Open all year although some more remote camps are seasonal (June - October)
South Luangwa is Zambia's premier park. Many places are claimed to be "one of the remaining wilderness areas" or "one of the last wildlife sanctuaries" but the South Luangwa National Park can live up to all these names and more. The Luangwa Valley is vast, remote, home to both people and a truly impressive number of animals. The South Luangwa park is 9050 sq. km with the river, its tributaries and the riverine strips being the focus of the wildlife viewing. There are the diverse habitats, from huge ox bow lagoons of varying stages of maturity, woodlands, ebony groves, grassland and thickets, that host truly impressive numbers of wildlife. The birdlife is also excellent with around 450 species to be seen.
The Luangwa River remains one of the last untouched major river systems in the world. Each year the river drops to almost knee deep and then in the Emerald Season rises to the top of the banks. The river is up to 4 meters deep and averages 400 meters wide and at peak will flow at 47 million gallons per hour. That is a lot of water. Boating safaris during the high water months are an adventure (River Journeys). As the park is open all year it is important to understand the seasons and what you would expect in the different months. For full details visit Seasons and Climate.
The South Luangwa is known as the home of the walking safari and all the camps offer walks. There are also smaller bush camps or mobile tented camps for those who would like to experience a dedicated walking safari. Walking through big game country is a truly exciting experience and as South Luangwa led the way for guide training and licensing in Zambia the standard of guiding here is superb.
The abundance of leopards in the Luangwa is famous and although not guaranteed it is usual for everyone coming through on a three or more night safari to see at least one leopard. The Luangwa has two endemic species - the Thornicoft giraffe which is found mostly in the central area of the park and the Cookson's wildebeest which is more scattered and only in the north. Usually it is great number of game that impresses people.
- game drives, night drives, walking and in the Emerald Season - boating
Camps that we most regularly book
- The South Luangwa is home to Robin Pope Safaris and we operate a number of camps, houses and walking safaris.
- Norman Carr Safaris has a main lodge, Kapani (16 beds), in the central area and four excellent bush camps (all 8 beds), Luwi and Nsolo on a sand river and Kakuli and Mchenja on the banks of the Luangwa.
- Shenton Safari operate Kaingo (12 beds) and Mwamba Bush Camp (6 beds) in a great area of the park.
- Flatdogs (44 beds) is a good option for the more budget conscious safaris.
- We will book any camp you wish us to, as there are too many to list here.
- Map of South Luangwa