Wildlife of Zambia
There are essentially two seasons in Zambia: the season of abundance and the season of stress. In the rainy season, the landscape turns lush, the Zambezi and Luangwa rivers fill their floodplains, and hippos, elephants, giraffes, lions, leopards, hyenas, crocodiles, and zebras thrive. During the rest of the year, the river channels are reduced to trickles and the landscape becomes parched, hot, and dusty, sending animals into the bush in search of forage.
Wildlife of Zambia – Wikipedia – Complete and critical article
Zambia’s “big game” wildlife (including sports fishing) is the foundation of its tourism industry, now one of its biggest employers and foreign-exchange earners; Victoria Falls and cultural events come second and third in importance. However for domestic tourism, this order is reversed, and wildlife is not as important, since the national parks and game viewing tours, through which the great majority of the wildlife is experienced, are priced and marketed to international tourism.
In the early part of the 20th century most of Zambia’s rural areas supported wildlife at levels similar to that seen in national parks today, and the ‘big five’ game animals were widespread outside reserves and parks. Of them today, the Rhinoceros is almost extinct, the Elephant and Lion are found almost exclusively in parks, the African Buffalo is found in or close to parks, and only the Leopard, thanks to its nocturnal habits and ability to secret itself in trees and rocky hills, is at all widespread outside parks. Of the other large animals, only the Spotted Hyena, Nile Crocodile, Hippopotamus, and Lechwe are found in numbers outside parks, the former from its success as a scavenger, the latter three since their aquatic habit has less overlap with human activities.
Mammals were pretty sparse over much of the place, but national parks like Northern Kafue and South Luangwa are world class. In the early 1990s at least, the emphasis in the parks was on more expensive safari camps and fewer people than in some other bits of the continent. As a result it was not uncommon to spend several hours on morning, evening and night safaris and not see another vehicle. I haven’t been there since 1993 and things are bound to have changed, hopefully for the better.
WILDLIFE – ~ZAMBIA Some background information of the wildlife found in Zambia
Snares are silent, indiscriminate killers of wildlife. In many areas, poachers use snares widely because they are relatively cheap and easy to install. With the help of WCS, the people of Zambia’s Luangwa Valley are turning in their illegal snares and guns, and in return, they are being trained in farming, beekeeping, carpentry, and other livelihood skills. They are also turning the snare wire into decorative jewelry.
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