Lochnivar National Park is on the southern side of the Kafue Flats in Southern Province of Zambia. It is divided into three district zones, the northern floodplain, the central grassland and the southern woodland.
On the flood plain, lechwe graze in their thousands. There are more than 30,000 of these antelope in Lochnivar. The central grassland is grazed by buffalo, zebra, wildebeest and oribi while the woodlands to the south are inhabited by kudu, bushbuck, baboon and bush pig.
Despite its comparatively small size – covering just 410 square kilometres – Lochnivar is one of Africa’s finest bird sanctuaries hosting over 420 species.
Being small and surrounded by villages which depend upon fishing for much of their livelihood, there is a lot of pressure on the park for its limited resources. Fishermen still come into the park on their fishing expeditions.
There is no tour operators in the park, so driving around is the most popular activity. The hot springs, Gwisho and Bwanda, are worth a visit. Sebanzi Hill is an old site of some of the first iron-age people to inhabit this area.
The drum rocks are an interesting feature and make a hollow sound when tapped.
But the best thing to do in Lochinvar is to sit by the Lagoon and watch the birdlife or walk along the shoreline – there is nothing dangerous in the park. The Chunga Lagoon attracts thousands of water birds. The park is part of Kafue Flats Ramsar Site – Wetland of International Importance. It is also an Important Bird Area. A list of the over 400 bird species
Animals within the park include Kafue lechwe, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, oribi and kudu, but their numbers are dwindling.
Where to stay
Lochinvar Lodge has recently been repaired by ZamParks. It had been gutted by fire several years ago. We are told that the lodge will be on a self-catering basis.
Otherwise it is camping. The old campsite is not so great but, if you ask, the rangers will allow you to camp by the lagoon. But you have to be totally self-sufficient and not leave any mess when you leave.