Sioma Ngwezi is one of the least visited national parks in Zambia. The number of visitors per year reaches few tens of people. The west boundary is formed by the Okavango River (boundary with Angola) and 15 kms from the eastern limits of the national park flows the Zambezi River. The territory of the NP itself (with some exceptions) lacks permanent water bodies. Originally, in the eighties of last century (approximately), this large size national park (5,000km2) abounded in a high diversity of African fauna including elephants, black rhinoceros or lions. However, the high intensity of poaching connected with the civil war in transboundary areas (Angola, Zambia and Namibia) depleted the population of animals to a minimum. Black rhino, for example, was exterminated and formerly rich population of elephant with thousands of pieces was decimated to around 100 individuals (2016). It seems that over the last years the population of some species has slightly been recovering. The support of the Zambian government (The Ministry of Tourism and Arts) and foreign sponsors, especially from Germany (e.g. Kredit Anstalt), has improved the state of technical equipment and helped to increase employment for about sixty permanent and temporary staff. Small waterholes, anti-poaching camps and the system of monitoring of the game were newly built. Thanks to these measures and due to the fact that this national park is an inseparable part of the big migratory corridor between Namibia, Angola and Zambia, the population of some species of game has slowly been recovering. It is little surprising that with exception of the rhino, it is possible to see all representatives of the fauna of the African savanna, in very low numbers though. Because of the hard driving conditions on internal roads covered by the deep Kalahari sands it is necessary to use a good and powerful 4×4 car. The accommodation is possible on the banks of the Zambezi River, fifteen kilometres out of the eastern boundary of the park, not so far from Sioma village. With an exception of one satellite non-permanent camp, there is no other standard option to overnight for tourists inside the park. Visitors who prefer the pristine wild landscape would be amazed. Sioma Ngwezi NP is, except for South Luangwa NP, the only place in Zambia, where fragments of the original distribution of autochthonous giraffes survive. The current population of the Angolan giraffe in this national park is around 200 individuals. The Luangwa valley hosts around 600 individuals of different species of the giraffe, Masai Zambian giraffe. In Sioma Ngwezi NP and its surroundings one can, yet again, observe herds of elephants. In 2019, I had an opportunity to watch both elephants and giraffes. We would like to wish to the park to successfully go through the next steps of its complex rehabilitation of the nature environment as well as more tourists. Both factors will bring economic benefits to local people and thus increase the level of quality of nature protection in the park.
Map of Sioma Ngwezi NP
A herd of elephant near Zambezi River close to Sioma (Frantisek Pelc 2019)
Angola giraffe (NP Sioma Ngwezi , 2019, Frantisek Pelc)
Dry pan in Sioma Ngwezi NP
Zambezi River close to Sioma
Supported by Kreditanstalt , Germany