South Luangwa National Park
Founded as a game reserve in 1938, South Luangwa became a National Park in 1972 and now covers 9,050 km². The concentration of animals along the Luangwa River make game viewing in this Park amongst the best in the world.
What can you expect to see?
The Park hosts a wide variety of animals and birds. .The majority of game is concentrated along the Luangwa River, affording fantastic game viewing. Of the many herbivores present, three stand out as endemic to the area - the Crawshay's zebra, The Thornicroft giraffe and the Cookson's wildebeest. Bushbuck, impala, puku and kudu, buffalo, hippo, crocodiles and elephant occur along the river. The main carnivores are lion, leopard, spotted hyena and wild dog, with lion being the most prolific. Large prides can be spotted quite easily.
Bird life around the river area is superb where hundreds of large water birds such as storks, egrets, herons and pelicans can be observed. Bee-eaters, swallows, cuckoos robins, eagles and so many more are all there to be spotted.
When to go?
Seasonal changes are pronuonced in South Luangwa. The rainy season starts in mid November and lasts until the end of March. During this "Emerald Season" many lodges have to close due to inaccessibility, but most stay open as long as possible. This season is a good time to visit if you are interested in birding. The area at this time is lush and green. Game viewing is not as good as during the dry season, but animals may still be seen in abundance.
After the rains, the dry season sets in usually around April. The heat intensifies until October when the rains start. At this time of the year, animal concentrations around the river and other water holes are at their height.
How can we get there?
From Lusaka, travel along the Great East Road to Chipata. This is a good tarred road. From Chipata drive along a reasonable gravel road to the village of Mfuwe. This will take about 2 hours. There is a petrol station in Mfuwe as well as some shops and a market. The main gate into the National Park is about 2km from Mfuwe village.
An alternative route from Lusaka is to turn off the Great East Road at Petauke, and to drive along the Luangwa River to Mfuwe. This is not a good road and should only be attempted in a 4 x 4 and not during the rains at all.
Proflight has scheduled flights to Mfuwe from Lusaka twice daily.
Where can we stay?
There are many upmarket safari camps and lodges both outside and in the Park. All of these lodges will have game drives available twice daily.
There are a few campsites but these will be attached to a lodge. Please get hold of the lodge directly and ask for camping rates.