When you think of Zambia, do you think of the thundering Victoria Falls? This magnificent sight (and sound!) draws visitors from around the world to experience a pulsing, magical world of mist, cool water, and abundant wildlife. However, as remarkable as the falls are, Zambia has much more to offer the visitor. While a trip to Victoria Falls may be almost a must on your itinerary, be sure to experience the country’s other amazing attractions. Here are three must-see sites to start your Zambian adventure.
Munda Wanga Environmental Park
In the midst of Zambia’s capital and largest city, you’ll find a peaceful wildlife sanctuary where visitors can get up close and personal with Zambian flora, fauna and wildlife. More than 250 animals are housed at Munda Wanga; many are rescued from the illegal pet trade. These animals are rehabilitated and released into the wild. The park also has a Botanical Garden with more than 1,000 species of exotic and endemic plants. This is not only a great place to view African game, but provides visitors with information on conservation, climate change, poaching, and the illegal trade in animals. It’s easy to forget you’re in one of the fastest growing cities in Africa when you visit Munda Wanga.
Kafue National Park
Twice the size of Yellowstone National Park, Kafue is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife, plants, and habitats. Fed by the Kafue River, the park features Miombo forests, savannah grasslands, dambos (which become swampy in the rainy season), swamps, and plains. The Busanga Swamp in the far north of the park, for example, is home to herds of herbivores, as well as their large game predators. When you see herds of impala, warthog or puku, you know lions and cheetahs lurk in the shadows waiting. Kafue is one of the most important nature reserves and wetlands in Africa.
Enjoy the Zambian city life. The capital offers the chance to experience traditional markets, villages, such as Kabwata Cultural Village, as well as the eclectic shopping corners that are scattered throughout Lusuka. The Anglican Cathedral is a highlight, as is the New Soweto Market. At Lilayi Lodge, you can see more exciting wildlife and enjoy the restaurants and lounging by the pool. This is the place to eat, drink and enjoy the night life. Just make sure you keep your valuables in your hotel and keep a close eye on your money.
Zambia is teeming with more than wildlife; it is an incredibly beautiful, unique and, best of all, friendly country that is waiting to welcome you.