Baby rhino at Mosi oa Tunya, Robin Pope Safaris

Mosi oa Tunya National Park

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Safari suitability: 6/10

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Home to the only white rhinos in Zambia, Mosi oa Tunya's compact size and proximity to a major airport make it a great destination for first-timers.

Found in: Zambia
Companies: 67
Tour packages: 154
Wildlife: 9 animals listed
Total area: 66 km² (25 mi²)
Year established: 1972
Anti-malarial: Not required

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  • Home to the only white rhinos remaining in Zambia

  • Can easily be combined with a trip to the Zimbabwean side of the falls

  • July and August are best for photo opportunities of the falls

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

About Mosi oa Tunya National Park

Mosi oa Tunya (often spelled Mosi-oa-Tunya), which is the ‘local’ name for Victoria Falls, originates from the Lozi language and means ‘the smoke which thunders’. Mosi-oa-Tunya is Zambia’s version of Victoria Falls National Park. Like the Masai Mara and theSerengeti, these contiguous parks change names at the border. Both include part of the Zambezi River and, of course, the majestic Victoria Falls. The park is divided into two parts: the waterfalls and the wildlife.

Wildlife of Mosi oa Tunya

The Zambezi River attracts a decent variety of wildlife, including the following: antelope species, cape buffalo, elephants, monkeys, baboons and warthogs. There are no predators in the park and, due to the constant exposure to humans, the animals here are generally relaxed and easy to photograph. Due to the compact size of the park, game drives are normally completed within half a day. The roads are mainly tarmacked and, under normal conditions, are easy to manage. Walking safaris are also possible in Mosi oa Tunya.

The portion of the Zambezi River before the falls is home to several small islands. These islands serve as breeding sites for four migratory and endangered birds, including the Taita falcon and the black eagle. The park also has recorded at least 450 species of birds, with some sources claiming over 750 species, many of which are resident. For avid birders, the migrating birds arrive between November and December.

White rhinos of Mosi oa Tunya

A highlight of this park is the white rhino. This endangered species was re-introduced into this region and this park is the only place in Zambia where you can observe them. They are heavily protected but, due to the small size of the park, your chances of seeing one are good. In March 2017 a baby rhino was born and the little one can also be seen here.

Victoria Falls

The spray from Victoria Falls can be seen from Lusaka Rd in Zambia, around 30 kilometers / 50 miles away. The falls are an impressive 1700 meters wide and the deepest drop is around 100 meters. Some main areas of attraction at the falls include:

  • The Devil’s Cataract (Zimbabwe side)
  • Main falls (Zimbabwe side)
  • The boiling pot (Zimbabwe side)
  • Rainbow Falls (Zambia side)
  • Eastern Cataract (Zambia side)

Activities in and around Victoria Falls

In addition to wildlife safaris and a visit to the Falls, there are myriad items to do at this popular destination, including the following:

  • Horseback riding
  • Bungee jumping
  • White water rafting
  • Gorge swings
  • Microflights over the falls
  • Helicopter flights over the falls
  • Fine dining along the Zambezi River
  • Local village visits

When is the best time of year to visit Mosi oa Tunya National Park?

The rainy or wet season runs between September and March. At this time, large numbers of migrant birds come from Europe, which may make this the ideal time of year for birders. If you are keen to take a plunge in The Devil’s Cataract, you’ll want to wait for the dry season, particularly in the later months of July and August, as this pool is only accessible during the dry season and is accessible by walking along the rim of the falls and is not for the faint of heart! There is also less mist in July and August, making the falls easier to photograph. 

Mosi oa Tunya map
Articles on Zambia

Most safaris postponed to 2021

When: Aug. 31, 2020


COVID-19 and safaris

When: April 22, 2020

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