South Luangwa Park : Map of Zambia
Near the north-eastern border of Zambia lies the Luangwa Valley – twice the size of Wales it supports one of the greatest concentrations of wildlife to be found.
The ‘Valley’ lies at the tail end of the Great Rift Valley, which accounts for the spectacular escarpment scenery.
As the Rift reaches Zambia, it divides; one arm to the east encompasses Lake Malawi and the western arm becomes the Luangwa Valley, which stretches some seven hundred kilometres at an average width of about one hundred kilometres. The Valley floor is about a thousand meters lower than the surrounding plateau.
Over 100 mammal species and almost 400 birds of the 732 bird species found in Zambia are located in South Luangwa National Park
The Luangwa River which meanders down the middle of this is the lifeblood of the wildlife. It is a dynamic river which constantly changes its course forming ‘ox bow’ lagoons as it winds through the flood plain. These lagoons are very important to the ecology of the riverine zone and account for the high carrying capacity of the area.
The changing seasons add to the Park’s richness ranging from dry, bare bushveld in the winter to a lush green wonderland in the summer months. There are 60 different animal species and over 400 different bird species. The only notable exception is the rhino, sadly poached to extinction.
Among the more common trees in the valley are the mopane, leadwood, winterthorn, some beautiful specimens of baobab, large ebony forests, the tall vegetable ivory palm, marula and the magnificent tamarind tree