South Luangwa National Park: Visit Now, Come Again (Zambia)
Explorers and visitors often hail it as one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world! It’s no wonder; South Luangwa is one of Zambia‘s main attractions. The park is a perfect combination of fantastic wildlife and extremely high-quality professional guides. All these have contributed in making South Luangwa one of the top parks of Africa.
Wouldn’t it be nice, if you could have an imaginary journey before you actually set out for South Luangwa? Here is a ride that you will definitely enjoy!!
At A Glance
Located in the eastern zone of Zambia, South Luangwa National Park is the southernmost of the three national parks located in the Valley of Luangwa River. Hence the name! This park is a wildlife haven. If the claims of Wikipedia are to be believed,
“It supports large populations of Thornicroft’s Giraffe and herds of elephant and buffaloes often several hundred strong, while the Luangwa River supports abundant crocodiles and hippopotamuses.”
There are two ways to enter South Luangwa National Park.
Near the village of Mfuwe, is the Mfuwe Airport which has recently achieved an international status. You can avail the daily Domestic flights to the park all year round! If you are planning a hot-shot vacation, there is the option of Charter plains too!
Another option is driving! The Mfuwe Gate near the Mfuwe village is connected by a bridge. The conventional route is from Chipata. This route will require about a 2 hour drive to Mfuwe, which is just outside the park. If your vehicle is strong enough, you can take a short-cut from the Great East Road at Perauke. This route is ideal only if you are travelling in the dry season!
Apart from Mfuwe Gate, there is Nyamaluma…50 km southwest from the park
“where a pontoon ferries vehicles across the river.”
You can also use the public transport to enter the park.
Best time to visit
Although South Luangwa Park is open all through the year, the best time to visit is during the dry seasons (April to October). The game concentration is at its peak during this season and can be easily spotted around the water sources. However, if you are a birder, then end-of-October and November is your time to visit because it is during this time that migrating birds flock together.
Visit during November and March and you will find the animals with their young ones!
Where to stay?
The varied accommodation options at South Luangwa will suit every pocket! The camps and lodges are located on the eastern bank of the river. And these lodges and camps provide facilities to organize your own walking or driving safaris or any other activities.
Top 5 staying options are:
- Flatdogs Camp
- Mfuwe Lodge: the Bushcamp Company
- Track and Trail River Camp
- Lion Camp
- Croc Valley
What to see?
The list goes on as to the number of things that you can see while at South Luangwa Park.
First comes the wildlife!
As you move around the park, you will come across hippos, cranes, antelopes, baboons, huge herds of elephants and buffaloes in abundance! Don’t miss the zebras (although that will be quite impossible) and the lions and the like carnivores!
If you are a bird-lover, this park is going to be your paradise.
The entire park is filled with birds like yellow billed storks, pelicans, crowned crane, red chested cuckoo, ground hornbill, doves, larks, White stork, European swallows…the list goes on and on!
What to do?
The lodges and camps at the South Luangwa National Park will offer you game drives, night drives, walking safari throughout the park.
Photographic safaris and birding safaris are also available.
A boating safari during the green season promises a never-before experience!
Kawaza village is just outside the park. It is the home of the Kunda tribe. Be sure to pay a visit!
South Luangwa National Park will leave you wanting for more! Enjoy your stay! And if you can’t cover everything in the park in one visit, come again!