Are you looking for the best tourist attractions in Zambia? Landlocked Zambia shares borders with eight southern African countries and offers world-class safaris, adrenaline-pumping adventures and unique learning experiences.
We have compiled a fun list of the best tourist attractions in Zambia to help you explore this country that is roughly the size of Texas.
Best Tourist Attractions in Zambia
1. Amazing Victoria Falls
The crown jewel of Zambia is one of the world’s most impressive sights and among the best tourist attractions in Zambia.
Victoria Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, separates Zambia and Zimbabwe, and the water falls less than 2 kilometers from the cliff.
Wet weather gear is essential on the falls due to the heavy mist that drenches those who take the opportunity to touch the water before it descends into the river.
2. Immaculate In the Freedoms of Evil
With an ungodly amount of water pouring down Victoria Falls every second, nature has created rock pools just before the plunge point.
When the water level of the Zambezi Rivers drops (in August), there is an opportunity to jump into these pools for the ultimate adrenaline experience for the best tourist attractions in Zambia.
The natural barrier created by the falls makes it a safe but adrenaline-pumping photo opportunity with a permanent rainbow formed by the mist of the falls.
3. Enjoy a Zambezi River Cruise
A cruise on the Zambezi River enjoying dinner and sunset is a memorable experience and is among the best tourist attractions in Zambia.
The entire trip is a luxurious experience with the crew and reception ensuring you an engaging and entertaining evening with incredible food.
Boats descend from a few kilometers above Victoria Falls, and as they travel down the river, staff point out possible wildlife encounters.
4. Shop at Lusaka Market
African markets are full of color, noise, goods and people. Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, has several markets that offer different experiences for individual tastes.
For people who want to buy souvenirs, vendors at the Arcades mall can browse a variety of products.
For a more authentic market experience of fruit, vegetables, meat and consumer goods, City Center Market and Lusaka City Market are good and among the best tourist attractions in Zambia.
The atmosphere is more intense because the market thrives with locals, meaning prices are less likely to be inflated for tourists.
5. Participate In the Food Session
Cooking classes offer a local and educational experience. They start with a visit to the local market to buy produce before returning to the kitchen where students get hands-on experience of the local cuisine.
In Livingstone you will find a number of international restaurants that cater to the tourist demand, making it difficult to find places that offer regular food. Zambian cuisine focuses on nshima made from white maize.
6. Visit the Lusaka National Museum
In a building that looks straight out of Soviet Union, the National Museum houses four galleries filled with information about Zambian history, including an exhibit on witchcraft.
The amount of exhibitions is not large, but the amount of information about the signs is well organized and everyone can get to know the country more deeply by visiting making it one of the best tourist attractions in Zambia.
7. Journey to Siavonga
Siavonga is known as the “Zambia Riviera”, attracting domestic and international tourists to the shores of Lake Kariba and one of the best tourist attractions in Zambia.
The lake has many activities for all ages, including building sand castles on the beach, relaxing on a houseboat and canoeing on the beaches.
The dam wall is also worth a visit, due to its importance for the country. The oak wall completed in 1960 makes Lake Kariba the largest artificial lake in the world. It also provides most of Zambia’s power.
You can walk along the hydroelectric dam, which is the best way to get an idea of its size. Oh, and the Siavong sunsets are too immortal!
8. Blue Lake National Park
The Blue Lagoon is an undiscovered gem recently opened to the public, located 120 kilometers from Lusaka.
During the dry season, vast plains of dry land stretch as far as the eye can see, separating this national park from others in the country.
During the rainy season, the plains turn into magnificent wetlands that attract birds and waders to the lowlands and qualifies among the best tourist attractions in Zambia.
Keep your eyes peeled for an unusual animal at Blue Lagoon National Park. Lechwet and birds, which are a profitable catch, attract huge river pythons here.
9. Walk at Tanganyika Jarva
Tanganyika is the longest freshwater lake in the world and the second deepest, reaching up to 1, 33 meters. A major attraction for visitors is the Kalambo Falls near the shared border with Tanzania.
At 221 meters, they are twice as tall as Victoria Falls. The width of the falls varies; it can be only 2 meters in the dry season and up to 15 meters wide in the monsoon season, so this is the best viewing time.
10. Shoot the Adrenaline Swinger
The Gorge Swing, the world’s first commercial high wire, is located over the Zambezi River leading to Victoria Falls.
A 135-meter-long cable runs across the gorge, which is located at a height of 75 meters in the Seitsemän Aste river currents. Brave participants run down the cliff in a harness that attaches them to a cable.
After a steep descent, there is a 50m free fall before the rope tightens and the participant begins to swing out over the gorge in a pendulum motion. Then they are lowered and left to face a steep hike back up the cliff.
If you don’t like the Throat Swing, an alternative is the Flying Fox, which takes you out across the gorge before pulling you back up.
