Wildlife & Animals – Zambia

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.

Zambia is an excellent safari destination, and most of the high-profile animals are relatively easily seen. South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi and Kafue are particularly good for leopard sightings, but wild dog and cheetah are harder to see. Black rhino is only present in North Luangwa and white rhino only in Mosi-oa-Tunya.

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

Wildlife Highlights

Zambia has several interesting, endemic sub-species including Thornicroft's giraffe, Cookson's wildebeest and Crawshay's zebra. The Kafue lechwe and the black lechwe are specials in specific swampy areas. Most lodges offer night safaris and Zambia is one of the best countries to see some of the nocturnal animals such as porcupine, genet and bushbaby.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

The best wildlife viewing time coincides with the dry season (May to October) when water is scarce, and animals congregate to 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-April), and several parks and camps close at this time.

Wildlife Rating

Recommended Wildlife Books

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

Wildlife Photos

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Wildlife Photos

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