Why Visit Zambia?
Zambia came late onto the tourism circuit compared to some African countries but it is fast gaining a first-class reputation as a holiday destination.
The first attraction to be mentioned is the Victoria Falls, A World Heritage Site and one of the seven Wonders of the Natural World. Many countries have tried to claim the Victoria Falls but they are, in fact, shared by Zambia and Zimbabwe. Based on the Victoria Falls and the Zambezi River are so many activities – bungee jumping, whitewater rafting, river cruises, microlight flights, helicopter flights and much more. A stay of three days is not enough to enjoy them all.
Unlike our southern neighbours, Zambia is a land of rivers and lakes. Our largest river is the Zambezi tumbling over the Victoria Falls and forms the lifeline for many of our people and wildlife. The Zambezi starts its journey in Zambia and after going for a quick tour in Angola, it returns much larger into Western Zambia. It also touches, or makes the border with, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and then flows through Mozambique into the Indian Ocean.
The photograph is of Lake Kariba with the kapenta rigs going out for a night’s fishing
We have two other major perennial rivers – the Kafue River and the Luangwa River – both of which drain into the Zambezi. And then we have hundreds of seasonal rivers which fill up during the rains, plunging over many waterfalls. Many gradually dry up, leaving pools of water, full of barbel fish for the birds.
We have lakes too; Bangweulu and Mweru are the largest totally within our borders. We share Lake Tanganyika with Tanzania, Congo (DRC) and Burundi. We share one of the largest man-made dams, Kariba, with Zimbabwe. And we share Lake Mweru Wantipa with Congo (DRC). There are many small lakes with sunken lakes south of the Copperbelt.
Some of our parks compare well with those of our neighbours with the added advantage of being less travelled. It is possible to drive all day through some of our parks and not see another vehicle. Our park roads are not tarred and, if you drive yourself, they can become quite an adventure with the need of a GPS and some 4×4 skill.
The photograph is a road in Lower Zambezi. The park is closed during the rainy season because the rivers gush down the Zambezi Escarpment making some roads impassable.
Zambia tour operators are assisted in their work by numerous conservation organisations which work alongside our Department of National Parks. These conservation organisations have a three-pronged approach to their work. Firstly, they need to protect the wildlife and the environment from poachers and forest fires. Secondly, they work with the communities who live nearby to help them protect their homes and farms; also helping them to set up small businesses. Thirdly, they work in the schools to give the children an appreciation of their natural heritage.
The conservation organisations encourage volunteers from overseas to come and join them for a period where they can learn and experience African life in the wilds of the parks.
Being committed to the environment, the tour operators in two parks – Lower Zambezi and Luambe have reduced their carbon emissions to become carbon-neutral. All necessary emissions from vehicles, flights, etc, have been offset by investment in local forests.
Our local organisations are joined by international organisations like African Parks Foundation, African Wildlife Foundation, Peace Parks Foundation and the Frankfurt Zoological Society, all of which assist in the protection of Zambia’s wildlife estates.
Accommodation ranges from top-of-the-range luxury, to mid-market camps, to modest guesthouses and camping. Our luxury lodges and hotels have won awards for their excellence in service and standards. Luxury visitors have no need to worry about the logistics of getting to one lodge to another as our tour operators are highly experienced, flying guests from one destination to another.
The photograph is of Busanga Bush Camp (Wilderness Safaris) in Kafue National Park. This area of the park is also closed during the rains … it is a floodplain.
Zambia remains high on the list of safe countries to visit. Skyscanner put Zambia first in their list of safe countries to visit in 2018 and Travel + Leisure has stated that Zambia is one of the Best Places to Visit in 2018!
Throughout our history since Independence, we have not had internal conflict. Over the years we have been a haven for refugees from nearby countries, showing our caring nature.
Now, it seems, that the rest of the world is noticing that Zambia is one of the best destinations for a holiday.
Finally, our culture is undergoing a revival and becoming more visible. Zambia has been largely untouched by ‘western’ norms and our culture has remained a vital part of everyday life. With over 50 different ethnic groups, all with their own special celebrations, there is always some cultural activity going on around the country. Most staff members of your lodge will give you a performance of their dance and song from their traditions. Our Paramount Chiefs and Senior Chiefs have annual ceremonies which are open to the public.
For accommodation, see the pages below: Luxury, Budget or Camping
(I am working on the mid-market page … be patient …)