Thornicroft Giraffe

Africa is home to lots of amazing animals. After all, safari was practically invented here. Each country within this beautiful continent has different kinds of animals.

In one spot, you may see groups of over 60 hippos in Zambia, particularly along the Luangwa River. In fact, the world’s largest concentration of hippos lives in the Luangwa Valley; therefore it’s no surprise that the official count is 48 per kilometre of river!

You’ll find these animals wading, snoozing or swimming in or around most of the rivers and lakes in Zambia.


Nile Crocodiles 
Africa’s largest reptile which can grow to an incredible 20 feet, in the rivers of Zambia. You can see sightings of Nile crocodiles along protected stretches of the Zambezi, Kafue and Luangwa.

Crocodiles are most visible when water sources shrink, which tends to be during the late dry season. During this time, crocodiles will spend time lying out on land therefore you’ll be more likely to spot them!

Nile Crocodiles

Cheetah are present in the larger National Parks but very scarce and not often seen. Kafue offers the best opportunity to see these amazing creatures. They usually move in small family groups and occasionally alone. They favour open country and light woodland. They prey on small or medium antelope such as oribi, puku and impala.


While nearly all of Africa’s major conservation areas are home to leopards, Luangwa Valley is known as Zambia’s ‘Valley of the Leopards’. Why? Well, it’s a place in Zambia where you’re certain to see sightings of this enigmatic cat.

As the strongest climber of the large cats, you’re likely to spot leopards resting in the riverine trees or dense bush during the day. In the night, these remarkable cats hunt for prey.


Spotted Hyena
Hyena are common in Luangwa and Kafue National Parks. They feed on carrion but are also hunters in their own right.

Their gestation period is three and half months and they can live up to forty years. Their drawn out laugh-like call can often be heard from the camps at night. They usually move at night but can be seen in the day.

Spotted Hyena

Lions are found in all the major Parks in Zambia; South Luangwa, Kafue, North Luangwa, and Lower Zambezi.

They are the only cats moving in family groups and normally occupy a well defined territory. The average pride consists of about 15 individuals, including five to 10 females with their young and two or three territorial males that are usually brothers or pride mates.

Lions in Zambia
Thornicroft’s Giraffe 
The Thornicroft’s giraffe, also known as the Rhodesian Giraffe and Luangwa Giraffe, is Zambia’s own breed of the world’s tallest mammal. You’ll find this unique breed in South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi National Parks.

So, what makes Thornicroft’s giraffes different to other giraffes? Well, if you look closely, you’ll notice that a Thornicroft’s coat will have large dark, irregular shaped patches, which continue down its legs, set against a cream coloured background.

While this description might sound all too familiar, there are subtle differences among subspecies. However, just like a zebra’s stripes, a giraffe’s pattern is unique to that animal.

The Thornicroft’s giraffe is a subspecies of a giraffe, separated by at least 400km from any other breed, and less than 1500 live in the wild today.

Thornicroft Giraffe

If you’d love to see these majestic giants in their natural surroundings then a luxury holiday in Zambia is for you. Get in touch with a member of our friendly and experienced team today and book a trip to this beautiful destination; it’ll be a holiday you’ll never forget.

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