While planning our once in a life-time African adventure, we were adamant that Zambia had to be in our itinerary.
Zambia is blessed with many natural wonders, diverse wildlife, Africa’s longest rivers and uninterrupted open spaces. It provides the intrepid traveller many remarkable experiences that few destinations can rival. Nature with all its wonder and majesty unfurled before us.
Zambia is known as one of the safest countries in Africa. Its people are encouraged to live as one with nature, in pursuit of peace and harmony. Their friendly and welcoming nature meant we felt safe our entire visit.
Whether an adrenaline junkie or someone who prefers to watch from afar, Zambia has your style covered. The country is home to 17 majestic waterfalls, including the impressive, world renown Victoria Falls.
752,614 square kilometres of Zambia is reserved for wildlife, made up of 20 national parks and 34 game management areas. Zambia is divided into 10 provinces with 5 major cities. Each city has its own personality and unique atmosphere. We focused our activities on wildlife and nature, but visitors could also immerse themselves in Zambia’s community and culture. Like everywhere in Eastern Africa the landscapes and environment is beautiful and you can expect to end each day with a spectacular sunset.
We are tempted to quote explorer Henry Morton Stanley in 1871 who enquired “Dr Livingstone, I presume.” Livingstone is the former provincial capital, named after Dr David Livingstone, the British explorer and missionary who was the first European to explore the area. Its location provides great access to the Victoria Falls, allowing visitors to see the falls from both the Zambia and Zimbabwe sides.
Many of the buildings still in use, take you back to the early 1900’s. Vistors can partake in a walking tour provided by the tourist lodges and dig deeper into the town’s history at various museums. Livingstone is rich in culture, local producers are happy to showcase their artisan crafts and food, with many mementoes available for the souvenir hunter.
The temperature ranges between 25 and 35°C and the lows sit around 20, it does get cool at night so a light jacket will come in handy.
Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
Zambia is gaining international favour, becoming one of the most popular safari destinations in Africa. All the while, retaining its rugged beauty. It doesn’t feel like a tourist trap, immersed in nature you feel one with it. Surrounded and embraced by wilderness, but never threatened or vulnerable.
It is important to respect the wildlife areas you visit. Although they appear tough and unforgiving, there is a fragility to these ecosystems. Tread lighting as you tour, the beauty and tranquillity can only be maintained through responsible tourism.
The Lower Zambezi has many UNESCO listed sites and in part due to the extraordinary wildlife. Wide and varied you will encounter herds of elephants and buffaloes, lions, leopards (if you are lucky), giraffes and Hyena. Crocodiles and Hippos are in abundance in the river, so watch out for the ear wiggle of the Hippos (could be the cutest thing you will ever see).
As with all our African adventures, the people will welcome you will open arms and are some of the kindest people you will ever meet. Our guides and lodge and camp staff were fantastic we will remember them fondly for years to come.
In 1983 the area was declared a national park, prior to that it was the private game reserve of Zambia’s president. This resulted in the park being protected from mass tourism and today it remains one of the few pristine wilderness areas left in Africa.
Thanks to the world ban on the ivory trade, the park and its wildlife population have remained steady. The park is patrolled by armed law-enforcement agents on a daily basis in an effort to keep poachers out. There are no paved roads within the park and it is sparsely populated by other safari vehicles, in stark contrast to some parks in Kenya and Tanzania. Read more about our experiences in our Chongwe River Camp write up.
Getting to Zambia is not easy, but the destination is worth the effort. As soon as you cross into Zambia you feel like part of the community as if a new member of their family. Your soul takes flight and is grounded at the same time. Zambia makes its mark on you and will never want to leave. We hope to return one day and experience it all again. As Dr Livingstone put it:
“The whole scene was extremely beautiful; the banks and islands dotted over the river are adorned with sylvan vegetation of great variety of color and form…no one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes; but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.”
David Livingstone, Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa, 1858
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