Southern Zambia

Zambia’s southernmost region is also its most popular, dominated by the mighty Zambezi River, which flows east from the town of Sesheke all the way to Mozambique. The river forms Zambia’s southern border with Namibia and Zimbabwe, and it’s along this strip that you’ll find the country’s best infrastructure. The T1 and T4 highways, which stretch from Livingstone to Lusaka and Lusaka to the Malawi border, are the country’s two major arteries. Naturally, the towns along these two main roads are the busiest, but also the best equipped for travellers. These are the access points for some of the country’s top highlights – Victoria Falls, Lake Kariba and the Lower Zambezi National Park.

Elephant wading in the Zambezi River

Highlights

Victoria Falls is one of the major highlights of Southern Africa. Although there are fewer viewpoints on the Zambian side, visiting the falls from Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park provides visitors with a quieter alternative to Zimbabwe’s much busier Victoria Falls National Park. Further down the Zambezi, Lake Kariba is another highlight. With just a handful of small resorts on its northern shores, a few days on Lake Kariba is the perfect holiday if you enjoy fishing or canoeing, or simply relaxing on a stately houseboat. The lake also boasts a small number of game-rich islands, although passionate wildlife lovers should look to scratch that itch a little further east, on a safari to Lower Zambezi National Park. Arguably the best park in the country, this magnificent reserve holds its own against Africa’s best. An open-top vehicle safari here is not to be missed.

Practical advice

Zambia’s T1 and T4 highways are in relatively good condition, but there are still sections that are severely degraded and travel times, even over short distances, tend to be longer than expected. Allow plenty of time between destinations and avoid driving at night. Swimming in Lake Kariba’s shallows is also unsafe. The lake is home to numerous crocodiles and hippos and the waterborne parasite bilharzia is an ever-present threat, especially along the shoreline.

A romantic setting overlooking Lake Kariba

Southern Zambia is a good year-round destination but from late September it can become extremely hot, until the rains begin in November. High temperatures and humidity make this region especially risky for malaria so be sure to take appropriate precautions.


Popular Zambia Safaris

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

Boating on the Chobe River | Quick Victoria Falls and Chobe Experience (5 days)

Quick Victoria Falls and Chobe Experience (5 days)

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...

 | Best of Zambia Wilderness Safari (10 days)

Best of Zambia Wilderness Safari (10 days)

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....

Boat at sunset | Luxury Zambian Odyssey (7 days)

Luxury Zambian Odyssey (7 days)

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...

 | Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)

Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)

Why not visit more than one exciting African destination? See the Great Migration, Victoria Falls and wildlife-rich Hwange National Park...

Romantic view | Deluxe Honeymoon Safari in Cape Town, Kruger and Victoria Falls (10 days)

Deluxe Honeymoon Safari in Cape Town, Kruger and Victoria Falls (10 days)

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

Camp fire | Victoria Falls, Okavango Delta and Chobe Safari (7 days)

Victoria Falls, Okavango Delta and Chobe Safari (7 days)

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...

 | City and Safari in Southern Africa (14 days)

City and Safari in Southern Africa (14 days)

Majestic wildlife and the riches of Africa. ...

Victoria Falls | Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)

Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)

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...

 | Jewels of Zimbabwe and Zambia Safari (9 days)

Jewels of Zimbabwe and Zambia Safari (9 days)

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

 | Luxurious South Africa and Zambia Honeymoon Safari (10 days)

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...

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