By visiting a combination of National Parks, you can experience greater contrasts in landscapes than you’d imagine is possible in just one country. The Lower Zambezi used to be the more relaxed “soft” option; a place to catch Tiger fish and enjoy sundowners overlooking the vast expanse of the Zambezi with the chance of spotting wildlife between the river and the escarpment.
Now, due to years of better wildlife management and conservation on both the Zambian and Zimbabwean banks, the wildlife in the Lower Zambezi catchment is flourishing. Large herds of buffalo kick up the dust and impala race through the trees. Huge packs of wild dogs, scarce for many years, rampage through the riverine leadwood forests. Leopards – once the preserve of South Luangwa, slink through the miombo and mopane woodlands. Elephants are ubiquitous and thoroughly relaxed, the days of mock charging vehicles seems to be a distant memory for them as the gently graze the rich grasslands mid-stream. The skies are filled with wonderful birds from angular skimmers to darting kingfishers and this vibrancy makes the Lower Zambezi truly feel like a slice of Eden.
“Spending time in one of the hides alongside the river bed offers a cool zen-like retreat during the hotter hours of the day. Quietly sitting and waiting to see which animals come in for a drink is hugely rewarding and gives you incredible up close photograph opportunities”
The South Luangwa, a seasonal river valley beloved by safari enthusiasts for both its walking adventures and exceptional habitats continues to dazzle while the properties have also matured beautifully.
Vibrant flocks of breeding carmine bee-eaters arrive in late August and take up noisy residence in steep banks of the seasonally dry riverbed, seemingly endless murmurations of red-billed quelea roll like wisps of smoke across the valley at dusk to roost. The relative cool of the morning reveals various prides of lions spaced at vantage points surveying the herds of puku antelope.
Africa’s Last Wilderness
In these wildly beautiful and remote areas of Africa, some of the most interesting animals reside. So, take a walk on the wild side and see Africa at its purest.
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