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The Zambian Tourist Has The Best At His Disposal

As a Zambian tourist, you are guaranteed of the best deals and the best destinations. The country is unspoiled, uncommercialised and you have the whole scenery to yourself. The country has a rare and authentic taste of Africa. Relatively under explored and still unknown to the common tourist.

Zambia offers the best of adventures with plenty of wild and bird life to the discerning Zambian tourist. The birth place of walking safaris, you can enjoy the scenery on foot in one of the best game sanctuaries in the world, the south Luangwa national park. A tour of the country is incomplete without a view of the Victoria Falls, declared as one of the seventh wonders of the world and a UNESCO heritage site.

The concentration of the population in urban areas leaves huge tracks of land empty, enabling the setting up of large game sanctuaries, leaving the animals enough room to roam about freely.

The Zambian tourist has it all: Game viewing, birding safaris, walking safaris, elephant safaris, canoeing safaris, tiger fishing, white water rafting, traditonal ceremonies, the country will spoil you for choice.

For the Zambian tourist, getting into the country is a straight forward issue and you get settled as quickly as you come. You are at liberty to make use of any of the four international airports. Zambia is serviced by British Airways, South African Airways, Air Zimbabwe, Ethiopia Airlines, Kenya Airways, Air Malawi and a lot of regional airlines.

The country has a lot of safari destination points, among the frequently visited are:

  • Kafue National Park; Covers an area of 22400 sq km. It is one of the world’s biggest parks and the largest animal sanctuary in Africa.
  • South Luangwa National Park; Set in the Luangwa valley, it has the highest concentration of animals in Africa.
  • Livingstone (and surrounding areas); Livingstone was Capital of Zambia (Northern Rhodesia then) from 1911 to 1935 when it was moved to Lusaka. It offers a lot of activities including sight-seeing at the Victoria Falls, elephant safaris, helicopter rides over the falls, fishing, game viewing, white water rafting and other adventurers tours for the Zambian tourist.

South Luangwa National Park

South Luangwa National Park covers an area of 9050 square kilometres. The park has one of the highest concentrations of animal species in Africa. South Luangwa National Park is just incredible. It’s endowed with a lot of animal species from the smallest to the biggest. This is home of the big five; elephant, rhino, leopard, lion and giraffe. South Luangwa National Park is a must see for the Zambian tourist. The usual entry point to the park is Mfuwe. Mfuwe Airport has a unique setting. Located in the Luangwa game park, it is worth paying a visit and fond memories are guaranteed. South Luangwa is undoubtedly Zambia's best National Park.

Famous for the walking safaris which were born in south Luangwa, the sanctuary has about 60 animal species and over 400 bird species. It’s here were you will find the unique Thornicroft Giraffe. Large herds of elephants are plenty, sometimes numbering up to 70 in one herd. Buffalos are found all over the park.

Getting There

Mostly used is by air straight into the valley at Mfuwe Airport. Another popular alternative is by the road through Chipata. Currently, the only airline with scheduled flights to south Luangwa national park is Proflight airlines. Chattered planes are available as well.

Accommodation

In terms of accommodation, they are a lot of alternatives for the Zambian tourist to choose from. South Luangwa has about 30 lodges and camps. Most are open during the dry season but some are open all year round. One such camp is Nkwali camp, which is run by Robin Pope safaris.

Mfuwe lodge, run by the bush camp company, is set right in the middle of the park. The bush camp company also runs 6 camps within South Luangwa.

The whole length of South Luangwa is dotted with camps and lodges. From the lion, kaingo and Tafika camps in the north, to Zungulila, kapampa and Bimilungwe camps in the south. The best time for safari is during the dry season between April and November when animals tend to crowd a few remaining water sources.

Kafue National Park

It's the oldest and the largest of Zambia's national parks. It is one of the best known game sanctuaries in Zambia. The Kafue National Park covers an area of 22,400 sq km of abundant nature. Kafue national park came into being in 1924 as a game reserve, but was only transformed into a park in 1950.

It has a very diverse species of animals; Hippopotamus, crocodiles, hyena, impala, vervet monkey, zebra, buffalo and impala, some of which like the Red Lechwe are unique to it. Compared to other parks in the country it has relatively few visitors.

The national park got its name from the Kafue river which, together with its tributaries, Lufupa and Lunga rivers, flow into the park from the north. The area along the Kafue River provides good scenery for bird watching and the river itself is full of hippos and crocodiles.

