A river is a magnet for wildlife; without the waters it brings, nothing could survive. Three mighty rivers dominate Zambia’s landscape and it’s along their banks and tributaries that most safaris and other wilderness activities take place.
The Zambezi River is the largest of the three, entering Zambia with a crash at Victoria Falls. It feeds Lake Kariba and then runs westwards through a dam into the Lower Zambezi National Park where it’s more languid waterways are perfect for canoeing. Conquer your fears by swimming out to Devil’s Pool at the top of Victoria Falls during the dry season, or white-water raft in the rapids below.
The Luangwa is altogether more stately, meandering slowly through the North and South Luangwa National Parks. It’s here that endemic Thornicroft’s giraffe and resident cheetah, neither of which can be found in the Lower Zambezi, gather to the life-giving waters.
Last but not least is Kafue, whose immense floodplain at Busanga Plains resembles parts of Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Large herds of antelope, as well as hippo and elephant, graze opposite the remote Musekese Camp; while the birding along the riverbank really is second to none.