Wildlife locations

12 recommended locations. Species listed below are just a selection of those you may see.

Kafue National Park

Kafue is one of the world’s largest National Parks. It’s has a rich variety of wildlife and a profusion of game who are attracted by the diverse habitats, which range from woodland opening onto wide, grassy dambos. The vast, rolling Busanga Plain, fed by the Lufupa River, attracts large herds of red lechwe and buffalo.

  • Where: North Western Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Cape buffalo, Defassa waterbuck, Lion, Red lechwe, Sable
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, River safaris

Liuwa Plain National Park

Liuwa is a pristine wilderness. Its wooded areas offer excellent birding, especially during the October rains when the remote grasslands are a carpet of wild flowers. And the rains bring wildebeest, mingled with zebra, from across the Angolan border for Africa’s second largest migration.

  • Where: Western Province
  • Ideal for viewing: African wildcat, Serval, Steenbok, Tsessebe, Wild dog
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, River safaris, Birdwatching

Lower Zambezi National Park

The Lower Zambezi National Park, is 4,000 sqkm and one of the few pristine wildernesses left in Africa. Its backdrop is dominated by the steep Zambezi Escarpment, but the Zambezi River is the main attraction, where tranquil yet exciting excursions to the Chifungulu Channel are an excellent way to appreciate the river.

  • Where: Lusaka Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Cape buffalo, African elephant, Cheetah, Leopard, Lion
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, River safaris

South Luangwa National Park

South Luangwa is undoubtedly the jewel of Zambia’s national parks. It lies in the north-eastern part of Zambia and comprises some 9,050 square kilometres of unspoilt African wilderness. Its eastern boundary is the meandering Luangwa River whose regular changes in course leave scenic ox-bow lagoons.

  • Where: Eastern Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Leopard, Cookson’s wildebeest, Thornicroft’s giraffe, Crawshay’s zebra, African elephant
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Photography tours with Nick Garbutt, Vehicle safaris, Walking with wildlife, Just Conservation

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Combining perfectly with a safari in Zambia, Botswana, Namibia or Zimbabwe, the Victoria Falls are not only a wonderful place from which to begin or end a safari, but offer enough interest to be a safari destination in their own right. The wildlife in the tributaries is active all year round, and the birdlife is superb.

  • Where: Matabeleland North
  • Ideal for viewing: Common waterbuck, African elephant, Hippo, Black eagle, Taita falcon
  • Excellent for: Vehicle safaris, River safaris

Bangweulu Swamps

This vast, waterlogged wilderness about 55 kilometres north-east of Kasanka is a destination for the connoisseur. The still waters of these swamps and the surrounding floodplains are one of the last remaining habitats of the rare and elusive shoebill who lurk on the grassy fringes after the rains.

  • Where: Luapula Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Black lechwe, Reedbuck, Shoebill, Sitatunga, Tsessebe
  • Excellent for: Vehicle safaris, River safaris, Birdwatching

Kasanka National Park

It might be one of the smallest parks in Zambia, but Kasanka is packed full of different habitats with miombo woodland, riverine forest and papyrus swamps being just a few. It also has lakes, lagoons, plains, dambos and marshes. Picturesque and peaceful, the birdlife here is exceptional.

  • Where: Central Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Blue monkey, Sitatunga, Straw-coloured fruit bat, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, Wattled crane
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Photography tours with Nick Garbutt, Vehicle safaris, River safaris, Birdwatching

Lochinvar National Park

Situated on the southern edge of the Kafue Flats, this wetland is worth a visit if you want to experience a different aspect of Zambia. It is one of the few places to see Chaplin’s barbet – over 400 species have been recorded here. You can explore the wetland on foot, by vehicle and, at certain times of year, boat.

  • Where: Southern Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Blue wildebeest, Chaplin’s barbet, Common waterbuck, Kafue lechwe, Oribi
  • Excellent for: Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

North Luangwa National Park

North Luangwa National Park is a tranquil and unexplored wilderness with a substantial wildlife population. Bordered by Luangwa and Mwaleshi rivers and the Muchinga Escarpment, Its habitats are diverse, with areas of pure mopane woodlands and lush riverine forests of red mahogany and sausage trees.

  • Where: Northern Province
  • Ideal for viewing: African elephant, Leopard, Lion, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, Cookson’s wildebeest
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris

Victoria Falls, Zambia

Combining perfectly with a safari in Botswana, Zimbabwe or Namibia as well as Zambia, the Zambian side was once considered to be the ‘poor cousin’, by comparison with the views of the river and the falls from Zimbabwe. The two countries are linked by a spectacular iron bridge above the raging waters.

