Lusaka National Park
Lusaka National Park
3.5
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Duration: 2-3 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • BJK
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Perfect first day in Zambia
    When we arrived at the park we headed for the elephant sanctuary. Walking to the water hole we came very close to a giraffe - amazing. We then spent an hour watching the elephants enjoying their milk then playing in the enclosure before driving ourselves around the park. On this drive we saw another giraffe more elephants, plenty of deer and lovely views from the platform at the picnic area.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 15 August 2023
  • SolihullRichard
    Dorridge, United Kingdom1,342 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Elephant orphanage site
    A small national park close to the capital, which now hosts the elephant orphanage following its relocation. If you can be there at 11:00 you'll get to see the bottle feeding - if you're 30 seconds later you'll miss it! The information centres outlining the other national parks are partially open, and those that are seem very informative.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 26 September 2023
  • Tim and Gemma M
    World2 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Discovery centre and elephant nursery are very good
    In the park itself we only saw a couple of impala and a dazzle of about 9 zebras. However the discovery centre was excellent. We were really impressed! It’s interactive and very informative. The elephant nursery feeding time was interesting and we enjoyed hearing their stories and learning about them.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 4 December 2023
  • Carole M
    15 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Accessible park close to Lusaka
    We learned a lot about the challenges facing national parks, the animals and the staff. Everyone we met was friendly, knowledgeable, passionate about their roles and willing to share with us. The orphan elephants were wonderful to watch - feeding and playing. The Discovery Centre was interesting and a great experience for kids. There is a picnic area with a viewing tower in the park. The animals in this park are gradually being extended. We didn't see the Rhino but did see giraffe, zebra, impala and the baby elephants ranging from 9 months to over 2 years old. It was easy to get to and close to Lusaka.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 18 April 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles53 reviews
Excellent
9
Very good
13
Average
19
Poor
9
Terrible
3

Gjack007
Clovis, CA16 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020 • Couples
I was here at Lusaka National Park in November 27th 2020. We saw 1 bird. We paid the fee and drove around on the rocky, very rocky terrain and we did not see 1 animal. Well a bird. Very disappointing. They really need to do something with this park. I mean the green scenary is beautiful but it is almost treacherous driving in there. If anyone decides to take the tour, maybe do the guided tour. It might be better. Beautiful greenery.🌺
Written 3 March 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jennifer S
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Family
A lovely place to visit the orphan elephants up close. It’s inspiring to see how much thoughtful care goes into ensuring their health and safety. It’s also heartbreaking to hear the stories of how they got there. I love how the male keepers refer to themselves as “mothers”. This is the top attraction in Lusaka!
Written 19 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carole M
15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
We learned a lot about the challenges facing national parks, the animals and the staff. Everyone we met was friendly, knowledgeable, passionate about their roles and willing to share with us.
The orphan elephants were wonderful to watch - feeding and playing. The Discovery Centre was interesting and a great experience for kids.
There is a picnic area with a viewing tower in the park. The animals in this park are gradually being extended. We didn't see the Rhino but did see giraffe, zebra, impala and the baby elephants ranging from 9 months to over 2 years old. It was easy to get to and close to Lusaka.
Written 18 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BJK
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023
When we arrived at the park we headed for the elephant sanctuary. Walking to the water hole we came very close to a giraffe - amazing. We then spent an hour watching the elephants enjoying their milk then playing in the enclosure before driving ourselves around the park. On this drive we saw another giraffe more elephants, plenty of deer and lovely views from the platform at the picnic area.
Written 15 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Silvia u
2 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Friends
We are there for 4 hours and SAW NO ANIMALS- They have the elephant feeding around 11:30 am but get there early because you will miss it -does not last long.
They do have a nice education area and cafe. We were hoping to see the Rhinos but they had both passed away so basically it was not a rewarding trip for us.
Written 23 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David039
UK15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2016 • Friends
I would like to offer an alternative perspective of Lusaka National Park, noting some of the rather downbeat reviews on this website.
