Zambia :: Kafue
Category: Places :: Country
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Zambia is essentially an unspoilt, under populated and extremely rural country. The population is concentrated mainly around the capital, Lusaka, in the south and the Copperbelt in the north-west.
Although the country is rich in copper and other minerals, it is one of the poorest countries in Africa. Zambia's umpteen National Parks and game reserves offer a variety of beautiful African woodland, grassland, savannah and even rainforests filled with big herds of game.
It also shares one of the natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls, with neighbouring Zimbabwe. Zambia gives you a taste of what Africa was once like - wild and beautiful. It derives its name from the Zambezi River which arises in the north-western corner of the country and also forms it southern boundary with Zimbabwe.
The Zambezi, Kafue and Luangwa Rivers form deep valleys, rapids and waterfalls of which the most famous is Victoria Falls. Lake Tanganyika touches Zambia's northern borders, while Lake Kariba stretches across its southern border with Zimbabwe, but much of inland Zambia is dry.
As there are few campsites, it takes at least a couple of long driving days to get from one side of the country to the other. The modern capital, Lusaka, is a useful stop-over as there are good supermarkets to stock-up and places where you can get whatever services you need.
From Lusaka to Livingstone the road is good, but on average the other roads in the country are full of potholes. Livingstone was once the colonial capital of Zambia and has much more of an African feel than the modern Victoria Falls town on the Zimbabwean side. Although Livingstone has some superb campsites, lodges and hotels and the traces of its colonial history is still visible, it has an easy-going African charm.
At the colourful African markets you can buy curios at a far better price than in Victoria Falls. Livingstone offers a lot in terms of tourism. Apart from good accommodation and restaurants, a number of adventure activities like canoeing, white-water rafting, bungee jumping and helicopter rides over the Falls are offered.
The less adventurous can take a slow boat ride on the Zambezi, enjoying drinks on a sunset river cruise, admiring the game on the river bank. Zambia has 19 National Parks where the African wilderness and amazing sense of space can be enjoyed. Many of them are inaccessible during the wet season and as the roads are on average not in perfect condition, it is advised to go by 4x4.
Some of the National Parks really are not in top condition because of mismanagement, lack of funds and poaching but many still offer an excellent bush experience and umpteen wildlife. (20 Dec 11).
Capital: Lusaka Climate: Can be described as subtropical humid or tropical wet and dry, but semi-arid in the south-west. It is a summer rainfall (November to April) area. Best time to visit: The cooler dry season (May to August) is the most comfortable time to visit as it not yet unbearably hot, Mosquitoes are less and animals more visible in the drier vegetation. But the hot, dry months of September and October are undoubtedly the best time for fishing.
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