Lower Zambezi National Park

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Lower Zambezi National Park

Lower Zambezi National Park was founded in 1983, until then it was the private game reserve of Zambia’s president. The park is 4,092km² and located in Zambia’s central province it lies on the north bank of the Zambezi River. The area is still unspoiled as it is new to tourism and is afforded a high level of protection from the Zambian government.

The park lies opposite the UNSESCO world heritage site Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe, so both sides of the Zambezi River is a massive wildlife sanctuary, therefore the opportunities to get close to game wandering in and out of the Zambezi channels are spectacular.

Wildlife of Lower Zambezi National Park

The variety of animals found in the Lower Zambezi National Park are not as diverse as the bigger parks however there are said to be approximately 50 mammal species and 400 bird species.

Due to the abundant water the Lower Zambezi is home to one of Africa’s healthiest elephant populations, vast herds of buffalo which attracts large prides of lion, as well as leopards, hyenas, jackals, hippos, crocodiles, zebra and various small carnivores and omnivores. Wild dog’s sightings do occur. April/May and September/October are said to be the best times to see them.

The birdlife across the park is exceptional especially along the riverbanks where fish-eagles can be seen and heard for miles around. The park also hosts many other species of eagle, heron stork and bee-eater as well as ospreys, spoonbills and African skimmers.

Vegetation of Lower Zambezi National Park

Most of the park consists of the hilly higher ground on the sides and top of the escarpment- where the bush consists mainly of thick, broad leafed miombo woodland. During the dry season the game concentrates on the flat alluvial plain. Elephants are often seen eating the apple-ring fruits, of the Winterthorn woodlands, all along the river’s edge.

What to do in Lower Zambezi National Park

  1. Fishing:
    The Zambezi River, Africa’s fourth largest river, is home to the Tiger Fish. If you are a budding angler a visit to the Lower Zambezi National Park would not be complete without catching one of Africa’s most sought after freshwater game fish. The best months for Tiger fishing are from June to August. Note: all fishing here is on a catch-and-release basis
  2. Game drives:
    Similar to the South Luangwa and the Kafue national parks, the Lower Zambezi provides the chance to partake in a game drive in an open-topped 4WD vehicle. This allows you to cover the most ground and see the optimum number of animals.
  3. Walking safaris:
    Walks across the park are an exciting way to get closer to the wildlife and learn how the ecology of the Lower Zambezi works. Typically, walks will last 1-3 hours, you will be escorted by a guide and a Zambia Wildlife Authority armed escort scout.
  4. Boat trips/Canoe:
    Both of these water activities allow you a different perspective on the landscape compared to the traditional game drive or walking safari. You can take the journey in comfort by boat or be more exposed and opt for the canoe. Each canoe takes 2-3 people and all trips are led by at least one pro guide with good experience of the particular stretch of river.

Who the park is good for

The park is good for people who have a little more patience, are happy to spend time seeking the animals rather than the animals coming to them. The game is very good but the richness is not as great as South Luangwa National Park. If you are wanting to view lots of game then Lower Zambezi National Park isn’t for you, if you want to get away from the world, relax in an exclusive and beautiful environment and take in some fishing then the Lower Zambezi is perfect.

Park entry fees

Park fees for Internationals USD25/person/day
Park fees for SADC residents: USD20/person/day
Park fees for citizens: ZMW27.80/person/day

Tours including this destination