Zambia - Southern Rift Valley: Wildlife, Waterfalls, and Lakes
2,000+ km long Albertine Rift ends in Northern Zambia, where it meets and transcends into another tapestry of beautiful landscapes. Zambia's has vast open spaces, plentiful wildlife in its large wilderness areas, and large water bodies, earning the country its moniker "the Real Africa". Little visited Northern & Western parts of the country contains spectacular and diverse landscapes dominated by large lakes, floodplains, rivers, and waterfalls. Widlife in this region is amongst the best including one of the largest national parks in the world (Kafue) as well as unique places such as (Liuwa, Bangweulu, and Kasanka).
Clutch Adventures activities: wildlife viewing, hiking, water sports (diving, snorkeling, kayaking), fishing, birdwatching.
Lakes and Waterfalls of Northern Zambia
The region’s Rift Valley geography is dominated by large lakes (Tanganyika, Mweru, Bangweulu, Mweru-wa-ntipa) and a number of waterfalls (at least 10 major waterfalls). These water features are surrounding by dramatic escarpments, highlands, and lush intact forested landscapes in Zambia. The remoteness and lack of infrastructure has resulted in few tourists visiting the region. The only way to explore this vast region is self-driving by car as many of these attractions are not easily accessible. The trips offer plethora of opportunities for adventure which combine water, wildlife and forest explorations.
Trips: Albertine Rift Adventure
Activities: Natural Attraction, Hiking, Camping, Water Sports, Wildlife Viewing, Birdwatching
Recommended Length of Stay: 2-7 days
Chishimba Falls is a magnificent cascade of three waterfalls just about 20-30 min drive from Kasama, the urban center of Northern Zambia. It is one of the biggest waterfalls in the region and exploring this lush area is re-energizing. The falls offer magnificent views of surrounding countryside, and one can explore the thick forest on the falls bank. Camping is possible around the falls to soak in its scenery overnight.
Activities: Natural Attraction, Hiking, Camping
Recommended Length of Stay: 1 day
Northern Zambia/Southwestern Tanzania
Kalambo Falls are one of the tallest single-drop waterfalls in Africa, and certainly the most spectacular waterfalls I ever visited, located in a dramatic rift landscape covered in miombo woodlands. The splendid creation is a result of the rift dropping to nearby Lake Tanganyika. It is an adventure to get to this area but one can explore this area from two countries (Zambia, Tanzania) without even crossing through the official border post.
Activities: Hiking / Trekking, Water Sports (on nearby Lake Tanganyika), Natural Attraction, Birdwatching
Recommended Stay: 1 day. 3 days with additional activities on Lake Tanganyika
Blog: Great Kalambo Falls!
Busanga Plains - Kafue National Park
Northwestern ZambiaBusanga Plains is without a doubt definitely one of the top wildlife viewing destinations in Africa. Vast open plains in one of the largest national parks in the world are remote and seasonally inaccessible - hence you meet very few other visitors. The plains and the park are huge and the experience of wilderness is powerful - once can drive the full day and still be in the same park. Open plains also mean wildlife is easy to see: and the plains are teeming with herds of lechwe and other antelopes with several prides of lions always around. Busanga birdlife is prolific and the birds congregate around the water streams and ponds. We enjoy our stay in rustic mobile bushcamps on the edge of the plains, and the trip begins/ends at another camp on Kafue river with excellent fishing and boating. Activities: Wildlife Viewing, Birdwatching, Fishing, Walking Safari Recommended Stay: 1 day. 3 days with additional activities on Lake Tanganyika. Gallery Blog: Finally made it here - Busanga Plain
Liuwa Plain National Park
Liuwa Plain is a very special place with wildlife and cultural experience not easily found anywhere else. Having spent working there 2 years, I always love to return. The region's inaccessibility up to recently means that only about 500-1,000 tourists reach the park every year. The park's uniqueness are mainly due to its "endless" grassland plains home to vast herds of migrating wildebeest and zebras. And nowhere else one can see large clans of hyenas so easily as here. Culturally, Liuwa stands out as local people live in the park and have co-existed with wildlife for centuries as its guardians. We will visit these communities whom I got to know well during my work there. Liuwa also has a very picturesque campsites overlooking the plains, which makes for a memorable stay.
Activities: Wildlife Viewing, Birdwatching, Fishing, Walking Safari
Recommended Stay: 2-4 days
Questions? Let's Talk about your Adventure Trip
I am Juraj, your Adventure Travel expert for East and Southern Africa. I have worked and lived in Zambia and Uganda for the past 14 years and traveled by road to many corners of this vast and beautiful region. My work in conservation has enabled me to explore unique places, trekking mountains, walking across vast savannas teeming with wildlife, and exploring many beautiful water bodies. My specialty is always to seek new and less-visited attractive destinations for active adventure travelers to enjoy diverse activities in nature and experience rich local cultures. My passion is to show you this corner of Africa the way most people do not see.