About Zambia & Zimbabwe Travel
Kafue National Park: Kafue is Zambia’s oldest park, and, by far, the largest. It is the second largest national park in Africa. Despite the park’s proximity to both Lusaka and the Copperbelt, it has remained underdeveloped until recent years. It offers a raw and diverse slice of African wilderness with excellent game viewing, bird watching and fishing opportunities. Large prides of lion, solitary leopards and cheetahs are the prime predators. A host of smaller carnivores include side striped jackal, civet, genet and mongoose. Bird watching, especially on the rivers, is superb. Over 400 species of birds have been recorded throughout the park.
Livingstone & Mosi-oa-Tunya (Victoria Falls): Victoria Falls is shared between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The mile-wide, 360-feet-high falls form the largest sheet of falling water in the world. Vapors, ‘smoke,’ can be seen from great distances. The falls and the river can be experienced in a variety of styles: on a casual sunset cruise, whitewater rafting the Zambezi, a walking tour, and on delightful helicopter and micro-light flights. The truly daring can try parachuting or making the world’s longest bungee jump, 364 feet, from Victoria Falls Bridge. Elephant-back safaris are possible here.
Lower Zambezi National Park: This national park sits on the Zambian side of the Zambezi River, downstream from Lake Kariba. Across the river is Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park. Lower Zambezi Park covers an area of 4,092 square kilometers/1,580 square miles. From the Zambezi Escarpment, the land sweep down to the river. At the edge of the river is a floodplain where most of the animals are found. Behind the floodplain grasslands is a picturesque wooded escarpment. Large herds of elephant, some numbering 100, gather at river’s edge. ‘Island hopping’ buffalo and waterbuck are also quite common. Lion, leopard, spotted hyena, serval, specklethroated otter, jackal, and rare African wild dog live here. Game viewing is on foot, in open vehicles, by motorboat and, most characteristically, by canoe, enabling the visitor to glide silently among animals.
Lusaka: Lusaka is the capital and largest city in Zambia, and one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. It is home to several fine museums including the Lusaka National Museum, the Political Museum, and the Zintu Community Museum. The city also supports the Moore Pottery Factory, Lusaka Playhouse Theater, Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Lusaka Central Sports Club, and the zoo and botanical gardens of the Munda Wanga Environmental Park.
South Luangwa National Park: This is the finest game park in Zambia. Along the Luangwa Valley at the southern tip of the Great Rift Valley it encompasses the Luangwa River basin. The park is adjacent to highlands and a mosaic of varied habitats extending outwards from the brooding Luangwa River. It meanders through the luxuriant valley, supporting thousands of hippo and crocodile. South Luangwa has one of the greatest game concentrations in Africa. Elephant, a wide variety of antelope, buffalo, kudu, zebra, Thornycroft’s giraffe and wildebeest occur in great numbers, as does some 400 bird species. Lion, wild dog and hyena are also common and the park is famed for its excellent leopard sightings. The South Luangwa experience differs with the seasons: in the dry winter months from June to September, small seasonal safari camps are set up in glorious seclusion. The more sophisticated lodges, close to the main gate at Mfuwe Bridge, remain open longer. The camps occupy prime sites on ancient oxbow lakes, amidst shady ebony groves, and offer day and night game drives in open vehicles. Walking safaris were pioneered in Luangwa and it still sets the standard.
Zimbabwe National Parks: Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest national park and premier game viewing area. The park holds the largest variety of animals and over 400 species of birds including elephant, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, hyena, lion, leopard, cheetah and a variety of antelope such as Sable, Kudu and Impala. Large concentrations of game congregate around the water holes, particularly large herds of elephant. Mana Pools National Park was established in 1963. It lies along Zimbabwe’s northern border on the banks of the Zambezi River, downstream and northeast of Lake Kariba. Mana Pools is ranked as one of Africa’s outstanding wildlife reserves and during the winter months it has the highest concentration of game in the entire continent. Huge herds of elephant and buffalo are drawn to the sweet Zambezi waters, followed by Lion, Hyena, Kudu, Nyala, Impala and a multitude of game. Several of Zimbabwe’s national parks remain wild and remote while at the same time, more luxury tented camps and lodges are being sustainably developed along classic lines for a genuine safari experience.
Suggested Zambia & Zimbabwe Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Johannesburg, South Africa
This city is the pulsating heart of South Africa’s industrial and commercial life with activities such as cultural visits to Soweto, Apartheid Museum and arts and craft galleries.
Day 2: Johannesburg/Victoria Falls, Zambia
Experience these majestic falls, enjoy a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River; and perhaps shop for African crafts.
Day 3: Victoria Falls/South Luangwa National Park
South Luangwa is a place of primeval forest and lush savanna, stretching for hundreds of miles and encompassing the Luangwa River basin.
Day 4: South Luangwa National Park
Known for walking safaris, other activities here include day and night drives in open 4x4 vehicles, game-viewing by pontoon boat and canoeing to view game up close.
Days 5/6: South Luangwa National Park
The concentration of plains game, especially huge buffalo herds is a highlight of the Nsefu sector of the park. This remote location offers a classic safari experience on a wooded bend of the Luangwa River.
Day 7: South Luangwa National Park/Lower Zambezi National Park
This region offers welcome sanctuary to great herds of elephant, buffalo, impala, zebra, baboon, lion and hyena.
Day 8: Lower Zambezi
Game viewing is on foot, in open vehicles and, most characteristically, by canoe, enabling close up viewing as the animals come to the water to drink.
Day 9: Lower Zambezi/Johannesburg/Depart
Custom Travel Options
Kafue National Park (5 days)
About the size of Massachusetts, Kafue is the second largest national park in Africa with excellent game viewing as well as fabulous fishing opportunities.
Livingstone & Victoria Falls, Zambia (3 days)
This option offers a more expansive exploration of Livingstone, Victoria Falls and the Zambezi River – from whitewater rafting to the world’s longest bungee-jump.
South Luangwa Walking Safari (5 days)
Walking the wilderness provides one of the most personal and close up adventures possible in the African bush.
Zimbabwe’s National Parks (5-7 days)
Some of Zimbabwe’s more noted national parks include the largest, Hwange, Lake Kariba, Mana Pools, Victoria Falls and Zambezi national parks. Wildlife includes Cape buffalo, crocodile, elephant, giraffe, hippo, hyena, impala, leopard, lion, warthog, waterbuck and zebra, as well as hundreds of species of birds.
Land price, per person, double occupancy: $650 - $1,400 per day.