What makes a great national park, as opposed to merely a good one? For me, it comes down to three things: diverse and plentiful wildlife, spectacular scenery, and a moderate number of tourists to share them with.
To be honest, there are other criteria as well (ease of travel, lack of bitey, stingy things that give you bizarre and scary diseases, climate etc), but if the wildlife, settings and solitude are there, it’s likely the park is a winner. It’s a shame that good parks are so hard to find.
Recently however, I found a national park in Africa that excels in all three.
The Lower Zambezi National Park in southeastern Zambia lies directly opposite its more decorated neighbour, Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools. This national park consists of over 4000km2 of wilderness. There is a rawness and beauty to it which I haven’t experienced anywhere in southern Africa. In fact, it was only declared a National Park in 1983 (before then the area belonged to Zambia’s president).
Continued on next page