South of the park is the man made Ithezi Thezi dam, providing a habitation area for water birds like fish eagle, spoonbills, and cormorants. The dam and the Kafue River which cuts through the park are very vital for the survival of the animals and birds.

North of the park is the Busanga plains, where the animals and birds congregate to their favourite source of water. The Lufupa River flows into the Busanga plains and even during the dry season when there’s scarcity of water, the Busanga plains (or wetlands) are still a source of water.

Perhaps the Busanga plains are one of the most important wetland in a national park in Zambia. When the wetland is flooded, it attracts animal and bird species to its water sources.

Getting There

The most popular means of entry and exit into the park is from Lusaka, the capital city. There are two ways which are available to the Zambian tourist. These are by road (via Mumbwa and into the park) and by air.

image 1 Lusaka City

If you are coming from Lusaka, Mumbwa is 60km from Lusaka; branch off in Mumbwa going westwards.

Air chatter is readily available and some lodges have air strips which are operational, like Hippo lodge, Puku Pan, Lufupa and Ngoma.

Best Time To Go There

The best time to visit Kafue national park is after the rainy season. During the rains most roads are impassable. It’s advisable to use a four wheel drive vehicle.

Accommodation

Kafue national park is relatively unexplored in comparison to other parks in Zambia. In this vein, most of the lodges and camps are clustered in the north of Kafue national park. There are very few camps south of the park. The following are some of the lodges and camps in the park:

  • Kapinga bush camp; situated on the north side, bordering the Busanga plains, it is a four roomed luxuriously tented camp. Kapinga is run by Wilderness safaris.
  • Lufupa River camp; Located at the junction of Kafue and Lufupa rivers, where the Lufupa drains into the Kafue, It is a nicely built and ideally situated camp with a charm of its own.
  • Shumba camp; most popular camp in the park located within Busanga plains. Run by the Wilderness safaris, it has six luxurious rooms which can accommodate a maximum of 12 guests.
  • Lunga river lodge; the lodge boasts of six chalets located on the Lunga River.
  • Musanza bush camp; the camp is also run by wilderness safaris, which runs four other camps within the Busanga plains. It’s a small camp suited for small groups.

Livingstone

Livingstone, started off as a settlement in 1905, and grew to the status of administrative capital in 1911 until 1935 when Lusaka took over. The town has seen tremendous growth and today Livingstone is a great Zambian tourist destination. The most well-known attraction is the mighty Victoria Falls, located about 10km from Livingstone town.

image 1 Mosi-oa-Tunya (vitoria Falls)

Victoria Falls, at its peak just after the rain season, an average of 550,000 cubic litres of water pour down the cliff in a minute. The first white man to see the falls was The Scottish explorer David Livingstone, who was thrilled by the falls that he named it after Queen Vitoria of England. and it is a guarantee that the falls will thrill you as a Zambian tourist. The nearby Mosi-oa-tunya game park is home to antelopes, zebra and the recently re-introduced white rhino. Bird watching and wild life safaris are under taken in the game park.

Getting There

Livingstone international airport is linked directly or indirectly (through Lusaka airport) to the outside world. British Airways/Comair and the South African airways have scheduled flights from Johannesburg (South Africa) to Livingstone, and there are Domestic carriers like Proflight with regular flights to Livingstone from Lusaka.

By road, the town has excellent links within or with neighbouring countries. It is about 470 km from Lusaka and there are reliable and timed coaches running between Livingstone and Lusaka. From the south you can use Chirundu (Zimbabwe) or Kazungula (Botswana).

There's a train from Kitwe, via Lusaka to Livingstone by the Zambia Railways, but service is slow and you should use it when you've got plenty of time.

Accommodation

  • There's abundant accommodation within or near Livingstone for all tastes of the Zambian tourist. There are Hotels, Lodges and Guest houses (Bed and Breakfast).
  • THE ROYAL LIVINGSTONE HOTEL, located on Mosi-oa-tunya road, its one place where you can spend your quality time.
  • Also on Mosi-oa-tunya road is the PROTEA HOTEL. The friendly staff compliments the excellent and comfortable rooms.
  • THE RIVER CLUB, on Nakatindi road, with an exciting view of the Zambezi, has a lounge, bar and dining room. The club guarantees you quality service at your disposal.
  • ROYAL ZAMBEZI SUN, Offers buffet breakfast, double bed rooms, and much more, all this is just 5 minutes’ walk to the Victoria Falls.



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