Zambia > Activities & Special Interest

Zambia

  • Hello Michele, it is safe to say all went very well indeed, another Michele triumph! Thanks as always for all you did to make it such a great trip. Look forward to speaking next week.

    Gerry and Sarah from Buckinghamshire travelled to Botswana and Victoria Falls
Luangwa Valley North, Mwaleshi campfire drinks, Zambia

Zambia

Activities & Special Interest

Special interest & Safari activities in Zambia

Big-game viewing

Game drive with lions, Luangwa Valley, Zambia

Most big-game viewing in Zambia takes place on game drives in open 4×4 vehicles. The best regions for seeing big game are the South Luangwa National Park, Kafue National Park and Lower Zambezi National Park. Please view our regions page for more information on these areas and other regions.
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Night drives

Night drives, civet, Zambia

Night drives are widely available throughout all National Parks in Zambia. Typically, camps will spend an hour or so game-driving with a spotlight on the way back to camp after sunset drinks in the bush. Night drives in Zambia are good fun and usually very rewarding, with the woodlands of Luangwa and Lower Zambezi being especially productive for seeing a variety of nocturnal species including leopard.
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Walking Safaris

Walking Safaris by Francois, Zambia

Zambia is a great walking safari destination and game-viewing on foot is widely available both inside and outside the national parks. However, the best regions for walking in the bush are the South Luangwa, North Luangwa and Lower Zambezi national parks.

Most safari properties offer nature walks as an individual activity, even if their main focus is game drives. If you are keen to combine walking with a comfortable and relaxing stay, there are several permanent camps which focus more on walking than driving, and you can base yourself at such a property for any number of days. For those who are really keen to get out into the bush and focus entirely on a walking adventure, there are a number of fantastic walking trails and adventurous ‘walking only’ bush camps to choose from. Guiding is excellent in Zambia, and it remains arguably the best country to consider for in-depth walking experiences.
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Water-based Safaris

Water-based safaris on the Zambezi River, Zambia

Zambia offers some excellent water-based safaris. The Zambezi River offers the best canoeing safaris, especially along the Lower Zambezi National Park shoreline where there is a wide variety of game to enjoy. The Lower Zambezi also offers wonderful boat cruises which can combine good wildlife and scenic viewing with some fishing.

In general, the Luangwa River which flows through the South Luangwa National Park is only navigable in the rains, and few companies offer this.

Boat safaris are also available in Kafue National Park and on the Upper Zambezi above Victoria Falls, whilst more remote destinations such as the Bangwuelu Swamps include boating and dugout canoe exploration when water levels allow. Below the Victoria Falls, the Zambezi offers some of the best white-water rafting in the world.
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Birding

Birding, Woodland Kingfisher, Zambia

Zambia is a wonderful birding destination, with around 750 species recorded. The Zambezi River on its own is a haven for a huge variety of birdlife, especially water birds, whilst the woodlands and thickets of South Luangwa and Kafue National Parks are also very rewarding. Pels fishing owl can be seen in both the Luangwa and Lower Zambezi, as can white-fronted and carmine bee-eaters which nest in the river banks from late August to October. The Luangwa is also home to large stork and crane colonies. Away from the more mainstream safari regions, serious birders should consider including the Bangwuelu Swamps, one of the best places in Africa to see the rare shoebill, and Lochinvar. We do not specifically arrange birding group tours, but many of our customers are keen birders and putting together an individually designed itinerary is very easy. Specialist guides are available. From September to March, many intra-African migrants are resident.
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Species specific interests

Specific species, hippo in Luangwa River, Zambia

Zambia offers a very wide range of wildlife viewing, but is especially known for excellent leopard viewing in the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi national parks. Exceptional up-close elephant, hippo and crocodile viewing is also available along the major rivers, and the country has a wide range of antelope and other plains game including rarer species such as puku, oribi, sable and roan antelope, Litchenstein’s haartebeest, Cookson’s wildebeest and Thornicrofts giraffe.

Zambia is also very good for nocturnal sightings of species such as civet, genet, bushbaby, white-tailed mongoose and porcupine.

However, it is worth noting that rhino are unlikely to be seen, cheetah viewing is limited to Kafue National Park, and giraffe are not found in the Lower Zambezi.
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Cultural Experiences

Sussi cultural village visit, Livingstone, Zambia

Zambia, like the rest of Africa, offers many varied cultural experiences although it is now rare to see local people dressing traditionally. Along the edge of most of the wildlife areas, you’ll be able to visit villages and share experiences with the local people – this is particularly common if travelling through the South Luangwa or along the upper and lower Zambezi. Kawaza village outside the South Luangwa Park offers international guests the chance to stay overnight and experience much more of the local customs and culture.

One of Africa’s great ceremonies takes place annually when the Lozi people of the Barotse floodplains (western Zambia) undertake the traditional ‘kuomboka’, when the King moves with his people and cattle from floodplains onto higher ground before the big floods. This occurs sometime in March or April but is extremely difficult to predict.

The people of Zambia are very friendly and most guides and staff in safari camps will be able to tell you about their lives, culture and customs.
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Photographic Safaris

Photographic safaris, Tanzania

Most people who head out on safari plan to take a few photographs. However, in depth photographic safaris are growing in popularity, whether in the form of small group trips (please see the ‘Groups’ section for links to specialist photographic tours) or individually tailored holidays.

We are probably best equipped to arrange individually tailored photographic holidays. The flexibility and service we offer allows you to carefully plan your safari to meet your exact requirements, whilst our specialist knowledge is crucial, not just in terms of knowing where to photograph particular species, but also in terms of being able to provide suitable vehicles and guides. Your itinerary in Zambia will depend on your interests and priorities, however some of the possible highlights would be scenic photography of the Victoria Falls, elephants, hippo and crocs along the Zambezi River, leopards and lions in the Luangwa and Lower Zambezi, rare antelopes such as sable and roan in Kafue, and spectacles such as nesting carmine bee-eaters, and stork colonies. Many of the better safari camps, particularly in the South Luangwa, build seasonal ‘hides’ in strategic locations which offer excellent photographic opportunities.
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Fishing

Fishing on Lower Zambezi, Zambia

Fishing is widely available on the Zambezi River. Tiger fish are the key quarry for serious anglers, either on the Upper Zambezi above Victoria Falls, in Lake Kariba or on the Lower Zambezi. Away from the Zambezi, fishing is available in a few spots including Lake Tanganyika in the far north of the country.
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Other Activities

Other activities, microlighting in Luangwa Valley, Tanzania

In the Mosi au Tunya National Park, near Livingstone and Victoria Falls, it is possible to join elephant-back safari excursions. These include riding the elephants for about an hour, with two further hours spent interacting with them, watching them feed or perhaps even take a mud bath!

Horse-riding is limited in Zambia, but is available in a couple of spots, including outside Livingstone and at Shiwa Ng’andu in northern Zambia.

Other activities available on a limited basis include quad-biking, mountain biking, white-water rafting, bungee-jumping, jet-boating, micro-lighting and helicopter safaris. We can also cater for very specific interests such as dendrology, Lepidoptera, archaeology etc.
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