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Recent Sightings Zambezi National Park
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Recent Sightings in Zambezi National Park

10 January, 2024
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Zambezi National Park is one of our destination's absolute gems and often underrated in terms of its wildlife sighting opportunities. The park itself covers an area of an estimated 56,000 hectares with the Northern Border formed by the majestic Zambezi River which flows between Zimbabwe and Zambia. The park is split into two sections by the Kazangula road leading from Victoria Falls to Botswana - The Zambezi River frontage lies North west of Victoria Falls whilst the Chamabondo vleii lies South West of Victoria Falls. Both sections of the park are uniquely beautiful in their differentiating landscapes and allows for encounters and observations of a diverse array of wildlife that moves freely between the two, including some of the more rare and endangered species such as Painted Dogs. 

Over recent weeks, the landscape across Zambezi National Park has transformed to a lush green environment following the onset of the rains, and young wildlife recently birthed can be seen frolicking throughout the park, along with the occassional rainbow stretched out across the dramatic sky.

It is during the rainy season that a large number of wildlife drop their young at a time that is known as the birthing season. Baby warthogs can be seen frolicking and darting around in the growing grass, whilst impala calves can be seen in groups known as "nurseries" which the ewes form as a safety mechanism from predator attacks. Protective elephant breeding herds move together and can often be seen forming circle formations around their elephant calves. Baby zebra's and baby buffaloes can be seen following the herds closely, whilst Giraffe of varying heights can be seen in amidst the greening vegetation.

With the increased number of young wildlife, and a tendency to use game paths and roads to avoid the wet vegetation, opportunities for predator sightings are enhanced. Over recent weeks regular sightings of leopard, painted dog and lions have been enjoyed by visitors embarking on game drive activities through the Zambezi National Park. The "Hippo Creek Pride" of lions (as they are known to locals) have become a particularly favorite sighting for professional guide Vusumuzi Sibanda from Old Drift Lodge. "Its about two and a half years when I first had sight of them when they were just three months old and so vulnerable to other predators. Today the pride is strong and feared by all living creatures of Zambezi National Park. They have killed giraffe, buffalo bulls and baby elephants," says Vusumuzi who has captured countless spectacular images of the pride including the image below. 

One particularly special sighting appreciated by so many of our community members and visitors; and one which showcases one of the ultimate success stories of the collaborative conservation efforts which continue in and around our destination; has been a regular sighting of a female leopard. This particular female leopard found herself trapped in a snare in 2020 and the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust and Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Team alongside our Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority jumped into action and managed to dart her and remove the snare-wire, treat her wounds and release her back into the park. Now almost four years later, she is thriving and has been sighted on a number of occassions, including one sighting of her making a fresh impala kill in which visitor Gary Wooly captured some close up images of her.   

This is also a wonderful time of year to witness special sightings of predators with their young. Hyena are often sighted at this time of year along the Chamabondo vleii with their playful pups alongside them, and earlier today, Charles Brightman from Discover Safaris managed to capture this beautiful shot of a hyena mother with her pup. 

Whilst many believe the drier months are the better months to travel for wildlife sightings, Zambezi National Park continues to showcase that on safari you can never anticipate what you will see, and actually the greener months during the annual rainy season can prove to be productive and full of surprises. So what are you waiting for? Start planning and come and experience our gem: Zambezi National Park in the Heart of Adventure, Victoria Falls for yourself! 

 

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