  • Where: Southern Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Cape buffalo, African elephant, Hippo, Trumpeter hornbill, Common waterbuck
  • Excellent for: River safaris

Lusaka

Zambia’s capital city is very much the beating heart of the country, offering an authentic African experience as well as a variety of good quality accommodation and a cosmopolitan sensibility.

  • Excellent for: City stopover

Shiwa Ng’andu

This 22,000 acre reserve makes a perfect combination with Kasanka or Bangweulu. Nearby is Kapishya, an exquisite hot spring, and the summit of Nachipala Bareback Hill offers you magnificent views of the lake.

  • Excellent for: Hiking

Wildlife trips

Zambia offers spectacular safaris, outstanding accommodation, superlative guiding and wonderful walking safari opportunities. From the verdant plains, walking trails and beautiful bush camps of the Luangwa Valley, to Kafue’s tree-climbing lions, or canoeing on the Lower Zambezi, its staggering diversity makes this an unforgettable wildlife destination.

21 recommended trips. Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.

Lower Zambezi Short Break

Take a week to explore Zambia's Lower Zambezi National Park and experience a secluded wilderness that offers wildlife viewing second to none. Best known for its boating safaris, elephant, lion, leopard and huge herds of Cape buffalo are resident here, together with impala and Nile crocodiles.

  • When to go: Apr-Nov
  • Duration inc. flights: 6 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £2,495 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Leopards of Luangwa

This is our single most popular safari – we’ve been selling it for years and it’s just as popular now as when we first introduced it. South Luangwa has the world’s highest naturally occurring population of leopard – spot them on early morning, afternoon and night drives, as well as glorious walking safaris.

  • When to go: May-Nov
  • Duration inc. flights: 11 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,245 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

South Luangwa Art & Photo Workshop

Hosted by expert wildlife photographer Nick Garbutt and award-winning sculptor Nick Mackman, this seven-night safari in Zambia’s South Luangwa promises to inspire a new appreciation of wildlife in you. Early morning and late afternoon game drives are combined with practical demonstrations and tuition.

  • When to go: Nov
  • Duration inc. flights: 10 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,595 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Sacred Combe Safari

This small group trip visits Zambia’s sensational South Luangwa National Park - home of the walking safari - and is jointly led by author Simon Barnes and Wildlife Worldwide founder Chris Breen. Their shared passion for the area and its abundant wildlife guarantee an illuminating and fun experience!

  • When to go: Sep-Oct
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £6,395 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Classic Luangwa Walking

Zambia is the home of the walking safari, and this small group trip along the Mupamadzi river offers the quintessential bush experience. Staying in well-equipped tents and accompanied by expert safari guides, the trip covers three different camps to experience each location’s unique wildlife and habitats.

  • When to go: Jun-Sep
  • Duration inc. flights: 14 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,895 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Liuwa Plain & Kasanka

Led by renowned wildlife guide and expert birder Robin Pope, this one-off tour to Zambia explores the remote and seldom-visited wilderness of Liuwa Plain National Park for an exclusive safari experience, and Kasanka National Park to see the phenomenal migration of millions of fruit bats.

  • When to go: Nov
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £9,295 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Shoebills, Lechwe & Luangwa

If you are a connoisseur who yearns for untouched wilderness, this is the safari for you! The vast Bangweulu wetland is home to over 30,000 black lechwe and the highly endangered shoebill, and Kasanka famously has over 400 bird species, including the rare Pel’s fishing owl.

  • When to go: Mar-Jun
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,995 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Natural Wonders

Few trips venture as far as Namibia’s northern border, but this innovative itinerary employs a combination of self-drive and guided safari to visit famed Etosha and the Caprivi en route to Africa’s Four Corners – where Namibia, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe meet – ending at Chobe and Victoria Falls.

  • When to go: Jun-Oct
  • Duration inc. flights: 16 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,595 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Carnivores of South Luangwa

Join researchers from the Zambian Carnivore Programme for a behind-the-scenes view of conservation in action in South Luangwa National Park, and take part in research into its populations of lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dog. The riverside lodge accommodation at Nkwali is ideal for wildlife viewing.

  • When to go: Nov
  • Duration inc. flights: 11 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,395 pp
  • Trip type: Just Conservation Group tour

Classic Africa Explorer

This 37-day comprehensive itinerary, which visits no less than seven countries, delivers the ultimate African safari experience and a wealth of contrasts. Travel to some of Africa’s best National Parks and stay in a range of classic lodges, hotels and tented camps on this wildlife trip of a lifetime.

  • When to go: Apr-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 37 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £16,495 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Scenic Wonders of Kafue & Hwange

This journey takes in some of Africa’s finest wilderness: Kafue is one of Zambia’s best kept secrets and it is home to an incredibly diverse range of wildlife, and Hwange National Park in neighbouring Zimbabwe teems with impressive fauna and flora.The mesmerising Victoria Falls provide a suitable end to this stunning trip.

