A landlocked country in Southern Africa, Zambia has been inhabited by hunter-gatherers for thousands of years. Claimed by the British in the late 1800s, it became independent in 1964. Many call Zambia the real Africa. Here you'll find outstanding wildlife parks along with famously painted Victoria Falls, Lake Kariba, South Luangwa National Park, and Lower Zambezi National Park. Fishermen come to Zambia from the other side of the world hoping to pull in a tigerfish or a giant vundu. Bird watchers also flock here, looking out especially for Chaplin's barbets.
Traveling on your own here can be tough-going as distances between places are huge and getting around in your own vehicle or on public transport is time consuming and nerve-wracking. But this is all part of the challenge. It's certainly not soft travel in Zambia, which is why many come in the first place.
The most well-known European ever to visit what is today Zambia was David Livingstone (of the famed "Dr. Livingstone I presume?") Livingston wanted to end the slave trade through what he called the three Cs (Commerce, Civilization and Christianity). He was also the first European to see the towering waterfalls on Zambezi River which he named Victoria Falls after his English Queen. Locally, they are called Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning "Thundering Smoke". When he became famous and his journals were highly publicized across Europe, a wave of explorers began following in his footsteps to see their own hidden Africa. There is now a city called Livingston in Zambia.
The best park in Zambia in terms of sheer abundance of wildlife, accessibility, and relatively easy accommodations is South Luangwa National Park. Truly majestic with its densely wooded landscape, marshes and rivers, you might be dismayed with the variety of creatures you encounter: buffalo, impalas, pukus, leopards, elephants, and hippos. Mfuwe is the village where you'll shop for your trip into the park. A mile after the village you'll come to Mfuwe Gate, the park's main entrance. Here you'll cross a bridge over the Luangwa River and see numerous inexpensive camps and camp sites set up. These are the best places to stay in the park.
Zambia also has a new national park, Lower Zambezi National Park, which covers 4000 square kilometers along the northern short of the Zambezi River. The park has a gorgeous flood plain beside the river, filled with acacia trees. The best place to view wildlife is on this flood plain and also on the river, therefore boats are a common theme here in the park's lodges and camp sites. You might just see a herd of elephants cross the river in front of you. The main entrance to the park is called Chongwe Gate. Zambezi waterfront is also fascinating visitors.
Mana Pools National Park is another major Zambian attraction. A World Heritage Site, Mana Pools is eerily remote, its four pools filled with hippos and crocodiles. Zebras, elephants, and antelopes are also almost to be seen.
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