Rising from the wetlands of northern Zambia and snaking through six countries before rushing into the Indian Ocean, the mighty Zambezi River more than deserves its title as one of the longest rivers in Africa. As Zambia is the source of the Zambezi, it is perhaps fitting that the river in turn serves as the ‘source’ of Zambia’s name.
The best place to experience Zambia’s share of the Zambezi is along the watery border it forms between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Zambezi powers the majestic Victoria Falls, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site which straddles both of these countries. Although Zambia is home to only 25% of the Falls, this side of the border has something special going for it: it is tucked away in the lush Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and is the gateway to the infamous Devil’s Pool, a natural “infinity pool” perched on the edge of Victoria Falls.
If you follow the Zambezi further downstream, you’ll reach the Lower Zambezi National Park. This reserve is one of the most untouched and untamed in the country and – thanks to a lack of tarred roads – is best explored on foot or by canoe or sunset cruise. Both the Mosi-oa-Tunya and Lower Zambezi parks make for great game-viewing experiences and intrepid safari-goers stand the chance of spotting the likes of elephant, antelope, lion, leopard, and more. Plus: the Zambezi waters are also rich in the combative tigerfish, making this a popular spot for fresh-water fishing.
- The fourth longest river in Africa, winding through a total of six countries
- Mosi-oa-Tunya National is home to Victoria Falls’ Eastern Cataract (which looks down the length of the Falls) and Devil’s Pool (a natural “infinity pool” perched on the edge of the Falls)
- The Lower Zambezi National Park is an ideal spot for canoe safaris or sunset cruises
- The Zambezi River’s waters are rich in fighting tigerfish, making it a great destination for fresh-water fishing