Located in the heart of Southern Africa – one of the best safari destinations in Southern Africa
If you are out to experience the real Africa, Zambia is the place to be. Zambia has one of the best wildlife parks of the continent and is still relatively untouched. Zambia is rated as one of the safest places in the world to travel.
The country has 20 national parks and is also home of the legendary Victoria Falls. With a diversity of over 740 species of birds, 237 mammals and in combination with a pristine and diverse landscape, Zambia can be considered as one of the top safari destinations in Africa.
Places to visit in Zambia
South Luangwa National Park:
is rated as one of the best wildlife areas in Southern Africa. The park, that covers 9050km2, has year-round access and is known for its high concentration of mammals, birds and reptiles. There are more then 60 different animal species and over 400 different bird species. The Luangwa river has the highest concentration of hippo’s and crocodiles in the region and you have a good chance of seeing a leopard on a night drive as they are present in great numbers. Lion, civet, genet, hyena are regularly seen as well as large herds of elephants, buffalo’s and great numbers of puku’s in the open bushveld. Bushbuck and kudu stay cover in the shrubs but they are very relaxed on approach. The Thornicroft giraffe is unique to the Luangwa valley. Mfuwe village is on the Eastern boundary of the park and it has an international airport.
Luambe National Park:
is a small park between South and North Luangwa National Park and is only accessible between May and October. Wildlife is not as dense as in South and North Luangwa but increasing. The landscape is divers and the endemic oribi and Cookson’s wildebeest are found here. There is good bird watching and it is certainly worthwhile visiting this remote park.
North Luangwa National Park:
is about half the size of the South park and one of the wildest places in Africa. The park is known for its huge herds of buffalo and high population of predators. You will find large prides of lions and it is not uncommon to see a kill. Also frequently seen is the endemic Cookson’s wildebeest. While elephants and leopards are more likely to be seen in the South park, you will find hartebeest, reedbuck and eland here. All birds in the South park are also found in the North park. The park is wild and untouched and there is only a few roads and you won t see many other visitors during your trip.
The Lower Zambezi National Park:
The park covers an area of 4090km2 and is home to most of the big game species including wild dog. There is a good population of lion and leopard and the bird life is very good. The biggest attraction however, is the great Zambezi River that provides excellent opportunities for game viewing and various water sports. You will find enormous herds of elephant at the river’s edge and you can watch the elephant’s bathing in the river, there are big schools of hippo’s and fish eagles are soaring overhead, while canoeing or fishing on the Zambezi. ‘Island hopping’ buffalo and waterbuck are also quite common. And unlike other parks, the Zambezi never dries up and provides a good water source for the flora and fauna all year round.
Livingstone – Victoria Falls…
described as one of the 7 wonders in the world… the greatest known ‘curtain of falling water’. About 540 million cubic meters (end of March) of Zambezi water per minute falls down over the edge over a width of 1.8 km into the depth of about 100 metres below. The moving water creates a number of activities in the area like sightseeing by air (helicopter and micro light), wild water rafting (Zambia’s Rafting Adventures have been rated as one of the top ten travel experiences in the world), canoeing, bungy jumping… but there are also walking safaris, birding safaris, elephant back safaris etc.
Kafue National Park:
is with its 22.500km2, one of the largest National Parks in Africa. The Kafue river, Lufupa and Lunga river are the three main veins that bring life into the Kafue National Park. Birdlife in Kafue is spectaculair with over 400 recorded species. There is also a good diversity of mammals with regular sightings of lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, cheetah, hippo and good numbers of buffalo and zebra. The Busanga Plains in the north is certainly the highlight of Kafue. A stunning wetland area and home to numerous puku’s, roan and oribi as well as Lichtenstein’s hartebeest and herds of wildebeest. This abundant presence of game is also a big attraction for predators, including wild dog, cheetah and prides of lion. The Busanga Plains is one of the few areas in the world that remains untouched by development and human activity
When to go on safari in Zambia
Track and Trail River Camp is open all year round
South Luangwa National Park is located in the Southern end of the Great Rift Valley, Zambia. Together with North Luangwa National Park and Luambe National Park it is known as the Luangwa Valley. The South Luangwa National park is accessible all year around and known for its high population of leopards as well as large herds of elephant and great numbers of hippo’s and crocodiles in the river.
According to most travel guides the best time to go on safari is the dry season from April to January, especially from September when the animals will gather around water holes and rivers. This period is also the easiest time to travel, The winter nights – in June and July – are cool and sometimes cold, with warm and pleasant temperatures during daytime. October is the hottest month in Zambia, so be prepared for temperatures of over 40C.
The emerald or rainy season starts in November up to early April. Due to an abundance of water, wildlife is scattered during this time of the year and although the landscape is absolutely stunning with all vegetation being lush and green, the density of the vegetation makes it also less easy to spot animals. On the other hand, birdwatching is now at its best. In the emerald season the weather is variable with occasional rains in November and December. In one day, you can have bright sunshine and heavy downpours and fortunately the rain does not usually last long. However a disadvantage of traveling in the emerald season is that dirt roads could become impassable. The peak of the rainy season occurs from January to end of March, with short heavy rainstorms mainly at night.
