Zambia has an incredible natural heritage, with some of Africa's finest game reserves, huge areas of raw wilderness, the Zambezi River and the spectacular Victoria Falls. The country's national parks are acknowledged as offering some of the best big game viewing on the continent, and are also renowned for their abundant bird-life.
The Lower Zambezi region is famous for its large herds of elephant and a sizeable population of the rare African wild dog, while the Luangwa Valley, which marks the southern end of the Great Rift Valley, is one of the continent's great unspoilt wildernesses. Its ox-bow lagoons, plains and woodlands host huge concentrations of game - including leopard, lion, giraffe, hippo and over 400 species of birds. From learning about the lives of termites to tracking buffalo and discovering unusual plants such as the sausage tree, a walking safari here represents a wildlife experience second to none.
Meanwhile, for anyone in search of a truly secret African destination, just 400 visitors a year make it to the Liuwa Plains, yet this region is home to the second biggest wildebeest migration (upwards of 65,000 on the move) in the world, plus superb birding opportunities and blossoming cheetah and wild dog populations.
Wildlife aside, Zambia is also home to one of the greatest sights in nature - the Victoria Falls, known by the much more apt name of Mosi-oa-Tunya ('the smoke that thunders') to the local Kololo tribe who first showed them to David Livingstone. When the Zambezi is in flood, the spray from the mile-wide falls as they plunge into the gorge below can be seen from miles away. The falls are a focus for all kinds of hair-raising activities, from white-water rafting to bungee jumping and the original gorge swing. Upstream, more sedate pastimes include canoe safaris and picnics on river islands.