• Big Five Safari in Lower Zambezi National Park - Leopard
  • Elephant up close and personal in Lower Zambezi, the ideal place for a Big Five safari
  • Lower Zambezi lion spotted during a Big Five Safari
  • Cape Buffalo in the Lower Zambezi National Park - Meet all of the Big Five

Wildlife in Lower Zambezi National Park

Countless wildlife and bird species can be found in Lower Zambezi National Park. On this page we summarise the highlights for you.

Lower Zambezi landscape

If you look at the flora of the Lower Zambezi, you immediately understand why this is such a great place to see a lot of wildlife in a relatively small area. While much of the park is covered with thick bush – which makes game viewing difficult – there is little permanent water in these areas. So, where does wildlife go? It gathers around the Zambezi River. On the fertile banks of the river, elephant herds and other herbivores feast on juicy green leaves. Rich soil, tall green trees, elephants, birds and other wildlife: the result is a stunningly beautiful rich landscape, a true utopia for anybody seeking pure Africa.

The Big Four (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard)

So which wildlife species inhabit this lush green landscape? Well, all the big species you would expect to see during a safari trip, except for the rhino. Unfortunately, poaching has has had a devastating effect on rhino populations here, so you’ll still have one left on your Big Five-bucket list. But, we would like to emphasize the fact that a safari in Zambia is not only about seeing the Big Five. There is so much to discover, big and small, that you will be overwhelmed by all the nature splendor.

Mammals and predators

There is a strong, diverse population of big game in the Lower Zambezi. Elephant and buffalo sightings are common (although seeing them never gets old) as they like to swim between the mosaic of islands on the river. Lions, hyenas, wild dogs (this one just reappeared in 2015) and leopards are the main predators in the areas. Leopards especially feel at home because of the many large trees, in which this slightly elusive cat likes to hide.

Birdlife in Lower Zambezi National Park

Whether you are already a hardcore bird-enthusiast or never thought about ‘birding’ before in your life: after your first safari to the Lower Zambezi, birds will win over your heart. The come in so many shapes and sizes: 378 species have been recorded here, including many species of eagle, heron, stork and bee-eater. And just considering the kingfishers (both beautifully coloured and black and white species) you'll find that the pied, giant, woodland, malachite and brown-hooded kingfishers are all common here. Similarly, the river is frequented by darters, cormorants, egrets, storks and fish eagles that are often seen perching in trees, overlooking the water. The Lower Zambezi is also rich in wading birds, both resident and migrant; uncommon residents include ospreys, spoonbills and African skimmers. No worries if all these names don’t ring a bell: your guide will tell you where to focus your binoculars and share plenty of bird-factoids.