Zambezi National Park
The Zambezi National Park is situated along the mighty Zambezi River and is only a short distance away from Victoria Falls. Travel by canoe on the river for a half-day excursion and see lots of wildlife and birdlife congregating along the shoreline. Four of the Big Five can be found in the Zambezi National park along with many hippos, crocodiles and striking antelope. Zambezi National Park makes an excellent day trip from Victoria Falls where you can enjoy canoeing, game drives and stunning riverside scenery.
Best Time To Go
June - October
Average Safari Cost
$200-$700 pp/day. Park fee: $15
See the Africa's fourth largest river, canoe safaris, game drives, walking safaris, night drives, four of the Big Five (excluding rhino), many picnic and fishing sites, excellent bird watching and beautiful river scenery.
Why Visit Zambezi National Park?
Situated only a couple of kilometres away from Victoria Falls, the Zambezi National Park makes a great day trip for people staying at the Falls. There are also several riverside lodges with incredible views if you want to overnight in the park. Overlook the powerful Zambezi River from your rooms while immersed in the bush for a true safari experience.
With game drives, night drives and half day canoe excursions, you will be able to see plenty of game and birdlife throughout the park. From elephants and hippos to lions and leopards, the wildlife viewing opportunities do not disappoint.
Pros And Cons
- Mighty Zambezi and amazing scenery
- Picnic sights
- Fishing in Zambezi River
- Half-day canoe excursions
- Excellent birdwatching destination
- Roads are less developed and more rural
- Have to have a 4x4 vehicle to travel around the park - check with your tour operator
Best Time To Go
The best time to visit the Zambezi National Park for wildlife viewing is from June to September, which is during the dry season. This is when animals gather at the banks of the river for water and the thinning vegetation makes them easy to spot. The dry season is from April to October and consists of bright and sunny days with an average temperature of 81˚F (27˚C) and cold nights that average 46˚F (8˚C). October can get extremely hot and uncomfortable with high humidity as it brings an end to the dry season. There is a lower risk for malaria during this time as there are fewer mosquitoes.
November marks the start of the wet season, which continues through to March. The most rain occurs from December to February with frequent afternoon showers, which can disrupt activities and travel plans. Daytime temperatures average about 86˚F (30˚C) with nights cooling down to about 66˚F (19˚C). While the vegetation is more lush and green, the wildlife viewing is not as good during the wet season. However, newborn animals and migratory birds can be seen. There are fewer people and visitors so rates may be lower during these months. The roads in the park may also be more difficult to drive on as they become wet and unstable.
For more details about when to visit broken down by months/seasons see our Zimbabwe Safari - Complete Travel Guide.
Start your African Adventure
Guided Tour of Zimbabwe Featuring Chobe
This tour will take you to most of Zimbabwe's tourist attraction which will give you the opportunity to explore the diverse landscape and culture of the country. A must do tour as it takes you to two countries in one trip.
3 Days Amazing Victoria Falls Safari in Zambia
This safari will take you to Victoria Falls, the largest sheet of falling water in the world, roughly twice the height of Niagara Falls. In the 1800s, it was described by the Kololo tribe living in the area as "Mosi-oa-Tunya" or "the smoke that thunders." It presents a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Wildlife And Birds
- Leopard, wild dog
Frequently Seen Animals
- Elephant, giraffe, hippo, buffalo, hyena
With over 400 recorded bird species, the Zambezi National Park is an excellent destination for avid bird watchers. Many different birds can thrive in the habitats around the river. From Pel's fishing owl and the proud African fish eagles to the endangered African skimmer, there are many incredible birds to see. The best time to visit the park for bird watching is from November to April because migratory birds can be found.
- African skimmer
Getting There And Safety
There are some airlines that offer daily flights to the airstrips within the park but it is also easy to drive from Victoria Falls. Most foreign visitors travel to the Victoria Falls Airport and then Zambezi National Park is only a short drive away. Transport between airports and accommodation is often included in safari packages so check with your operator. Day trips are also easily arranged from Victoria Falls Town.
If you are based in the UK and Europe, check out these flights to Zimbabwe
If you are based in the USA and Canada, check out these flights to Zimbabwe
The vaccinations recommended for Zimbabwe are cholera, typhoid, hepatitis A and hepatitis B. There is also a risk for malaria, especially from October - May, so anti-malarial drugs are advised as well as bringing insect repellent.
It is better to check with your local medical authority which vaccinations are required.
For more details about vaccinations see our Zimbabwe Safari - Complete Travel Guide.
Going on a safari in Africa comes with obvious risks. Zimbabwe lacks good health care facilities so if anything happens you would need to be airlifted out of the country and taken to South Africa to be treated.
We recommend you get travel insurance for all safaris in Zimbabwe. Make sure your insurance has full medical coverage, emergency air evacuation, repatriation and the standard travel insurance for cancellations, delays and luggage cover.
Check World Nomads’ travel insurance calculator to see the cost of the safari trip cover.
Pack clothes for both warm and cool weather as it can get very hot during the day and quite cold at night depending on what time of the year you go. Try to pack neutral, earthy toned clothes and avoid bright colours and white. Other essential items are a hat, sunglasses, sun screen, toiletries, closed shoes, torch, batteries, insect repellent, first aid kit, binoculars and camera.
For more details on what to pack see our Safari Packing List.