Wildlife in Zambia

Technically Zambia has all the Big Five, but rhino are extremely rare and confined to the Mosi-oa-Tunya (Victoria Falls) and North Luangwa National Parks. Elephant, buffalo and lion are common across multiple parks however, and Kafue, South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi are all well-known for leopard.

Buffalo crossing a savannah landscape

Look beyond the Big Five and you’ll find Zambia full of fascinating rare and endemic species such as black lechwe, Crawshay’s zebra and Thornicroft’s giraffe. Liuwa Plain National Park hosts Africa’s second largest wildebeest migration in November each year, and Kasanka National Park’s 10 million fruit bats take to the skies from October to December.

One of nature's toughest predators, crocodiles abound in Zambia's many lakes

One of nature’s toughest predators, crocodiles abound in Zambia’s many lakes

Zambia is one of the wettest countries in Southern Africa and the rivers and lakes offer excellent fishing alongside thriving populations of hippo and crocodile. The Zambezi River is famous for its tigerfish and numerous fishing lodges can be found all along its length.

lion in Zambia

May to October is the best time for wildlife viewing when the weather is drier and the vegetation at its thinnest. This makes the animals easier to spot and the lower winter temperatures are also more pleasant. By mid-October, however, it’s already getting very hot and when the rains arrive in November they can make the roads in the more isolated regions completely impassable. For this reason, many camps close their operations completely between December and March, with April, May and November considered the lower-rate, shoulder season.

credit

The Black-cheeked love bird | Credit: William and Nancy Johnston


You might also like

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 hawk | Credit: Hardaker Most of the avifauna is found on the Central African Plateau as this region…

At your lodge in Zambia

The lodges in Zambia are extremely accommodating – of guests’ specific needs and Western customs in general. Courtesy is expected, but nothing unusual there, and beyond that visitors will rarely notice if any cultural norms are being stretched. Homosexuality is illegal in Zambia, although the law is rarely enforced. Most lodges won’t have any problem with same-sex guests booking a double room, but it’s worth being upfront about your requirements to avoid any…

Why go to Zambia

Although not entirely unique to Zambia, the country stands apart from others in the region in that the majority of its lodges and bush camps are owner-run. This tends to create a more personal experience – a homely kind of service that draws people back again and again. There are a number of luxury lodges to choose from, but also a good selection of smaller, eco-conscious operators. These offer low-density tourism at a slight premium, but with the benefit of having the spectacular,…


Popular Zambia Safaris

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

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...

 | 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...

 | 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....

 | 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....

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...

 | 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...

 | 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 ...

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...

 | Botswana Luxury Safari and Victoria Falls

Botswana Luxury Safari and Victoria Falls

Experience the paradise of Botswana and enjoy game viewing as well as exciting activities in Zambia ...