Fires in African savannas produce emissions contributing to changes in global biogeochemical processes. In the Southern African Regional Science Initiative (SAFARI-2000), fuels characteristics were measured before and after experimental burns in two different western Zambian grassland types (dambo and flood plain) situated on Kalahari Sands. The two land use types did not differ in terms of fuel characteristics, fire behavior or combustion completeness. As a consequence of a significantly wet year, fuel loads and moisture content were higher than those found during SAFARI-92. Use of moisture content and fire behavior component could increase the emission estimation through the fuel consumption calculation. Ranges of estimated emissions for CH4 and NMHC were lower than previously stated. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd.