Zambezi National Park
The Zambezi National Park owes its status and existence to Victoria Falls, one of the world’s largest waterfalls when it is in full flow, with a width of 1.7km. The area became internationally recognized after David Livingstone was led there by the Makalolo tribes in 1855. In 1937, the Victoria Falls and surrounding area were declared a ‘special area’, and later proclaimed as a National Park in 1952. The original 56 000 hectare park was called the Victoria Falls National Park. In 1978, an area of the Victoria Falls National Park split from the rest for very prosaic reasons – to allow the Town of Victoria Falls access to the Zambezi River; hence the re-naming of this section: the Zambezi National Park. The combination of the Zambezi National Park, Victoria Falls National Park and of course the falls themselves comprise a UNESCO world heritage site.
Recognised because of its proximity to the Victoria Falls – one of the 7 wonders of the world – the Zambezi National Park has become a sought after destination in its own right. With 4 of the ‘Big 5’ as well as rarely seen wild dogs, and a wide variety of game including sable antelope, kudu and nyala it is a natural attraction. Adding to its appeal is the scenic beauty of this park. The park is split by the road to Kazangula into riverine vegetation and the Chambonda Vlei, comprised largely of mopani woodland, and huge riverine trees. Some of the most magnificent views of the Zambezi River, the 4th largest river in Africa – flowing through 6 countries, are found in this park. The river is also the lifeblood of the park, providing sustenance to its wildlife.
The different landscapes in the park make it an arborialist and bird lover’s paradise, and of course for the fishermen, the Zambezi River holds both charm and challenge. We are privileged to be allowed to live, work and play in this unique environment, and do so with utmost respect. We look forward to sharing this honour with you as you discover its delights for yourself.
The 56 000 hectare Zambezi National Park originally incorporated the Victoria Falls, but this changed in 1979 to give the town river access. The park, managed by the Zimbabwean Wildlife Authority (ZWA) is divided into riverine area – where the river forms the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and Vlei lands – wholly on the Zimbabwean side. Chundu Island is situated in the river, and forms a part of the Zambezi National Park. It is one of only 4 private concessions in the national park providing much needed income to the conservation efforts of the ZWA.
Most of the vegetation within the park consists of Zambezi and Mopane woodlands with a small section of Zambezian Baikiaea woodlands in the south.
The best game viewing routes in the Zambezi National Park are located directly across from Chundu Island, where a number of large mammals can be seen, including:
• African elephant
• Cape buffalo
Amongst the other plains game and smaller animals that can are:
• Common eland
• Common zebra
• Greater kudu
• Sable antelope
• Southern giraffe
A vast number of birds, more than 400 species, have been recorded in the park, including a number of rarer species such as:
• African skimmer
• African finfoot
• Collared palm thrush
• Lanner falcon
• Long toed lapwing
• Pel’s fishing owl
• Rock pratincole
And of course a real regional speciality is the Schalow’s Turaco which is endemic to the Zambezi National Park and Caprivi. This spectacular bird is reminiscent of the Livingstone’s Lourie, only with a bright blue tail instead of green and a longer crest. As their habitats do not overlap there is little chance of confusing the two.