The Zambezi National Park is a game reserve on the Zimbabwean side of the mighty Zambezi River a few kilometres upstream from the Falls.
A Wildlife Sanctuary On The Zambezi River
The Zambezi National Park covers an area of 56,000km² and forms the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia for most of its length.
The park stretches upstream for 50 kilometres. The same stretch that David Livingstone travelled down on his way to discover the Victoria Falls in 1855.
This scenic National Park supports a lush riverside bush in which bushbuck and duiker seek shade and protection. The Zambezi River is famous for its bream and tiger fish as well as numerous other species of fish. The abundance of birdlife is a birders paradise with herons, kingfishers, and many other species of birds.
Even though this park is not the biggest in the area, this distinction goes to Hwange National Park, it offers good game viewing opportunities with a wide variety of larger mammal species including lion, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, and several species of antelope, including eland, kudu, waterbuck, impala, and sable. All this is within an easy and short distance of Victoria Falls.
To view the wildlife either take advantage of the walking safaris on offer or take a trip along the Zambezi River Game Drive which has an extensive road network along the river, there are 25 outstanding picnic and fishing sites for day visitors along this route.
The 25 kilometre Chamabondo Game Drive in the southern area covers the rest of the park. The roads are in reasonable condition, but the park may be closed after heavy rains make the roads impassable.
Safari On The Zambezi
An alternative to viewing the wildlife is to enjoy the half-day canoe trips that are conducted within the park.
This is a relaxing and enjoyable time spent paddling past the banks of the Zambezi river watching the birdlife and occasional animal coming for a drink, and taking in the beauty of the Zambezi waterway.
Zambezi National Park Accommodation
There is a private game lodge in the Park from which you can see the spray of the falls.
Alternatively, the 25 picnic and fishing sites for day visitors along the Chamabondo Game Drive are situated on the most scenic spots on the river. These are ideal spots to spend the day relaxing and taking in the sights and sounds of the river, birdlife, and the occasional wildlife that may pass by.
The Park has some comfortable lodges and safari camps along the river with basic camping facilities.
You will certainly experience wild Africa firsthand as these camps are unfenced and open to the bush. They are equipped with a braai (barbecue) stand and a basic bush toilet only.
Each camp can accommodate a maximum of 12 people.
Visiting and staying at the Zambezi National Park will get you close to nature with basic amenities.