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Why Travel Here?
  • Known as one of the most secluded wildlife territories left in Africa with the best game viewing opportunities; combining eight carnivore, 17 antelope, five primate and 20 other wildlife species and 400 species of bird. 

  • Situated in north-east Zambia, the South Luangwa National Park has the Luangwa River as its eastern boundary and the Muchinga 1,100m escarpment as its western boundary. 

  • The park covers an impressive 9,050km²(roughly the size of Yellowstone National Park). 

  • The altitude of the park varies between 500-800m above sea level. 

  • Consists mainly of woodland areas near the river, with pockets of open grasslands in amongst the woodlands. 

  • Large trees stand about 10m-20m apart interspersed with grasses and shrubs.

  • The woodland species include mopane, leadwood, winter thorn, ebony, marula, tamarind, as well as some spectacular baobab trees and vegetable ivory palms. 

  • The grassland areas are long grass plains dotted with bushes creating the feeling of openness.  

  • A wildlife paradise – not only boasting a variety of species (including four of the Big Five), but also high concentrations of wildlife particularly in the drier winter months. 

  • Endemic to the Luangwa Valley are the Thornicroft's giraffe and Cookson’s wildebeest. 

  • There are an estimated 50 hippos per kilometre of river (more hippo and crocodile exist in Luangwa than in any other river in Africa). 

  • Antelope species in the park include: bushbuck, common duiker, grysbok, hartebeest, impala, klipspringer, kudu, oribi, puku, reedbuck, roan, sable and wildebeest. 

  • Other species seen here are baboon, caracal, Vervet monkey, side striped jackal, wild dog and zebra. 

  • Being more active at night, the following animals can be seen on a night drive: owls, nightjars, grazing hippo, honey badger, lion, leopard, African civet, genet, serval, hyaena and bush baby. 

  • Superb bird spotting opportunities, particularly yellow-billed stork (there is a massive nesting colony within the park), saddle-billed stork, open-billed stork, pelican, goliath heron, and black-headed heron. 

  • Migrant bird species include bee-eaters (the southern carmine bee-eaters nest in the banks of the river and form colourful colonies), white storks, red chested cuckoo, European swallow, Steppe eagles and Steppe buzzard (from Russia). 

  • Walking safaris originated here in the South Luangwa and are still extremely popular.

  • Game viewing can be done on foot, in a vehicle, boat, microlight and on horseback (near Mfuwe). 

  • Evening spotlight drives provide viewing of nocturnal creatures, and on occasion, rare opportunities to see the stalking and capture of prey.

  • It is the ultimate safari destination and a generally high standard of service can be expected from the lodges and operators within this park. 

  • Most lodges include two to three hours’ worth of night spotlight driving into their late afternoon game drives. 

  • The dry season begins in April and ends in October with the first rains. 

  • The warmest months of September and October are when the game viewing is best – the bush is dry and sparse making visibility excellent and animals are concentrated near the river as their main water source. 

  • The rainy season is from November to March during which time the bush changes from being dry and barren, to wet, dense and green. The migrant birds arrive from November when the rains start. 

  • The southern part of the park is accessible throughout the year since the roads are generally good and there is a bridge over the river. The northern section of the park is not accessible by road in the rainy season and so the camps in this area are open only in the dry season. 


By road
One can approach the Park from three sides and the most common is from Chipata. Chipata to Mfuwe is 123 km and takes approximately two hours. The second access is from the north: one travels from Mpika on the Great North Road OR from Lundazi, near Zambia's eastern border with Malawi. Just below Mpika a road runs through the Munyamadzi Corridor of land between the North and South Luangwa National Parks. This is rough terrain, particularly when descending the escarpment. A 4WD vehicle is recommended, and you travel in convoy with at least one other vehicle since this is a remote area where help is not easily available. The final possible access is only viable late in the dry season and is from the Great East Road at Paetauke - travelling up along the Luangwa River. 

By air
The airport at Mfuwe and domestic flights operate several times a week from Lusaka. International charter flights can clear customs at Mfuwe. There are charter companies that have regular scheduled flights to Mfuwe. The Mfuwe Airport is 20 kilometres from the entrance to the South Luangwa National Park. The lodges will have someone there to meet one at the airport if one arrives with a reservation already made.

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