South Luangwa National Park offers excellent game-viewing opportunities. Indeed, in areas adjacent to the Luangwa River and its lagoons it can boast one of the most concentrated areas of game anywhere in Africa. Covering an area of over 9,000 square kilometres, the waters from this river ensures a wide range of different vegetations and therefore a vast array of birds, animals and insects. Over 60 mammal types and 400 different bird species ensures plenty to look at. The park is especially famous for its walking safaris, the chance to explore the areas of pristine wilderness, with a qualified guide, to witness nature untouched by the outside world. With terrain varying from dry savanna to lush and dense growth, there is plenty to explore and enjoy.
One animal that you are almost guaranteed to see is the Hippo, estimated to inhabit the Luangwa River at a density of over 50 per kilometre. Lions and leopards live here in good numbers, but the latter, as always, are elusive in the thick undergrowth that the park offers. The only one of the big five missing is the Rhino, hunted to extinction in the last century. Sadly a programme to reintroduce them to Zambia in a small reserve near Livingstone seems to have failed with the last two being ambushed by poachers in May 2007. Elephant, giraffes, zebra and a whole host of grazers can be seen, and it is also home to wild dogs and jackals.
It is the birding that attracts many people to the park. Storks, egrets, herons, cranes and pelicans all take advantage of the many shallow lakes to fish for their food. There are also Steppe Eagles, hornbills and bee-eaters amongst the 400 or so type of bird on view.
The dry season runs from April and runs through to October, the hottest month. The wet season starts in November and lasts until March. During the rains many camps in the Luangwa close but there are notable exceptions to this, for example some of the Robin Pope camps. Safaris switch from predominantly 4x4 and walking to boating. Most of the mobile camps and walking safaris operate April/May to October/November when the rains break.
Many of the images here are from Robin Pope Safaris and Norman Carr safaris - two of our very favourite operators in the Luangwa.
Visit Zambia's key wildlife areas - the Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa.
A superb safari combining South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi National Park.