This is not South Luangwa or the Lower Zambezi. There are no predators, and relatively few species, all introduced. But the park is a short drive from Lusaka, there are very few humans roaming, it costs K30 per adult to get in and you can drive yourself - the trails are dirt roads in very good condition (at the end of the dry season) and most cars we saw were small salons, not 4x4s. The rangers are friendly, and you are guaranteed to see the resident white rhinos in their enclosure. The rhinos are used to humans, they do not seem to be distressed in the way zoo animals so often are, and the rangers assured me that they go out into the park under supervision.
The park is open from 06:00 to 18:00 and we visited for three hours from 15:00 to closing time. The light was very good at this time and it was not too hot. We saw three species of antelope and a family of giraffes, which we sat and watched for a good half hour, getting some good photos. We also saw some birds: I'm no expert but from my bird book and with input from the rangers I identified Bulbuls, a type of yellow weaver that was not in my book, Forktailed Drongos, Groundscraper Thrush (according to the warden but looked more like a Kurrichane thrush in my book), a Tchagra (brown-crowned?), a Chinspot Batis and several little brown jobs one of which might have been a Rattling Cisticola. You can probably tell that I'm no twitcher but we enjoyed looking out for the birds and trying to identify them. Binoculars help.
Inside the park there is a picnic area with oil drum barbecues (bring your own food and fuel), there was a cheerful party of locals enjoying themselves, and there is a superb viewing platform, with rickety steps to the second stage that require nerves of steel to climb, rewarded with a spectacular view at the top.
I can thoroughly recommend a few hours at Lusaka National Park. Adjust your expectations, take your binoculars and camera, slow down and be patient and you should have a good experience. And did I mention K30 per adult entry fee? Best value of all the 20 Zambia National Parks! Enjoy.
Written 19 September 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cataractophile
Lusaka, Zambia219 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • Family
It has taken ten years for Lusaka Park, the newest Zambian national park, to become a reality, and was finally opened in June 2015.
The first animals, impala and puku, arrived in 2007 in a forest reserve that was to become the Lusaka Park. In September 2011, 5 giraffes, 2 rhinos and 20 warthogs arrived. Over time 20 kudus, 12 hartebeeste, 12 zebras, 20 eland, and numerous bushbuck, reedbuck, lechwe, waterbuck and sable were translocated into the park, all having been acquired from various game-ranches. In all, over 250 animals of eleven different species are said to live in the park.
An additional shipment of ‘exotics’ was acquired by ZAWA, the Zambia Wildlife Authority (now renamed Zambia National Parks Service) from South Africa in 2012: 98 wildebeeste, 50 blesbok and 22 nyala, altogether quite a large population for such a small area.
Lusaka Park was started by ZAWA in 2005 on a plot of land on the outskirts of Lusaka, a degraded GRZ forest reserve, 46km sq in extent and located 10km south-east on the Leopards Hill Rd (at S15 29’25” E 28 25’59”). Resident small holders had to be moved before game could be translocated, and Zambia’s National Park No 20 became a designated park in early 2011.
Normally, when establishing a park or game reserve, habitat is evaluated as to its suitability (environmental assessment). Preferably it should be located far from populated areas, and infrastructure (enclosures, fences, gates, feeding stations, staff housing, etc) prepared before any animals arrive. But ZAWA did things backwards, first bringing in the in the animals, and then worrying about infrastructure.
Adjacent to the Park a large industrial estate is being developed. The Chinese-built road network is done, and small enterprises and light industries have moved in and set up shop, a wonderful source of potential poachers. Poaching by neighbouring Shantumbu villagers and Bauleni residents is already a problem.
The present vegetation of the Park is scrub, partly miombo on higher ground, and partly undifferentiated, with no marked dominance, more especially in the lower-lying south. The entire area has been cut over in recent years and continued cutting has held regeneration back. …
The Park lies on the eastern end of the Lusaka Carbonate Plain, with outcrops of predominantly crystalline marble. Brown ironstone concretions of recent origin occur around the Sand Pits. On higher ground there is a red or brown sandy loam or sandy clay loam, while the southern, lower area is mostly pale sand overlying clay with lateritic ironstone. In short, the Park is located in thoroughly unsuitable habitat. There are no trees, certainly no shade trees, there is no surface water, which means water must be trucked in by tanker and bowser, and the rocky outcrops everywhere are likely to be dangerous to animals’ mobility. The dry land and scraggly miombo shrub doesn’t offer grazing or browsing to the inhabitants, especially not the giraffe, with the result that, when game-viewing on bumpy roads, game remains elusive. Only the rhinos are easily seen: they are in an enclosure near the Park’s headquarters.
