Zambia it is the unexplored pearl of Africa, one of the best safari destinations, given the certainty of meeting dozens of different animal species. Over half of the territory is in fact covered by dense vegetation, and the presence of many rivers, lagoons and lakes guarantees the sighting of the big 5, some of the 750 recorded species of birds, crocodiles, chameleons, amphibians and more. So let's see what is the best time to organize a safari in Zambia and where to go.
- Travel informed: useful information
- When to go: climate and best time
- Mukuni Big 5 Safaris
- South Luangwa National Park and Mosi-oa-Tunya NP
- Kafue National Park
- Lower Zambezi National Park
- Liuwa Plain NP
- What to wear and what to pack
- User questions and comments
Travel informed: useful information
- Inhabitants: About 16 million
- Capital: Lusaka
- Languages: The official language is English while the over 70 tribes also speak the local languages, including Bemba, Nyanja, Tonga and Losi.
- Weather: humid heat in the rainy season (from November to April) with average maximum temperatures of 30-33 ° C and minimum of 14 ° C, dry and temperate during the rest of the year with average maximum temperatures of 29 ° C and minimum of 20 ° C
- Travel / health insurance: recommended.
In the case of long stays, vaccinations against cholera, type, hepatitis and tetanus are recommended. In the case of short stays, however, it is good to take some antimalarial precautions. Preventive measures against mosquito bites are suggested, to consume only cooked vegetables, drink bottled water, treat any peeled fruit with amuchina. It is recommended to take out an insurance policy before departure, which provides for coverage of medical expenses due to the patient's repatriation / movement to another city / country.
The passport must have at least six months of residual validity. The necessary entry visa can be obtained at the Zambian Embassy in Rome, at Lusaka airport or at other border posts. It is also possible to obtain an electronic visa, by registering on the Zambian Immigration Office website, here it will also be possible to find information on the entry requirements for under 18s. Any stay in the country with an expired visa may result in the payment of a fine of 4.000 Kwacha (approximately € 380,00) or imprisonment. Therefore, if the visa has been obtained at the border offices of the country, it is recommended to carefully check its expiration. Foreign currency and Travelers Checks must be declared, both incoming and outgoing, with a total value exceeding US $ 5.000. Moreover, upon entering the country it is advisable to have a medical prescription translated into English, for any psychotropic drugs, sedatives and antidepressants (for example Valium or Prozac), considered narcotic by local law, it is important that the quantity brought with you does not exceed that indicated in the medical prescription
When to go: climate and best time
Zambia is located within southern Africa, and almost completely crossed by a plateau, which makes it the mild temperatures for almost a good part of the year. In the country, the climate varies from tropical to sub-tropical depending on the altitude in which you are located.
The humid and rainy hot season falls from mid-November to March while, the dry season, from April to mid-November. In turn, the dry season is divided into a cool period, which runs from mid-May to mid-August, and one that gets warmer but with low humidity, which runs from September to mid-November, in which the heat becomes hot. torrid: October is the hottest month of the year.
From mid-May to mid-August there is a cooler period, with temperatures dropping around freezing at night while, i drier months, it practically never rains, are June, July and August. During this season the sky is clear and the air is clear.
In rainy period, which begins towards the end of October, rainfall comes in the form of a downpour or thunderstorm. The wettest areas are the northern ones, namely the North-Western Province, the Copperbelt Province and the Northern Province.
- Weather: tropical, with relative homogeneity throughout the territory, the climate is mild, and the temperature range between day / night varies only in the presence of night rains, between December and May while, between June and August, the temperature can go from 5 ° night to 30 ° of the day. Average temperatures, ranging from 18 ° C in July to 24 ° C in January, are mitigated by the altitude. The same goes for large valleys where, during the rainy season, the air can be really heavy, but during the dry season the climate becomes mild and pleasant.
- Best time: from May to August, the coolest, driest and sunniest of the year. However, nights can be cold, especially if you are in areas located above 1.000 meters.
- Period to avoid: it is best to avoid the cyclone period, which runs from November to mid-April
1 - Mukuni Big 5 Safaris
The Mukuni Big 5 Safari project was started in 2009, and involves the breeding, or the capture and care of "problematic" specimens of lion, cheetah, elephant, and other animal species characteristic of the Big 5, in order to then free them. in their natural environment. Located just 3km from Mighty Victoria Falls, the Mukuni Big 5 Safaris reserve is on the way to Chief Mukuni's palace, and allows the tourist to carry out some more unique and rare activities, such as the walk with cheetah and lion which happens when guides teach animals how to hunt, or how to ride the elephant. The visits last from 30 to 40 minutes, are carried out under the supervision of an English-speaking guide, and never exceed two people.
