South Luangwa National Park
Zambia's most famous wildlife sanctuary, the South Luangwa covers a vast
9050 square kilometres and is dominated by a flood plain and savannah that
extends from the Luangwa River to the Muchinga escarpment rising over 800
metres from the valley floor in the west. The annual rains fill the valley's
sandy rivers and feed the Luangwa which becomes a raging torrent in its journey
down to the Zambezi - this annual flooding replenishes the Luangwa's game
carrying capacity as it fills the low-lying plains and spawns new ox-bow
lakes. The green season (November to April) although practically off limits
at that time is when large herds of elephant congregate.
perhaps Zambia's greatest conservationist, active in the South Luangwa for
over 50 years, was responsible for what we now know as the modern walking
safari. A safari activity that ranges from casual nature walks in the vicinity
of camp to full-blown portered trails. The South Luangwa is unquestionably
one of the best locations in Africa to experience a walking safari.
The park itself
although not having a massive diversity of game is renowned for its leopards
(particularly in the Mfuwe area) and other predators and holds strong populations
of buffalo and antelope. The Luangwa has important populations of Thornicroft's
giraffe and Cookson's wildebeest. Birdlife is excellent in the Luangwa with
over 400 species having been recorded.
Most of Zambia's
best safari operators are found in the Luangwa, all in the east of the park
in close proximity to the river itself. Permanent safari lodges are the main
bases for safari activities but there are a number of excellent seasonal
bush camps in the remoter areas that should be considered by more serious
and active safari-goers. Portered trails, reminiscent of the old pioneering
ways are available - a very special safari option.
North Luangwa National Park
The North Luangwa,
about half the size of its southern counterpart is an undeveloped and
entry-restricted gem in the African bush. If you're looking for exclusivity
and remoteness, then you'll find few places in Africa to compare!
Similar in terms
of game and vegetation to the South Luangwa, this wilderness area is renowned
for its buffalo herds and attendant lions. Mark and Delia Owens brought the
North Luangwa to public attention through their book "The Eye of the Elephant"
(also available under the title "Survivor's Song"). The Park remains totally
off-limits to the public as it has for nearly 4 decades, only two operators
have access to this pristine wildlife area - speak to us about Mwaleshi!