The Luangwa River traces its way through South Luangwa National Park, and is considered to be the most intact major river system in Africa. Spanning 9 050km2, South Luangwa National Park is one of Africa’s most notable wildlife sanctuaries. The Luangwa river attracts high concentrations of African game and creates a welcome ecosystem where wildlife, birds and vegetation can flourish. The channels, oxbow lakes, and lagoons created by the river are home to crocodile, pods of hippo, and aquatic birds.

A birdwatchers paradise, it’s not only home to 60 animal species, but also over 400 species of birds, including 39 species of birds of prey and 47 migrant species who come to enjoy Summer in the South. Twitchers will be able to spot fish eagles, yellow-billed storks, pelicans, saddle-billed storks, goliath herons, ground hornbill, crowned cranes and more. Before the Summer rains fall, migrant species such as the red-chested cuckoo, steppe eagle, and steppe buzzard descend on the park and literally hundreds of carmine bee-eaters nest in the Luangwa River’s banks.

Elephants, lions, hyenas, Thornicraft’s giraffes, Crawshay’s zebras mongooses, civets, bush babies, and genets and buffaloes, as well as many species of antelope – including puku – all live within the reserve. The only notable absence being the rhino – which has sadly already been decimated due to poaching. However, a great drawcard of South Luangwa is that it’s home to one of the greatest concentrations of leopards.

Both the dry and wet seasons have their own unique appeal. From April to October, the dry landscape beckons animals to the water sources, making them easy to spot. In Summer – from November to March – the rains transform the landscape into a lush, verdant African wilderness. Trees that were once bare become green, and wildflowers bloom in the Luangwa Valley. The horizon is broken by ebony, leadwood, mopane, winterthorn, ivory palm, marula and tamarind trees, as well as Africa’s iconic baobab trees.
Many areas within the park are impassable for vehicles, making it even more thrilling to explore on foot. South Luangwa is world-renown for walking safaris, which offer visitors an immersive African experience. Many camps are closed from November to March.



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