Overview – Mosi-oa-Tunya NP

Alan Murphy
Expert
By Alan Murphy

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

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

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

Alan has authored the Lonely Planet guide to Zambia.

Mosi-oa-Tunya is one of Zambia’s smallest national parks. It has two parts: the Victoria Falls World Heritage National Monument Site; and the Mosi-oa-Tunya Game Park. The falls are deservedly one of Africa’s top attractions. The game park is a tiny wildlife sanctuary with a big range of animals. More a zoo, than a wilderness area, this might be worth a visit if you have a few hours to spare – especially if you aren’t going to any of the proper Zambian parks. White rhino is kept in a separate enclosure and can be tracked on foot.

Best Time to Go May to September (Best time to see the waterfall)
High Season July to October (Busy and high season rates apply)
Size 66km² / 25mi²
Altitude 710-994m / 2,329-3,261ft

Pros & Cons

  • Victoria Falls in one of Africa’s top attractions
  • Convenient excursion to the game park 15min from Livingstone
  • Game park with lots of animals in small area
  • Self-drive or guided drives available
  • Guided walking safari to see rhino on foot
  • Not a real park, but a wildlife sanctuary/zoo
  • Lacks wilderness appeal

Mosi-oa-Tunya NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

The tiny park offers a good introduction to Zambia's wildlife. There are elephant, buffalo, giraffe and zebra, as well as many of the common antelope species. Some white rhino have been re-introduced and started breeding successfully. They are kept in a separate enclosure for extra protection and guided walks to see them are available. There are no large predators.

Scenery

The park is situated along the bank of the upper Zambezi – one of Africa's most impressive rivers. It includes the Victoria Falls and stretches to 12km upstream above the falls. The scenic highlight is obviously the waterfall itself. The drive along the river offers stunning views of this mighty waterway, especially in the early morning, when a thick carpet of mist hangs above the water.

Weather & Climate

Temperatures in Mosi-oa-Tunya plunge in the middle of the Dry season (May to October). Wrap yourself in your warmest clothing on early-morning game drives. The mercury goes the other way in October, when the heat rockets up with the expectation of the Wet season’s (November to April) first rains. Outside these times, the drier months are consistently warm, while the wetter months are consistently hot.

Best Time to Visit

Mosi-oa-Tunya’s diminutive size makes it less vulnerable to changes in the climate, which means you can see wildlife here at any time of year. That said, conditions are far more comfortable in the drier months (May to October), and it’s easier to see animals as the vegetation has receded. This is also when the flow of the Zambezi River is at its greatest, making Victoria Falls that much more spectacular.

Want to Visit Mosi-oa-Tunya NP?

Mosi-oa-Tunya NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Waterfalls and Elephants
3/5

Mosi-oa-Tunya translates as ‘the smoke that thunders’ and, as the name suggests, this small Zambian park is all about the world-renowned Victoria Falls and Zambezi River. You will likely see elephants, buffalo, hippo, general game, and...

Latest User Review
5/5

Victoria Falls is simply stunning. Has to be seen. Absolutely one of the seven natural wonders of the world.