Lower Zambezi Overview

Lower Zambezi National Park, nestled along the northern bank of the Zambezi River in Zambia, is a stunning natural sanctuary known for its breathtaking landscapes and abundant wildlife. Covering an area of approximately 4,092 square kilometers (1,580 square miles), the park was officially designated in 1983, carving out a protected zone directly opposite Zimbabwe’s famous Mana Pools Reserve. This strategic location creates a massive wildlife corridor along the Zambezi River, bounded by the dramatic Zambezi Escarpment to the north, enhancing the park’s ecological diversity and scenic beauty.

The park’s terrain is characterized by a flat valley floor, which transitions into floodplains and woodlands, set against the backdrop of the rugged escarpment. This mosaic of habitats supports an impressive variety of wildlife, making Lower Zambezi National Park a premier destination for safari enthusiasts. Elephants, buffaloes, hippos, and crocodiles are commonly seen along the riverbanks, while the park’s interior is home to lions, leopards, wild dogs, and a plethora of antelope species. The park is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 300 bird species recorded, including African skimmers, fish eagles, and herons, which thrive in the park’s aquatic environments.

One of the defining features of Lower Zambezi National Park is its emphasis on low-impact and sustainable tourism. Visitors can enjoy a range of activities that offer intimate encounters with nature, including game drives, walking safaris, canoe trips, and boat safaris. These activities allow guests to explore the park’s diverse landscapes and wildlife at a leisurely pace, often getting close to animals in their natural habitats.

The combination of stunning landscapes, rich biodiversity, and a wide range of activities makes Lower Zambezi National Park a unique and memorable destination. Its commitment to conservation and sustainable tourism ensures that this pristine wilderness area remains a haven for wildlife and a treasure for future generations to enjoy.

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Park Map
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Lower Zambezi National Park Highlights


Lower Zambezi National Park is home to a variety of apex predators, essential for maintaining the park’s ecological balance. These predators play a vital role in regulating prey populations and ensuring the health of the ecosystem.

Lion: Majestic and powerful, lions are the iconic predators of the African savanna. Roaming the plains of Lower Zambezi, they hunt cooperatively in prides, preying on a variety of herbivores.

Leopard: Stealthy and elusive, leopards are skilled solitary hunters known for their agility and strength. They stalk their prey with precision, relying on camouflage and ambush tactics to secure their meals.

African Wild Dog: With their highly social nature and exceptional teamwork, African wild dogs are efficient hunters. They coordinate hunts with remarkable communication skills, often targeting medium-sized antelopes.

Spotted Hyena: Highly adaptable scavengers, spotted hyenas are skilled hunters and opportunistic feeders. With powerful jaws and a keen sense of smell, they scavenge or hunt a variety of prey.

Cheetah: Known for their incredible speed and agility, cheetahs are adept hunters of the open plains. They rely on bursts of acceleration to chase down their prey, mainly antelopes.

Crocodile: A stealthy predator of the waterways, crocodiles lurk beneath the surface, waiting for unsuspecting prey to approach. With powerful jaws, they ambush and drag their prey into the water.

African Fish Eagle: With its keen eyesight and powerful talons, the African fish eagle is a skilled hunter of fish, swooping down from its perch to snatch prey from the water’s surface.

Python: As a stealthy ambush predator, pythons rely on their powerful constricting coils to suffocate and subdue their prey. They primarily target small to medium-sized mammals and birds.

Spotted-necked Otter: These semi-aquatic predators are skilled hunters in both water and on land. With webbed feet and sharp teeth, they prey on fish, crustaceans, and small mammals.

Black-backed Jackal: These opportunistic predators scavenge for carrion and hunt small mammals and birds. With their keen sense of smell and agility, they adapt well to the diverse habitats of Lower Zambezi.


Lower Zambezi National Park boasts a rich diversity of wildlife beyond its predators, offering visitors unforgettable encounters with some of Africa’s most iconic species.

African Elephant: Towering over the landscape, African elephants roam the park in herds, grazing on vegetation and using their long trunks to drink and interact with their environment.

Buffalo: Forming massive herds, African buffalo are formidable herbivores, often seen grazing on grasslands or congregating near water sources, where they face potential threats from predators like lions.

Hippo: These semi-aquatic giants spend much of their time submerged in rivers and waterholes, surfacing periodically to graze on grasses or engage in territorial disputes with rivals.

Giraffe: With their long necks and elegant stature, giraffes gracefully roam the woodlands and open plains of Lower Zambezi, feeding on leaves from tall trees and shrubs.

