Wild-life enthusiasts and nature lovers will have a gala time in the picturesque and mesmerizing national parks in Zambia. This landlocked country in Southern Africa is making a real name for itself by getting marketed as a safari destination. Imagine finding yourself amidst beautiful lakes and wetlands, rapidly-flowing rivers, vast luscious jungles and big cities with impressive personalities.
Always kick-start the visit by heading out to the capital - Lusaka. It is a cosmopolitan and uber-modern city that tourists would love to explore. Head over to the Kabwata Cultural Village where one will find carvers at work and indigenous arts & crafts for sale. There will be entertainment in the form of traditional dances. Drop by at Lusaka National Museum that encompasses ethnography, witchcraft, history and contemporary art.
If you're a thrill-seeker and a adrenalin-junkie at heart, then be sure to visit Livingstone. Africa's adventure sports capital offers many activities like bungee jumping off the 111m (364ft) bridge linking Zambia and Zimbabwe across the Zambezi River, while below the Victoria Falls in Batoka George lies some of the finest white rapids seen anywhere in the planet. You can't visit Zambia and not catch a glimpse of the mesmerizing sight of the impressive Victoria Falls where the water gushes down at 108m (345ft) from the basalt lip into the Batoka Gorge, nearly double the Niagara Falls.
Hop on to a guided canoe safari on the Zambezi River within Lower Zambezi National Park. One may be lucky enough to spot elephants on the banks as well as glimpse birds. Take a trip South Luangwa National Park to go on a walking safari. It is one of southern Africa's best game-viewing regions. The flagship national park of Zambia offers an incredible experience of the African bush. The luscious jungle is home to a plethora of wildlife. One can hope to see hippos, crocodiles and elephants. Visitors can also see Thornicraft's giraffe with white legs & faces and Crawshay's Zebra without the brownish 'shadow-stripe' of common (Burchell's) zebras for they are both endemic to the park. Several prides of lions also prowl on the grasslands of the park as well as hoards of leopards.
Explore Kasanka National Park for this incredible woodland is best known for antelopes, birds and bats. An immense amount of fruit bats migrate into Kasanka on an annual basis. Head over to the marshy shores of Lake Bangweulu, north of Kansaka National Park, to view the habitat of shoebills, a big unusual-looking stork which catches fish by lunging with its massive bill at rocket-speed.
When it comes to shopping, be on the look-out for safari clothing, carved wooden masks and animals, pottery and copper-ware, bead-work, baskets, local gemstones, handmade jewellery and bags and home-wares prepared from batik fabric. As for cuisine, dig into a few of their local delicacies found in any of the restaurants spruced around.
The stay options in Zambia are plenty with the millionaires seeking the best luxury hotels and apartments. Similarly, backpackers and budget travellers can choose from an array of cheap accommodations.
Zambia's climate can be categorized into wet, dry and shoulder season. The best time to visit would be from June to November owing to good game viewing as animals tend to huddle around the numerous watering holes, due to dry weather.