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Zambia has one of the most diverse wildlife populations in the world, thanks to a great variety of ecosystems. Mammoth lakes, lush wetlands, wild rivers, scattered woodlands, and expansive grasslands attract nearly 300 different mammals and 750 bird species—including some found nowhere else in the world.

Kafue National Park

Twice the size of Yellowstone National Park, Kafue is one of the largest parks in the world. Rolling grasslands called dambos attract grazers like antelope, hartebeest, buffalo, and zebra, which in turn attract their predators, lions and leopards. A vast floodplain fed by the Lufupa River offers prime habitat for hippos.

South Luangwa National Park

The Luangwa River feeds nearly 6,000 miles of this protected wilderness. More than 40 species of large mammals—from elephants and leopards to vervet monkeys and giraffes—live in the park’s lagoons, plains, and shaded woodlands, along with huge numbers of crocodiles and vast flocks of goliath herons. Decades of poaching threaten the black rhino, despite government efforts to protect this endangered species. Fewer than 30 may exist today.

Lower Zambezi National Park

One of the least developed areas in Zambia, the fertile river habitat of the Lower Zambezi attracts large numbers of crocodile, hippo, and waterbuck. Various antelope species and their predators—lion, cheetah, and leopard—live along the river’s edge, along with monkeys and hyenas.


More than 750 bird species thrive in the rich variety of habitat here. Many species are found only in Zambia, while others migrate here during the winter to feast on the abundant seeds, fruits, and insects brought by the seasonal rains.


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