National Park stretching 50 kms upstream and inland from Victoria Falls, along the Zambezi River towards Kazungula. The Zambezi National Park is located upstream from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, stretching for some 50 kilometres along the Zambezi river. This beautiful gem of a National Park is little known, despite its proximity to the world famous Victoria Falls. Split off from the Victoria Falls National Park in 1979, the 56,000 hectares of pristine wilderness and wildlife habitat has been a National Park in its own right ever since.
The Park is bisected by a tar road which runs between Victoria Falls and the Kazangula border post, dividing it into two sections:-
- The Zambezi River Game Drive, with an extensive network of roads and scenery along the river accessed through the main gate of the National Park, a few kilometres upstream of the Victoria Falls.
- The 25 kilometre Chamabondo Game Drive in the southern part of the Park, which begins about 5 kilometres south of Victoria Falls town off the main highway (A8) to Bulawayo.
On his way to discovering the Victoria Falls in 1855, David Livingstone travelled down this section of the Zambezi, from the Linyanti Swamps in neighbouring Botswana. This incredibly beautiful stretch of river above the falls enchanted Livingstone and led him to write about “scenes so lovely they must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight”, a quote often mistakenly associated with the Victoria Falls itself. Spectacular sunrises and sunsets are the norm along this river and the area is popular for both landscape and wildlife photography.
Most of the park is within the eco-region of Zambezian and Mopani woodlands, whilst a small portion in the south is within the Zambezian Baikiaea (Zambezi Teak) Woodlands. The park has a vast diversity of indigenous tree species, and its terrain varies between riverine woodland, dry river beds, rocky outcrops and spring-lines with a gradual escarpment leading towards the Kazangula road split.
Soil types vary from alluvial and Kalahari sand, riverine sand and pockets of black cotton soil. The natural spring-lines which occur within this park are absolute hidden gems and regularly have an abundance of wildlife traversing through them. These are prime walking areas for those who enjoy adventuring and exploring on foot. The river margins support a lush forest fringe, offering shade and shelter for bushbuck and duiker, whilst waterbury trees overhang the river and provide perches for the kingfishers, herons and fish eagles.
The park is home to a variety of larger mammal species including lion, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra and several antelope species such as eland, kudu, waterbuck, impala and Zimbabwe’s national animal, the majestic sable. Along the river, pods of hippo wallow during the day, emerging from their watery retreats at night to graze along the riverbanks. Crocodiles are regularly seen lurking along the rivers edge, waiting for antelope to come down to the banks to drink.