Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park

The wildlife reserve of Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia’s smallest National Park, is surrounded by Livingstone town, agricultural land, and the Zambezi River. In order to have representative wildlife species from Zambia, a small reserve was created in 1972. Above Victoria Falls, the park runs from the Batoka Gorge for roughly 12 kilometers along the Zambezi River.

Livingstone itself is surrounded by a number of historic river crossings and wildlife migratory routes, some of which are still used by elephants. A handful of these are located within the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, where wildlife is present all year long, with elephants being particularly visible during the drier months. This park is distinctive in Zambia because white rhinos can only be found there. These are heavily guarded by DNPW scouts against poachers (Department of National Parks and Wildlife).

There are no predators in this small refuge. This, along with the fact that it is a region with man made boundaries, ensures a profusion of species all year long. Along with the migrating elephants, the park is home to year-round residents such as white rhinos, giraffes, buffalo, waterbuck, impala, wildebeest, zebra, bushbuck, warthogs, monkeys, baboons, hippos, and crocodiles. They live in a mixture of grassland, riverine forest, and mopane woodland, which also offers a diversity of habitats for many bird species.

The Old Drift Crossing Point and Cemetary, where the descendants of the earliest European settlers were buried, are located within this park. Before there was a bridge, ox wagons were once floated across the Zambezi at the Old Drift.

It’s simple to get to this park from Livingstone town. Parts of the park can be explored on foot on a guided walking safari, by boat on a Zambezi river cruise, or by car (self-drive or on a game-viewing safari). If you want to experience a safari or spend a few hours away from “town life,” but don’t have time to go further afield, a trip to Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park is an excellent option.

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