The Lower Zambezi National Park lies on the North bank of the Zambezi River in South Eastern Zambia and covers 4200 sq. km. Several smaller rivers flow through the park. There are national parks on both sides of the river – Mana Pools National Park on the Zimbabwean bank, and the Lower Zambezi National Park on the Zambian side. Most of the park consists of the hilly higher ground on the sides and top of the escarpment – where the bush consists mainly of thick, broad-leafed miombo woodland. Though, with little water here the dry season sees the game concentrate on the flat alluvial plain, beside the deep, wide, permanent Zambezi River.
There is a wide selection of places to stay in and around the Lower Zambezi National Park. Accommodations within Lower Zambezi National Park vary from Classy lodges or camps to simplest camps.
Most lodges at the Lower Zambezi National Park offer the best access to the park. Flights can be organized from Lusaka, Livingstone or South Luangwa’s Mfuwe Airport. On arrival one will be met by a representative and transferred to the lodge or the camp.
Most visitors to the Lower Zambezi fly in by light aircraft to one of the valley’s small airstrips.
It is possible to drive into the valley, or even to drive part of the way and finish your journey by boat, arriving by air is the most efficient way to maximize your time within the park.
Animals and Bird life in the lower Zambezi
Elephants and Buffalos are common in the Lower Zambezi National Park. They freely move within Zambia and Zimbabwe often grazing on the islands in the middle of the river. There are also good populations of kudu, eland, zebra, wildebeest, waterbuck, bushbuck and the odd duiker or grysbok.
In the river, crocodile and hippo are always present, large water monitor lizards can also be spotted. The major predators in the Lower Zambezi are lion, leopard and spotted hyena. Wild dogs can also be seen near the park.
378 bird species have been recorded in lower Zambezi National Park. Species of eagle, heron, stork and bee-eater, kingfishers (pied, giant, woodland, malachite and brown-hooded kingfishers are all common in Lower Zambezi National Park. The river is patronized by darters, cormorants, egrets and storks, and fish eagles are often seen perching in trees that overlook the water. The Lower Zambezi is rich in wading birds, both resident and migrant; uncommon residents include ospreys, spoonbills and African skimmers
Visitors to the Lower Zambezi National Park can choose from a brilliant range of activities. Game drives (early morning game drive and late afternoon game drive) in open – topped 4WD vehicles or an option of a walking safari with a qualified guide and armed ranger, fishing along the river, Day long canoeing trips, on the water, there are boat trips to explore the Zambezi, keeping an eye out for hippos, crocodile and an impressive array of birds
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Lower Zambezi National Park is mid-season from June to September, but all lodges and canoeing operators are open from April to November. Royal Zambezi Lodge and Kayila Lodge are open all year. Fishing is at its best in September / October.