This is Zambia’s newest park and as such is still relatively undeveloped, but it’s beauty lies in its absolute wilderness state. The diversity of animals is not as wide as the other big parks, but the opportunities to get close to game wandering in and out of the Zambezi channels are spectacular. The Park lies opposite the famous Mana Pools Reserve in Zimbabwe, so the whole area on both sides of the river is a massive wildlife sanctuary.
The river’s edge is overhung with a thick riverine fringe, mostly diasporus, ficus and other riverine species. Further inland is a floodplain fringed with mopane forest and interspersed with winterthorn trees Acacia albida. The hills which form the backdrop to the park are covered in broadleaf woodland.
The Lower Zambezi National Park covers an area of 4092 square kilometers, but most of the game is concentrated along the valley floor. There is an escarpment along the northern end which acts as a physical barrier to most of the parks animal species. Enormous herds of elephant, some up to 100 strong, are often seen at the rivers edge. ‘Island hopping’ buffalo and waterbuck are common. The park also hosts good populations of lion and leopard and listen too for the ubiquitous cry of the fish eagle.
Canoeing here is a must. The lodges will provide day long canoeing trips. Float down the river at your leisure and they’ll pick you up in a speedboat at the end of the day to bring you back.
Several operators run 3 – 5 day trips, overnighting at very comfortable bush camps on the banks of the river. These are highly recommended. The river has a strong enough current to take you easily down the river with little effort. The river guides will take you down remote channels between the islands where your opportunities to get close to game are very high. Hippos are always in sight, elephant, zebra, puku, impala, buffalo, kudu and baboons can be seen browsing on the banks from the laid back comfort of your canoe.
Game drives and walking safaris offered by the lodges and camps provide excellent game viewing opportunities. The Zambezi river attracts herds of game to its edge and provides visitors with opportunities to get up close and personal. The Park is known for its pristine wilderness and its populations of elephant, buffalo, waterbuck, lion and leopard.
Our recommended accommodation in this region:
Old Mondoro Camp