The vegetation of Zambia consists mostly of Miombo, a kind of glade-forest of trees of various species. In the extreme southern regions there are also some mopane (Colophospermum mopane) forests, one of the more common trees of southern Africa. The mopane wood is one of hardest and heaviest and therefore the most difficult to work with. Zambia also has large areas of grassy savannas as is found in most African countries. Zambia is essentially a high plateau with an average altitude of 3,200 to 4,200 feet (1,000 to 1,300 meters).
In Zambia hunting is permitted in three different types of areas; Game Management Areas, private hunting areas and conservancies. The sum of these areas covers over 6.5 million acres. Most of the hunting areas, the majority of which are GMA (Game Management Areas), are located in the Luangwa valley or in the Kafue plateau region. The others are spread out over the plains of the Kafue, in the region of Bangweueu Lake and western Zambia. All of these territories are non fenced and open.
Elephant hunting in Zambia is allowed. Lions and Leopards are hunted with bait and can be found in almost all areas. As in Zimbabwe, Leopards in Zambia are known for their large size.
There are also large herds of Buffalo (Syncerus Caffer Caffer) in Zambia, some over a thousand head. One typically finds these larger concentrations in the Luangwa valley, but Buffalo are present nearly everywhere in this country.
Zambia is home to a large variety of antelope, including several species endemic to Zambia such as the Black Lechwe (Kobus Leche Smithmani) and the Kafue Lechwe (Kobus Leche Kafuensis). Likewise, the Cookson's Wildebeest (Connochaetes Taurinus Cooksoni) is found only in the Lungwa valley. In addition to these rare species, Zambia boasts a healthy population of Sable Antelope (Hippotragus Niger) with many possibilities for great trophies.
In Zambia one can also hunt the Livingstone's Eland (Taurotragus Oryx Livingstonianus), Lichtenstein's Hartebeest (Alcelaphus Lichtensteinii), Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus Strepsiceros), Bohor Reedbuck (Redunca Arundinum), Sitatunga (Tragelaphus Spekei), Tsessebe (Damaliscus Lunatus), Common Waterbuck (Kobus Ellipsiprymnus), Defassa Waterbuck (Kobus Ellipsiprymnus Defassa), Blue Wildebeest (Connochaetes Taurinus), Chobe Bushbuck (Tragelaphus Scriptus Ornatus), Impala (Aepyceros Melampus), Klipspringer (Oreotragus Oreotragus), Puku (Kobus Vardonii), Oribi (Ourebia Ourebi), Sharpe's Grysbok (Raphicerus Sharpie), Warthog (Phacochoerus Aethiopicus), Bushpig (Potamochoerus Larvatus), Common Duiker (Sylvicapra Grimmia) Hippos and Crocodiles are abundant in most of the rivers and can also be hunted.
In Zambia hunting is done on foot and as the hunting areas are not very rugged, the actual hunting is not especially rigorous. The professional hunters are most often Zambian, white or black, but there are also South African and Zimbabwean PH's and occasionally European ones as well.
The hunting camps in Zambia are usually tent camps. They are large and comfortable and some camps are even quite luxurious. All normally include electricity and some even offer modern communication such as satellite phone. In some private hunting areas the accommodations are permanent lodges and/or bungalows.
Travel to the hunting areas is via Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, by car, but more often by chartered plane since many hunting territories have their own landing strip.
The best time for hunting in Zambia extends from June to November.
Climate in Zambia
Zambia is warm all year round, but has three distinct seasons. Between December and April the weather is hot and wet; from May to August it is cooler and dry; between September and November conditions are hot and dry. Average summer temperatures range between 77D F to 95D F (25D C to 35D C), while in winter the variation increases ranging from 43D F to 75D F (6D C to 24D C).
Although Zambia lies within the tropics, much of it has a pleasant climate because of the altitude. Temperatures are highest in the valleys of the Zambezi, Luangwa, and Kafue and by the shores of Lakes Tanganyika, Mweru, and Bangweulu.
There are wide seasonal variations in temperature and rainfall. October is the hottest month. The main rainy season starts in mid-November, with heavy tropical storms lasting well into April. The northern and northwestern provinces have an annual rainfall of about 125 cm (50 in), while areas in the far south have as little as 75 cm (30 in). May to mid-August is the cool season, after which temperatures rise rapidly. September is very dry.
