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Introducing Western Zambia

Western Zambia is at the bottom of some travellers’ itineraries and at the top of others’: if you’re after easy access, lots of other tourists and well-known attractions then you should look elsewhere. This western area is dominated by two huge rivers, the Kafue and the upper waters of the Zambezi, and the woodlands of central Zambia thin out here as the soil becomes sandy – this area is an extension of the Kalahari Desert in neighbouring Namibia.

Kafue National Park is the biggest single park in Africa, and is truly magnificent with all the big mammals, marvellous birdwatching, and a thousand different landscapes that include river systems offering the chance to float past a leopard stretched out on the shore, a fish eagle perched imperiously on a branch above the water or a 500-strong buffalo herd lapping noisily at its cool waters. It’s the only place in the country where you can track lions on foot and have a great chance of finding them.

Other highlights are thundering waterfalls and tremendous views of flood plains; a chance to experience even more remote wilderness areas such as Liuwa Plain National Park, which sees few visitors but is a majestic patch of Africa; an exploration of Barotseland, home of the Lozi people and site of the colourful Kuomboka, which is Zambia’s best-known traditional ceremony; and easy access to Botswana and Namibia with world-class national parks such as Chobe to explore.