South Luangwa National Park (ZAMBIA)

In Adventures, Animals, Places by Andre Van VuurenLeave a Comment

Andre van Vuuren

We just came back from another extremely successful safari to Malawi which included a three day stay in South Luangwa, probably my favourite National Park in Southern Africa. We started off with seven vehicles and fourteen guests, but unfortunately one couple had to turn back home due to an electrical problem on their vehicle.

South Luangwa National Park is located in Eastern Zambia. It was originally established as a game reserve in 1938 and was officially established as a National Park in 1972. It is 9050 sq. km, making it the second largest park in Zambia after Kafue National Park. South Luangwa is known for its high concentration and diversity of wildlife and is home of four of the Big 5. Buffalo, lion, leopard and elephant can be seen here and it is not uncommon to spot them all on one game drive. Sadly the Rhino was poached to extinction and is no longer seen. ( A good book to read about the rhino poaching in the Luangwa Valley is called Survivor Song and was written by Mark and Delia Owens ISBN 0 00 638096 4)

South Luangwa purportedly is one of the few African Parks where guests can enjoy a true bush camp experience. Many of the camps are of high standards in situated in remote locations. The terrain of South Luangwa consists of Savannah woodlands, open plains, oxbow lagoons and wide open tall grass fields. Walking safaris are very popular and most tour operators recommend all guests to experience a walking safari.

South Luangwa has two distinct seasons; a rainy and a dry season. The rainy season starts in November and runs through March. During these months the foliage of South Luangwa becomes greener and denser and the animals are less easy to spot. Despite this valley is a paradise. Full of migratory species of birds, newly born mammals just able to walk, stunning clear skies and the vibrant colours of the “emerald” season, you can see the Valley at its best.

The dry season runs from April through October, and by October the land is parched and the foliage is all gone. The lack of precipitation means most water sources dry up and animals must share the remaining available resources, including the Luangwa River and oxbow lagoons. Game viewing is arguably at its peak in October and visitors will be rewarded with of high concentrations of animals that are easier to view than in other months.

In an exciting win for concertation, the Luangwa Valley is now estimated to have the largest population of wild dogs in the whole of Zambia. Despite being one of Africa’s most endangered carnivores, wild dogs in and around South Luangwa National Park have enjoyed several years of increasing numbers and there are now approximately adults and yearlings living in the Luangwa Valley. That is around 8 – 10% of the world’s population right on our doorstep.

We are doing two safaris to Malawi in 2020 again and both will include a tree night stay on the bank of the Luangwa River and daily game drives in this amazing Park.

We also have a safari on offer next year that will cover the whole of the Luangwa Valley inclusive of Luambe National Park and North Luangwa, one of the wildest and most beautiful parks in Africa.

The Luangwa Valley is highly recommended as a wildlife safari destination and is ideal for beginner and intrepid wildlife enthusiasts alike. 

Please send an email to or contact me on 082 935 7485 if you are interested and would like to have more information. You can also follow us on FaceBook under the page Andre van Vuuren Safaris

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