What to do in Lochinvar National Park

T
he Lochinvar National Park lies on the sprawling floodplains of the Kafue River. It is known as one of the finest destinations in Zambia for bird- watchers. The park is 428 sq. kms in size and is known to have 428 recorded bird species. The area is also abundant with thousands of endemic Kafue lechwe.  Lochinvar has 3 distinct vegetation zones of grassland, floodplain and woodlands.

Here are some of the activities you can partake in when visiting the area:

The park has seen a rapid depletion of game, but the birds remain as a major attraction in the area. If you are a keen birder, the best sightings are close to the water of the floodplains. The rains in December to March bring migrant birds from the north and a variety of water birds including flamingos (greater and lesser), pelicans, great snipe and the marsh warbler.

Along with the prolific bird life, there is also a great opportunity for walking safaris as there are very few predators or large mammals in the park.  The Kafue lechwe is an amphibious antelope, their hooves being well suited to wading through the wetlands.  Other animals that are fairly common are blue wildebeest, kudu, zebra and buffalo.

Apart from game drives, bird watching, and walking safaris, there are a few historical sites within the Park worth visiting:

  • Gwisho Hot Springs- formed by a geological fault, the springs stretch across the southern end of the park on the edge of the Kafue Flats Basin. The water temperature varies between 60 °C and 90°C and contains a high concentration of chlorine, calcium, sulphates and sodium.
  • Lochinvar Lodge- the old building left here is crumbling and falling apart but its setting does provide some magnificent views over the park
  • Sebanzi Hill- a national monument which marks the position of an Iron- Age village. It has an excellent view of the park and its springs.
  • Drum Rocks- in the south of the park lies and outcrop of rocks that echo and produce fascinating sounds when tapped. These rocks are considered sacred by locals and are used in rituals.