Zambia Travel Guide
A country the size of France located in Central Southern Africa, Zambia is a popular holiday destination for those looking for a taste of the continent’s top attractions.
With ready access to one of the world’s top waterfalls, plenty of game reserves teeming with the big 5 mammals, and a tourism infrastructure that is reasonably well-developed, it is not hard to see why.
Currency: Zambian Kwachas
Languages: English, various indigenous languages
What To Do
While there are many other attractions that are worth a look in Zambia, it is undeniable that Victoria Falls is this nation’s best known attraction. Well known for being one of the largest waterfalls in the world and the biggest in Africa, the immense power of this cataract can be heard and felt long before it is seen.
While there are many viewpoints and experiences that will help you to get up close and personal with these falls, there is none more exhilarating than the Devil’s Pool. An eddy located right up against the lip of Victoria Falls, there is a rocky bench that keeps you from falling over the edge, making it a popular place for adventurous travelers to visit.
This doesn’t stop a few people with a lack of common sense from falling over the edge anyway, so do listen to the advice of guides when you jump in this scary-looking but awesome natural attraction.
Brush up on the history of the Victoria Fall’s area by spending some time browsing the Livingstone Museum. True to the name of this institution, there is a collection of personal affects of David Livingstone, the famous African explorer.
However, there is a wide variety of artifacts stretching back to the Stone Age (there is an archeological dig situated outside the museum that has yielded many of the pieces in its collection), and other galleries cover the history of Zambia’s many peoples from the distant past to more recent times.
Once you have finished experiencing all that the Victoria Falls area has to offer, head to Lower Zambezi National Park. Once cordoned off as the personal hunting grounds of the Zambian president, the wildlife situated within its borders were much better preserved then in other parks and outside of them.
Since 1983, it has increasingly gained a reputation for being one of the best game reserves for safaris in Africa. Accessibility by only light plane or boat makes even more difficult for human disruption of habitat, making it all the more likely that you’ll spot hippos, cape buffalo, lions, elephants and other creatures living life in their natural habitat.
Love adrenaline sports? The Zambezi River is known for having some of the best whitewater in the world, with several stretches of Class IV or V rapids testing the skills of the passionate outdoor lovers that set foot on this river annually.
The warm water that flows on this roller coaster of a river also means that you needn’t worry about getting chilled to the bone like you might in Europe, North America or in Patagonia, so if you are ready for a fun challenge, making rafting the Zambezi one of your core activities during your trip to Zambia.
Looking for a game reserve with more than just wildlife viewing on offer? North Luangwa National Park is where you’ll want to go.
It not only does it give you the chance to see mammals such as zebras, antelopes and elephants, but there are also hot springs that will allow you to soak away your muscle aches after a long day chasing after some of the most beautiful animals on Earth.
What to Eat
When you sit down to have a traditional Zambian meal, you are almost guaranteed to have some Nshima served to you as a side. Commonly had with the wide variety of game meats available in Zambia, it is made from maize or cassava flour and water.
This plain, porridge-like starch is a source of calories that powers many locals through their day, so if you are looking for a pick-me-up at breakfast, be sure to eat your share of this side dish.
Ifisashi is a popular (and vegan friendly) dish enjoyed by many across Zambia. Made by boiling onions and tomatoes with ground-up peanuts, and then adding collard greens or spinach later in the cooking process, it is a healthy dish to have for dinner.
If you are looking for something a touch lighter, you might enjoy having some Kibbutz Salad. Put together with bell peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes, it is a refreshing and nutritious meal that is perfect for lunch.