Nsumbu National Park


Hugging the southern shores of Lake Tanganyika, little-visited Nsumbu National Park is a beautiful 2020 sq km of hilly grassland and escarpment, interrupted by rivers and wetlands. Like other remote parks in Zambia, Nsumbu was virtually abandoned in the 1980s and 1990s and poaching seriously depleted wildlife stocks here; however, conditions have improved over the past decade. Poaching has come under control, and animal numbers have increased, in part thanks to a buffer zone created by two Game Management Areas that adjoin the park.

Back in the 1970s, this was one of the leading national parks in Africa with the largest density of rhino on the continent, and Kasaba Bay was like the St Tropez of Zambia, with the jetset flying in from South Africa and beyond. Following several decades of decline, today herds of elephants and buffaloes are seen here once again, often coming to the lake to drink. There are also plenty of antelope, including roan and sable antelope, waterbuck and sitatunga. All of these animals attract predators and these days lions and hyenas can often be heard at night. In the lake itself are hippos as well as some of the largest crocodiles in Africa.

For anglers, Lake Tanganyika offers top-class sport: Nile perch, tigerfish and nkupi (yellow belly) are plentiful, while golden perch and giant tigerfish are all found in the waters.

There is decent birdwatching here, too, with some 300 species recorded, including red bishop and Pel’s fishing owl.