the rainy season. Numerous species of antelope also come to the Liuwa floodplain. The floodplains consist of open grassland with groves, sandy scrubland and watercourses. The park has no tourist infrastructure
Lochinvar National Park
The Lochinvar National Park is the southern part of the Kafue floodplains and forms a unit with the northern Blue Lagoon National Park. It covers 428 km² of forest – including Acacia albida and Combretum – as well as floodplains and lagoons. Upstream is the Itezhitezhi Dam with the Kafue National Park. The dam is supposed to keep the water level in the Kafue floodplains constant.
The hot springs of 60 to 90 °Celsius at Gwisho are well known. The hot springs of Ngwisho represent one of the oldest archaeological sites in Central Africa. Around 430 different bird species live in the park. Large herds of Lechwe antelopes as well as buffalo, wildebeest and zebra populate the park. The park is developed for tourism with camps and lodges. The park, which is open all year round, can be reached from the city of Monze.
Luambe National Park
The Luambe National Park covers an area of 300 km² = 30,000 ha.
The park is located north of the well-known South Luangwa National Park and south of the North Luangwa National Park. Like this one, it is located in the Luangwa Valley, which extends at the foot of the foothills of the Great Rift Valley. The valley gets its water from the approximately 810 km long left tributary Luangwa of the Zambezi. In contrast to it, the widely ramified arms of the Luangwa only carry water during the rainy season. Luambe National Park is mainly located in a flat plateau with partially dense vegetation, including mopane tree forests. But lagoons and grasslands also shape the picture.
The following animals can be found here: elephants, eland antelopes, hippos, leopards, lions and wild dogs. In addition, wildebeest, impalas, pukus, kudu, and the nocturnal Moholi-Galago primates, Thornycroft giraffes, warthogs and zebras.
Among the birds are: African ospreys, fork-tailed and green-headed skaters, gray fishers, guinea fowl, carmines, giant fishers, white-backed vultures and white-foreheaded moths.
In the park there is the Luambe camp for eight guests.
Lukusuzi National Park
The Lukusuzi National Park covers an area of 2,540 km² = 254,000 hectares. The national park is located east of the approximately 810 km long Luangwa River above the Luangwa Valley of the same name. In the park you can find eland antelopes, elephants, wildebeest, hyenas, klipspringer, lions, saber antelopes, warthogs and zebras.
Lusenga Plain National Park
The Lusenga Plain National Park covers an area of km². It consists of a wide plain with reed swamps and an evergreen forest. In the other part of the park, dense Miombo forests dominate. The park borders the 5,120 km² Mweru Lake, the banks of which are densely populated, and the 220 km long Kalungwishi River, which flows into the Congo. The river has with the Lumangwe Falls, Chimpepe Falls, Kabweluma Falls, Kundabwiku Falls and the Mumbuluma Falls, a number of impressive waterfalls. In recent years elephants, hippos, Grant’s zebras (Equus quagga boehmi), impalas and Grant’s zebra have been reintroduced
Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park
The Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park (Victoria Falls National Park) is located in the south of Zambia near the border with Zimbabwe and covers an area of only 65 km² = 6,500 ha. The park extends along the Upper reaches of the Zambezi from Victoria Falls to about twelve kilometers upstream. The Victoria Falls are called Mosi-oa-Tunya (thundering smoke) by the locals, hence the name of the national park.
The water of the Zambezi – which rises in Zambia – plunges here over a width of around 1,710 m, around 110 m deep into a 50 m wide gorge with steep basalt rock walls. The Zambezi flows into the Indian Ocean after around 2,575 km. The Victoria Falls have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1989.
Antelopes, elephants, giraffes, leopards, lions and zebras live in the park. In addition, some specimens of the very rare white rhinos live here. Visitors can explore the park with a rental car or in organized groups within a few hours.
Mweru Wantipa National Park
The Mweru Wantipa National Park, founded in 1972, is located in northern Zambia. The park covers an area of around 3,135 km² = 313,500 ha. The marshland with its papyrus plants, which surrounds Lake Mweru Wantipa in the north of the country, is rich in water birds during the rainy season. The 1,500 km² Mweru Wantipa Lake is a Rift Valley Lake and a swamp system. It lies between the approx. 5120 km² large Mwerusee and the southern part of the approximately 32,895 km² large Tanganyika lake. The Itigi-Sumbu thicket is an ecoregion located between Lake Mweru-Wantipa and Lake Tanganyika and consists of two small and dense bush areas.
Despite the massive poaching, elephants, Cape buffalo, Nile crocodiles, Sitatunga antelopes or even warthogs still live here in the park. The park can be reached from Nchelenge. There is only one road through the park that leaves the park in Kaputa near the Zaire border. The park is not accessible during the rainy season from December to March.
