March 27, 2023

Southern Africa’s seldom visited country, Zambia, has it all

Adrenaline-filled activities like walking with unleashed lions, riding elephants, and whitewater rafting are all options in Zambia.
The landlocked country that sits to the north of Zimbabwe rarely makes it onto the itinerary of travelers to southern Africa, yet Zambia’s awe-inspiring view of Victoria Falls is enough of a reason to visit. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Victoria Falls is the world’s largest waterfall, boasting a height twice that of Niagara Falls. The best view is from the 300-foot-high Knife Edge Bridge where you’ll soon understand why its indigenous name translates to “the smoke that thunders.” The majestic Falls and nearby town of Livingstone serve as a relaxing counterpoint for safaris in two of Zambia’s 19 parks–South Luangwa National Park and Lower Zambezi National Park.

Heralded as one of the continent’s best game parks, South Luangwa National Park lays claim to hoards of giraffes, zebras, lions, elephants, leopards, wildebeest, buffalo, hyenas, wild dogs, and birds in the 3,500 square miles it encompasses. What makes a safari here particularly special is the opportunity to travel by foot. There’s no clunky Land Cruiser standing between you and the wildlife (though you will be accompanied by an armed scout), so you may get a less self-conscious reaction from the animals you happen upon.

At Lower Zambezi National Park, activities are centered around the winding Zambezi River which separates Zambia from Zimbabwe. Canoeing, catch-and-release fishing, and boat-led wildlife viewing are highlights in this area that’s lusher and populated by more hippos and elephants than South Luangwa.

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