Nsumbu National Park
The Nsumbu National Park is in the northern part of Zambia. It has an area of over 2000 sq. kilometers. The northern border of the park forms the southern shore of the Tanganyika lake. The banks of the lake extend to almost 100 km and have still not lost its virgin beauty. The peculiarity of this national park is that it contains various terrains in it. There are the sandy beaches of the lake itself. You can also see cliffs and rocky coves in this area. There are natural bays, hills, and deep valleys.
The Lufubu River passes through the national park before emptying itself in the vast Tanganyika Lake. On the western side of the national park lies the Tondwa Game Management area. The national park has the Kaputa Game Management Area on the northwest and southwest borders. This national park along with the other areas are a complete network of protected areas in Zambia. Two other smaller rivers, Nkamba and Chisala also pass through the park before emptying themselves in picturesque bays.
Attractions In Nsumbu National park
Though this is not a park where you can expect to see wildlife in large numbers, it is a place that has still retained its original beauty. It is not a place that is visited too many tourists and hence you can still feel the wilderness in the forests. The lake has a lot of crocodiles and hippos. Elephants are often seen at the banks of the lake to drink water. One can also see the bushbuck, puku, and warthog on the beaches of the lake.
You can find the elusive Sitatunga in the park here. Lions and hyenas are rarely seen but can be heard at night. One can see the large Nile crocodiles in the lake here. Nsumbu is a place for birders. Because of the absence of large wildlife, you can see a lot of East African birds at the national park. The presence of different habitats is good for finding different types of birds.
What To Do In Nsumbu National Park
Apart from safari, there are many activities that tourists can indulge in. Boating in the river is very interesting as you can spot wildlife on the banks. After getting down from the boat if you walk for about 45 minutes into the heart of the park you can see a different ecosystem which is a rain forest that stands isolated. Another walk on the banks of the lake will take you to a pristine waterfall. Fishing, snorkeling, and waterskiing are other activities you can enjoy.
Reaching Nsumbu National Park
The park is located quite far from the capital of Lusaka. You must travel around 1200 km to reach the park. The best way is to take chartered flights from Lusaka to the park. You can drive to Mpulungu on the banks of the lake. The lodge will also arrange for a ferry from Mpulungu.
When Should You Visit Nsumbu National Park?
The best time to visit the park is between June and December when it is dry. The rainy season from November to April is also good to see the forest and the rivers in their full beauty. December to April is flooding season and not suitable for visiting.