Lower Zambezi Valley
The Lower Zambezi Valley, from the Kariba Dam to the Mozambique border, has a formidable reputation for big game – leading UNESCO to designate part of the Zimbabwean side as a World Heritage Site. The Lower Zambezi National Park protects a large section of the Zambian side. Across the river, much of the Zimbabwean side is protected by either Mana Pools National Park or various safari areas. This makes for a very large area of the valley devoted to wildlife, and a terrific amount of the bigger game, notably elephants and buffalo, actually cross the river regularly.
However, take a look at a map of the Zambian bank and you'll realise that the land up to 55km east from the Kafue River (from Gwabi Lodge) is not in the national park at all. Going past the Kafue, the first land that you arrive at is privately owned by large agro-business companies, then it becomes Chiawa Game Management Area (GMA), which is leased from the chieftainess in the area by conservancy operators and hunting concessionaires. Finally, east of the Chongwe River, is the national park.
As you might expect, the game densities increase as you travel east, with the best game in the national park, and fewer animals on the privately owned land nearer to Chirundu. The situation is similar on the other bank of the river, in Zimbabwe, so if you want good game viewing then do get into the park if you can, or at least near to it.