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Elephant with baby by river, Lower Zambezi, Zambia

Lower Zambezi

The Lower Zambezi is a beautiful area where the river and the wildlife meet in silence.

The Lower Zambezi National Park is a magnificent wilderness made up of the Zambezi River flood plain, a strip of woodland and grassland, and the more heavily wooded Zambezi Escarpment, which lies between the river plains and the central plateau to the north.

The Zambezi River meanders alongside the park, attracting a variety of wildlife to its islands and creating incomparable canoeing and game viewing opportunities. Home to lions, leopards, herds of elephants and buffalos, hippos and over 300 bird species, the park is packed with wildlife. The variety of activities on offer makes it an attractive area to unpack for a few days and try the boating, tiger fishing, canoeing, bush walks and game drives.

Canoeing on the Zambezi, Zambia
Elephant bathing in the river Zambezi, Lower Zambezi, Zambia
Lower Zambezi, Zambia

A little more about the Lower Zambezi

The Lower Zambezi is a beautiful area where the river and the wildlife meet in silence. There is nothing quite as rejuvenating as gliding through the waterways adjoining the Zambezi River in a canoe to view birds, hippos and other wildlife.

The river can’t be beaten for the best tiger fishing in Africa and, if you want to view large herds of elephants from your bed or spa pavilion, the Lower Zambezi is the place to visit. It makes a great combination with South Luangwa National Park, where game viewing is best on foot.

Leopard basking in the sun, Lower Zambezi, Zambia
Lower Zambezi, Zambia
Exterior, Anabezi Tented Lodge, Lower Zambezi, Zambia
Anabezi Luxury Tented Camp, Lower Zambezi, Zambia

When you should visit the Lower Zambezi

The best time to see the most abundant wildlife in the Lower Zambezi is between June and November every year, with the best tiger fishing in September.

If you go immediately after the rains, which fall from November to May, you will find the bush thick and filled with exciting bird species. The game will be a bit sparser as there is abundant water inland.

All year round, the river offers great opportunity to view game and enjoy the serenity of the area. Due to this, some camps do not close for the rains, unlike in other parts of southern Africa.


Tell us what you love doing and we’ll curate a journey that’s perfect for you.

Wildebeest, Liuwa Plains National Park, Zambia

The Wildebeest Migration

Witness the second largest wildebeest migration in Africa.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Stilt, Liuwa Plains National Park, Zambia

Bird Watching

Spot 300 species of birds, including the rare and endangered wattled and crowned cranes.

Suggested Holiday Idea

hyaena, Liuwa Plains, Zambia


Encounter the park’s huge clans of hyenas – some as large as 60 individuals.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Zebra running on plains, Liuwa Plains, Zambia

Plains Wildlife

Admire the game that flourishes here, with red lechwes, zebras and wildebeests, all seen in their thousands.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Cultural shopping brackets

Kabwata Cultural Village

Visit Kabwata Cultural Village for some curio shopping.

Bat migration, Kasanka National Park, Zambia

Fruit Bats

Witness millions of fruit bats fill the skies in Kasanka.

Shoebill in East Africa, Zambia

Spot Shoebills

Spot rare shoebills nesting in the Bangweulu Wetlands. Stay at the beautiful Shoebill Island Camp.

A black lechwe looks back on a wide open plain, Bangweulu Wetlands, Zambia

Wetland Wildlife

Encounter wetland species, such as the black lechwe and rosy-throated longclaw.

Black Rhino, North Luangwa, Zambia

Remote North

Explore remote and wild North Luangwa. Home to endangered black rhinos, this little-visited park is very different from its southern namesake.

Wading on walking safari, South Luangwa, Zambia

Walking Safari

Experience the thrill of approaching big game on foot – accompanied by one of the best walking guides in Africa.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Anabezi Luxury Tented Camp £££££

  • Zambia
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Tucked into a quiet and unique region of the Lower Zambezi National Park, this stylish camp has wonderful views and its choice of activities make this a really lovely option. Anabezi comprises 11 large tents overlooking the Zambezi and Mushika River floodplain, each with sliding glass doors opening onto a private deck complete with splash pool, yet still in touch with its natural surroundings.

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Chongwe River Camp £££££

  • Zambia
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Chongwe River Camp is situated at the confluence of the Chongwe and Zambezi Rivers, directly opposite Mana Pools. This is a true ‘bush camp’ in a wilderness area; elephant are more numerous than people in the Albida Grove – there are no fences and the animals have right of way. The en suite chalets are large, well-appointed Mulati tents under thatch, with a luxury open-air bathrooms. Nestled under a canopy of Albida thorns and surrounded by cool lawns, they command fabulous views. Each tent sleeps two people – twin or double beds can be arranged.

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Chiawa Camp £££££

  • Zambia
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Resting peacefully on the banks of the Zambezi River in a grove of mahogany and acacia trees, Chiawa Camp has one of the most beautiful river locations in Zambia – an area where elephants and buffalo wander freely. The camp can accommodate 16 guests in eight well-appointed safari tents, each on a raised timber deck with a private veranda. All tents are under thatch and have en-suite facilities with hot and cold running water, twin or double beds, insect screens and solar-powered lighting.

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Need Holiday Inspiration?
Browse our Zambia holiday ideas.

Our Zambia experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something to spark ideas for a unique adventure.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Illona Cross

Born in a small South African town, I have always followed my passion for nature and discovery. After studying Nature Conservation in Pretoria, I was one of the first women to complete a very tough cadetship in the Natal Parks Board. It was here where I cut my teeth in African wildlife management.

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  • 01285 880 980

Chris Johnston

25 years ago, my first trip to Africa took on a life of its own. I planned for three months, I stayed for two years. Whilst there, I was mistaken for a priest, attacked by sharks and arrested. Yet the countless, clattering journeys opened my eyes to the beauty of the landscapes and the grace of the people. My recent trips are undoubtedly more comfortable, but the welcome is as warm as ever and the best experiences are still those I never see coming.

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  • 01285 880 980

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Detailed, speedy communications from Illona at all stages of the booking


The advice from Steppes was brilliant- finding us 2 wonderful contrasting camps & a visit to Victoria Falls to finish - we had an amazing trip


Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

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