January to April
Temperature: The peak of the rainy season with brief, heavy rainstorms
Highlights: Luangwa River Safaris by boat – birding safaris – most predators to be found near the roads – breeding season impala
May to August
Temperature: Cool and dry (coolest month is June)
Highlights: high concentrations of wildlife around lagoons and river
September to October
Temperature: Warm and dry
Highlights: high concentrations of various animals around the lodge and the Luangwa River – breeding season of carmine bee-eaters
November to December
Temperature: Warm with occasional showers.
Highlights: birding safaris – peak season of birth for many antilope species and other mammals
Flight schedules change regularly, especially in this part of the world, so although this information is correct at time of posting on the net, please check with the airline or us for the most up-to-date information before planning your safari.
During the “green season” there are slightly fewer flights but these aim to connect with incoming BA, KLM and SAA flights from London, Nairobi and Johannesburg respectively.
Arrival from abroad
International arrivals into Zambia can be made through Lusaka (Zambia’s main international airport), Livingstone and Mfuwe. Both Lusaka and Livingstone have daily scheduled flights from international airlines.
Arrival by air from within
Track and Trail River Camp is a 40 minutes drive from the Airport and we organize transfers to and from the airport. We are happy to help you with flight arrangements within Zambia or from Malawi.
Arrival by road from within
Lusaka to Chipata will take around 7-8 hours depending on how fast you drive. The road conditions have improved considerably the last few years. From Chipata to Mfuwe (South Luangwa National Park) will take you around 3 hours. The road is in reasonable state at present and the road is being tarred. South Luangwa National Park is approximately 5-6 hours from Lusaka.
Airport Departure Taxes: Is included in your ticket costs are domestic and sometimes international airport departure taxes. On domestic flights, tax is $8 per person payable in US dollars or Zambian kwacha. On international flights out of Lusaka, departure tax is $25 per person, payable in US dollars cash only. Out of Lilongwe on an international flight, departure tax is $25 per person, payable in US dollars cash only.
Baggage restriction for local flights is 20 kg (15kg check inn luggage & 5kg hand luggage) – www.proflight-zambia.com.We offer a laundry service, so there is no need to over pack!
Passports must be valid 6 months from date of entry and must contain at least 2 blank pages.
On arrival into Zambia you will enter through Lusaka, Livingstone or Mfuwe (South Luangwa National Park). Visas are required by nationals of most foreign countries and this information can be obtained from your nearest Zambian Embassy/Consulate. However most travelers decide to obtain their visa on the airport -just before picking up luggage- at the immigration desk.
The current Zambian visa rates are as follows: British Passport holders – Single entry $ 50 / Multiple entry $ 80,-.
Most other passport holders: Single entry $ 50 / Multiple entry $ 80,-.
This information is subject to change, please contact us or your local consulate or embassy for updated information.
Zambia is regarded as a malaria area and therefore proper prevention, by way of malaria prophylaxis is recommended. There are many different strains of Malaria requiring specific drugs. Please consult your doctor for the right prophylactic (anti Malarial) drugs. You may also require proof of Yellow Fever and other vaccinations, so please make sure these are up to date. South Luangwa area is very fortunate to always have a Western doctor available, and if necessary the doctor can be called out for our guests. This medical program is sponsored by the lodges that are active in the area.
The Zambian Kwacha is the local currency. You can change Euro and USD at any bank or bureau de exchange. Credit cards are accepted within Lusaka, Livingstone and most of the safari lodges. However, outside these areas it is best to use cash. In general Visa is more widely accepted. ATM machines can be used for cash withdrawals. Banking hours are from 08.15 until 14.30 on Mondays to Fridays and from 08.15 to 10.30 on the first and last Saturday of the month.
Things to bring along:
- Neutral color shirts – blouses – light cotton tops and cotton trousers
- Shirts with long sleeves to protect you from the sun and from mosquitoes
- Trousers for evenings and cooler days
- Walking shoes – socks – flipflops – casual footwear (teva’s)
- Windproof jacket, jumper or fleece for morning and evening drives
- Light compact raincoat during the rainy season * swim suit – shorts- light skirt
- Hat – sunscreen – sunblock – sunglasses
- Insect repellent
- Camera/video camera, extra batteries, memory cards charging devices
- Adaptor (three pin square British style plug is used in Zambia)
- Torch – binoculars
Generally, casual comfortable clothing is suitable throughout the year and layers are most practical for the fluctuating day and night temperatures in Zambia.
Eland (not common)
Hartebeest (not common)
Klipspringer (not common)
Mongoose (various types)
Roan (not common)
Eagle, African Fish
Eagle, African Hawk
Goshawk, Little Banded ( Shikra )
Snake Eagle, Brown
Snake Eagle, Western Banded
Duck, Whitefaced Whistling
Egret, Great White
Plovers and Waders
Doves & Pigeons
Dove, African Mourning
Dove, Cape Turtle
Dove, Emerald-Spotted Wood
Roller’s & Hoopoe’s
Cukoo’s & Coucals
Crane, Southern Crowned
Parrot, Meyer’s Martin, Brownthroated