- Best time: from May to August
- Recommended duration: 1 day
- Average price: starting from 1200K, about € 240,00 per person, for the package that includes the walk with cheetahs and lions, and the elephant ride
2 - South Luangwa National Park and Mosi-oa-Tunya NP
The flagship of the whole of Zambia, as the home of several species, the South National Park is the place where the Walking Safari has its origins, and 4 of the big five reside. Extending over 9.059 square kilometers, is crossed by the Luangwa River which, on its banks, is home to a large concentration of animals, which count 60 different species and over 400 types of birds: the only one missing is the white rhino, sadly endangered. Among the various activities to do in the park, of course, walking safaris, game drives and bird watching stand out.
The Mosi-oa-Tunya national park instead, it is the smallest in Zambia, and is considered more a zoo than a wild area: for this reason, its visit is always recommended together with that of a larger park, when there is "free time". A particularity of the area is that it is the twin park of the Victoria Falls National Park, in Zimbabwe, with which it shares the wonderful waterfalls. Divided into two parts, the Victoria Falls World Heritage National Monument site and the Mosi-oa-Tunya Game Park, the park offers a wide range of activities, including rafting, and is home to the white rhino, which is kept separate from other animals.
- Best time: July to mid-November animals are sighted more easily
- Recommended duration: 7 days
- Average price: starting from € 3795,00
3 - Kafue National Park
The Kafue National Park is with its 22.400 sq km it is the largest in the whole country. Despite being only a two-hour drive from Livingstone, the park is still little known and unexplored. Its territory is characterized by savannah grasslands, rocky hills, evergreen forests on the banks of the Kafue river and vast grasslands, the stage for numerous herbivores and their predators. In the dry season, wild animals stay close to marshes and swampy areas, and are easily spotted. The area is also very famous for the birds that populate it, about 400 species, and for the presence of some of the big five, including lions, leopards, elephants and buffaloes.Among the activities that can be carried out in the park, we should mention the boat safaris, and the fascinating night game drives
- Best time: from July to October the animals are sighted more easily
- Recommended duration: 3 days
- Average price: starting from € 509,00
4 - Lower Zambesi National Park
The Zambezi National Park is still relatively undeveloped: but its beauty is right in its wild state. Located opposite the Mana pool reserve, the park does not boast a great diversity of animals but, the opportunities to approach them are many. Crossed by the Zambezi River, it hosts an alluvial plain in the hinterland, surrounded by forests and hills. Despite its size, most of the animals are concentrated towards the northern end of the park which, with its escarpment, serves as a shelter for several species, including: elephants, fish eagles, lions, leopards and buffaloes. At the park it is possible to go rafting on the river, canoe rides and boat safaris.
- Best time: from July to October, animals are sighted more easily
- Recommended duration: 2 days
- Average price: starting from € 817,00
5 - Liuwa Plain NP
Liuwa Plain National Park is about 3.600 sq km large, and consists mainly of plains, habitat of a large number of large mammals including the blue wildebeest: whose annual migration is the second largest in all of Africa. The park is home to more than 300 species of birds, a peculiarity that makes it a paradise for bird watchers, and several large predators, including cheetahs, spotted hyena and lions. Little frequented by tourists, the Liuwa it is ideal for those who want to enjoy the different game drives in complete tranquility, taking wonderful photos.
- Best time: in November, when the animals gather around the river
- Recommended duration: from 3 to 6 days
- Average price: starting from € 2000,00
What to wear and what to pack
A safari can be a truly unique experience it can turn into a nightmare if not carefully organized. In Zambia, for example, we are faced with temperature excursions also quite important, based on the altitude of the area concerned, and various measures to be taken to protect your health: all things on which the perfect success of the holiday depends. So, let's see together how to dress, and things you absolutely must not forget to pack, to better enjoy your experience in Africa.
- Recommended clothing: in winter (June-August), light clothes for the day, sweater, jacket and hat for the evening. For the summer (December-February), light clothes for the day, a hat for the sun, a sweatshirt or a light jacket for the evening. In both seasons trekking boots and / or sneakers, with non-slip sole.
- Useful accessories: mosquito repellent, raincoat and umbrella, medicines for personal use (accompanied by medical prescription), eye drops, water bottle, sunscreen and / or protective cream.