The Western sector is extremely difficult to explore but includes the Barotse (Zambezi) floodplain, Sioma Ngwezi National Park and Liuwa Plain National Park – the region should only be tackled by experienced safari hands.
Upper Zambezi rises on the Benguela Plateau in Angola (its source at Kuleni Hill is undramatic) and extends through the country’s remote western region down to Victoria Falls.
The very north western area is close to the source of the Zambezi, which originates just the other side of the border in Angola.
The ancient kingdom of Barotseland, whilst having a particularly interesting history and being an area where old Lozi customs have been retained by the inhabitants, has no game to speak of other than herds of Nguni cattle – although it still remains an excellent area for fishing safaris.
The Zambezi floodplains surround one of the poorest areas. The wetland was declared a Ramsa site in 2007 – see www.ramsa.org for more information on this convention. Access to the area is easy as there is a good road from Livingstone but there is not much to see and nowhere to stay from a tourist’s point of view.
Sioma Ngwesi National Park is a rough wilderness without any roads – the park protects a large population of elephant and it’s the only place in the country, outside of the South Luangwa where you’ll find giraffe – poaching is rife with incursions from Angola matching local pursuits. There are no permanent camps and it is not considered a safe region to visit at present.
In a nutshell, unless you’re an intrepid explorer with a well equipped convoy, experienced 4×4 driver/guides or an avid fisherman, the area doesn’t have much to recommend for the average visitor at the moment. We would however recommend a guided mobile safari to visit the Liuwa Plains National Park, a remote area that typically has less than a dozen guests at any given time but hosts an enormous migration of 1000s of wildebeest, tsessebe and zebra.
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