11. Visit a Traditional African Village
Finding an authentic experience in Zambia and the best tourist attractions in Zambia can be difficult, with safaris and Victoria Falls seeing towns built solely to meet tourist demands.
Kawaza Village has done its best to stay the same. The village is open to tourists every day.
Close to the South Luangwa National Park and three kilometers from the nearest town, you can spend the night in mud houses or spend a few hours in the village interacting with the locals and observing their daily life.
12. Come to the Hot Springs of Kapishya
Kapishya Hot Springs is a family run business where you can visit for the day or overnight. The hot springs are natural and sulphur-free and are a short walk from the six cottages (you can also camp).
Another must-do at the hot springs is a tour of Shiwa Ngandu House, a grand English mansion built by Stewart Gore-Browne after the First World War.
Mark Harvey, who now runs Kapishya Hot Springs with his wife, is Gore-Brown’s grandson and continues in his father’s footsteps to maintain the building.
13. Go Whitewater Rafting
Rafting the Batoka Gorge on the Zambezi River is not for the faint of heart. Almost all the rapids along the 2-km stretch of river are class 5, the highest class considered safe for abseiling (the rapids below the Swing are Class Seven).
They advise you to enjoy the water on the roofs, because the white water of the rapids gets crazy and there is a risk of falling.
Guest safety is a top priority, and highly trained professionals go over safety procedures and briefings on the day’s events before the day begins (there is always an instructor on board the ferry).
They also have a kayak next to the ferry for added safety if you fall off.
14. South Luangwa National Park
South Luangwa National Park is considered one of the best nature reserves in the world and is a popular destination for walking safaris and one of the best tourist attractions in Zambia.
The number of animals around the river is impressive, as two hippos and a crocodile are known among the more than 60 mammals of the Luangwa River.
The landscapes of the national park change from dry open scrub in winter to deep green vegetation in summer.
15. Kafue National Park
Kafue National Park is one of Africa’s largest parks, but lacks the number of safari camps and lodges compared to other locations due to a careful growth plan that includes increased levels of protection.
Kafue does not have a large amount of wildlife, but they have a large selection. You don’t come here to check out the Big 5, but to see, among other things, the hard-to-spot antelope species.
Locals know that this is one of the best places to see leopards in the wild making it one of the best tourist attractions in Zambia.
16. Try Rhino Walking
Walking in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park is a rare opportunity for people to see a white rhinoceros on the ground in the wild.
The white rhino population is close to extinction due to poaching, so spending time with them is a special and great photo opportunity, but few people have it.
Before the tour starts, trackers will be in the national park looking for rhinos so you can spend as much time as possible with them.
17. Fishing in Barotsala
Catching tiger fish in Zambia is a memory people will never forget. With tiger fish regularly weighing over 20kg living in the largest floodplains of the Zambezi.
These game can expect an explosive battle to reach this remote location, and acrobatic maneuvers are common.
Other species found in the floodplains, which were formed when the Zambezi River broke during the rainy season, are nembwe, three-spotted and pink goldfish.
18. Elephant of Lilayi Turi
As amazing as it is to see elephants in the wild, these land giants get the most attention and among the best tourist attractions in Zambia.
The best chance to meet an elephant in Zambia is at the elephant sanctuary in Lilay, established by Game Rangers International, an NGO that rescues and rehabilitates elephants in Kafue National Park.
The dining hours 11-13:30 are open to the public every day. Lilayi Lodge offers accommodation for those who want to see behind the scenes how elephants are treated.
The property has almost 600 hectares, which gives the baby elephants the opportunity to mature and train their instincts before being released back into the wild.
19. Tour Lochinvar National Park
Apart from the buffalo, there are no dangerous animals in Lochinvar National Park, so visitors can get out of the car and walk around.
There are other national parks in Zambia that are better for seeing mammals, but the birding of Lochinvar National Park is the best in the country, with 28 species recorded here.
Keen bird watchers can spend weeks here with waterfowl, raptors, forest species and migrants. Familiar birds you will see are flamingos, pelicans and herons searching for fish left on the floodplain.
20. Lower Zambez National Park
Lower Zambezi National Park has avoided over development, allowing visitors to see animals in the wild without dozens of safari jeeps gathering in one place and one of the best tourist attractions in Zambia.
The diversity of mammals is not huge, but the opportunity to get close to them is increased by the water channels that flow back into the Zambezi.
The entire national park is not accessible, but large mammals including elephant, buffalo, hippopotamus, zebra and crocodile can be seen at the bottom of the relatively small valley.
As much as Victoria Falls is a prominent and at the top of the best tourist attractions in Zambia, there are many other fascinating attractions in this wonderful country.
For more information on what to see, do and the best tourist attractions in Zambia, or to discuss booking your Zambia safari adventure, contact ASTHO Vacations and discuss your African safari tour with our Zambia experts.