Fed by the mighty Zambezi River, the impressive Ngonye Falls in Sioma Ngwezi National Park is well worth a stop-over when visiting Zambia. Although only 12m high, the horse-shoe shaped falls makes up for its lack of stature with the sheer volume of water that cascades over its rocks, coming in only second to one of the natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls, which lies further downstream.

Lying just a few kilometres away from the village of Sioma, Ngonye Falls is a great example of how the local communities and government can work together to benefit from the land whilst preserving natural resources. The falls is part of a Community Partnership Park, which was initiated by the local communities, the Zambian Department of National Parks and Wildlife and is supported by Peace Parks Foundation. The growing wildlife numbers in the area, coupled with the construction of tourism infrastructure such as a visitors centre and six new campsites, will allow the community to benefit from local economic growth through employment opportunities.

Ngonye Falls is a great destination to visit at any time of year, with each season offering something unique. The most popular time to visit is between May and June, directly after the rainy season, when the river is high, and the falls is in full flow. The months from July to November are best for game-viewing opportunities when the wildlife comes down in numbers to drink from the river pools and dambos – one of the last sources of water left in the area during the drier winter season.

Ngonye Falls is a four-hour drive from Zambia’s capital, Livingstone, making it a very accessible destination for visitors to go a little off the beaten track and partake in more adventure-packed activities such as fishing, kayaking, walking tours and camping. With the new infrastructure developments and a steady return in wildlife numbers, Ngonye Falls and Sioma Ngewzi National Park remains one of Zambia’s up-and-coming regions, perfect for those who don’t mind a little adventure.