Zambia, a secret African safari paradise

You may at first regard the title of this post as a little conflicting because as the 39th largest country in the world there isn’t too much about Zambia that remains inconspicuous. However when we regard that the number of worldwide tourists who visit this captivating corner of Africa in one year is equivalent to the number expected to pass through South Africa in a single month it becomes obvious that for some reason the message still hasn’t quite been received.

As an African safari holiday destination; Zambia is in my opinion unrivalled. Stunning geography, recipe breathless adventure and wonderfully welcoming people, drug Zambia beats at the heart of Southern Africa and offers visitors a truly unique insight into the history and culture of this remarkable continent.

Birth place of the now typical walking safari, Zambia’s nature immediately lends itself to this kind of intimate interactivity but today tourists can partake in a diverse range of tours and activities including 4×4 safaris, elephant back safaris, horseback, photography and even birding safaris; such is the eclecticism of this verdant land.

Undoubtedly one of the major attractions of this part of the world is the monumental grandeur of Mosi-oa-Tunya, ‘The Smoke that Thunders’ or as it is more commonly known Victoria Falls. One of the wonders of the world and regarded as the largest waterfall on the planet this 100m vertical chasm of falling water truly is a sight to behold. Although you may expect the best viewing to be available during the wet season when more water is being channelled along the serpentine Zambezi River it is in fact more advisable to visit the site during the drier winter months from around May- October. Such is the ferocity of the vapour or ‘smoke’ that plumes into the air during the rainy season that actually seeing the falls can be a challenge. Moreover during the drier months visitors also have the opportunity to walk to the edge of the abyss and set foot on the famous Livingstone Island (named after the renowned Scottish explorer) and for the more daring; or perhaps foolhardy, a chance to swim in the waters directly next to the precipice in a naturally eroded formation known as the Devil’s pool.

Of course there is so much more to a Zambia safari than simply that and indeed in the South Luangwa National Park, set north east of the falls you may find one of the most diverse and densely populated wildlife conservancies in Africa. Famous for its large numbers of lion, giraffe and hippopotamus there are in fact over 60 different animal species in the park and well over 400 types of birds making the area ideal for a range of safari tours. The Luangwa river system is one of the most complete in Africa and exploring the landscape by water; either by boat or canoe is an extremely rewarding endeavour.

Although Zambia is a landlocked country the vast ocean like expanse of water that forms Lake Tanganyika, the world’s second largest inland lake, is large enough to form its own coastal microclimate. Larger than the US state of Vermont, the lake is home to countless picturesque inlets and bays and fringed with yellow sandy beaches. Offering the ideal break from the exhilaration of big game viewing the numerous lodges and beachside properties dotted along the shores of the lake offer unspoiled seclusion.

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