Malaria & Safety – Lower Zambezi NP

Alan Murphy
By Alan Murphy

Alan is a renowned Africa expert and has authored many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including a guide to Zambia.

Alan is a renowned Africa expert and has authored the Lonely Planet guide to Zambia.

Alan has authored the Lonely Planet guide to Zambia.


The national parks in Zambia can be considered very safe destinations, including Lower Zambezi National Park. Crime is only an issue in the larger urban areas in Zambia.

Bad roads and long distances make Zambia primarily a fly-around safari destination. Tourists fly from park to park, and this is a very safe form of travel, as you will be picked up at the airstrip and transported to your accommodation.

Self-drive to Zambia’s parks is mostly possible, including to Lower Zambezi. However, drivers should have experience in bush driving and take advice on road conditions before heading out.

Malaria & Vaccinations

It is advisable before going to Zambia, to see a doctor regarding appropriate vaccinations. Zambia lies in a malaria area, and this includes Lower Zambezi. A few safety precautions greatly reduce the risk of contracting the disease. You should cover up in the evening and apply mosquito repellent (containing 30% DEET). Antimalarial medication is recommended too – please consult your travel clinic or doctor.

Wildlife Viewing

Canoeing on the Zambezi River is one of the great activities offered in Lower Zambezi National Park. Experienced guides take care of you on the river and accidents are rare. There is, however, a slight risk paddling between the hippos, and no guide can fully protect you from that. When undertaking this and other activities, it’s crucial to listen to your guide and follow instructions carefully.

Most of the lodges are unfenced, and there are often elephants and other wildlife around. The safety briefing given at the lodge upon check-in will advise you of any necessary safety precautions. Please take note of the ‘wildlife viewing safety precautions’ below.

Further advice on limiting dangers and annoyances when traveling:

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