Zambia is usually not on top of our minds when we think of a trip to Africa, although it is becoming increasingly popular. Of course, Victoria Falls remain its main attraction, but there is much more to explore and love about Zambia.
This article is only a brief overview of what Zambia has to offer. The renowned Brad Guide devotes 540 pages to Zambia, something impossible to summarize in a single blog.
Here are our 10 top places to visit and things to do in Zambia:
1. Victoria Falls & Livingstone
2. The Luangwa Valley
We’re biased regarding which national park to recommend for spectacular photographic safaris!
But African specialists will confirm that the Luangwa is one of Africa’s finest areas for wildlife: superb guiding, high game densities, few visitors, excellent camps. So if you can only do one safari destination, this is the one!
3. Lower Zambezi & Lake Kariba
Perfect for canoeing and water-based safaris, as well as excellent fishing. Watersport fans will enjoy an extension to Lake Kariba.
4. The Kafue National Park
Zambia’s largest and oldest national park, with a good variety of habitats and sceneries. The Lufupa area and the Busanga Plains are, in our opinion, the park’s best options for safaris.
5. Liuwa Plains
One of Zambia’s numerous hidden gems. It is remote and wild; getting to it is an expedition in itself. Largely untouched, this vast area of grasslands is home to huge herds of plains game and is increasingly famous for its wildebeest migration.
Are you planning a safari? Download our in depth Zambian Safari planning guide!
6. Kasanka & Bangweulu area
Equally remote, this area is perfect for adventurous self-driving visitors. Kasanka is renowned for its unique annual bat migration, while the Bangweulu Wetlands are home to the extremely rare prehistoric-looking shoebill stork.
7. Lake Tanganyika
Despite its horrendous traffic, Zambia’s capital city offers a cosmopolitan scene with a good choice of attractive boutique hotels or international chains. Great for people-watching, browsing markets, and shopping for tasteful crafts, a couple of days in Lusaka before flying out is not such a bad idea after all.
9. More waterfalls
We all have heard about Victoria Falls, but Zambia has 17 beautiful waterfalls worth visiting. Located mainly across the Northern province, finding the falls is like going on a treasure hunt. To name a few: Kalambo Falls (double the height of the Victoria Falls!), Kundalila Falls, Lumangwe Falls, Kabwelume Falls, Ngonye Falls, Chisimba Falls, Chipembe Falls, etc.
10. History & Cultures
With so many tribal identities, Zambia has a rich array of cultural festivals rarely attended by tourists. These authentic ceremonies are aimed at the local population, and it is best to seek the advice of a knowledgeable guide. The Kuomboka ceremony (often in March, depending on the water levels) is probably the most famous ritual; it marks the retreat of the Lozi king to his high-water residence. The country also features excellent historical sites and museums such as the Kabwata Cultural Center and the National Museum in Lusaka, the Livingstone Museum and the city’s historical tour, and the unusual and remarkable Shiwa Ng’andu Manor House and Estate (Muchinga Province).