​Overview – Mosi-oa-Tunya NP

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip has traveled through Zambia several times and is the author of more than 20 guidebooks to various African destinations.

Philip is the Zambia expert for SafariBookings and author of more than 20 guidebooks to Africa.

Philip is our Zambia expert and author of more than 20 guidebooks to Africa.

Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park has two parts: the Victoria Falls World Heritage National Monument Site and Mosi-oa-Tunya Game Park. Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning ‘the smoke that thunders’, is an apt description of Victoria Falls, which is the world’s greatest curtain of falling water. The small game park is home to Zambia’s only white rhinos and tracking them on foot is an exciting addition to a safari.

Best Time to Go June to August (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 is one of Africa’s top attractions
  • Small game park with lots of animals 15 minutes from Livingstone
  • Self-drive or guided drives available
  • An opportunity to see rhinos on foot
  • Very small park without large predators
  • Fenced wildlife area, lacking in wilderness appeal

Mosi-oa-Tunya NP Safari Reviews

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

Wildlife

The small park offers a good introduction to Zambia’s wildlife. You might see elephants, buffalo, giraffes and plains zebras. Reintroduced white rhinos are reproducing successfully. Common antelope species include impala, bushbuck, puku and common waterbuck. There are no large predators.

Scenery

The park is situated along the bank of the upper Zambezi – one of Africa’s most impressive rivers – and it incorporates the world-famous Victoria Falls. 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. When leaving the waterfront, riverine forest gives way to mopane woodland and open grassland.

Weather & Climate

Mosi-oa-Tunya experiences a hot climate throughout the year. The heat gets extreme in October with the expectation of the first rains of the Wet season (November to April). Although rainfall brings some relief, it stays hot and humid throughout this season. Daytime temperatures in Mosi-oa-Tunya are more pleasant in the middle of the Dry season (May to October), but nights can be quite chilly then.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to see Victoria Falls is from June to August. January and February are also great months. This is when the flow is high, but there is not too much spray to obstruct visibility. You can see a fair amount of wildlife in the game park of Mosi-oa-Tunya at any time of the year. As the small game park is effectively fenced, sightings are consistently good. That said, many elephants cross the river to spend the Wet season (November to April) in Zimbabwe.

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
Expert
Philip Briggs  –  
South Africa ZA

Philip is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many guidebooks, including the Bradt guides to Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.

The Smoke That Thunders
4/5

Named after the local name for Victoria Falls – Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning ‘the Smoke That Thunders’ – this small park is a fixture on almost all safari itineraries through Zambia since it protects the Zambian half of the waterfall that...

Full Review

Latest User Review
Tob Photo  –  
Mozambique MZ
Reviewed: May 26, 2015
5/5

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

Full Review