Zambia is a country in Southern Africa, north of Zimbabwe and southwest of Tanzania. Here’s a list of the top ten things you should do if you visit Zambia.
- Explore South Luangwa National Park
South Luangwa National Park is one of many national parks in Zambia, and the most popular, because it’s filled with abundant wildlife. It’s a short flight or a ten-hour drive from Lusaka via Eastern Province. Flying is more convenient but can be expensive. The daytime and night-time game drives in South Luangwa are magnificent.
For high-end lodging, stay at the Chichele Lodge or at Mfuwe Lodge. There are numerous less expensive lodges and bush camps in and around the park.
- Spend time at Victoria Falls/Mosi-oa-Tunya (Zambia/Zimbabwe)
Arguably the world’s largest waterfall, Victoria Falls in Southern Province never ceases to amaze visitors. This is Zambia’s and Zimbabwe’s biggest tourist attraction. It lives up to its local Tonga name, Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning “The Smoke that Thunders.” Most visitors stay in the nearby towns of Livingstone, Zambia or Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The upper falls is in Zambia, while the lower portion is on the Zimbabwe side. Both offer different and spectacular views of this natural wonder.
Of special note are the two statues of the explorer and missionary David Livingstone (1813-73) located on each side of the falls. The best time of the year to visit the falls is between July and September, when the Zambezi River is aplomb with water.
- Try the Northern Circuit
Zambia is keen to promote tourism in Northern Province on the Tanzanian border. Kasaba Bay on Lake Tanganyika, one of Africa’s Great Lakes, is currently under development as a major tourist destination. Once it’s completed sometime in the next decade, the area will boast several high-end resorts. You can fly to the Mbala airport near Kasaba Bay, or into the regional capital, Kasama. By road you can travel through the beautiful country with subtropical forests, colourful villages, and remarkable waterfalls such as Chishimba Falls.
- Cruise in Lake Kariba
Spend a weekend on the world’s largest artificial lake, Lake Kariba, located in Southern Province on the Zimbabwean border. Stay in the town of Siavonga for a relaxing getaway. Take a boat cruise and visit Lake Kariba Dam. Dine on local crayfish.
- Have a getaway at Kafue National Park
Although not as famous as South Luangwa National Park, Kafue National Park in Central Province is a good weekend getaway from Lusaka. It’s Zambia’s oldest and largest national park. Although it suffered for years from game poaching, the animal population has recently rebounded. It’s an easy three-hour drive west of Lusaka, and after a paved road is built, north from Livingstone. Stay at Mukambi Lodge, which is easily accessible from the highway, or at one of several lodges that follow the Kafue River south to the Itezhi-Tezhi Dam.
- Saturday Dutch market
Every last Saturday of the month, Zambia’s largest open-air market sets up shop at the Dutch Reformed Church in the Kabulonga area of Lusaka. Artisans from Zambia and neighbouring countries bring their arts and crafts to you. It’s one of the few places where you can find Zimbabwean soap stone sold next to Zambian copper plates. You can also taste a variety of ethnic dishes and buy produce. Be sure to bargain, vendors will reduce prices below their original quotes and expect you to barter.
- Witness Kasanka bat migration
Each October, the world’s largest migration of giant fruit bats happens at Kasanka National Park in Northern Province. You will go crazy with excitement or fear from the approximately eight million fruit bats that swarm harmlessly above you in a beautifully orchestrated dance.
Author: Gesture Chidhanguro