10 recommended wildlife locations. The 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 system, 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, Birdwatching

Liuwa Plains National Park

Liuwa Plains National Park is a pristine wilderness. Though its wooded areas offer excellent birding, especially during the October rains when the remote grasslands are a carpet of wild flowers, the rains bring wildebeest who, mingled with zebra, arrive from across the 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, Cheetah, African elephant, Leopard, Lion
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, River safaris, Birdwatching

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, Walking with wildlife, Photography tours with Nick Garbutt, Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

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, Zimbabwe
  • Ideal for viewing: Common waterbuck, African elephant, Hippo, Black eagle, Taita falcon
  • Excellent for: Vehicle safaris, River safaris, Birdwatching

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, evergreen swamp 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 diversity of habitats is bewildering, 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, Birdwatching

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, Zambia
  • Ideal for viewing: Cape buffalo, African elephant, Hippo, Trumpeter hornbill, Common waterbuck
  • Excellent for: River safaris, Birdwatching

2 recommended locations for extending your wildlife trip.

Lusaka

Zambia’s capital city doesn’t always come to mind when thinking of great African cities, but in terms of offering an authentic African experience as well as good quality accommodation and a cosmopolitan sensibility, Lusaka is second to none and is overlooked unwisely.

Shiwa Ng’andu

Purchased by a young British officer in 1914, this reserve covers an area of 22,000 acres. Nearby is Kapishya, an exquisite hot spring, and the summit of Nachipala Bareback Hill offers you magnificent views of the lake. A two night stay here makes a perfect combination with Kasanka or Bangweulu.

18 recommended trips. All our trip ideas are offered to inspire you, but our strength is in tailoring your itinerary.

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, coupled with South Luangwa. 

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 9 days

South Luangwa Art & Photo Workshop

Hosted by award-winning sculptor Nick Mackman and award-winning photographer Nick Garbutt, this seven-night safari in Zambia’s South Luangwa promises to inspire a new appreciation of wildlife in you.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 9 days

Bats, Rhinos & Reptiles

Kasanka National Park in Zambia plays hosts to a remarkable annual wildlife spectacle; from mid-November onwards an estimated eight million fruitbats arrive to feast on the newly ripened fruit.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 11 days

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.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 14 days

Kafue Carnivore Research

Join researchers from the Zambian Carnivore Programme for a behind-the-scenes view of conservation in action in Kafue National Park, as you explore and take part in research into the large population of wild dogs and cheetahs.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 9 days

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.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 9 days

Scenic Wonders of Kafue & Hwange

This journey will take in some of Africa’s finest wilderness where wildlife thrives on vast savannah plains, and the mesmerising Victoria Falls provide a suitable end to this stunning trip.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 9 days

Zambezi Wonders & Wilderness

A fabulous family safari offering the perfect combination of outstanding natural wonders, unspoilt wilderness, fun activities and incredible wildlife - combining the very best of Zambia and Malawi.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 11 days

Distinctive Zimbabwe & Kafue

This mid-range trip focusses on the essence of Zimbabwe and Zambia – neighbouring countries that boast some of Africa’s finest wildlife areas.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 8 days

Best of Zimbabwe & Zambia

This upmarket flying safari seamlessly 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.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 11 days

Scenic Splendour & Wildlife Wonders

This budget-friendly safari combines two incredible wildlife areas – the Busanga Plains and Hwange National Park – with the scenic splendour of the world-famous Victoria Falls.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 9 days

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.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 10 days

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.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 5 days

Shoebills, Lechwe & Luangwa

If you are a connoisseur who yearns for untouched wilderness, this is the safari for you!

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Rivers & Rainbows

Travel when the rains just end for a totally different view of this wildlife paradise.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 10 days

Luangwa Valley & Lower Zambezi

Combine the beauty of the Luangwa Valley with the delights of the Lower Zambezi; an excellent contrast.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 11 days

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!

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 9 days

Classic Luangwa Walking

Enjoy this classic, small group safari along the Mupamadzi river; the quintessential bush experience.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 12 days

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 Dec: Millions of straw-coloured fruitbats congregate in Kasanka
  • Nov: Blue wildebeest gather on Liuwa Plain
  • 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

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