The Lower Zambezi National Park is situated in the South Eastern part of Zambia on the banks of the Zambezi River, approximately 150 kms down stream from Lake Kariba Dam and opposite Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe. Animals freely cross from either countries looking for pastures and water.
The Park was established in 1983 and covers an area of 4,100 sqkm, with 120 kilometres of river frontage. Approximately 25% of the park lies in the valley between the Central African Plateau and the Zambezi River, the escarpment adds to the overall beauty of the region and ensures stunning sunsets.
The Zambezi River
The Zambezi River from which the park got is name is a major resource to the pristine wilderness, feeding Barotse floodplains before plunging over the Batoka Gorge to form the magnificent Victoria Falls. The river then courses smoothly in the narrow rocks into Lake Kariba before reaching the Lower Zambezi where it slows its pace. Here, a myriad of islands & gentle back water channels have formed, creating a home and feeding ground for an incredible amount of wildlife.
There is a large number of mammal species including elephant, hippo, buffalo, kudu, zebra, impala, bushbuck, duiker, klipspringer, lion, leopard, hyenas, African wild dog, serval, civet, genet, aardvark, chac-ma baboon and vervet monkeys, just to name a few. The dry season is the best time to visit the park with several animals congregating along water holes each morning.
With the Zambezi River as one of the parks natural boundaries, the area also attracts an abundance of bird life estimated to include almost 400 species.
For the adventurous traveller, a canoe safari along the Zambezi shoreline is a great way to get close to nature. The dug-out canoe boats are a local and traditional way crossing the river, often led by local guides. Find elephants and schools of hippos in the shallow river banks and cross to the nearby islands.
The best time to visit the park for wildlife viewing is the dry season (June to early October) when large numbers of elephant, buffalo, waterbuck and impala come to the river to drink and graze along its banks. During the rainy season (end October to March) much of the game moves away from the river into the mopane woodlands, scrubs and thorny bushes.
Lower Zambezi lodges and accommodation
Although Lower Zambezi National park is still the newest park in Zambia safaris, there are some options for overnight stays, ranging from luxury safari lodges, tented camps, bush camps and self catering camping. Mvuu self catering safari lodge, Kasaka river lodge and Ana tree lodge are located within Lower Zambezi national park. Near the park gates are Zambezi waterfront, thorntree lodge and many others in Livingstone town and near Victoria Falls.
There are also facilities for outdoor camping and backpacking from Sausage Tree camp, Chiawa camp, Chongwe River camp, Zambezi Kalefu camp and others. Exclusive luxury Zambezi accommodation is available from Royal Zambezi River lodge, Chongwe River House, Chongwe Albida Suites, Chongwe Cassia lodge and many others camps