The birthplace of the walking safari

Hailed as one of Africa’s finest wildlife sanctuaries, South Luangwa National Park packs a massive punch within its 9,050km² boundaries. Laying at the tail-end of the Great Rift and skirting along the Luangwa River, this park’s savannah grasslands are populated by 60 species of wildlife and over 400 species of birdlife – making it great for both game viewing and bird-watching. Plus: the park’s remote location and relatively low number of visitors mean you’ll be guaranteed an exclusive safari experience in an unspoilt environment.

But what makes South Luangwa truly special is its status as the ‘birthplace of the walking safari’. Leave the 4x4’s keys at the lodge and lace up your hiking books for the original up-close-and-personal safari experience. Thornicroft’s giraffe, Crawshay’s zebra, lion, antelope, buffalo, elephant, and more can all be spotted roaming the plains in broad daylight while the elusive leopard comes out to play after sundown.

The Valley’s ox-bow pools are the best place to go for game-viewing. Luangwa is a dry-season destination: during the rainy season, the Luangwa River swells up and – as the drier seasons approach – it leaves watering holes and lush vegetation in its wake. This is where the park’s diverse range of wildlife are bound together by the unforgiving low rainfall in the region, promising excellent game-viewing. 

Highlights

  • Widely regarded as one of Africa’s finest wildlife sanctuaries
  • Home to 60 species of animals – including the endemic Thornicroft’s giraffe and Cookson's wildebeest
  • A paradise for bird-watchers with over 400 species of birdlife recorded here
  • Its remote location and low number of visitors means travellers are guaranteed an exclusive safari experience in an unspoilt environment
  • Widely regarded as one of Africa’s finest wildlife sanctuaries
  • Best time to go:
  • Best
  • Mixed

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