In two hours of driving around we only saw one impala and one sable antelope. Where were the more than 400 animals which were on the ‘List of Lusaka Park Animals’, given to visitors at the entrance gate after paying the K30 fee?
The main roads are well graded, especially the Central Road, while loop-roads still had protruding rocks that required cars with high clearance. Access to the park from Leopard’s Hill Rd is well signposted; inside the park it could be better. I suggest: signpost the loops, indicate distance, maybe even name species likely to be seen. Getting a map together with the official, proper, handwritten Entry Permit would be nice, and putting a billboard at the entrance showing the park’s road network could be helpful. The ZAWA HQ behind which the rhino enclosure is hidden, is not signposted at all. It could benefit from a ‘rhinos this way’ arrow. The picnic site is spacious, with shelters, tables and chairs, braai facilities, and viewing platforms (a low one with stairs leading up to it, and a high one with a wobbly, wide-rung ladder that’s an accident waiting to happen), and of course an ablution block. It’s said to be expanded into a camping place.
In short, Lusaka Park is perfectly fine for a family outing or a Sunday picnic, but to see game one would be better off to visit one of the five private game-ranches on the outskirts of town, or drive the mere three hours to Kafue Park (or fly for one-hour on the recently establish KNP Proflight route to Busanga, Chunga or Lufupa)..
For those who cannot recall the 19 other Zambian national parks, here they are:
A. The popular ones, i.e. those accessible to tourists:
1. South Luangwa,
2. North Luangwa,
3. Kafue,
4. Lower Zambezi,
5. Liuwa Plains,
6. Mosi-oa-Tunya,
7. Kasanka,
8. Nyika Plateau,
9. Lochinvar (good for birding).
B. All others are fairly defunct, i.e. unmaintained and depleted of game:
10. West Lunga,
11. Isangano,
12. Lusenga Plains,
13. Sioma Ngwezi,
14. Lavushi Manda,
15. Sumbu,
16. Lukusuzi,
17. Mweru Wantipa,
18. Blue Lagoon,
19. Luambe,
and maybe (though it’s not usually counted), the new-ish Sioma-Ngonye Falls Park
And now we have
20. Lusaka Park
Written 4 July 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kelly H
Lusaka, Zambia28 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Friends
Pretty much all the other reviews are spot on - hard to find, large bush with lots of roads and little signage and some rough roads. Also saw two impalas. The sad rhino is lovely though. He seems quite friendly and you can touch him, which is cool. Might be a great place to ride a mountain bike around all day. I’d probably rate this lower if I hadn’t already lowered my expectations.
Written 29 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alejandro P
Lilongwe, Malawi27 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2016 • Solo
The park is nice if you want to make a barbecue with friends but if you are looking for some game viewing dont waste your time here.
Written 29 January 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephanie
9 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Family
We were looking for things to do in Lusaka and the National Park came up as a possibility. It had some good reviews (although like any national park, what you see on the day can vary so much), and the possibility of seeing a rhino was a good draw.
We had read that the female rhino had died, and only the male remained.
It was easy enough to find the park using Google Maps, and at K30 per person, it's a good price to drive through the park. We bought a 4x4, but the roads were fairly well maintained.
We were greeted by a friendly guard at the gate who told us the types of animals we could see and informed us that the rhino was out in the park, not the enclosure.
We drove around for 3 1/2 hours and were disappointed to see one giraffe and one impala. We know that it can go either way when self driving, but the most disappointing thing was that another guard we saw said that the male rhino died 2 weeks before we arrived on 1st April, 2019. So, no rhinos in the park. It was disappointing that we weren't told that at the gate. The drive was nice, but there are nicer places to drive if that's what you are looking for.
Written 23 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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