Zebra: Striped with distinctive black and white patterns, plains zebras are commonly spotted grazing in open grasslands or forming tight-knit herds for protection against predators.

Wildebeest: Often found in large herds, wildebeests are migratory grazers, moving in search of fresh grass and water sources, providing spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities during the migration season.

Waterbuck: Recognizable by the white ring encircling their rump, waterbucks are frequently seen near water bodies, where they graze on grasses and seek refuge from predators.

Kudu: With their spiral horns and striking markings, kudus are elusive antelopes often spotted in woodlands and thickets, using their large ears and keen senses to detect potential threats.

Hippopotamus: Spending much of their time submerged in water, hippos emerge at night to graze on grasses, congregating in large pods near riverbanks and waterholes.

Warthog: Despite their comical appearance, warthogs are cautious creatures, often seen foraging on their knees and seeking refuge in burrows to evade predators like lions and leopards.


Lower Zambezi National Park is a paradise for bird enthusiasts, boasting a diverse avian population that thrives in its varied habitats, from riverbanks to woodlands.

African Fish Eagle: A majestic symbol of Africa, the African fish eagle is often spotted perched near water bodies, scanning for fish with its keen eyesight before swooping down to catch its prey.

Southern Carmine Bee-eater: With its vibrant plumage of crimson and turquoise, the Southern carmine bee-eater is a striking sight as it swoops and dives to catch insects, often found nesting in riverbanks.

Yellow-billed Stork: These elegant wading birds can be seen stalking the shallows of rivers and wetlands, using their long, slender bills to probe for fish, frogs, and other aquatic prey.

Malachite Kingfisher: Named for its brilliant green and blue plumage, the Malachite kingfisher is a small but dazzling bird often seen darting over water, hunting for fish and aquatic insects.

Lilac-breasted Roller: With its vibrant hues of lilac, blue, and green, the lilac-breasted roller is a common sight in savannas and woodlands, where it perches on branches and hunts for insects.

African Jacana: These unique birds are known for their long toes, which allow them to walk on floating vegetation as they forage for insects, small fish, and other aquatic prey.

White-fronted Bee-eater: Often found in large colonies nesting in sandy riverbanks, white-fronted bee-eaters are skilled aerial hunters, catching insects on the wing with remarkable agility.

Pied Kingfisher: With its distinctive black and white plumage and large head, the pied kingfisher is a familiar sight hovering over water bodies before plunging in to catch fish.

African Skimmer: Recognizable by its striking black and white plumage and unique feeding behavior, the African skimmer glides low over water, skimming the surface with its lower mandible to catch fish.

Carmine Bee-eater: These brightly colored birds are a spectacle to behold, gathering in large flocks during the breeding season to excavate nesting burrows in riverbanks and feed on flying insects.

Lower Zambezi National Park Pictures

Engaging Lower Zambezi

Embark on exhilarating safari game drives through Lower Zambezi National Park, where you’ll encounter a diverse array of wildlife in their natural habitat.

Traverse the park’s vast plains and riverine forests in search of iconic species such as elephants, lions, leopards, and buffalo.

With experienced guides leading the way, you’ll have the opportunity to witness thrilling wildlife interactions and capture stunning photographs of Zambia’s wilderness.

Experience the tranquility of the Zambezi River on a captivating canoe safari. Paddle along the waterways flanked by lush vegetation, spotting hippos, crocodiles, and a myriad of birdlife along the riverbanks.

Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the river ecosystem as you glide past stunning landscapes and enjoy close encounters with wildlife from the safety of your canoe.

Embark on immersive walking safaris led by knowledgeable guides, offering a unique perspective on the park’s wildlife and ecosystems.

Explore on foot through diverse habitats, from open plains to dense forests, while learning about the intricacies of the bush and tracking wildlife signs.

Gain insights into the smaller, often overlooked aspects of the wilderness, such as tracks, plants, and insect life, while enjoying the freedom to connect with nature at your own pace.

Lower Zambezi National Park Trails

No Traditional Trails

Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia is primarily known for its river-based activities such as canoeing and boat safaris rather than traditional hiking trails.

However, visitors can explore the park on guided bush walks led by experienced rangers, providing opportunities to encounter wildlife and immerse themselves in the park’s natural beauty.

These walks typically do not have marked trails with specific ratings, distances, or elevation gains but offer a chance to explore the wilderness on foot in the company of knowledgeable guides.

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