The Lower Zambezi National Park sits along the lower Zambezi River, on the opposite side of Mana Pools National Park (Zimbabwe). The Zambezi Escarpment along the northern boundary towers above the Zambezi Valley also forms part of the Southern limit of the Great East African Rift Valley. The Lower Zambezi valley is a huge rift in the earth’s crust, through which a mighty river flows. Over millennia, mineral-rich volcanic soils deposited by the Zambezi have nurtured lush vegetation, while old meanders and oxbow lakes add to the attraction for wildlife.
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. The landscape is beautiful: tall leadwoods, ebonies, acacias and figs stand on a carpet of rich grassland. But the main attraction is the area’s game, which congregates near the river during the dry season.
With a river frontage of about 120km, the valley floor and the Escarpment combined with the plateau, gives Lower Zambezi National Park magnificent picturesque scenery, providing a memorable experience for any visitor. The park is home to prides of lion, family herds of elephant, buffalo, hippo, leopard and a variety of antelope. You can explore the park both from vehicles and boating activities on the river.
Safaris to the Lower Zambezi
Most visitors to the Lower Zambezi fly in by light aircraft to one of the valley’s small airstrips, and stay at one or two of the safari camps or lodges along the river. Although 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 maximise your time within the park.
Flights can be organised from Lusaka, Livingstone or South Luangwa’s Mfuwe Airport, making a Lower Zambezi safari easy to combine with time in the South Luangwa National Park or a trip to Victoria Falls. On arrival you will be met by someone from your safari lodge, and transferred by 4WD, taking in any game that you see along the way. Back at the camp, you will be welcomed by the team with some time to settle in, before heading out on an activity such as a safari walk or drive.