Zambia Safari Holiday Guide
An unspoiled piece of Southern Africa. Full of natural beauty, abundant wildlife and raw wilderness. In this page we show some of our favorite highlights and and what you can expect on a vacation in Zambia during the different seasons.
Pristine National Parks
Experience of a Lifetime
Zambia is a country of water, with mighty rivers, enormous lake and huge waterfalls. Its home to the pristine national parks and lovely lodges, a wildlife rich region that is ideal for authentic African safari experiences. You can also enjoy visiting famous landmarks like Victoria Falls or Livingstone Island while travelling through this quaint African destination. Zambia is the only place you can sit on top of the Victoria Falls and swim in Devils Pool or beneath in one of the tranquil spots.
During vacations in Zambia every day is an adventure. You can experience the adrenaline-thrills of bungee-jumping, white-water rafting and scenic flights over the Falls, or if you prefer a more leisurely activity, feed rescued elephants and enjoy fine dining in Zambia’s best restaurant at the Elephant Café.
Zambia is a beautiful country with friendly people and rich culture, but it's not just the natural beauty that attracts visitors. Visitors will be welcomed by warm locals, who are eager to share their traditions, music, dance - all of which reflects Zambian heritage. Zambia's friendly people make the perfect hosts – from the moment you land, you’ll feel special and right at home.
A holiday to Zambia is one full of both exciting and relaxing experiences. From walking safaris, to sunset boat cruises, to sleeping under the African sky, every day there’s something new for everyone. Whether you want an action-packed adventure or a relaxing safari - it's all waiting for you here! Learn more about the animals of Zambia in our wildlife blog
Check our Zambia Safari Holidays Ideas
NATIONAL PARKS ZAMBIA
Zambia boasts some of the finest National Parks in the World
LIUWA PLAINS NATIONAL PARK
No trip to Zambia would be complete without travelling through Liuwa Plain National Park.
Liuwa is Zambia’s best-kept secret, a stunning park with a story to match. Prior to 2003, when African Parks, the non-profit conservation organisation responsible for many national parks across the continent, took over management of Liuwa Plain National Park, the area was in decline. Decades of poaching had near decimated wildlife populations, and only one lioness, Lady Liuwa, roamed the remote plains.
Over the years, new lions were introduced, giving this lonely lioness an opportunity to be reunited with her kind. In 2017, Lady Liuwa passed away, having lived to the ripe old age of 18, but she left behind a legacy that flourishes every day.
Now, Liuwa Plain National Park is home to a healthy pride of lions, along with leopards, cheetahs, hyenas and zebras. It’s also home to the continent’s second-largest wildebeest migration.
See our follow the Zambezi River Tour for Liuwa plain holidays experience
KASANKA NATIONAL PARK
East of Liuwa, Kasanka National Park offers a wide range of activities for the solo adventurer and family alike.
You won’t be able to get up close and personal with herds of elephants, and it’s not the best place to spot a lion brushing past your vehicle as it looks for prey, but there’s still plenty to do and see.
As one of Zambia’s smallest parks, Kasanka National Park offers an intimacy that larger parks just can’t provide.
You’ll feel as though it’s just you and the vast landscape, which ranges from miombo woodlands and swamp forest to grasslands and floodplains.
Aside from witnessing the bat migration, which is a sight everyone should behold at least once, you’ll also see hippo venturing out from the waters of the Luwombwa River as well as the swamp-dwelling sitatunga, the rare blue monkey and over 300 species of birds. It’s also well worth a trip to the David Livingstone memorial.
ZAMBIA IS THE LAND OF WATER AND WATERFALLS
Victoria Falls and Lake Tanganyika
MOSI-OA-TUNYA NATIONAL PARK
LIVINGSTONE VICTORIA FALLS
The Mosi-oa-Tunya known as the Smoke that Thunders.
