SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK
Rated as one of the best wildlife areas in Southern Africa. The park, that covers 9050km2, has year-round access and is known for its high concentration of mammals, birds and reptiles. There are over 60 different animal species and over 400 bird species. The Luangwa River has the highest concentration of hippos and crocodiles in the region, and the South Luangwa National Park is known as one of the best places to spot the elusive leopard.
The park is also home to several prides of lions, while civets, genets and hyenas are regular sightings, as well as large herds of elephants and buffalos, and great numbers of pukus in the open bushveld. Bushbucks and kudus prefer the cover of shrubs, but are very relaxed on approach, and you’re also likely to catch sight of Thornicroft’s giraffe, which is unique to the Luangwa Valley.
The South Luangwa National Park is part of the Great Rift Valley, and is located in Eastern Zambia, close to the Malawian border. Mfuwe village is on the eastern boundary of the park, and has an international airport.
10 reasons to visit South Luangwa
1 Pristine wilderness
South Luangwa is wild and mysterious, and it’s still relatively undiscovered. Although visitor numbers are growing, you can expect an up-close and personal wildlife experience, with rewarding game viewing.
2 Diverse scenery
South Luangwa is one of Africa’s most beautiful, unspoiled places. Its main habitat consists of seasonal floodplains, oxbow lagoons and miombo and mopane woodland. The abundant waterways and lush vegetation, combined with a moderate tropical climate, make South Luangwa the ideal place for life to bloom.
3 Photographers paradise
With its incredible wildlife, dramatic landscapes and stunning sunsets, South Luangwa is a dream come true for photographers.
4 Exceptional Guides
South Luangwa is well known for its exceptionally high standards for safari guides. Aspiring guides have to meet strict exam requirements in order to guide visitors in the Luangwa Valley.
5 Open All Year
South Luangwa National Park has all-weather gravel roads, so can be visited all year round. Explore the changing seasons, marked by a shift in colours, sounds and smells, and discover how wildlife deals with its evolving environment.
6 Exciting Night Drives
Being able to go on a night safari is quite unique to Zambia, and provides an incredible opportunity to look for nocturnal activity, especially among predators, such as the big cats that come to life after sunset. Countless other species that are rarely seen in daylight can be witnessed on a night drive, such as genets, civets, bushy-tailed mongoose, scrub hares and elephant shrews.
7 Valley of the Leopard
The Luangwa Valley, also known as the Valley of the Leopard, supports a higher density of leopards than any other area in Africa. Although it’s largely down to luck whether you see a leopard, the odds are considerably shorter in South Luangwa National Park.
8 Adventurous Walking Safaris
With an experienced and knowledgeable guide, a walking safari adds a whole new dimension to your trip. Being away from the safari vehicle, you become one with nature, and can hear, see and smell all that surrounds you. Walking safaris are all about learning how to interpret signs of the wild, and how the ecosystem works, helping you understand the interdependence between wildlife and its environment.
9 Great Hospitality
South Luangwa is not just about animals but also about people. Zambians have great pride in their nation, and are considered among the most welcoming people in the world. Expect to be met by big smiles and hearty greetings.
10 Wonderful Memories
The abundance of wildlife, diversity of landscapes and incredible sounds and smells will stay with you forever, creating wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.
There is nowhere quite like South Luangwa, and you will never forget your time spent here.