The park has three main habitats: the riverbanks overhung
with a thick fringe of foliage and large mahogony acacia
and 'upside down' baobab trees; inland floodplains lined
with mopane forest and interspersed with
winterthorn trees and reed islands harbouring a myriad of
wildlife; escarpment hills covered in broadleaf woodland.
The park covers a wide area but the escarpment acts as
a kind of barrier keeping most animals in the bottom of
the valley. This park is so beautiful that it is hard to
know which to admire more, the scenery or the animals.
The Zambians who live along the Zambezi are very poor,
yet their smiles are broad. They manage to eek out a meagre
subsistence living on the banks of the river from catching
fish and irrigating a few crops.
Wildlife seems less bothered by people when they are at
water level and there are some spectacular opportunities
in this park, to get close to animals from a canoe or boat.
The tranquil river and floodplain scene is punctured by
a huge variety of wildlife with antelopes and buffalo
wandering in and out of the picture and herds of elephants
up to 100 strong.
Baboons and vervet
monkeys thrive here with their main enemy being the
leopard. Lions prefer zebra
or buffalo. Territorial hippos and huge crocodiles inhabit
the river in abundance.
Bird watchers will be thrilled at the colorful array of
birds including kingfishers,
lovebirds, parrots and hornbills, and also upon hearing
the distinctive 'cry of Africa' from majestic fish eagles.
Fishing is very popular in the Zambezi and the 'striped
river dog' or tiger fish, attracts anglers from all over
the world. They can be caught on fly, spinner or bait.