Zambia is one of the most exciting countries in the Zambesia Region of Africa. It is a country of people brimming with pride for their country and love for their heritage. With low population concentrations in a large and fertile country there is plenty of space for the wildlife and natural habitat. So you can visit open plains, raging rivers, vast woodlands and bustling towns.

The following is a list of our top ten reasons to visit Wonderful Zambia – enjoy

Culture
Zambia is a culturally rich country, alive with traditions, rituals and amazing festivals. With roughly 73 different spoken languages through the country the ethnic diversity provides a vast array of colourful heritage. Over 15 unique ceremonies taking place each year, there is never a shortage of local customs on display. These customs are also being taught, showcased and passed down to future generations each day in villages making it all available to the lucky tourist.

Hotels and Lodges
Zambia is home to so many beautiful Hotels and plenty of smaller safari and boutique style Lodges; The Royal Livingstone Hotel, David Livingstone Safari lodge & Spa, Avani Vic Falls Resort, Sausage Tree Camp, Mfuwe Lodge, The River Club, just to name a few. These are only the tip of a much larger iceberg! Zambia has such a high level quality of service and impeccable standards you simply don’t want to miss out on travelling around the country to stay in these amazing places.

Safari Areas
There are many safari and wildlife areas to visit throughout Zambia in which you are sure to have once in a lifetime experience. Areas such as the South Luangwa National Park in eastern Zambia, with it’s incredibly diverse habitat and wildlife; the remote Lower Zambezi National Park in south-eastern Zambia with it’s pristine wilderness areas, faced by the Mana Pools National Park, a world heritage site on the Zimbabwe side of the river; the Kafue National Park, the second largest park in Africa and home to over 55 different mammal species, are just a few of the amazing places one can visit.

Cuisine
Zambia’s cuisine, festivities, and ceremonies are often assembled around food. Important is the preparation of meals, service and etiquette. Although there are many different types of cuisine around the country to tempt the taste buds the more traditional meal is arguably the best! Their staple food is made from ground maize cooked in boiling water to a hot white cake, known locally as “Nshima”. Usually served with a relish and vegetables such as “Chibwabwa” or a leafy green vegetable known locally as “delele” Nshima is the bulk of many Zambian dishes. Sometimes a chicken stew or beef stew is served together with the nshima and generally eaten with hand from a communal plate, no knives and forks needed!

Wildlife
The majority of wildlife concentrations in Zambia are found in its National Park areas, elephant, lion, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, spotted hyena, lechwe and various varieties of antelope are found in healthy numbers. The waterways are brimming with Nile crocodile, hippopotamus and a diverse spread of birdlife. Sport fishing is listed as one of the top activities in tourism, and Zambia is well known for the awesome Tiger Fishing opportunities.

Activities
You will certainly never get bored with the wide variety of activities Zambia has to offer. Adventurous, cultural, historical or if you’re simply looking for some relaxation and a place to get away from it all, then Zambia will provide all of this and more. With activities such as helicopter, microlight flights, fishing, white water rafting, vintage train rides, canoeing, game walks, game drives, speedboat rides, cruises, boma evenings, traditional dance shows, private dinners in stunning locations, village visits, or a 111m jump off the Victoria Falls bridge, there is absolutely something for everyone!

Chitenge
We have listed this as one of our top ten reasons to visit because Zambian fashion is absolutely making its mark in the world and local designers are putting Zambia on the map. Chitenge cloth is a wonderfully brightly coloured material which can be used to make dresses, skirts, shirts and headbands. The cultural chitenge has been modernized over the years and innovative designs have led these to become on point and trendy. Take a few of these home with you from your visit and the recipients will love them!

Accessibility and Location
Zambia has three International Airports with Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International (Livingstone) and Kenneth Kaunda International (Lusaka) being the most frequently used with daily flights. Accessibility to neighbouring countries such as Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia make it a perfect destination to combine stays. You could very easily visit Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe all in one day. Short flights between Nairobi-Cape Town-Zambia also make it a perfect triple act with South Africa and East Africa.

The People
The People of Zambia are probably the number 1 reason why you should visit! They are friendly, welcoming and unreservedly willing to show you how they live and you will be treated like family. They have the biggest smiles, the most respectful natures and their sense of humour is contagious. They will teach you their customs and traditions, they will feed you, laugh with you, they will show you the best places to see and they love to show off their beautiful country to anyone who takes the time to visit.

The Victoria Falls
Last, but by no means least is the magnificent Victoria Falls. The waterfall is located along the Zambezi River and is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It is approximately 1.7 kilometres wide with about 500 metres of that being viewed on the Zambian side. At it’s highest point the Falls is 108 metres. It is not the highest or the widest Falls in the world, but it is classified as having the world’s largest sheet of falling water. The Falls generally experiences its peak water flows between April and mid July and low water is usually from around September/October to the middle of December when there is little to no water flowing over the Zambian side. It would be a good idea to make at least two visits to Zambia to see both levels. During the dryer months it’s very interesting to be able to see the rock formations and the new fractures being woven into the faces of the rock walls. It’s amazing to see the difference when the water is at its peak and the whole scenery will be very different each time you visit the Falls.

VF24 Editor KG