West Lunga National Park is one of Zambia’s less visited Parks. It was proclaimed in the 1940s to protect the population of Yellow-backed Duiker, but it has had little official interest over the years and has mainly been used for hunting and fishing by the local communities.
Recently the West Lunga Development Trust was set up to help conserve this pristine and relatively sparsely populated area of Zambia. Local communities have been mobilized into Village Action Groups and Community Resource Boards are being set up to sustainably manage the natural resources. A game counting programme has been started and with more controls West Lunga can expect to see a rise in wildlife and visitor numbers in the future.
The Park is famous amongst ornithologists for the controversy surrounding the only endemic bird species, the white-chested tinkerbird. In 1964 the single specimen of this bird species was found. Avid birders have made numerous unsuccessful attempts to find more, making some think that the species was named after an aberrant individual of the golden-rumped tinkerbird.
Numerous rapids, stunning waterfalls, limestone caves, underground rivers, hot springs, the Kabompo Gorge, a sunken lake, and the source of the famous Zambezi River make this hidden corner of Zambia worth exploring.