Sioma Ngwezi and Ngonye Falls National Park

Covering 5,000km² of Kalahari woodland, Sioma Ngwezi is Zambia’s third-largest national park. Tucked away in the southwestern corner of the country, it’s bordered by the Kwando River to the west (which also forms the Zambia’s border with Angola) and Namibia to the south. Once heavily affected by cross-border poaching, Sioma Ngwezi is seeing something of a revival. This has been made possible by several factors, including a slowly improving local infrastructure, good tourism numbers to nearby Livingstone and, most importantly, the park’s inclusion in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area. Combined with the impressive Ngonye Falls National Park further north, this is one of Zambia’s up-and-coming regions and a steady return in wildlife numbers makes it an exciting prospect for adventurous travellers. Ngonye Falls is located close to Sioma town, a few hundred kilometres upstream from Victoria Falls, in the southern part of Barotseland

Highlights

Sioma Ngwezi has a history of excellent giraffe sightings and although wildlife is still scarce and relatively skittish, small populations of Zambia’s other species still occur and are growing, including leopard, lion and spotted hyena. Water is also scarce, and so the best wildlife viewing is just after the summer rains, when the animals congregate around the drying pools. Safari operators are running guided tours and camping/walking safaris into the area, for those in search of complete isolation and a truly remote wilderness experience.

At just 25 metres high, Ngonye Falls may not be as grand as Victoria Falls, but what it lacks in stature it makes up in its impressive volume. There’ also the chance to swim, fish, kayak or go white-water rafting, and all this far from the much busier Livingstone, a bumpy four-hour drive away.

Sioma elephants

Practical Advice

The best time to visit Sioma Ngwezi and Ngonye Falls national parks is from May to early June, just after the rainy season. Many of Sioma Ngwezi’s dambos (wetland pools) will still have water and it’s the most prolific period for wildlife viewing. The falls at Ngonye (about 120km further north) are also at their best while the river is high. Unfortunately, the road from Livingstone is heavily potholed for long stretches, but with brand new tarmac laid further north, there’s hope that this southern section of the M10 will be resurfaced soon, making the journey from Livingstone much easier. Driving in Sioma Ngwezi is strictly 4x4 only, and there are no facilities at all inside the park.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Zambian Odyssey

day 1

  • Zambian Odyssey
  • Zambian Odyssey
  • Zambian Odyssey
  • Zambian Odyssey
  • Zambian Odyssey
  • Zambian Odyssey

day 2

day 3

Lower Zambezi National Park

day 4

Lower Zambezi National Park

day 5

  • Zambian Odyssey
  • Zambian Odyssey
  • Zambian Odyssey
  • Zambian Odyssey
  • Zambian Odyssey
  • Zambian Odyssey

day 6

day 7

Fly Home

View Full Itinerary

You might also like

Budget Zambia safari

Zambia offers excellent value on exclusive safaris and wildlife activities, but budget travelers will struggle to make the most of what’s available. In part this is because many of Zambia’s best wilderness areas are extremely hard to reach, with wonderfully isolated lodges that are therefore also very expensive to run. Just getting to these areas can hit the budget hard, with long…

Travel insurance for Zambia

Comprehensive medical insurance is essential for holidays to Zambia. It should include cover for emergency evacuation and private hospitalisation within Zambia, transfers for specialist treatment in neighbouring countries and, ultimately, repatriation. Make sure you’re covered for safari activities and close wildlife encounters, and any other adventure activities you plan on doing.…

Zambia travel advice

What practical information should I know about Zambia? There are so many ways to experience Zambia that an entire book would be required for an exhaustive pre-holiday checklist. If you’re on an all-inclusive fly-in safari, for example, then just about every need will be thoroughly taken care of, from food to flight transfers to emergency evacuation services. Not so at all if you’re…

Birding safari in Zambia

Zambia is the ideal destination for a birding safari - one of the rarest birds in Africa, the Shoebill is found there. With over 700 species found throughout the diverse ecosystems, Zambia is a hot birding location and one of the best times for birding is just before the summer rains arrive when the local population is increased by the arrival of many migrant species. Black sparrow…

Zambia vs Namibia

Zambia and Namibia are two of Southern Africa’s best safari destinations, but in many ways, they couldn’t be more different. Both have vast, isolated wilderness areas where intrepid travellers can find themselves entirely alone. But where Zambia offers a more traditional safari experience of lush, sprawling parks and abundant wildlife, Namibia is far more desolate, with breath-taking…

Languages in Zambia

Multiple ethnicity in Zambia mean a plethora of languages and dialects Zambia’s official language is English, but there are more than 70 different languages and dialects spoken throughout the country. Almost everyone will speak or understand some English and most Zambians living in the urban centres speak it fluently. Signs and official documentation are almost always in English…

Popular Zambia Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | Luxury Victoria Falls, Hwange & Mana Pools

Affordable Vic Falls, Hwange and Mana Pools

Fall under the spell of three prime attractions in Zimbabwe and Zambia – Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park and the Mana Pools ...

 | 10-day wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe

10-day wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Experience the best of the migration and wildlife in Kenya, then travel to Zambia to witness Victoria Falls, ending your adventure at Hwange National Park....

 | Southern Africa safari adventure

Southern Africa safari adventure

Majestic wildlife and the riches of Africa. ...

Boating on the Chobe River | Quick and affordable Victoria Falls & Chobe experience

Quick and affordable Victoria Falls & Chobe experience

Visit Livingstone, Zambia, to marvel at the Victoria Falls – or 'the smoke that thunders' – before going on safari and a river cruise in Botswana's Chobe National Park...

Romantic view | Cape Town, Kruger & Vic Falls Deluxe Honeymoon

Cape Town, Kruger and Vic Falls Deluxe Honeymoon

Combine three of Southern Africa's most loved destinations into one romantic getaway and you'll share the memories forever...

 | South Africa and Zambia honeymoon

South Africa and Zambia honeymoon

Explore the romantic Atlantic Ocean with it's multi-cultural heritage and a Big Five safari in the Sabi Sands, finally ending off at Victoria Falls from the Zambian side...

Camp fire | Safari in Vic Falls, Chobe & Okavango Delta

Safari in Vic Falls, Chobe & Okavango Delta

This three-in-one journey will show you the majestic Victoria Falls, the massive elephant bulls of Chobe and the natural wonder that is the Okavango Delta...

Boat at sunset | Zambian Odyssey

Zambian Odyssey - Safari to Three National Parks

One week safari to three Zambian national parks, including the flagship South Luangwa, and end in style with a visit to the remarkable Victoria Falls...

Victoria Falls | Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)

Best of Zambia Luxury Safari

Combine water and wildlife in a journey that takes you from the Victoria Falls to Kafue and South Luangwa national parks – Zambia at its best...

 | Best of Zambia Safari

Best of Zambia Safari

With some of the wildest and most remote game areas on the continent, and a remarkably low population in a massive country, Zambia has an aura of mystery waiting to be uncovered....