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A Mecca for safari-lovers, Zambia boasts a total of 20 national parks teeming with wildlife and offering a wide variety of different experiences. While it seems impossible to choose from such an impressive list of sanctuaries, we have taken the time to select five of the best:

South Luangwa National Park

 

Arguably one of the best wildlife havens in the world, the South Luangwa National is situated in eastern Zambia. Named after the Luangwa River, which runs along its eastern border, this park is an incredible 9059km² in size and boasts a high density and diverse array of game. Of over 60 separate species of wildlife, most notable are the large towers of Thornicroft’s giraffe, immense herds of elephant, buffalo, leopard, and Crawshay’s zebra. Fascinatingly, the South Luangwa National Park is also the unofficial birthplace of the walking safari, where endless savannah plains make for fantastic game viewing.

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Liuwa Plains National Park

 

A favourite amongst safari experts all around the world, the Liuwa Plains National Park in western Zambia spans an area of 3600km². The remote and untamed nature of the park is by far its biggest attraction, ensuring travellers an exclusive safari experience. Vast herds of blue wildebeest spill out onto the plains when the rain arrives in November, while large packs of African wild dog, red lechwe, oribi, and roan antelope are regular features.

 

Lower Zambezi National Park

 

A relatively undeveloped, pristine wilderness in south-eastern Zambia, the Lower Zambezi National Park covers an area of 4092km². The namesake of this stunning Park, the mighty Zambezi River, accounts for 120km of river frontage in the park, and is itself a wonder to behold. Over 50 mammal species and 400 bird species thrive within the Park, most of which congregate along the valley floor and the river. This area is still unspoiled as it is new to tourism, which affords safari-enthusiasts an eagerly sought-after level of intimacy, and the opportunity for an unbeatable African safari.

 

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North Luangwa National Park

 

Another national park known for its remote and unfettered status, the North Luangwa National Park offers one of the wildest safari experiences in Africa. Stretching across 4636km2 of north-eastern Zambia, standout features include the diverse vegetation, an impressive diversity of antelope and predators, and unforgettable walking safaris. Much the same as the South Luangwa National Park, it is named after the Luangwa River. Large prides of lion, hyena, Cookson’s wildebeest, zebra, eland, red hartebeest and puku can be regularly spotted, and common bird species include carmine bee-eaters, Pel’s fishing owls, and crowned cranes.

 

Kafue National Park

 

The largest national park in Zambia, covering an astounding 22400km2 of variable terrain, the Kafue National Park can be found in the centre of western Zambia. Established in 1924, the Kafue is also the oldest national park in the country. While it is characterised by a low density of wildlife in relation to its size, the diversity of game within the Kafue is spectacular. Keep your eyes peeled for lion, cheetah, leopard, eland, kudu, reedbuck, zebra, blue wildebeest, lechwe, and grysbok. It also boasts the richest birdlife of any Zambian national park, with the opportunity to set your eyes on kori bustards, secretary birds, spur-winged geese, ibises, and pale-billed hornbill, Narina trogons, and more.

 

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To find out more about booking your trip to the Lower Zambezi National Park, Chiawa Camp, or Old Mondor, simply email res@chiawa.com or call +260 977 767 433.

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Inspired by the recent trail camera post, on our Chiawa & Old Mondoro Facebook wall, by repeat guests Richard & Jane Scripps.( Click here to see the post ) We have recently placed our trail camera in an area known as “Mahogany” after all of the Natal Mahogany trees in the area.

After seeing a leopard climb into the hollow in the tree a few days ago, we thought this would be a good place to start filming. We placed the camera on 3 photo bursts with 1 second between shots. We also used the “field scan” function, which takes photos on a regular basis, just in case something manages to sneak past!

We, at Old Mondoro, are using a Bushnell, “Bone Collector” Trail Camera. It is a 14 Megapixels stationary camera.

Although we have yet to find the elusive leopard that inspired the decision to use this location, we have certainly captured some wonderful shots.

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A female Bush buck (Tragelaphus sylvaticus). A very gracious antelope that is not a very common sighting here, in the Lower Zambezi, due to its shy nature.

 

 

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Two Honey Badgers (Mellivora capensis). Although normally associated with being nocturnal, they do spend a large amount of their time out in daylight hours, especially if there is honey around! Have you seen our now famous video of the gang of four Honey Badger’s that broke into the kitchen a few years ago? If you have not seen it already, or just feel like another look, check out the video here.

 

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The always dazzling zebra. In the Lower Zambezi, we have the Böhm’s zebra (Equus burchelli böhmi)

 

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A baby elephant, (Loxodonta africana),

 

 

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Four juvenile Chacma baboons (Papio ursinus), caught playing, hanging from each other. Play is an important part of learning in most animal species. Can you find all four?

These are just some of the exciting moments we have captured in the last week. There is a plethora of pictures of baboons, impala, and several other more commonly seen species going about their normal daily routines, oblivious of our cameras presence.

We will continue to update you on some of the wonderful moments we capture on the trail cameras in and around Old Mondoro.

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