8 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Zambia
With its rough edges and gritty charm, the former British colony of Zambia offers its visitors everything they want from a safari destination. A compact but stunningly beautiful country, with dramatic expanses of silky soft grasslands dotted with rocky granite hills and swollen waterfalls, Zambia's major national parks are home to some of the continent's most popular game, as well as plenty of opportunities for hiking, canoeing, and wildlife viewing.
Small cities and villages offer inexpensive hotels and self-catering cottages, and major towns are the jumping-off point for safari tours to Chilambwe, Kafue, Victoria Falls, the Kasanka National Park, and the Liwonde National Park.
Take in the magnificent wilds of Zambia with our list of the top attractions in the country.
South Luangwa National Park
Often referred to as "Africa's Last Great Game," the Great South Luangwa is a wildlife hotspot. A tangle of thickly wooded grassland full of predators, it's home to lions, leopards, and elephant as well as rhino, hippo, and water buffalo. Each species is easily identifiable by their distinct physical features, such as their coat, color, and lifestyle. The park also has a healthy population of nearly 200 elephants and offers an excellent opportunity to track the animals and understand how they live in the wild.
Kasanka National Park
Surrounded by some of the most dramatic scenery in Zambia, Kasanka is an undiscovered gem. The park offers a vast area of low, rolling grasslands, bush, and trees. These rolling plains are punctuated by highland plateaus and rugged limestone mountains. Most of the park is difficult to access, and roads can be muddy or unroadworthy. The best way to experience the park is to take an afternoon game drive through it in one of the few safari vehicles that can navigate the rough and dusty roads. The people of Kasanka and their activities are unknown, making the park a haven for wildlife. Expect to see roan antelopes, bongo antelopes, warthogs, jackals, and even herds of elephant in the park. Birdlife is also plentiful, and includes the white-headed duck, elliot's falcon, and the nubian ibis.
Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, has a warm and hospitable vibe, and a cosmopolitan feel. It is as beautiful as it is historic. Known as a city of contrasts, it is the site of fascinating historical places, such as the National Museum of Zambia, which houses a diverse collection of Stone Age tools, pre-historic animal bones, prehistoric textiles, and more. Other sites of interest include the Presidential Residence, the Lusaka Cathedral, which sits above a huge network of funeral caves which contain thousands of offerings from Lusaka's early inhabitants, and Victoria Falls, Africa's largest waterfall. The city also has easy access to Victoria Falls National Park and the Chimwawa and Lower Zambezi national parks.
Located in eastern Zambia, the Zimba Mountains and Livingstone National Park offer the opportunity to see an amazing array of African wildlife. Within the park, one can also visit Zimba Pools, a series of natural swimming holes and a big attraction for birdwatchers. Located in the world's second largest sub-tropical rainforest, Africa's largest mountain lake and the immense Victoria Falls can all be found at Livingstone.
Lower Zambezi National Park
Covered by rugged mountains and river valleys, Lower Zambezi National Park is known for its white-water rafting and the chance to see hippo, elephant and lion. The park has some beautiful lodges and camps, offering a variety of activities from rafting, canoeing, cycling and horseback riding to walks. All facilities are fairly basic, but there are a few fantastic sites that merit a stop. The White Water Rafting Company in Victoria Falls offers guided white-water rafting trips along the lower Zambezi, where you can get up close to the wildlife as you are dangled over the cliff on a cork and line. Tucked away between the Zambezi and the Kompibulushi, is a campsite where you can enjoy the stunning views of the Okavango.
Kitwe, or TK, is the economic capital of the province of North-Western Province and has a population of nearly five hundred thousand. This huge city is located in the Copperbelt region, and it is the northernmost city in Zambia. It is located on the North-Western frontier of Zambia and borders the North-Eastern part of the country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Angola. Kitwe is also the base of operations for the copper mining industry, which makes up a great deal of the economy of the region. It has a modern outlook, being a modern city with a population that consists mostly of white people. In terms of entertainment, the sports stadium is quite busy with lots of things happening there, and the people are very friendly. The main things to see are the recreation park and the church that has a striking gothic architecture. Kitwe is the largest city in Zambia, and people are friendly and helpful with loads of culture here. It has big skyscrapers and a bustling place to be in.
High above a fast-flowing river with views over miles of waterfalls, the 18,743-foot Mosi-oa-Tunya ("smoke that thunders" in the local Bemba language) is the third-highest mountain in Africa and the second-highest in Zambia. The breathtaking view of two waterfalls (Mosi Malela and Baobab) and the enormous steep rock face dominates the view from the summit. It is possible to climb to the top, but you need a guide as there are no paths and no safety equipment. The Mountain Resort serves as a base for visiting this natural phenomenon. It has a museum, where exhibits explain the eons of human history the mountain witnessed as well as nature conservation, it has a bar and restaurant, and it offers hiking trails.
Kafue River Lodge
Kafue River Lodge, 3 kilometers from the commercial town of Kazungu in Zambia's Southern Province, is an eco-friendly lodge in an African bush setting. With its open-air accommodation, solar-powered lighting and low-impact toilet and bath facilities, this lodge is powered only by solar energy. Guests have direct contact with the surrounding wild. The safari here is excellent and guests can explore the wild in comfort in some of Zambia's most remote areas. Canoeing, boating, birdwatching, and mountain climbing can also be arranged.