Located in the south of Zambia, this former capital is a huge attraction and one you won’t want to leave off your travel list. Home to the famous Victoria Falls, a huge 100m waterfall, Livingstone has plenty to offer to intrepid adrenaline junkies and relaxing holiday-seekers alike. Enjoy fine dining at its best with a meal at the exclusive Elephant Cafe, where hand-reared elephants roam within view, or head to Devil’s Pool and swim at the very edge of the waterfall. One of the most majestic sights in Livingstone is Victoria Falls at night.
THE SOURCE OF THE ZAMBEZI
Go on a unique Zambia vacation package to the Source of the Zambezi river which is located in the centre of a small protected forest, surrounded by rich Miombo woodland and a strip of Mushitu forest.
Elevated wooden walkways lead to the source and which is a small spring that bubbles beneath the bottom of a tree root system.
The Zambezi River originates in the Mwinilunga District in north-west Zambia, 1500m above sea level. The Zambezi River is the fourth-longest river in Africa and the 2,574km long river rises in Zambia and flows through eastern Angola, along the north-eastern border of Namibia and the northern border of Botswana, then along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe to Mozambique, where it crosses the country to the Indian Ocean.
With nearly 200 bird species and mammals including the Tree Pangolin, Long Footed Rat, Red-Tailed Monkey and African Palm Civet this is an off the beaten track bucket list stop.
One of our most most pristine safari experiences.
TANGANYIKA NSUMBU NATIONAL PARK
Think of Africa and few would forget to mention Lake Tanganyika, the world’s longest freshwater lake. Nestled among lush tropical vegetation opening onto its own exclusive beach, Ndole Bay Lodge offers visitors a singular African experience on the shores of a unique lake.
Long-time residents of the lake include Nile crocodiles and plenty of fish, so if your idea of relaxation is sitting on the shores and catching fish, you’ll be in your element. Common species caught include Tanganyika perch, lake salmon, yellowbelly, tigerfish, bream and more, and if you’re lucky, you may catch the rare golden perch and the giant goliath tiger. Every year in March, the Zambia National Fishing Competition is held, attracting 100s of fishermen from throughout Africa. It’s the most prestigious fishing competition in Zambia, so if you venture to Lake Tanganyika during the six days of the competition, you might be able to pick up some tips from the pros.
SIMALAHA COMMUNITY CONSERVANCY
In 2012 two chiefdoms agreed that their land be developed as a wildlife conservancy, to allow for conservation of the area and promote income through nature-based economies and tourism. Simalaha was officially launched by Chief Sekute of the Kazungula district and Senior Chief Inyambo Yeta of the Sisheke district. Peace Parks Foundation with various donors have been working alongside the people of Simalaha improving the social and economic environment.
The Conservancy comprises 180 000 ha of communal land and lies within one of six key wildlife dispersal areas in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA), namely the Chobe Zambezi dispersal area that reaches from Chobe National Park in Botswana to Kafue National Park in Zambia.
The Conservancy is fundamental to re-establishing wildlife populations and their migration routes in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area – the biggest terrestrial cross-border conservation system in the world – connecting 36 protected areas across Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
It is here that Simalaha Horseback Safaris in Zambia offer the unique opportunity to explore the Zambezi floodplains on horseback. Riding amongst wildlife such as giraffe, wildebeest and zebra and offering you a unique cultural experience with the local people. It is truely an unforgettable experience.
ZAMBIA SEASON GUIDE
365 days a year is a good time to travel to Zambia
The Emerald Season (Green / Wet Season)
November: Hot with the season's first short, warm showers – this is the rain we like to dance in after the long dry months and is the month of “Petrichor”. Definitely a month we recommend. Remote camps close due to lack of access.
December and January: Showers and hot sunny days.
February and March: The heavy rains in Zambia. There are some overcast days but mostly sunny warm days and evenings. (not the best time to visit if you don’t like rain!).
April: Occasional short afternoon showers and sunny days, the quick, short afternoon rains of April rarely affect your safari. We love April but the grass is long.
Zambia Safaris in The Copper Season (Dry Season)
May: The rain has gone leaving a lush green landscape and night time temperatures start to drop.
