Zambia wildlife

Jun 14
Updated on
Sep 6
Lioness in Kafue
Lioness in Kafue

Wildlife in Zambia, the water source of Southern Africa

Zambia is home to a wide variety of landscapes including riverine forest, woodlands, grasslands, wetlands and savanna. Zambia has also plenty of water, with big rivers like the Zambezi and over 400 waterfalls including the iconic Victoria Falls, which make the country the water source of Southern Africa. This makes Zambia the perfect habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. Zambia is considered to be one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and has 20 different national parks . In this blog we discuss which animals to spot, where to go and overnight and what kind of Safari tour to take if you want to see a lot of different animals when you visit Zambia.

What Animals to spot in Zambia

Zambia is home to over 60 different mammal species and almost 500 different bird species.

The national animal of Zambia is the Lechwe, a type of antelope which can be found in the wetlands and floodplains of the country.

Most people are interested to see the mighty predators of Zambia and the king of animals the Lion. Zambia is a great place to see lions and you find them in several national parks. Other predators to be seen in Zambia are Leopards, Wild Dogs, Hyena's and when lucky Cheetah's.  

But Zambia is not only about the predators, there are several other incredible animals which are very popular among visitors. These include Elephants, Giraffes, Buffalos, Kudu's and many more.

Zambia has the some of the largest herds of elephants in Africa which can be found in South Luangwa. Special to mention is the endemic Thornicroft’s Giraffe of South Luangwa and the biggest group of hippos in the world.

Wetlands in Zambia are home to a variety of interesting animals and many birds. Like endemic species such as the black Lewche an Antelope with a beautiful light brown coat which can be found in the Bangweulu Wetlands.

Critically Endangered Species to be viewed in Zambia

Critically endangered animals that can be found in Zambia are  the Black Rhino, White Rhino, Wattled crane.

The black rhino was extinct in Zambia in 1998. South Africa donated 25 Rhinos from 2003 to be reintroduced in North Luangwa and they do now fairly well, with more then 50 Rhinos.  You have a good chance to see them on a game drive through the park.

In the national park around Victoria Falls Mosi-oa-Tunya 4 white Rhinos can be viewed.

The endangered massive Wattled Crane can be viewed in the Liuwa plains.

White rhinos
White rhinos

Which National parks are best for wildlife viewing in Zambia

Zambia is home to a number of different national parks which offer the perfect opportunity to spot wildlife in their natural habitat. Depending on what you want to see there are different places to go on Safari

Kafue National Park

If you want to see the big predators then a tour of Kafue National Park is perfect for you. The Kafue National Park is the oldest and largest national park in Zambia.  The park covers an area of 22,400 square kilometers making it one of the biggest national parks in Africa. The Kafue reserve is home to a wide variety of landscapes including riverine forest, woodlands, grass. The park is home to a wide variety of animals including lions and when your a bit luck you might see a the rare roan antelope or wild dog.

South Luangwa National Park

The Luangwa Valley is one of the best parks in Zambia to watch a variety of wildlife. The park is home to a huge number of animals including the Thornicroft’s Giraffe, hippos and the biggest populations of zebras and elephants in Zambia. To spot a wide variety of animals, walking safaris in South Luangwa are an excellent way to discover wildlife like the wild dog or roan antelope and learn about their behavior. Walking safaris can be held from a day tour up to more then a week of trekking from bush  camp to bush camp. A great park to visit for family safaris.

Sioma Ngwezi National Park

The Sioma Ngwezi National Park is located in Western Zambia and covers an area of 3,200 square kilometers. The park is home to a variety of animals.

Lower Zambezi National Park

One of the most biodiverse places in Zambia is Lower Zambezi National Park located on the banks of the Zambezi River. This park has it all, from big predators like lions and leopards to elephants and hippos. You can view animals during boat tours, canoeing, game drives or a walking safari.

Best Safari Tours in Zambia for Wildlife Viewing.

Best Value Safari Zambia

Our 11 nights best value safari tour in Zambia is ideal for families, couples and solo women travelers that want to see great wildlife in three different national parks in combination with the iconic Victoria Falls and amazing community experiences. The accommodations offer comfort and child friendly, spa's and pool help you to recover during the holiday. Great food is served and you will discover some very special places and animals.

Guided Self Drive: The Mighty Zambezi River

During this guided self drive safari, you will follow the Might Zambezi River from its source on 1500 meters high all the way to the Victoria Falls in Livingstone. During your adventure you will cross National parks, vibrant cities, many bridges and even a pontoon. Expect to see lot of different landscapes and animals, see the quadripoint border with Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. And be part of wide variety of activities including, walking, kayaking, village visits and loads of game drives.

Read more about the selection of our Best of Zambia Holiday, as one of world best wildlife tours by the new big 5 magazine.

Zambia's best Safari Lodge to see wildlife.

Depending on what you want to see there are different lodges which offer the best location for wildlife spotting

If you want to see predators then a good option is Flatdogs Lodge, located close to the entrance of the South Luangwa National Park. Wildlife is frequently visiting the premises of the park and it has a good Value for money free structure. South Luangwa is famous for its Leopards, Lions, loads of crocodiles and when lucky wild dogs.  

Located on the banks of the Kafue river, Kaingu lodge is a perfect spot for a family with children. The lodge has special programs for young adventures like, tracking, bow making, fishing, boating, drumming and much much more.

Wildtracks Lodge

Great lodge near the confluence of the Kafue and Zambezi river. Use a boat of the lodge to explore the river and climb a Boabab tree.

Book your Wildlife Safari Holiday in Zambia with Ntanda Ventures

Ntanda Ventures is a locally rooted independent award winning tour operator. We are true Zambian travel specialists that turn your Safari dream into a fantastic holiday experience.

We will take care of all the arrangements for you, from finding the best luxury safari lodge to meet your needs, arranging all transfers and booking your flights.

All you need to do is pack your bags and enjoy your wonderful luxury safari holiday in Zambia!

Read our blog about Traditional Zambian Cuisine You Must Try


Zambian born and the founder of Ntanda, Kerry’s love of Zambia was nurtured from a young age where she spent many years as a child in the Luangwa Valley.

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