Daytime temperatures may range from 23D to 31D C (73 - 88D F), dropping at night to as low as 5D C (41D F) in June and July. Lusaka, at 1,250 m (4,100 ft), has an average minimum of 9D C (48D F) and an average maximum of 23D C (73D F) in July, with averages of 17D C (63D F) and 26D C (79D F), respectively, in January; normal annual rainfall is 81 cm (32 in).
World Weather Online provides a very detailed look at current weather conditions, weather forecasts, a history and almanac for predicting average weather conditions during the time while you will be traveling in that part of the world. Click here for Zambia's climate and temperature forecast.
Zambia Hunting Season & When Hunting is Allowed
- Hunting Season - No set season but hunting safaris are usually conducted from May through November.
- A hunter must be a client of a registered Zambian safari company.
- Trophy hunting in Zambia is dictated by fair chase regulations and professional hunters are governed by their own code of conduct a sort of mixture of ethics and common sense designed specifically to promote the ultimate safari hunting experience. Failure to adhere to these simple laws can result in the termination of a safari and confiscation of trophies.
- Trophy hunting may take place within the hours of daylight during the hunting season, no hunting is allowed at night and and no hunting is allowed with artificial light.
- The Zambian government strictly controls the minimum number of days for a hunting safari based upon the species being hunted. Above and beyond the government regulations, the hunting outfitter may also impose their own guidelines as to the minimum number of days required to hunt certain species or combination of species.
- A hunting license is issued for a specific number of species in specific hunting areas.
- Classic hunting safaris are full bag hunts which may include Lion, Leopard, Roan Antelope and Sable. The hunter may purchase hunting licenses for as many species as are on the quota for a given hunting period and area.
- Mini hunting safaris limit the hunter to no more than seven animals of different species in a given hunting area and Roan Antelope, Sable, Leopard and Lion are not available on these safaris. Two of each plains game species may be taken on a mini safari.
- There are many combinations to these hunting safaris, for instance it is possible to secure two concurrent mini safaris (at double the concession fee) allowing the possibility of 14 plains game animals to be taken over 14 days. This is especially advantageous to the operators in the Kafue regions where there is a large variety of game species. The hunting of specialized animals such as the Kafue or Black Lechwe will incur the addition of two to three days including traveling. If for example both Leopard and Sitatunga are required during the same safari then this may be sold as an 18 to 21 day hunt and may incorporate two different concessions.
- Hunting from a vehicle is not permitted, though the vehicle can be used to reach the area from where hunting on foot can begin.
- Shooting an animal from a vehicle is not permitted.
- Baiting prior to the start of the hunting safari is not permitted. No bait animal provision within the pricing structure.
- The number of gun bearers and trackers is restricted to three.
Here below are examples of hunting packages endorsed by the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA):
- A 7 day mini hunting safari can include a Buffalo and/or plains game, quota limit of 7 plains game species.
- A 10 day mini hunting safari can include a Sable or Roan Antelope, quota limit of 10 plains game species.
- A 14 day classic hunting safari is the minimum number of days required to be able to hunt a Leopard, quota unlimited for plains game species with up to two species each.
- An 18 day classic hunting safari is the minimum number of days required to be able to hunt a Lion, quota unlimited for plains game species with up to two species each.
- A 21 to 28 day classic hunting safari is the minimum number of days required to be able to hunt a Lion and/or a Leopard, quota unlimited for plains game species with up to two species each.
You will find information about the bird hunting season in Zambia near the bottom of this page.
Species to Hunt in Zambia
Zambia offers over forty-five species for trophy hunting, including four of the big five which consist of Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Buffalo.
ZAMBIA Species to Hunt
These species may be available on the hunting license in the country; however they may not be available on quota anywhere in the country. Also individual hunting outfitters may or may not be given any quota or have any remaining licenses left for some species.
Some of these species may not be able to be imported back into your country of residence. You can find information on the importation of sport hunted trophies at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at Permits or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at www.cites.org.
Bird Hunting Season in Zambia
During the official bird hunting season birds of certain species can be hunted, hereunder is the list by species. There is a limit of five birds that can be taken per day in Game Management Areas (GMA) and there is no limit when hunting on game farms. Quotas per bird species should be discussed with your hunting outfitter.
Bird hunting fees vary from hunting outfitter and by species.