Zambia

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Considered one of Africa’s best kept secrets, Zambia is one of a few countries that’s a sure fire bucket list checker. Having given over a third of it’s lands to national parks, adventures in Zambia don’t usually include other people’s footprints. Being one of the most unspoilt countries in the world, it gives you a taste for the “real Africa,” getting you face to face with both nature’s greatest predators and prey and some of the most astounding sights you’ll lay your eyes on, ones that you’ll definitely tell the grandkids about, that’s for sure.

Zambia is blessed with copious, sublime natural wonders, whether it’s the thronging wildlife in the┬áNorth Luangwa National Park, the majesty of Victoria falls (one of the seven natural wonders of the world), the vast, rugged open spaces, or the dominant Zambezi River. You’ll find your jaw dropping time and again…and again.

Highlights

Hi, Stephan here, the Not In The Guidebooks local ambassador for Zambia. It is true what they say about Zambia, it’s has some of the most incredible natural sights in the world, when a country is home to one of the seven natural wonders, you know you’re going to have your socks knocked right off. Here’s my top Zambia highlights…

Zambezi River

One of the longest rivers in Africa, the Zambezi River is one of the best places to view Zambia’s abundant wildlife, along many stretches of the river it’s possible to see Hippo, crocodiles and monitor lizards, as well as species of bird, like heron, pelican, egret and African fish eagle are found in large numbers here. The riverine woodlands then support many large animals, such as buffalo, zebra, giraffe and elephants.

Victoria Falls

The natural wonder of the world I mentioned. Although, Victoria Falls is a main tourist attraction, it’s definitely a must see on your trip to Zambia. It’s a truly iconic sight, that shows just how naturally awe-inspiring Zambia is. And it forms the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

It’s possible to see columns of spray from miles away and there’s more than five hundred million cubic meters of water per minute plummeting over the edge, over a width of nearly two kilometers, into a gorge over one hundred meters below.

Lower Zambezi National Park

When people visit Zambia, they largely think about visiting Victoria Falls and sometimes forget about the many national parks. But this is probably my favourite national park in Zambia, it’s certainly one of the less visited parks, as it’s quite difficult to reach and you do need a guide to get there. It’s not commercialised, it’s untouched and it’s raw and here you’ll find one of the best places to view predators in the wild.

Visiting one of the local communities near Lower Zambezi is also a great chance to meet, and learn about the local indigenous people that live in Zambia, where they’re quite happy to share their culture with you.

 

When is the best time to go?

The majority of Southern Africa has a similar climate so the seasons are the same across the different countries

May-Sept is the country’s dry season with warm days and cool nights. It’s a great time for game viewing and safari. It hots up significantly in October and November and it can become extremely hot and humid, although it’s hot, it’s a great time to go on safari as wildlife gathers around the remaining watering holes.

Dec-April is rainy season and temperatures have cooled down a lot. The rain however, can be pretty brutal so I during this time, tracks in the national parks are closed because it gets too muddy to drive on the roads.

 

NotintheGuideBooks Tips

  • Always get a guide – Zambia can be a tricky country to navigate on your own, so I’d always recommend getting a guide. They can inform and help you with loads of things, from crossing borders, to driving, and of course showing you the best parts of any country.
  • Do your research and plan your itinerary – make sure you know the best times to visit Zambia depending on what you want to see/do – if you want to do some e.g. if you want to do water sports or, if you want to visit during birthing season, always plan accordingly.
  • Fly in Zambia – fly in to the different locations, it’s a whole lot easier. For example the lower Zambezi National Park is much easier to fly to, as driving can take up to 14 hours!