Zambezi National Park

The Zambezi National Park is located upstream from Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River and covers an area of 56,000 hectares. It was split in 1979 from Victoria Falls National Park. The Zambezi River forms the northern border of the park, and it also acts as the border to Zambia for much of its length. There are two major game drives in Zambezi National Park called “Zambezi River Game Drive” accessible from the main gate of the park and the “Chamabondo Game Drive” in the southern part of the park. In the drier months (April to September) game will congregate towards the river whereas in the rainy season (November to March) the game will move inland and give the riverine vegetation a chance to recover for next year. Human-wildlife conflicts are more common in the drier months when there is a scarcity of food and animals move close to the river. The riverine areas are also where most tourists stay and where Victoria Falls town is located.

When to visit:

The wet months (November to April) are best for birdwatching as the local resident species are joined by a vast array of Palearctic and intra-African migrants. This is also the best time to see newly born mammals. Generally, however, mammals are easiest to be seen in the dry months of June to September. Vegetation thins out during those months making it easier to see the animals but also, they tend to congregate along the river looking for food and water and are easier to see. However, it must be said that Zambezi National Park is a very attractive wildlife destination all year-round.


With over 400 species of birds recorded the park is a true birder’s paradise. For mammals, the park is home to four of the Big Five: You will have the highest chances to see elephants and buffalos whereas lions and leopards are more difficult to see. However, the riverine habitats of the park host many more mammal species such as giraffe, zebra, and different antelopes (Impala, Sable Antelope, Waterbuck, Common Eland). Those are all relatively easy to see. The sprawling waterways of the Zambezi River are inhabited by over 75 species of fish with the most interesting species being the Tiger fish. Other common fish species include Tilapia, African Pike, Barbel, Upper Zambezi yellowfish and Vundu Catfish, the Zambezi’s largest fish. Of course, the waterways offer a perfect habitat for plenty of hippos and crocodiles. Rest assured, our guides know the potential dangers these animals can pose, and you will enjoy the river habitats in a way that does not disturb these animals.


With records of more than 400 species, the Zambezi National Park is the best reserve for birding on the outskirts of Victoria Falls town. The riverine habitat is home to many special birds such as Allen’s Gallinule, African Finfoot, White-headed Lapwing (White-crowned Lapwing), Slaty Egret, White-backed night heron, Pel’s fishing owl and Half-collared Kingfisher. Notable migratory birds include the Allen’s Gallinule (December-May), African skimmer (June-December), Eurasian Hobby, Osprey and Rock pratincole (August-January). November to April are the best months for birding as the local resident species are joined by a vast array of Palearctic and intra-African migrants. It is also the nesting season for the resident birds and a great time to see them in their colourful breeding plumage.

Most parts of the national park are comprised of shrubland. In this habitat, you expect species such as Helmeted Guineafowl, Swainson’s Spurfowl, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Gray Go-away-bird, African Harrier-Hawk, Hooded Vulture, White-backed Vulture, Tawny Eagle, Red-faced Mousebird, Eurasian Hoopoe, African Gray Hornbill, Southern Red-billed Hornbill, White-fronted Bee-eater, Lilac-breasted Roller, Dickinson’s Kestrel, Magpie Shrike, Red-billed Oxpecker, Meves’s Starling, Red-headed Quelea and Red-billed Firefinch.

The main road from Victoria Falls town to Kazungula Swamps (the westernmost end of Zambezi National Park) passes through Zambezi National Park and is also of interest to birdwatchers. This road passes through wonderful woodland and even the first 10 km outside the town are worthy of an early morning birding trip. Broad-tailed Paradise-Whydah is quite common here in late summer, and Brown-necked Parrot (Gray-headed) flies over early in the morning. The extremely elusive River Warbler may be quite common here when conditions are right and there is grassy understorey to the teak woodland. Also, keep an eye out for the Orange-winged Pytilia.