June, July and August: Winter time has much cooler nights but the days are clear, sunny and warm. (You will need warm clothes to wrap up if you're out in the early morning or at night). This time of year often has cloudless days and increasing game sightings as the bush dries out.
September and October: The bush is at its thinest and the temperatures are hot. Excellent game viewing as the animals concentrate around the limited water sources. Bushcamps close end of October to mid November.
For a Zambia safari, every time is the best time to go to see different elements of nature or cultural highlights like traditional ceremonies.
THE BEST TIME FOR...
January to March
Best time for sunsets as the rains clears the skies of the dust.
May and June
Best time to find the shoebill stork.
The wildebeest begin migrating north.
June to August
Walk to Angels Pool which is a little further back from the falls at 15 metres from the sheer 100-metre drop – Angel's Pool is still a must-see, but offers visitors a bit more confidence, comfort and safety while still experiencing the epic view and thunderous roars of the falls.
Best time to see the colonies of the breeding carmine bee-eaters in the river banks of the Luangwa and Zambezi.
October to December
Victoria Falls is the best time to see the depth and magnificence of the gorge when the water levels are low.
January to February
The floodplains of Liuwa Plain slowly begin to fill and is a great time for birding, boating and incredible landscape photography.
June to November
With access to all park areas and concentrated wildlife
viewing. You have and best chance of seeing lots of wildlife in Zambia.
July to August
Walking safaris. Track the Thornicroft Giraffe in South Luangwa on foot. Look out for the green five and the small five
August to September
Fly over the Busanga Plain in a hot air balloon in the Kafue National Park and see the extraordinary landscapes at dawn.
Mid October to mid December
Best time to see the world’s largest mammal migration of Fruit bats in Kasanka National Park
February to April
River Safaris to explore the Luangwa River by boat. The lush, green landscape supports specific fauna and flora; birders flock to the Luangwa Valley during these months.
June to August
Best time to snuggle up by the campfire in the chilly winter evenings. (Morning game drives in winter are really cold, so bring warm clothing.)
July to October
Follow the hunting lions in the Busanga Plain just after sunset.
March to April
liuwa Plain with abundant wildebeest and a great time to see lions, hyenas, cheetahs and wild dogs hunting. Dramatic storm and sunsets.
March to August
Victoria Falls is at its best from March to August for the highest water levels.y.
Mid August to December
Swim to Devils Pool (sit on the edge of Victoria Falls) or dine with your feet in the water on a sandbank or island.
October to November
Liuwa's wildebeest migration is the second largest on the continent, the annual wild flowers in bloom and dramatic storms and sunsets.
October to December
Elephants annual visit to Mfuwe Lodge for the Acacia pods (Elephant biscuits)
November to December
Zambia’s best kept secret with lower rates, excellent game viewing as the grass is still short, hot days with occasional showers
December to May
The landscape is greener plus it’s low season, which means lower rates! You can see newborn animals and is the best time for superb birdlife, including migratory birds
365 DAYS A YEAR
During all our Zambia safari tours you can expect.
Exciting night drives with nocturnal predators. (a hunting leopard, a marauding family of hyenas, civets, porcupines and servals).
Sundowners in the middle of the bush or a sunset boat safari while the setting sun sets the African sky ablaze.
Zambia is known for her Excellent guides.
South Luangwa, Central Kafue and Central Lower Zambezi National Park have “open all year” camps so you can visit in any season.
Fly over the Victoria Falls in a helicopter or microlight.
Approach the Rhinos in Livingstone on foot from a reasonable distance.
The thrill of a canoe safari is usually a time of calm and peace.
See all our Zambia vacation packages
The high season for a Zambia vacation is July to October when all camps are open.
Shoulder Season – November, April, May, June are our favourite months for lots of great deals.
Low Season – December to March the parks are very quiet. River safaris and birding are excellent combined with low prices.
What ever season you want to come to Zambia. Ntanda Ventures provides you high quality safari experiences.
Read how our Best of Zambia Tour was selected in the best world widlife holiday selection of the New Big 5 Magazine.