The Lochinvar National Park was established in 1972 and is protected by the Zambian Wildlife Authority against poaching. It is situated on the southern banks of the Kafue River and bordered by the Kafue gorge in the east and the Lake Itezhi Tehzi on the west. Though the park has a paucity of big predators, it abounds in exquisite natural beauty. With only 428sqkm area, Lochinvar boasts of over 420 species of birds and thousands of Kafue lechwes.
There are three distinct types of terrains or eco-regions in the park.
The northern floodplains, south of the Kafue River is where you can see herds of Kafue lechwes waddling in the flooded plains around the Chunga lagoon and the river. The high-rise Mopane acacia and combretum woodlands in the southern part of the park which are drier and are home to the other antelopes like bushbuck, kudus, and primates like baboons and vervet monkeys and bush pigs. The termitaria grasslands where trees grow only on the termite mounds and the surrounding areas are either underwater or covered with grass patches. When the water recedes after the rainy season, these grasslands become the grazing pastures for zebras, blue wildebeests, kudus, and oribis etc. Due to a geographical fault, Guisho hot springs have sprouted up throughout the southern region of the park. It has also given rise to interesting features like echoing rocks, drumming rocks and caves etc. The Sevanzi hill on the south is an archaeological site with colonial and pre-colonial ruins of a village from the Iron age. There is an ancient Baobab tree which is claimed to be of 1000s of years old.
The Lochinvar National Park has little to no infrastructure and accommodation. The camps and lodges if present are not well supplied and low on amenities. But the brighter side is you can camp almost anywhere in the park. So bring your own food, water, and other camping essentials.
The best time for game viewing is the dry months from July to October. The dry conditions force the animals to come out and gather around the Chunga Lagoon and with the sparse vegetation, it is a field day for tourists as the animals are easily visible. However, for birding, the rainy season of November to April is favourable as the birds migrate from the north in huge numbers. Avoid April and May when the entire area is flooded.
Lochinvar National Park is full of scenic beauty and birding opportunities especially around the water bodies which are a photographer’s delight. So don’t forget your camera.
Out of the 3 types of lechwes, the Kafue lechwes are found only in the Kafue plains.
You can camp almost anywhere in the park without the fear of predators.
Explore the historical ruins of a Neolithic settlement and lookout for the majestic Baobab tree and the drumming rocks and caves.
Lochinvar can be reached from Lusaka via Monze on the Lusaka- Livingstone road and takes about 3-4 hours on a gravel road. You can reach Lochinvar by flight by hiring a charter plane from Lusaka.