South Luangwa National Park
The Hidden Safari Gem of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Nestled away in the Eastern Province of the quiet and peaceful country of Zambia, lies the little known, yet absolutely stunning South Luangwa National Park. Bordering the Luangwa River throughout the majority of its 9050 Sq. Km of protected land. The journey of the park is long and interesting, from being declared as The Luangwa Game Park in 1904, to 1938 when it was re-named as The South Luangwa Game Reserve, and later in 1949 Senior Chief Nsefu incorporated what is now known as The Nsefu Sector.
In 1972, the Government of the Republic of Zambia re-classified all game reserves as National Parks, which brings us to the park we know and love today - South Luangwa National Park.
Wildlife and Wilderness
With some of the world's most dense wild animal populations such as the hippos and crocodiles in the river, to the spectacular array of over 400 species of bird, to the thriving mammal and reptile populations as well as some of the most beautiful trees and landscapes imaginable.
Hosting 14 different species of antelope as well as the endemic Thornicroft's Giraffe, and the Crawshay's Zebra, as well as four of the big five, including Lion, Leopard, Cape Buffalo and Elephant, many of which are seen regularly on safaris, both morning and evening.
The Luangwa river is the lifeblood of the park, with it's dense riverine landscape surrounded by thick Mopani forests and open plains, criss-crossed with small tributaries and estuaries, making game viewing exciting and diverse as you move from the river inland to the north through ever changing settings.
It is a seasonal river, almost completely drying out in the hot months, and practically bursting it's banks by the end of the rainy season. This gives the park two very distinct seasons, the hot, windy summer months between August and November, where the bush thins out, and animals move southward towards the river to sustain themselves until the rains come. On the other side, we have the Emerald season, once the rains arrive, wash off all the dust, signal to the Impala that it's time to give birth, and the millions of shades of green return to the land and the trees.
Both seasons have their unique attractions, and we highly recommend visiting the park twice, to experience the huge contrast in life in the valley.