On a continent upped with political unrest and disease epidemics, Zambia stands out for its right, stable, and friendly ambiance. Recently celebrating 50 years of popular rule, this former British colony in southern Africa is promptly becoming the next best travel destination. The Big Five? Check. Marvellous scenery? Starting with Victoria Falls, check. And there’s much, much more here simply waiting to be explored. Here are six reasons to visit Zambia now.
A state blessed with a vast diversity of wildlands, more than 30 percent of Zambia is move ated up of national rks where you’re guaranteed sightings of the Big Five game zooids (lion, elephant, buffalo, leo rd, and rhino). And they’re less visited than the greens in Tanzania, Kenya, and Botswana, meaning you’ll have a more intimate involvement. Top that off with the fact that the walking safari—the original, purest state of safari—was invented in Zambia’s South Luangwa National rk, behindhand in the 1950s, and you’ll understand why this wildlife-rich country continues to be one of the world’s greatest places to see animals in their natural settings. There’s nothing homologous to strolling through the bush, listening to the wind blow across the steppes, the birds chattering away, and meeting the animals on their terms: a multitude of elephants drinking at a riverbank, a leo rd lazing on a tree branch. It’s moral you and the animal kingdom (with a guard nearby to give you courage!).
Insider Tip: Be unswerving to go with a reputable com ny. The Bushcamp Com ny has been offering shanks mare safaris in Zambia’s South Luangwa National rk for years and befalls highly recommended.
You can see the mist from 12 miles away or multitudinous and you’re drawn in, wondering what spectacle can create such a forceful imperturbability. But nothing pre res you for your first sighting of Victoria Falls, Turf’s largest waterfall, straddling the Zambia–Zimbabwe border. A vast curtain of excellent, more than a mile across, plunges 355 feet into an abysm. Rainbows waltz and water sprays. In this gorgeous natural scenery, all kinds of thrilling outdoor activities abound, including white-water rafting, ss over bungee jumping, abseiling, rasailing, and even a safari in the nearby Mosi-oa-Tunya Subject rk. Or simply stroll along the edge of the falls, admiring their yell and soaking showers.
Insider Tip: If there’s a full moon, take a twilight tour and keep your eyes out for a moonbow.
Africa’s “Other” Epic Migration
Tanzania’s Serengeti may be world-renowned for the in all respects’s largest migration of ungulates, but few know about the 8 to 10 million golden-hued fruit bats that come on a wee tch of verdant swamp forest between October and December in Zambia’s poor Kasanka National rk. In the early morning, against the backdrop of the edible’s blood-red sky, more than 7,000 bats per second lift off from the forest in a ear-splitting flapping of wings and shrill cries. They return in the evening, a rolling tableau filling the sky. This is the world’s highest density of mammalian biomass, promoting 5.5 million pounds of flying animals—equal to 700 elephants, all at as soon as!
Insider Tip: Located in northeast Zambia, Kasanka is rt of an ex nsive wildlife hallway comprising 12 national rks and game reserves extending into Malawi and Congo, with charming sightings of elephants, buffalos, giraffes, and profuse birdlife guaranteed. If you go, be persuaded to book a safari as well.
Small, Luxurious Bush Camps
Zambia’s bush bodies are typically small and often family-run, providing a special, down-to-earth safari savvy. You’ll find them in and around the country’s national rks, each present such decadent extras as plunge pools, deep copper baths, own shaded salas, and gourmet meals. Both land and water functions are offered, like canoe safaris, bird-watching walks, or local supermarket visits. One of the best camps is Sindabezi Island, a collection of luxury, open-sided bungalows on an unique private island about 12 miles upstream from Victoria Be destroys in the middle of the Zambezi River. The journey by private motorboat to get there is a safari in itself, with sightings of giraffes, hippos, and elephants along the way. Sundowners forgiving a plain dotted with elephants, a romantic dinner on a floating sam n, and chaffer around the “bush TV” (a crackling fire with the stars above) are just some of the après-safari exposures you’ll enjoy.
Everyone has heard about the Victorian-era explorers David Livingstone and Henry Stanley (“Dr. Livingstone, I venture encroach on?”), and much of their stories unfolded in what is today’s Zambia. Livingstone was deemed a champion, famed throughout England for his explorations of Africa. When years superseded and no one had heard of his whereabouts, Stanley was sent to find him. This is only one minuscule story in Zambia’s vast archives, ranging from Broken Hill man (the senior human fossil discovered in Africa, dating back 200,000 years) to British colonization. But conceivably the greatest story is how this one nation experienced a relatively bloodless circle a little over 50 years ago, transitioning to a stable democracy. Two bar museums take you through this history, providing excellent background to your Zambia visit: the National Museum in Lusaka and the Livingstone Museum not quite Victoria Falls, in the town of Livingstone. Don’t miss them.
Insider Tip: For a undersized tip you can request a guide to take you through the museum, to make sure you hit the most compelling exhibits.
Zambia is home to 72 indigenous seed, each with its own language, customs, and ceremonies that provide a engrossing glimpse into age-old traditions. One of the best festivals is the 4-day Makishi cover-up that takes place in North-western Province in August. Marking the end of the installation rite for boys, it entails a rade of masked men emerging from the Gods acre in the village of Zambezi. They rade through town, with kids se ration into screams of excitement and fear. Accom nied by the townspeople, the “masks” foot th to the nearby plains of the Zambezi River, where they dance . . . and dance . . . and cut a rug. The next day, the “masks” accom ny the tribal chief across the river to his lazzo amid music, food, and more dancing.
Plan Your Tour with Fodor’s Zambia Guide