False Nkani Vakacha 0100200 miles 0100200300 km N TZ May 2008 Travel Zambia 47 A B C D E G H L N Q R S T X Y Z TIGER FISHING There is no greater contest for the angler than pitting his or her wits against the world’s greatest freshwater fighting fish on the limpid waters of the Zambezi. UNTAMED Untamed, unspoilt, unadulterated – however you choose to describe it, Zambia offers genuine wilderness and an authentic taste of nature in the raw. VICTORIA FALLS Long before Scottish explorer David Livingstone named Zambia’s most famous natural phenomenon, locals knew it as Mosi oa Tunya: ‘ the smoke that thunders’. Whatever you call it, this awe- inspiring spectacle remains one of the seven wonders of the natural world, with a cloud of spray visible for 50km. WHITE- WATER RAFTING If watching the falls isn’t enough, you could pitch yourself downstream in an inflatable boat through some of the world’s most challenging rapids. ‘ Stairway to Heaven’, ‘ Washing Machine’, ‘ Oblivion’ and the rest guarantee an exhilarating ride. Prepare for a drenching. XPERT GUIDES Want to know which plants to clean your teeth with, how to distinguish a tawny eagle from a steppe eagle and why not to run from a charging lion? Just take a walk with a Zambian game guide – the best in Africa. YELLOW- BELLIED SUNBIRD Not forgetting blue- billed firefinch, violet- eared waxbill, golden- breasted bunting, red- chested cuckoo, emerald-spotted dove... A reminder of the living kaleidoscope that is Zambia’s birdlife. ZAMBEZI Africa’s fourth largest river rises in the remote woodland of Zambia’s far northwest and winds south and east, carrying the nation’s waters to the Indian Ocean. Paddle your canoe along the Lower Zambezi, beneath the rugged backdrop of the escarpment, for one of Africa’s greatest wilderness experiences. ROCK ART The walls of Zambia’s caves are adorned with the art of the Late Stone Age. The Kasama area alone has over 700 ancient paintings, whose geometric imagery defies modern interpretation. SAUSAGE TREE Kigelia africana casts its deep umbrella shade over riverbanks across Zambia. Its blood-red, bat- pollinated flowers produce the huge pendulous ‘ sausage’ fruit that can weigh over 10kg. Never camp underneath one. PORCUPINE This prickly customer is Africa’s largest rodent and its sharp quills are a lethal defence against any would- be assailant. Look out on night drives for a spiky bush scuttling away from the spotlight. QUELEA The red- billed quelea, a small weaver, is the most numerous bird in the world. Flocks can number millions. Watch their spectacular roost gatherings at dusk. MIKE UNWIN ZNTBBUSHCAMPS COMPANYZNTBCHONGWE RIVER CAMP Lower Zambezi NP Kasanka NP South Luangwa NP North Luangwa NP Luambe NP Sumbu NP Lusenga NP Lukusuzi NP Blue Lagoon NP Lochinvar NP LUSAKA Kitwe Ndola Chipata Isoka Kasama Mpulungu Chirundu Kapiri Mposhi Mkushi Mfuwe Mpika L. Tanganyika L. Bangweulu L. Mweru L. MweruWantipa L. Kariba Zambezi River Luangwa River
False 48 Travel Zambia May 2008 Nkani Nkani Vakacha Vakacha White pelicans and Kafue lechwe at Lochinvar National Park ZAMBIA NATIONAL TOURIST BOARD Know Your National Parks Did you know that Zambia has 19 National Parks? Most visitors head for at least one of the ‘ big three’ – South Luangwa, Kafue and Lower Zambezi – while a few smaller parks, such as Kasanka, receive a regular trickle. But many others hardly see a visitor from one year to the next. In some cases this is because they are virtually inaccessible, or so badly neglected that little wildlife remains. But there are also many hidden gems awaiting the discerning traveller. Blue Lagoon National Park: northern Kafue Flats, west of Lusaka; flooded during the rains; excellent bird life; one lodge. Isangano National Park: east of the Bangweulu Swamps; no facilities, little wildlife. Kafue National Park: western Zambia; country’s largest park, and divided into north and south sections; exceptionally wide variety of habitats and wildlife; many lodges, but less developed than South Luangwa. Kasanka National Park: small park south of the Bangweulu Swamps: birdlife, bats and sitatunga; one lodge. Lavushi Manda National Park: east of the Bangweulu Swamps; no facilities; hilly and wooded terrain; wildlife scarce, but good potential. Liuwa Plain National Park: remote far west; few roads or facilities, but under development; one campsite; large herds of wildebeest in season. Lochinvar National Park: wide floodplains beside the Kafue River; prolific bird life and lechwe; floods in season; one lodge. Lower Zambezi National Park: east of Lusaka; great wildlife viewing by land and water on the Zambezi River; several lodges. Luambe National Park: small park close to South Luangwa; long neglected but currently under development and wildlife returning; one lodge. Lukusuzi National Park: east of Luangwa Valley near Malawi border; no facilities but great potential. Lusenga Plain National Park: east of Lake Mweru, no facilities and little wildlife. Mosi– oa– Tunya ( Victoria Falls) National Park: small park on the edge of Livingstone ( plentiful accommodation); includes a small ‘ safari park’. Mweru Wantipa National Park: on the shores of Lake Mweru in far north; neglected, with no facilities and little wildlife, but great potential. North Luangwa National Park: remote northern sibling of South Luangwa; temporary bush camps only; focus on walking safaris; excellent wildlife, notably buffalo and lion. Nsumbu ( Sumbu) National Park: on shore of Lake Tanganyika in far north; needs redevelopment, but has good wildlife potential and lakeside game viewing; three lodges. Nyika National Park: in far east, along Malawi border, and best reached from Malawi side; highland scenery; excellent flowers and birdwatching; one lodge. Sioma Ngwezi National Park: in remote far southwest; wide variety of wildlife; no facilities but currently under development. South Luangwa National Park: eastern Zambia; nation’s premier park, with superb game viewing, especially walking safaris; numerous lodges West Lunga National Park: in northwest; neglected, with no facilities or easy access, but good potential for redevelopment. National Park or GMA? National Parks are administered by the Zambia Wildlife Authority. Most are surrounded by large Game Management Areas ( GMAs), which contain local communities. GMAs are designed to provide a buffer between the pristine national park and the developed land beyond. In theory they offer the same habitat and ecosystem as the park, but in practice there is usually less wildlife due to illegal hunting and pressure for land. Conservation projects aim to reverse this trend by regenerating game resources and helping communities live sustainably. Controlled hunting is permitted in GMAs but not in National Parks.