South Luangwa Valley
Located in the eastern part or Zambia, the Luangwa Valley form one the biggest wildlife reserves in Africa.
The region is made up by three parks - The South and the North Luangwa National Parks, with Luambe wedged between the two. The name of the park is derived from the Luangwa River, which flows along its southern margin and is the focus for game-viewing in landscapes which must be seen to be believed.
Noted animals found in this park are the large elephant population, lion, leopard, African wild dog, spotted hyena, giraffe, hippopotamus and buffalo. Plains game like giraffe, zebra, eland and impala are also present in large numbers.
More than 500 species of birds have been identified in the region with many regular migratory species visiting. The spectacle of thousands of Carmine bee eaters are usually experienced during October and November.
The best times to visit for predators and large mammals is during the dry season (April–October) and for birds and flowers, during the wet season (November-March).
The park is characterized by a wide variety of vegetation types like baobab trees, acacia and other species while beautiful, fairy-tale ebony groves line the river in many places. Over 1,650 plant species have been identified.
The region's relative inaccessibility means it gets far fewer tourists than any comparable park in the Northern circuit. The rewards of travelling this far are a wild landscape with baobab studded hills and rocky escarpments, with superb wildlife.
With reliably exciting predator concentrations, huge elephant and buffalo herds and a cross over of game from southern and eastern Africa, travelling to Luangwa out of season will virtually guarantee that you see few other people whilst on safari, and there are pockets in the park where the game concentrations are excellent at any time of the year. The birding from December through to March is exceptional.
This is a no-frills place. The daring small camps are famous for its being on the elephant highway. As another UNESCO site the best time to visit is during the months of April, May and October, but, as mentioned above, the June to September period, the dry season, is also perfect as there are many animals that gather in this park throughout the year.
The number of lakes formed by the river are great places to view the distinctively numerous giraffes and also many ungulates like water buck, zebra, impala and buffalo. The waterholes are usually monitored by lions and every now and then it is possible to witness a kill. Leopard are seen on most days.
Wild dogs, lion and leopard are some of the key attractions in the Reserve.
Mother leopard with two sub-adult cubs on
our morning drive