When you think of Zambia, do you think of the thundering Victoria Falls? This magnificent sight (and sound!) draws visitors from all over the world to experience a heart-pounding, magical world of mist, cool water, and abundant wildlife. As remarkable as the Falls are, though, Zambia has much more to offer the visitor. While a trip to Victoria Falls may be all but mandatory on your itinerary, make sure to experience the country's other incredible attractions. Here are three must-see sites to start your Zambian adventure.
In the midst of Zambia's capital and largest city, you will find a peaceful wildlife sanctuary where visitors can get up close with Zambia's flora, fauna, and wildlife. Over 250 animals are housed in Munda Wanga; many are rescued from the illegal pet trade. These animals are rehabilitated and released into the wild. The park also boasts a Botanical Garden with over 1,000 exotic and endemic plant species. Not only is this an excellent place to view African game, it provides visitors with information on conservation, climate change, and poaching and the illegal animal trade. It is easy to forget you are in one of the fastest-growing cities in Africa when you visit Munda Wanga.
Twice the size of Yellowstone National Park, Kafue is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife, plants, and habitats. Fed by the Kafue River, the park features Miombo woodlands, savannah grasslands, dambos (which become marshy in the rainy season), swamps, and plains. The Busanga Swamp in the northern reaches of the park, for instance, supports herds of herbivores - as well as their big game predators. When you see herds of impala, warthog, or pukus, you know that lions and cheetahs lurk in the shadows waiting. Kafue is one of Africa's most important nature reserves and wetlands.
Enjoy the city life of Zambia. The capital offers chances to experience traditional marketplaces, villages, like Kabwata Cultural Village, as well as eclectic shopping nooks that are scattered throughout Lusuka. The Anglican Cathedral is a highlight, as is the New Soweto Market. At the Lilayi Lodge, you can view more exciting wildlife - and enjoy the restaurants and pool-side lounging. This is the place to eat, drink, and hit the nightlife. Just be sure to keep your valuables at your hotel and keep a close eye on your money.
Zambia is teeming with more than wildlife; it is an incredibly gorgeous, unique, and best of all, friendly country that is waiting to welcome you.
Enid Glasgow is a travel writer who recently visited Zambia.
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