Why Zambia is one of the world's best safari destinations
One of the most remarkable wildlife sanctuaries in the world is fast becoming the most popular safari destination.
If you’ve been to Zambia before, then you would have guessed it; yep… Zambia offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the world. If you haven’t yet been to Zambia then let us tell you a bit more about this remarkable safari destination.
Zambia is a landlocked country neighbouring Tanzania to the northeast, Malawi to the east, Mozambique to the southeast, Zimbabwe and Botswana to the south.
Zambia offers travellers a glimpse into the real Africa, and also Victoria Falls, one of the World's Seven Natural Wonders, and with 20 national parks and 34 wildlife management areas it offers plenty of opportunity to witness wild animals in their natural environment. The South Luangwa National Park is one of the finest wildlife parks in the world and so its no wonder it is becoming the most popular for safari lovers and photographers.
The Real Africa
Many experts and travellers agree that South Luangwa National Park is one of the most remarkable wildlife sanctuaries in the world. The reason mainly is its high concentration of wildlife around the Luangwa River. It’s also one of the best locations to witness the elusive leopard, in fact it's also called the valley of leopards.
The South Luangwa National Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife including an impressive array of birds and so is perfect for bird watchers. This is also where the popular ‘walking safari’ originated from and is a great way to truly appreciate the ‘untouched’ wilderness and experience raw nature at its best.
Its important to note that there are no fences, wildlife are free to roam beyond the park boundary. This is what we love about this part of Africa, the wilderness areas are authentic and the wildlife is truly wild. With our lodge being located only a few minutes from the main gate our visitors are not only humans, we’ve had the honour of being visited by local Elephants, Hippos, Giraffes and even lions!
The ultimate photographic safari
Over the years of operating Track and Trail River Camp, we have seen a growing number of photographer’s who take up the opportunity to capture some of the most remarkable images of wildlife. We are truly blessed to share in the creative endeavours of our guests, so much so we make photographic safaris our specialty. Peter Geraerdts, a professional photographer and guide hosts several groups each year.
The changing seasons add to the Park’s richness, ranging from; dry, bare bushveld in the winter, to a lush, green wonderland in the summer months. There are 60 different animal species and over 400 different bird species in South Luangwa National Park. The only notable exception is the rhino, which have sadly been poached to extinction in the Park.
With about 400 of Zambia’s 732 species of birds appearing in the Park, including 39 birds of prey and 47 migrant species, there is plenty for the birdwatcher to spot, whatever the season.
An interest in the vegetation of Zambia will enhance your experience of the bush. Some magnificent trees and plants grow in the Luangwa Valley and it certainly adds to the richness of one’s experience to be able to recognise the different tree species and to discover exotic wildflowers.
Among the more common trees in the valley are the mopane, leadwood, winterthorn, the tall vegetable ivory palm, the marula and the magnificent tamarind tree. The are some magnificent baobab specimens and a few large ebony forests to admire.
$25 pp per day Self Drive $30 pp per day plus $15 per vehicle
If you look at a map, Zambia appears to be squarely in the tropics, but thanks to its landlocked and elevated position it does have distinct seasons that run as follows:
- Dry season — May to August. The coolest time of the year, with temperatures 24-28°C during the day, can drop as low as 7°C at night. Probably the best time of year to visit Zambia: come early in the dry season for birdwatching or to see Vic Falls at their biggest, or later when the bush has dried up for good game-spotting on safari.
- Hot season — September to November. Temperatures rocket up to a scorching 38-42°C and clouds of swirling dust make driving on dirt roads an asthmatic's nightmare. If you can take the heat, though, it's a good time for safaris as wildlife clusters around the few remaining watering holes.
- Wet season — December to April. Temperatures cool down to 32°C or so and, true to the name, there is a lot of rain — sometimes just an hour or two, sometimes for days on end. Unsealed roads become impassable muddy nightmares, and many safari lodges close.
Temperatures do fluctuate based on the altitude, if you are in a valley (such as the Zambezi) it will be warmer and if you are higher up (Kasama) it will be firstname.lastname@example.org
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