Things to Do in Zambia
UNESCO World Heritage Site Victoria Falls (Mosi-oa-Tunya), on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, represents the world’s largest sheet of falling water, though not the widest or tallest. Dr. David Livingston named the falls after the Queen of England. On a clear day, you can see the mist generated by the falls from up to 30 miles (48 kilometers) away.
Experience a natural infinity pool with a dip in Devil’s Pool. Perched on the edge of Victoria Falls, the rock-lined pool lets you swim to the rim of one of the world’s largest waterfalls and watch the cascade thundering below. Accessible on seasonal guided tours, the cliff-side pool is recommended for adrenaline junkies.
Encompassing the Zambian side of mighty Victoria Falls—one of the seven wonders of the natural world—Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park is best known for the thundering waterfall at its heart. Yet, views of falls are not all the park has to offer. Wildlife, scenery, and adventure opportunities fill the 41-square-mile (66-square-kilometer) park.
Lower Zambezi National Park may not boast the same high number of animals or vast diversity of species as other parks in Zambia, but its untouched wilderness provides visitors with a chance to experience real African bush. While the park is geographically large, most animals gather in an area concentrated along the lower valley. Lions and leopards populate the land, but perhaps most impressive are the herds of elephants—some numbering close to 100—that congregate along the river’s edge. Traveler can paddle the Chongwe River in canoes, take game rides through the valley floor or even cast their lines into the Kafue River in search of the night’s big catch.
While it may not be the largest river in Africa, the Zambezi, which carves through six countries including Zambia, is one of the continent’s most powerful and most scenic. As a result, this rushing river attracts visitors from across the globe—including travelers with a love of extreme water sports looking for adventure. The fourth-largest river in Africa is divided into three main parts, and Victoria Falls is typically considered the boundary between the upper and middle Zambezi. Here, the thundering river flows over falls, into the Boiling Point and through the narrow Batoka Gorge, where it provides some of the most exhilarating white water rafting, kayaking and river boating on earth. Non-adrenaline junkies can still enjoy the beauty of the Zambezi by floating along on a sunset river cruise.
The Livingstone Museum is more than just an exhibition dedicated to the first European to discover Victoria Falls, it is also a tribute to Zambian heritage. The largest and oldest museum in Zambia, the museum holds important archeological and cultural exhibits focused on local tribes, as well as collections of explorer David Livingstone’s letters and memorabilia
Few places in Zambia offer birders the diversity and excitement of South Luangwa National Park. More than 400 avian species call this vast reserve home. Red-faced yellow billed storks, pelicans and great white egrets wading through muddy waters are easy to spot at the end of the dry season. By November, species from Northern Europe have flocked to the park to enjoy the warmth of rainy season. This makes it an ideal time to find hundreds of carmine bee-eaters gathering along riverbanks.
Lake Kariba is the largest artificial lake in the world. This massive reservoir was created in 1958, when the Kariba Dam was built to provide power and electricity to the surrounding areas. Today, a variety of fresh water fish, Nile crocodiles and even hippopotamuses live in the lake. Huge numbers of tiger fish make it an ideal spot for a weekend fishing trip, and a variety of unique birds attract avian lovers, too. Visitors can catch spectacular sunsets from lodges nestled along the lake’s edge, and houseboat holidays offer a quiet escape from the hustle of Victoria Falls.
This quiet town stationed along the floodplains of the Zambezi River is the capital of Western Province and known for its expert basket and carpet weaving. Visitors can tour local craft markets, where these unique wares are made and put up for purchase, then sample some of the best mangoes and freshest tiger fish in the nation. Mongu is also home to the Nayuma Museum, which showcases handiwork and explores the traditions of the Lozi people.
Set in the Zambezi River just above Victoria Falls, Livingstone Island is the place where 18th-century explorer David Livingstone first spotted what is now known as the largest sheet of falling water in the world. You can view the falls from this same unique vantage point on a guided tour that melds history, sightseeing, and adrenaline.
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