If you want to experience the real Africa then Zambia, in the heart of Southern Africa, is the place to go. It has some of the best wildlife parks on the continent, and is still relatively untouched. Zambia is also rated as one of the safest places in the world to travel.

The country has 20 national parks and is also the home of the legendary Victoria Falls. With over 740 species of birds and 237 mammals, and a pristine and diverse landscape, Zambia is considered one of the top safari destinations in Africa.

South Luangwa National Park

Rated as one of the best wildlife areas in Southern Africa, the 9,050km2 South Luangwa National Park is known for it stunning landscapes and abundance of wildlife. The meandering Luangwa River and it lagoons – full of hippo’s and crocodiles – is the lifeline of over 60 animal species and over 400 bird species found in this area of untouched wilderness. This park is one of the best places to spot the elusive leopard. Home to several prides of lions and other predators like wilddogs and hyena as well as large herds of elephants and hippo’s and numerous antilopes.

South Luangwa also offers unique sightings like herds of Crawshay’s Zebra and the Thornicroft’s giraffe. The park that is one of the best-known national parks in Africa for walking safaris, is part of the Great Rift Valley, and located in East Zambia

Mfuwe is on the eastern boundary of the park, and has an international airport.

North Luangwa National Park

About half the size of South Luangwa National Park, the North Park is one of the wildest places in Africa, and is known for its huge herds of buffalo and large numbers of predators. You will also find lion prides, and it is not uncommon to see a kill. The endemic Cookson’s wildebeest is frequently seen, too. While elephants and leopards are more likely to be seen in the South Park, you can find hartebeest, reedbuck and eland here. All the bird species you can see in the South Park are also found in North Luangwa National Park. The park is wild and untouched, with only a few roads, so you are unlikely to see many other visitors during your trip.

Kafue National Park

Covering 22.500km2, Kafue National Park is one of the largest National Parks in Africa. The Kafue, Lufupa and Lunga rivers are the three main veins that bring life into the park. Birdlife in Kafue is spectacular, with over 400 recorded species. There is also a good diversity of mammals, with regular sightings of lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, cheetahs, hippos and zebra. The Busanga Plains in the north is certainly the highlight of Kafue: a stunning wetland area and home to numerous pukus, roan and oribi, as well as Lichtenstein’s hartebeest and herds of wildebeest. This abundance of game is also a big attraction for predators, including wild dogs, cheetahs and prides of lions. The Busanga Plains is one of the few areas in the world that remains untouched by development and human activity

The Lower Zambezi National Park

The Lower Zambezi National Park covers 4,090km2 and is home to most of the big game species, including wild dogs. There is a good population of lions and leopards, and birdlife is abundant, too. The biggest attraction, however, is the great Zambezi River, which provides excellent opportunities for game viewing and water sports. You can find enormous herds of elephants at the river’s edge, where you can observe them bathing. There are also large schools of hippos, and fish eagles soar overhead while you canoe or fish on the Zambezi. Island-hopping buffalos and waterbucks are also quite common. Unlike other parks, the Zambezi never dries up, and provides a good water source for flora and fauna all year round.

Livingstone – Victoria Falls

The Victoria Falls, one of the seven wonders of the natural world, is the largest known curtain of falling water. About 540 million cubic metres of Zambezi water fall per minute along a stretch of 1.8km, to a depth of about 100 metres below. The rays of the sun shining on the descending foam form a vibrant double rainbow, and the Falls create opportunities for a number of activities in the area, such as sightseeing by air, wild-water rafting, canoeing, walking and bungee jumping, not to mention walking safaris, elephant-back safaris, walking with lions, and so on.

Luambe National Park

A small park between South and North Luangwa National Parks, Luambe National Park is only accessible between May and October. Wildlife is not as dense as in South and North Luangwa, but it is increasing. The landscape is diverse and the endemic oribi and Cookson’s wildebeest are found here, which, together with the excellent birdwatching, make a visit to this remote park very worthwhile.