Lower Zambezi National Park

Country/territory: Zambia

IBA criteria met: A3, A4i, A4ii (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 440,000 ha

BirdWatch Zambia
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2023 not assessed very high low
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (2001 baseline)
A large and varied area about 100 km east of Lusaka, flanking the Zambezi river and bisected by its escarpment. The north-western half lies on the plateau, and is mainly covered by miombo woodland, with some munga and occasional strips of riparian forest. The escarpment is very steep in places, generally inaccessible and thus little explored. The valley floor is covered by a mosaic of mopane, deciduous thicket and munga. The Zambezi is a broad, but well-defined river along this stretch, with varying numbers of sandbars and small islands depending on the water-level. There are patches of riparian forest, many oxbow lakes and areas of flood-plain. Several permanent tourist lodges are just outside the park and a number of seasonal camps lie within. Most roads become impassable during the rains.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Table 3 for key species. Large numbers of waterbirds may congregate, especially at drying oxbows. Sandbanks are home to enormous numbers of Merops nubicoides and smaller numbers of M. bullockoides, and the miombo and mopane holds a wide array of characteristic species. Guttera pucherani, Pitta angolensis, Nicator gularis, Andropadus importunus and Erythrocercus livingstonei inhabit the deciduous thickets. Circus macrourus is a rare passage migrant and non-breeding visitor.

Non-bird biodiversity: A wide variety of mammals are known to occur, including large numbers of Loxodonta africana (EN).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Lower Zambezi National Park. Downloaded from on 01/03/2024.