North Luangwa National Park
The North Luangwa National Park covers an area of 4,635 km² = 463,500 hectares. The landscape changes between Mopane forest, open grassland, wide floodplains and acacias. With its numerous small rivers, it is home to monkeys, elephants, hyenas, impalas, Cape buffalo, leopards, wild cats and zebras. The 350 bird species that occur there include the king heron, bee-eater and the great eagle owl. There are several camps for visitors in the park.
Nsumbu National Park
The approximately 2,000 km² large Nsumbu National Park extends on Lake Tanganyika and is dominated by wide sandy beaches, bays, cliffs and deep valleys, the deepest valley of the river Lufubu being 300 m deep. The river forms the eastern boundary of the park. The flora of the park consists mainly of combretum thickets, wild figs and umbrella acacias. Among the animals in the park are particularly noteworthy: bush, reed and eland antelopes, elephants, wildebeest, hyenas, impalas, Cape buffalo, lions, leopards, saber antelopes, jackals, warthogs and waterbuck as well as zebras. Crocodiles and hippos live in and around the water.
Last but not least, it should be noted that large species of birds such as flamingo and sea eagle live in the park.
However, it must be remembered that the national park is difficult to reach: You either have to fly with a small charter plane from Lusaka or Ndola to Kasaba Bay/Nkamba Bay Airport and have yourself picked up there or take the boat from Mpulungu
Nyika National Park
The Nyika National Park covers an area of 3,200 km² = 320,000 ha and crosses the border with Malawi. The highlands of the Nyika National Park mainly consist of a hilly grassy landscape in which mainly herbaceous plants grow. However, there are also individual small forest areas here. Miombo trees, which are typical of the grasslands and savannas in Africa, grow on the slopes of the highlands. The mimbo trees cover around 60% of the park area. There are also trees such as Julbernardia globiflora, Isoberlinia angolensis or Monotes africanus. The 200 different types of orchids are worth mentioning. Among the introduced plants are the bracken and the Scots pine, which can be found in the central highlands on an area of around 480 ha at an altitude of around 2,000 m.
The park is home to around 95 different species of mammals, including Ethiopian green monkeys, bushbucks, elephants, elenan and roan antelopes, greater kudu, large reedbuck, klipspringer, red duiker, Lichtenstein antelopes, lions, leopards, pukus, plains zebras, striped jackals, Spotted hyenas, white-throated monkeys and desert warthogs
Sioma-Ngweizi National Park
The Sioma-Ngweizi National Park covers an area of around 5,000 km² = 500,000 ha. The park consists of teak forests, open bushland and Kalahari vegetation. Antelopes (puku, impala, roan, saber, kudu), elephants, cheetahs and zebras and above all antelopes live in the park: the park can be reached by car via an asphalt road from Livingstone via Sesheke and the Zambezi Bridge. The park itself does not offer any tourist facilities, but there are a few lodges nearby on the Zambezi, from where you can take day trips to the park.
South Luangwa National Park
The South Luangwa National Park is located in the east of the country and covers an area of 9,050 km² = 905,000 hectares. The Luangwa River is the lifeline of the park, which attracts numerous elephants, hippos and crocodiles. Antelopes, buffalo, giraffes, lions, leopards, zebras, monkeys and wild dogs also live here. In addition to around 60 different mammal species, around 400 different bird species fly around in the park. The national park can be reached via the main entrance gate at Mfuwe. Mfuwe Airport is served daily and also allows charter planes from abroad without a stop in Lusaka. Some exclusive camps and lodges are located within the park.
Lower Zambezi National Park
The Lower Zambezi National Park covers an area of around 4,100 km. The park is located on the bank opposite the Mana Pools National Park on the middle reaches of the Zambezi – between the Kariba Dam and the mouth of the Luangwa – just above the Cabora Bassa Lake.
The landscape is shaped by the water level of the Zambezi. There are flat shorelines, islands, sandbanks and ponds. The drier areas are covered with a forest of mahogany, ebony, baobabs and wild figs.
In the park you can find African elephants, African buffalos, cheetahs, leopards. The local Nile crocodiles and hippos move back from the drying Zambezi to the few surrounding pools during the summer.
The park has numerous lodges and camps and tours by car or boat are offered. The park can be reached via the village of Chirundu, but most of the organized safaris start in the capital Lusaka. A visit is recommended during the dry season.
West Lunga National Park,
between 1,100 and 1,400 m high and around 4,100 km² = 410,000 hectares in size, West Lunga National Park is located in the northwestern province, and is named after the West Lunga River, which flows through the park from north to south. In addition to the diverse flora, antelopes, buffalos, elephants and waterbuck can be admired in the park. The best way to get to the park, which is equipped with lodges, is to take the road from Solwezi to Kabompo.