Covering an area of 2020square km on the south-western banks of Lake Tanganyika, the little-visited Nsumbu National Park decked with rocky escarpments, hilly grasslands, sandy beaches, including 100 km of crystal clear shores of Lake Tanganyika and interrupted by rivers, bays, and wetlands is one of Zambia’s most scenic park. Adjoining the Nsumbu park are two Game Management Areas of Tondwa Game Management Area, on the west and the Kaputa Game Management Area to the north-west and south-west, that create buffer zone which has been largely responsible for largely reviving the fortunes of the park and its wildlife that was once threatened by rampant poaching. Known as the Sumbu by the locals, the park is characterized by diverse habitats that range from miombo woodlands, fertile floodplains, Sumbu-Itigi forest, and candelabra trees dotting the lake shores. The perennial Lufubu River traverses the park from west to east besides emptying into Lake Tanganyika. Nkamba and Chisala are the two other small rivers that criss-cross the park before emptying into Tondwa Swamp into Nkamba and Sumbu Bays respectively. The diverse habitats and the plentiful water sustains an impressive range of mammal species like elephants and buffaloes, rare blue duiker, a small forest antelope, roan and sable antelope, waterbuck, warthogs, and sitatunga. With such appetizing prey around how can the lions and hyenas and leopards be far. In the lake itself and along the Kasaba Bay you can see hippos as well as some of the largest crocodiles in Africa. The park is also an exciting spot for its bird watching with 300 recorded species, including red bishop, Pel’s fishing owl, grey-headed gull, lesser black-backed gull, white-winged black tern, whiskered tern, African skimmer, and of course the ubiquitous fish eagle. For those interested in fishing the park offers some top-notch angling facilities and a good catch is always around with Nile perch, tigerfish and nkupi (yellow belly) found in plentiful, besides the golden perch and giant tigerfish.
The best time to visit Nsumbu National Park is during the dry months of June to October. Especially the period of July to October as the vegetation is less and games can be easily spotted near the water sources. In the wet months of November to April, the Lake is at its most beautiful and this is the most popular time to visit the Park for angling and birdwatching as the migratory birds are in full flight and scenery is excellent and green all around.
Nsumbu NP is one of Zambia’s most scenic parks and the diverse habitats and the plentiful water sustains an impressive range of mammal species like 4 of the Big 5 (elephants, lions, leopards and buffaloes), rare blue duiker, a small forest antelope, roan and sable antelope, waterbuck, warthogs, and sitatunga. In the lake itself and along the Kasaba Bay you can see hippos as well as some of the largest crocodiles in Africa. The park is also exciting for its bird watching with 300 recorded species.
Access to Nsumbu National Park and Nkamba Lodge is either by road, by air or by water. You can drive via Mansa or Kasama to Sumbu and the Park gate (1363 km and 1188 km respectively from Lusaka). By air you can from Lusaka (or Ndola) to Kasaba Bay / Nkamba Bay Airports (810 Km direct). Chartered flights are available to Kasaba and Nkamba Bay. By boat you can reach from Mpulungu (no regular service).