​Wildlife & Animals – Zambia

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.

Visit any combination of the country’s trio of premier parks (South Luangwa, Kafue and Lower Zambezi National Parks) and you’re almost certain to see four of the Big Five. Buffalo, elephants and lions are very common throughout. Zambia is also famed for offering high-quality sightings of Africa’s most notoriously secretive cat, the leopard. Your best bet of seeing rhino is in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, where you can track these heavyweights on foot.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
ElephantAbundant
GiraffeOccasional
HippoAbundant
BuffaloAbundant
ZebraAbundant
WildebeestOccasional
White RhinoVery Rare
Black RhinoVery Rare
LionCommon
LeopardCommon
HyenaCommon
Wild DogOccasional

Wildlife Highlights

Although highly endangered, wild dogs are thriving in Zambia; seeing these highly skilled hunters in action is a real treat. One of their preferred prey is lechwe and Zambia is home to three different subspecies of this swamp-loving antelope: the endemic Kafue and black lechwe as well as the more widespread red lechwe. Also of interest are the endemic subspecies Thornicroft's giraffe and Cookson's wildebeest.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

The best wildlife-viewing time coincides with the Dry season (May to October) when water is scarce and animals gather at waterholes and rivers. The bush is less lush at this time, and animals are easier to spot. From October until the rains, it can be unbearably hot. Some roads become impassable during the Wet season (November to April), and many camps close at this time.

Wildlife Rating

Recommended Wildlife Books

  • Stuarts' Field Guide to Mammals of Southern Africa
    Chris & Mathilde Stuart
  • The Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals
    Jonathan Kingdon

Wildlife Photos

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Wildlife Photos

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