The African Safaris which travel to Zambia visit a country which has recently become a very popular safari destination. The country is situated on the central African Plateau with the Zambezi River marking its southern boundary. The Victoria Falls occur in this river not far from the town of Livingstone. The Mosi oa Tunya National Park and the Victoria Falls remain the premier African Safari attraction in Zambia. In addition to this area Zambia also offers unforgettable Safari experiences in the Lower Zambezi National Park.
SAFARIS IN ZAMBIA
Zambia is a paradise for any safari enthusiast. On Zambia Safaris you will find acountry which is very sparsely populated, large parts remain untouched by time and humanity. Whether you are interested in a wilderness experience in some of the 19 national parks, want to get up close and personal with wildlife on a walking safari, experience an adrenaline rush river rafting on the Zambezi or partaking in a canoeing safari, Kruna Operators offers Zambia Safaris to lodges and areas which will make your safari in Zambia the experience of a lifetime.
Zambia’s great wildlife parks are home to a very wide range of mammals and birds. Besides lions, elephants, hippos, buffalos, zebras and giraffes, commonly sighted species include warthogs, mongooses, honey badgers, baboons, African striped weasels and Lichtenstein’s hartebeest. The Bird Life you will find on Zambia Safaris includes ostriches, hornbills, wood hoopoes and starlings. Most of Zambia Safaris are conducted in areas of moist savannah woodland where deciduous trees grow far enough apart to allow grasses and other plants to grow on the woodland floor. In drier areas, especially the valleys of the Zambezi and Luangwa you’ll see sprawling branches of stout baobab trees, some thousands of years old. The Zambia Safari lodges are all small and exclusive, which make a luxury Zambia Safari the ideal getaway for guests wishing to experience the remote wilderness on a safari which is private, exclusive and luxurious.
Not only is Victoria Falls the undisputed queen of waterfalls, but it is also without doubt on of the greatest and most unforgettable scenic spectacles. The physical nature of the waterfall is in itself astonishing, for it occurs in a country is perfectly level. For a considerable distance above the falls, the Zambezi flows over a level sheet of basalt, in a shallow valley bounded by low and distant sandstone hills. The river’s course is dotted with numerous tree-covered islands, which increase in number as the river approaches the falls. There are no mountains, escarpments, or deep valleys which might be expected to create a waterfall, only flat plateau extending hundreds of kilometres in all directions.
The falls are formed as the full width of the river plummets in a single vertical drop into a transverse chasm 1708 meters wide, carved by its waters along a fracture zone in the basalt plateau. The depth of the chasm, called the First Gorge, varies from 80 metres at its western end to 108 metres in the centre. The only outlet to the First Gorge is a 110-metre-wide gap about two-thirds of the way across the width of the falls from the western end, through which the whole volume of the river pours into the Victoria Falls gorges.
The first European to see the falls was David Livingstone on 17 November 1855, during his journey from the upper Zambezi to the mouth of the river. Europeans were sceptical of their reports, perhaps thinking that the lack of mountains and valleys on the plateau made a large falls unlikely. Livingstone had been told about the falls before he reached them from upriver and was paddled across to a small island that now bears the name Livingstone Island. Livingstone had previously been impressed by the Ngonye Falls further upstream, but found the new falls much more impressive, and gave them their English name in honour of Queen Victoria. He wrote of the falls, “No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes; but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.
The two national parks at the falls are relatively small, Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and Victoria Falls National Park. Next to the Victoria Falls National Park on the southern bank is the Zambezi National Park, extending 40 kilometres west along the river. Animals can move between the two Zimbabwean parks and can also reach the Matetsi Safari Area, Kazuma Pan National Park and Hwange National Park to the south. On the Zambian side, fences and the outskirts of Livingstone tend to confine most animals to the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. In addition fences put up by lodges restrict animal movement.
Zambia Safaris to the Victoria Falls are a must when visiting this part of the world, known locally as Mosi-oa-tunya or ‘the smoke that thunders’, the Victoria Falls is one of Zambia’s most important tourist attractions. At 66km², the Mosi-oa-tunya National Park is one of the smallest safari areas in the country, and its main purpose is protect the river area above the falls, the falls themselves and the common duiker and warthog. Hippo and crocodile occur in the river. The section of this falls area includes the rainforest on the cliff opposite the Eastern Cataract which is sustained by spray from the falls. It contains plants rare for the area such as pod mahogany, ebony, ivory palm, wild date palm and a number of creepers and lianas. The wildlife sanctuary of the Mosi-oa-tunya National Park is home to Zambia’s only remaining white rhino, as well as zebra, giraffe and the occasional herd of elephant. Go on a game drive along the Zambezi, and you’re sure to see loads of hippo wallowing in the shallows, and crocodiles basking on the river bank.
KAFUE NATIONAL PARK
Kafue National Park is Zambia’s oldest and its largest safari area. It was established in 1924 and offers incredible Zambia Safaris. Kafue is made up of a vast, gently undulating plateau ranging in altitude from 970 to 1 470m above sea level. A few hills are located along the mid-reaches of the Kafue River and much of the area to the west and south is dominated by expanses of Kalahari sand. The region is watered by the Lufupa and Lunga rivers, tributaries of the Kafue, which forms part of the eastern boundary. The vegetation consists of grassland, with the extensive Busunga Plain in the north, and of miombo, mopane and river woodland. Stand of teak grow throughout the park but are most common in the south.
SOUTH LUANWA NATIONAL PARK
South Luangwa National park lies within the Luangwa Valley, whose floor, for the most part, is gently sloping and well wooded, with isolated, broken ridges and a flat alluvial plain. Two large grassland plains are located in the South Luangwa National Park with smaller grassland areas to the north. The Luangwa River inundates its flood plain periodically, usually in February, and after a flood sometimes changes its course leaving oxbow lakes along the old channel. This instability creates the richness of scenery and the highly productive ecosystem for which the Luangwa Valley is well known.
LOWER ZAMBEZI NATIONAL PARK
The Lower Zambezi National Park is a large, scenically attractive park that lies on the northern bank of the Zambezi River, opposite Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park. Miombo woodland covers the hills, with mopane and acacia dominating the valley floor.
A wide variety of game species occur, such as elephant, buffalo, roan, waterbuck, kudu, bushbuck, and hippo, but numbers have greatly reduced by poaching. Lion and leopard are the main predatory species in the park. Enormous herds of elephant are often seen at the river’s edge, crocodiles bask in the Zambian sunshine and the bird life is phenomenal.