South Luangwa National Park
One of the greatest wildlife destinations in the whole of Africa, and not without reason, the concentration of wildlife on and around the Luangwa River is unbelievable. The concentration of wildlife matches and betters most national parks in Africa.
If you are looking for one of Africa's best wildlife and birdlife experiences, look no further than the South Luangwa National Park; trust us on this.
- Size: 9050 square kilometres
- Location: Eastern Zambia
- Rainfall: Summer
- Lodges & accommodation: Luangwa Lodges
Where is South Luangwa National Park located?
The South Luangwa National Park is located in the Eastern region of Zambia, just below the North Luangwa National Park, approximately 670 kilometres from Lusaka in an east-north-east direction.
As always, we suggest one look at a map for a better understanding of what surrounds the national park. Unfortunately, we will not be using Google maps this time as they seem to have forgotten to add the National Park to their mapping system. We will use HERE WeGo maps (an excellent alternative to Google Maps BTW) instead: HERE WeGo Maps - South Luangwa National Park
Information On South Luangwa National Park
The Luangwa River is the main attraction of the national park and the area that offers guests that high concentration of wildlife we mentioned above.
The 9050 km² national park is largely unexplored, with the vast majority of it being untouched by man; it is only really near the Luangwa River that one gets to explore. If you do not believe us, have a look at the above map link (zoom in and out) for a road network other than what is near the river, you won't find one as it does not exist.
The 'walking safari' originated from within the South Luangwa; all of the safari lodges and camps in the region offer what without question one best ways to experience this pristine wilderness. All accommodation establishment do offer up game drives and drives, of course, but to walk the wilds, there is nothing that can come close.
There are in the region 60 mammal species and over 400 bird species on offer within the park.
There is estimated to be at least 50 hippos per kilometre of the Luangwa River! Lion and Leopard sightings are good depending on the time of year.
Best Time to Visit South Luangwa National Park
The best time to visit the South Luangwa National Park is in the dry season (April to October). This is when the lack of rainwater forces the wildlife to move closer to the Luangwa River, and therefore, wildlife sightings are at their peak.
A few lodges remain open for business in the wet season, but a few do close as they become inaccessible due to rising waters levels and roads/tracks being washed away.
Please note that October and November are the hottest months. It is around this time that temperatures can occasionally reach and exceed 40° Celcius.
Main Attractions Of South Luangwa National Park
- Completely wild and remote
- Thornicroft's Giraffe
- 14 different antelope species
- 47 migrating bird species from Europe and Russia
- Luangwa River
- Walking safaris
- Night drives
- More hippos than you can shake a stick at
- Kapinga Camp
Kapinga Camp is situated in the extreme north of the Kafue National Park, and in the north-west corner of the Busanga Plains.
The camp has been designed to blend in with the environment and natural products have been used as much as possible in the construction of the camp.
- Nsolo Camp
Nsolo Camp is one of the more historic camps in Zambia. It was cited by Norman Carr in 1987 and Shaddy, the Camp Manager and guide has been studying the wildlife and conducting walking safaris from this camp for over 10 years.
One of the more remote camps in the South Luangwa.
- Mukambi Safari Lodge
Mukambi Safari Lodge offers guests a safari experience in the Kafue National Park's central region, a region famed for excellent wildlife and birdlife.
Located on the banks of the Kafue River, Mukambi offers game drives, walking safaris, fishing excursions, boat and sunset cruises.
- Shumba Camp
Shumba Camp is situated in the northern region of the Kafue National Park, in the famed Busanga Plains area.
The Plains, covering approximately 750 square kilometres, is considered one of Zambia's most important wetlands as well as a wildlife paradise with a wealth of plains game, predators and birds.
- Puku Ridge Camp
Puku Ridge Camp has a very intimate atmosphere and combines an authentic safari experience under canvas with panoramic views over the abundant South Luangwa floodplain below.
Each of the seven oversized tents has picture windows out onto the floodplain over a private viewing deck.
- Kaingu Lodge
Kaingu Lodge offers guests a choice of six tented suites and one family house, a small and intimate lodge that is owner run and managed that is perfect for couples, honeymoons and families alike.
The lodge is set in a pristine wilderness on the banks of the Kafue River with views into National park itself.