Gazetted in 1983, this is one of Zambia’s newest parks and as such is still relatively undeveloped, but its beauty lies in its absolute wilderness state.
The diversity of animals is not as wide as the other big parks, but the opportunities to get close to game wandering in and out of the Zambezi channels are spectacular. The Park lies opposite the famous Mana Pools Reserve in Zimbabwe, so the whole area on both sides of the river is a massive wildlife sanctuary.
The river’s edge is overhung with a thick riverine fringe, mostly Diaspyros, Ficus, Trichelia and other riverine species. Further inland is a floodplain fringed with mopane forest and interspersed with winter thorn trees Faedherbia albida. The hills which form the backdrop to the park are covered in broadleaf woodland.
The Lower Zambezi National Park covers an area of 4092 square kilometres, but most of the game is concentrated along the valley floor. The park is bordered by the Chiawa Game Management Area (GMA) in the West, Rufunsa GMA in the East, the Zambezi River in the South, and the Great East Road in the North.
There is an escarpment along the northern end which acts as a physical barrier to most of the park’s animal species. Enormous herds of elephant, some up to 100 strong, are often seen at the river’s edge. ‘Island hopping’ buffalo and waterbuck are common. The park also hosts good populations of lion and Leopard and listen out too for the ubiquitous cry of the fish eagle.