Zambia offers the traveller an array of beautiful sights. Image via Pixabay

Zambia: Land of waterfalls, wetlands, and walking safaris

Zambia is one of the more accessible African countries to travel to at the moment, and it’s very easy to make a trip there happen, even at the last minute.


Zambia offers the traveller an array of beautiful sights. Image via Pixabay

Zambia’s peak season for wildlife watching ends in November, so there is still time to head into the African wilderness of one of the continent’s most beautiful countries and enjoy a safari adventure.

Blessed with awe-inspiring natural beauty, an abundance of diverse wildlife, massive glistening bodies of water, and vast open spaces teeming with game, Zambia has much to offer in the way of unforgettable safari vacations.

Hailed as the “land of the legendary African walking safari”, Zambia has myriad attractions to explore — from the spectacular Victoria Falls on the border with Zimbabwe to the watery world of the Bangweulu Wetlands and is one of the safest countries in the world to visit.

Discover Zambia

Lower Zambezi

Mineral-rich volcanic soils, lush vegetation, and the vast, glistening body of the Zambezi River snaking its way along the Lower Zambezi valley floor make this region one of Zambia’s richest and most diverse wildlife sanctuaries.

Steep escarpments and hilly higher grounds covered in thick miombo woodlands flow down towards a flat, alluvial plain with mineral-rich soil, lush vegetation, and the broad, deep waters of the Zambezi River.

Islands rise out of the river, from large rocky outcrops covered in old trees to simple sandbanks with grass and low bush, while old streams and oxbow lakes form en route creating a veritable haven for wildlife.

Bangweulu Swamps in Zambia

Vast tracts of open water and flooded grasslands form the Bangweulu Wetlands — Africa’s greatest swamp. Lying in the North Zambian Plateau, the Bangweulu (meaning “where the water meets the sky”) basin is fed by myriad rivers to create a wetland world which teems with wildlife.

Shallow lagoons, small islands, and reed beds extend as far as the eye can see before meeting thick, forested pockets. Literally underwater during the rainy summer season, the swamplands come alive once the water begins to recede, teeming with small fish, shrimps, and snails and it is here that one can see some of Africa’s most spectacular birdlife.

Found only in this region, massive herds of black lechwe roam the tussocks grazing on the lush grass, while elephant and buffalo enjoy mud baths in the murky shallows. The rare Slender-snouted Crocodile can be spotted on sunny riverbanks, while tsessebe, reedbuck, oribi, and sitatunga are amongst other species found in this unique region of Zambia.

North Luangwa

Untouched, wild, and remote, North Luangwa is one of the few areas left that remain as it was and offers one of the finest wilderness experiences in Zambia. Closed to the public, limited access is allowed with one of the few safari operators who have been granted permission to conduct walking safaris, making it all the more unique.

Overlooked by the dramatic 1000 metre-high Muchinga Escarpment, the Luangwa River is the life source of this region, fed by myriad tributaries and streams. The Mwaleshi River trickles down the rocky escarpment in small rivulets and waterfalls, leaving pools when the waters recede in the dry summer months, which attract huge numbers of game in search of water.

With no game drives permitted, the focus is solely on walking safaris where expert guides follow the footsteps of intrepid African explorers to experience wildlife like never before.

Liuwa Plains in Zambia

Located in the far west of Zambia and bounded by the Luambimba and Luanginga Rivers, this remote and pristine wilderness promises spectacular, untamed landscapes or green and gold grasslands, dramatic lightning storms, and an abundance of plains game.

Home to the second-largest wildebeest migration in Africa, the start of the dry season brings breath-taking sights of thousands of blue wildebeest gathering en masse to begin their slow grazing journey southwards towards the onset of rain – a display no less spectacular.

Building upon the horizon in spectacular form, the region’s thunderstorms are theatrical and dramatic. The stark contrast of its windswept green and gold grasslands against the dark and ominous blue of a rising storm paints a picture of Liuwa in all its grandeur.

Victoria Falls

Known as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” or “The Smoke that Thunders”, Victoria Falls is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular waterfalls on earth. In a breath-taking display of power and beauty, millions of cubic meters of water from the mighty Zambezi River plummet into a gorge over one hundred meters below to create massive columns of spray that can be seen from miles away.

Getting There

Most visitors to Zambia will either arrive in Lusaka or Livingstone.

The capital of Lusaka is usually served by several international airlines, with many travellers flying in directly from Johannesburg. South African Airways, Air Namibia, Air Zimbabwe, Air Malawi, Kenya Airways, and Ethiopian Airlines all fly directly to Lusaka – you’ll just need to check what flights are available at this time due to COVID-19 restrictions.