Attractions / highlights
Regarded as one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, South Luangwa offers an incredible concentration of animals with over 60 different animal and 400 different bird species. The famous ‘walking safari’ originated here and is still one of the finest safari experiences. This National Park is also known for its outstanding sightings of leopard.
Lake Kariba is Africa’s largest man-made dam and has become a holiday hotspot for those enjoying watersports, fishing, boating, spectacular views and stunning sunsets. Spend your days relaxing in one of Africa’s most pristine wilderness areas.
The Victoria Falls remains one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world. Travellers can either explore the Falls to just take in the incredible beauty of this World Heritage site or get their adrenaline pumping with activities such as bungee jumping or bridge swinging.
Kafue National Park is the oldest and largest (22 400 km2) of Zambia’s national parks with an incredible diversity of wildlife. Despite its size and prominent location only two hours drive from Livingstone, it remains relatively unknown and largely unexplored with vast tracts of its virgin bush still untouched.
This national park lies along the Zambezi River, opposite the Mana Pools Reserve in Zimbabwe, making the areas on both sides of the river a vast wildlife sanctuary. Being relatively undeveloped, this is one of the few remaining pristine wilderness areas in Africa. Low visitor numbers, a spectacular natural setting and plentiful game make this an excellent choice in wildlife destination.
Visas/ Passport requirements
The World Health Organization (WHO) has upgraded the risk of yellow fever in Zambia from “No risk” to “Low risk”. Travellers should be aware that the South African Government may require passengers in transit to and from Zambia to show proof of a yellow fever vaccination at least 14 days prior to arrival in South Africa.
Malaria, including cerebral malaria, is common in northern Botswana, in the Okavango and Chobe areas, particularly during and immediately following the rainy season, from November to April. As the strains of malaria, and the drugs used to combat them, frequently change, and as certain strains can become drug resistant, it is best to seek medical advice before your departure and take any medication prescribed. Pregnant or very young children are not advised to travel to malarial areas. Other precautions are: to wear long sleeves, socks, closed shoes, and generally keep the body covered, to sleep with a mosquito net and to use mosquito coils and repellent.
Exposure to sun and heat
Always take preventive measures that include wearing a wide-brimmed sunhat and sunglasses, liberally applying sunscreen every three or four hours, regularly taking rehydration mixes, drinking plenty of water and fruit juices (at least three litres of liquid daily), avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun, and avoiding excessive amounts of alcohol, which causes dehydration.
It is advisable to stick to drinking bottled water. Tap water in Zambia is safe to shower with and brush teeth.
Most hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and the bigger shops will take credit cards. Most ATMs accept Visa cards for cash. Visa is more readily accepted than MasterCard or American Express.
It’s best to come into the country with either traveller’s cheques or Dollars or Pounds which can be exchanged at any of the many Bureaux de Change in the main towns. If you are offered an exchange on the black market at the borders, exercise extreme caution as they are notorious for cheating you without you even realising it. Travellers cheques attract a commission when changing to other currencies.
BA Comair and South African Airways both fly daily between Lusaka and Johannesburg and also offer flights to Livingstone and Victoria Falls airports.
Best time to visit
Zambia’s cool dry season runs from May to August. During this season temperatures drop at night, but the days are pleasantly mild. This is also the best time for game viewing because the foliage thins out making sightings easier and also animals concentrate at water sources. September to November is also a good time for game, however this is the hot dry season so temperatures are higher.
The wet season, or green season, from mid-November to mid-April is ideal for bird-watching and the bush is thick, green and beautiful. Many Zambian safari lodges also close during the rainy season due to flooding.
The best time to visit Victoria Falls is the end of the rainy season, March to May. This is when the Falls are at their most spectacular as the Zambezi is in full flood.