Top 6 National Parks to Visit in Zambia in 2019

***Note from the editor : This article  is from compiled show notes for the Mwende Bwino Podcast on 19 places to visit in Zambia in 2019***

Zambia is home to numerous national parks with amazing animals to be seen and fun activities. If you are planning on visiting Zambia, here are 6 top national parks you should consider:

  1. Kafue National Park

This is the oldest and largest national park in Zambia and covers part of Central, Southern, Western and North Western provinces.

Animals such as Lechwe and Sitatunga (a type of antelope) can be seen. The river bank of the Kafue river attracts elephants, hippos and crocodiles. Leopards and cheetahs can be spotted around the park. Smaller animals that can be seen include mongoose, otters, honey badgers, roan and more.

Hippos | Kafue National Park, Zambia | Steven dosRemedios | flickr

The Kafue National Park is open throughout the year though not all areas are accessible during the rainy season which falls between November and April.

Hot air balloon rides in Busanga Plains, Kafue can be arranged via Shumba and Busanga Bush Camp.

 

  1. Liuwa Plains National Park

Liuwa Plains National Park is located in the Western Province of Zambia and was featured  in the 52 Places To Go in 2018 by The New York Times. Liuwa has the second largest Wildebeest migration in Africa, more than 300 bird species and you can see animals including the Lion, Zebra, Cheetah, Reedbuck and Roan Antelope.

Wildebeest in Liuwa Plain National Park, Zambia | Ron Cogswell | flickr

King Lewanika Lodge run by Time and Tide is the only permanent safari camp in the park

Activities: Canoeing, Game Drives and Stargazing

  1. Lower Zambezi

Lower Zambezi is located in Central Province, Zambia. It is one of the richest National Parks in Zambia in terms of wildlife with animals such as the Zebra, Puku, Impala, buffalo, Kudu and Baboons which can be seen browsing on the banks from the laid back comfort of your canoe.

Activities include canoe safaris where Elephants, Hippos, and Crocodiles can be seen.

Recommended Accommodation: Royal ZambeziSausageTree CampAnabeziPotato Bush Camp.

 

 

Lower Zambezi | Ninara | flickr

 

  1. South Luangwa National Park

South Luangwa is located in Eastern province and offers visitors a chance to get closer to wildlife through walking safaris which were pioneered in the park by Norman Carr.

The park has the largest concentration of the wild dog,  60 different animal species such as Lions, Zebras, Antelopes and Hippos, over 400 species of bird such as pelicans, herons, canine bee eaters and more. The South Luangwa is also home to the Thornicroft giraffe which is endemic to the park.

Giraffes, South Luangwa National Park | Adrian Thompson | flickr

While here you can go on canoe safaris and game drives

Recommended Accommodation: Visitors to Mfuwe Lodge may be treated to elephants that walk through the reception to get to the mango trees. Another option is Kafunta Lodge and ChizomboKaingoChichele Presidential Lodge.

There are direct flights from Lusaka to Mfuwe via Proflight.

  1. Lavushi Manda National Park

Luvushi Manda National Park is located in the Muchinga escarpment of North Eastern Zambia. It is ideally-suited for self-hiking, or with a guide if desired.

According to Zambia Tourism, ” Lavushi Manda is a picturesque park with rolling hills, rich riparian forest and striking rocky outcrops.”

Lavushi Manda does not have the large wildlife that other parks in Zambia do but hikers can spot klipspringer, yellow-spotted rock hyrax and Smith’s red rock rabbit, Verreaux’ eagles and augur buzzards patrol birds near the mountain. Jackal, vervet monkeys and duiker can be spotted in the lower regions.

Kapanda Lupili falls, Lavushi Manda National Park , Zambia | Leo Klemm | Flickr

 

  1. Kasanka National Park

Managed by Kasanka Trust, Kasanka National Park is located in Serenje, Central Province which is approximately a five- to six-hour drive from Lusaka. It hosts the annual Bat migration. The best time to visit for the bat migration is October- December.

Although you won’t see the large cats (lions, leopards etc), you will see hippos, as well as different species of antelope like the Puku, Waterbuck, Sitatunga and Reedbuck.

Activities: Safari, Biking, a walk to Wasa lake

A view of the Wasa River in Kasanka National Park, Zambia | Mehmet Karatay | wikimedia commons

Additional activities outside of the park could include a trip to the David Livingstone Memorial and the Nsalu Caves.

Zambia National Park Fees (Via Zambia Tourism. Last updated in 2015)

 


The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Best of Africa.

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