  • When to go: Jun-Oct
  • Duration inc. flights: 11 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,595 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Zambezi Wonders & Wilderness

A fabulous family safari offering the perfect combination of outstanding natural wonders, unspoilt wilderness, incredible wildlife and fun activities. From the spectacular Victoria Falls and the astonishing wildlife of South Luangwa, to the pristine shores of Lake Malawi, enjoy the very best of Zambia and Malawi.

  • When to go: Apr-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,995 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Green Season Secrets

In the Green Season the arrival of the summer rains transforms the dry land into verdant pastures dotted with wild flowers. At this time of plenty, there is no shortage of food, so many species choose to bring their young into the world, attracting the unwanted attention of various predators.

  • When to go: Nov-Mar
  • Duration inc. flights: 16 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £6,795 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Bats, Rhinos & Reptiles

Kasanka National Park plays hosts to a remarkable annual wildlife spectacle; from mid-November onwards an estimated 12 million fruitbats arrive. Guided walks will take you to witness this marvelous spectacle, and will be combined with time on safari in the national parks of Zambia and Malawi.

  • When to go: Nov-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £6,345 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Distinctive Zimbabwe & Kafue

This trip focusses on the essence of Zimbabwe and Zambia – neighbouring countries that boast some of Africa’s finest wildlife areas. From the stunning Mana Pools and its aquatic wildlife, fly to the remote Busanga Plains in Zamiba’s Kafue National Park for vehicle safaris to see plains game and their predators.

  • When to go: Jun-Oct
  • Duration inc. flights: 10 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £6,695 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Best of Zimbabwe & Zambia

This upmarket flying safari combines three of southern Africa’s most fruitful wildlife areas – Hwange and Mana Pools in Zimbabwe, with the vastness of the Kafue in western Zambia. Staying in delightful tented camps in the best locations, enjoy day and night vehicle safaris and boat trips to see the abundant wildlife.

  • When to go: Jun-Oct
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £8,145 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Scenic Splendour & Wildlife Wonders

This safari travels to Busanga Plains in the northern sector of Zambia’s Kafue National Park, home to huge herds of lechwe and puku and an exceptionally high density of lion, before taking in the mesmerising Vitoria Falls. The final stop is wildlife-rich Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s largest national park.

  • When to go: Jun-Oct
  • Duration inc. flights: 11 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,645 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Batty about Kasanka

Every November and December, millions of fruit bats take up residence in Kasanka National Park - witness this incredible sight while staying in a comfortable tented camp near the renowned Fibwe Hide. The trip also includes time in South Luangwa where walking safaris and night drives are a highlight.

  • When to go: Nov-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,995 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Rivers & Rainbows

Travel during the ultimate green season when the rains have restored river levels, and you can travel by boat along the Luangwa River to view crocodiles and hippos. Flowering trees and plants come into bloom, and the young of most animals are born, including African wild dog puppies.

  • When to go: Jan-Apr
  • Duration inc. flights: 11 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,795 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Luangwa Valley & Lower Zambezi

Combine the beauty of the Luangwa Valley with the delights of the Lower Zambezi. In South Luangwa, you will find the world’s highest naturally occurring population of leopard, and boat trips on the Lower Zambezi add another dimension to watching wildlife, with elephant and huge herds of buffalo.

  • When to go: Jun-Sep
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,995 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Luangwa & a Blizzard of Bats

Brush up your photography skills with wildlife photographer Nick Garbutt and witness the extraordinary annual event of millions of fruit bats roosting in Kasanka National Park. You can also expect to encounter prolific wildlife in South Luangwa, including elephant, spotted hyena, hippo and lion.

  • When to go: Nov
  • Duration inc. flights: 11 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,195 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

When to go

May to August is the driest and coolest season. Bird watching is best done at the start of this period and the later months are better for other wildlife, when the bush has dried.

Seasons

  • Dry season

    May to Aug: The rains abate, migrant birds depart, and walking safaris begin.
  • Dry season

    Sep to Oct: Temperatures rise, game moves to the rivers, and buffalo form big herds.
  • Green season

    Nov to Apr: The rains bring a time of rebirth and a profusion of birdlife.

Wildlife events

  • May to Jun: Best time for shoebills in the Bangweulu swamps
  • Sep to Oct: Carmine bee-eaters nest along the banks of the Luangwa River
  • Nov to : Blue wildebeest gather on Liuwa Plain
  • Nov to Dec: Millions of straw-coloured fruitbats congregate in Kasanka
  • Dec to Mar: Green season, best time for birding and animals giving birth
  • Feb to Apr: Wild dog packs emerge from the hills into the Luangwa Valley

Accommodation

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