If you follow the Zambezi downstream from Victoria Falls, you’ll reach one of Africa’s most pristine conservation areas: the Lower Zambezi National Park. Lying on the other side of the river (and border) from Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park, it may not be Zambia’s biggest or most bio-diverse national park – but its untamed, unspoilt nature really makes it a worthwhile destination.
The roads winding through the park’s woodlands and savannah are not tarred, making self-driving something of an effort. But don’t let this deter you: much like the Okavango Delta, this park is best experienced on foot or by canoe. Herds of elephants can frequently be spotted quenching their thirst along the riverbanks where crocodiles and hippos bob in and out of the water, and buffalo and waterbuck hop from one island to the next. The Zambezi waters are also rich in fighting tigerfish, making this a popular spot for fresh-water fishing.
The escarpment that runs along the northern part of the park creates a natural ‘fence’ which keeps the park’s large mammals roaming about on the floodplains below. Alongside elephant and buffalo, the likes of lion, leopard, and antelope prowl the park’s plains while the mighty fish eagle soar high above. You’ll be hard pressed to come across another visitor in the park, making it seem like you have the place all to yourself. The park is predominantly reached by boat or light aircraft.
- Situated on the other side of the border and river from Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park
- Largely untouched and untamed, making for an authentic safari experience
- Ideal for walking and canoe safaris
- Fighting tigerfish make this a popular spot for game-fishing
- The park’s northern escarpment creates a natural barrier keeping larger mammals on the floodplains below