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Digital Subscriptions > Travel Africa > October-December 2019 > Lower Zambezi Valley

Lower Zambezi Valley

By extending the amount of land under protection, there’s more space for lodges to spread out along the bank of the Zambezi.


Private space: The Safari Suite at Chiawa Camp, freshly built in 2017

The 4,092sq km Lower Zambezi National Park hugs the northern bank of the Zambezi River. Until 1983, when the area was declared a National Park, it was the private game reserve of Zambia’s president. This protected it from the ravages of mass tourism, leaving it a relatively pristine wilderness.

The Park itself is surrounded by a much larger Game Management Area (GMA), but there are no fences between the two and animals are free to roam throughout the area. The GMA acts as a buffer zone between the National Park and areas of human settlement, to reduce human/wildlife conflict and to stop human encroachment. Whilst some GMAs permit hunting, the Lower Zambezi National Park (LZNP) is unique in that the Chiawa GMA on its western boundary is a no-hunting zone, enabling photographic safari camps to be sited here.

Together these encompass 20,000sq km. In fact, Zambia has the second largest proportion of land under protected status in southern Africa: approximately 225,000sq km or 30 per cent of the total land cover. Of this, 8 per cent are national parks and 22 per cent are Game Management Areas.

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About Travel Africa

Our love for lions - why are they so captivating? • Reza Pakravan, crossing the Sahel • Lower Zambezi Valley accommodation guide • Planning the ultimate self-drive trip around Namibia • Route 62, in praise of Padstalle • Plus Botswana behind the pics; Family safaris; Tipping; Chimps in Tanzania; Zakouma; Uganda adrenaline and much more!