The South Luangwa National Park
Experts have dubbed the South Luangwa National Park as one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, and not without reason. The concentration of game here is among the most intense in Africa. Over 60 mammal species are found in the South Luangwa. The diverse and highly productive woodland and floodplain supports a large and varied population of herbivores, and this in turn sustains a large number of carnivores.
Several mammals, elephant in particular, are comparatively smaller than related species in other parts of Africa. Hippo, giraffe and impala also fall into this category and the reason for this remains a mystery. South Luangwa is also characterised by having a large number of elephants born without tusks due to a genetic anomaly, 38% are tuskless. The dramatic increase was the result of heavy poaching, sparing the cows and bulls without tusks.
The Victoria Falls & Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park
David Livingstone was the first European to see the falls and named them in honour of Queen Victoria in 1857. The falls make a constant roar and are accompanied by a cloud of brilliant spray where the 1.7 kilometre wide Upper Zambezi drops between 90 and 107 metres into the Lower Zambezi. An average of 550,000 cubic metres of water plummets over the edge every minute, transforming the Zambezi from a wide placid river to a ferocious torrent cutting through a series of dramatic gorges. The river’s annual flood season is February to May with a peak in April. The spray from the falls typically rises to a height of over 400 metres, sometimes even twice as high, and is visible from up to 50 kilometres away – hence the local name for the falls and the surrounding national park – Mosi-OaTunya, “the Smoke that Thunders”! The park provides a home for numerous antelope species, zebra, giraffe, elephant, warthog and a variety of birds. Since there are no predators, the wildlife is very relaxed, allowing for excellent photo opportunities.