The Lower Zambezi National Park spans 4092 square kilometres and holds within it’s borders 120 kilometres of breathtaking river frontage. The first people to inhabit and lay claim to the Lower Zambezi area were the local Nsenga Bantu people.
The Nsenga occupied the area from Chongwe all the way up to the confluence of the Zambezi & Musensenshi river upstream. They controlled much of the valley floor of what is now the Lower Zambezi National Park, until the colonial Government began to administer the area from Feira (now Luangwa).
The history of the Nsenga people was characterised by movements in and out the area due to sleeping sickness outbreaks between 1940 and 1945. By 1946, large numbers of people had been evacuated to the lower Rufunsa, or westwards to the Chakwenga. A second outbreak in 1952 resulted in 1000 people being evacuated from Mwambashi River to Luangwa. Almost 400 people refused to go to Luangwa and dispersed elsewhere; some merged with the Goba of chief Chiawa.
The status of the park in terms of its recognition as a protected area dates back to 1951 when an area slightly smaller than the present park was declared a first class controlled Hunting area.
In 1969 a concession to hunt the area was granted to the Zambia Safaris company who held the concession until 1971. In the same year, the area was gazetted as Zambezi Game Management Area (GMA) number 16.
In 1973 the area was granted the status of an international park under the jurisdiction of Wildlife Conservation International (WCI). G & G Safaris (Cumings) and Zambezi River Safaris (Games) commenced operations inside the park in 1989 and 1990, creating and developing a tourist product between the Chongwe and Mwambashi Rivers. In 1995, the Zambian Government tendered sites allocated for tourist development inside the park, based on an EU funded management plan. All sites offered were leased, except for two plateau sites. The Lower Zambezi National Park Management Plan is dated July 2001, and was signed on the 1st November 2001. This remains the current working document.