North Luangwa National Park

About North Luangwa National Park

Covering a vast 4,634 square kilometres, North Luangwa National Park is one of Zambia’s best-kept secrets. This park’s history stretches all the way from being a game reserve in 1938 to the national park it is now.

Not only is it one of the largest national parks in Zambia but it’s home to the Big 5, which makes North Luangwa Safari Tours a must if you want to see Africa’s most famous wildlife up close.

The Luangwa River has been responsible for the park’s creation, by carving out a refuge that continues to host an impressive array of animals, as one of Africa’s last remaining truly wild corners.

For those wanting to really explore the wilds of Zambia Destinations, North Luangwa is an unmissable mix of pure natural beauty and an invitation to the adventure of exploring nature at its untouched best.

North Luangwa National Park Tours and Safaris

We Think You’ll Love

Best time to visit

The Best Time to Visit North Luangwa National Park is during the dry season, from July to October. Animals are more likely to be seen near the few remaining water sources during this season making wildlife watching worthwhile. However, it's worth noting that October can get quite hot. This is the ideal time for those looking to explore Zambia's remarkable wildlife and set on North Luangwa Safari Tours. Wet season is best avoided due to the park’s remote location and limited infrastructure.  


In North Luangwa National Park, wildlife lovers will find a haven. This park is bustling with the Big Five, minus giraffes, offering a quintessential Zambia Safari experience. The park is renowned for its vast buffalo herds and frequent elephant sightings. Lions, spotted hyenas, and the increasingly common black rhinos add to the park's diverse animal population. The possibility of seeing wild dogs here adds an extra thrill to the North Luangwa Safari Tours. This rich mix of wildlife makes it a top choice for anyone looking to explore Zambia's natural beauty.Top of Form

What To Experience

Travel Guide For North Luangwa National Park

We Think You’ll Love

North Luangwa History

North Luangwa National Park has a unique story that's deeply connected to conservation and adventure.

  • In 1984, Major John Harvey and his wife Lorna sought permission to start walking safaris in the region.
  • Being the sole operators in this wild space, they were the pioneers. Their efforts marked the beginning of what would become a conservation success story.
  • By 1986, the park's fate took a positive turn when the Frankfurt Zoological Society teamed up with the Zambian Department of National Parks and Wildlife.
  • They aimed to stop poaching and brought in scientists Mark and Delia Owens. The couple, known for their work in the Kalahari, set up a research station in North Luangwa.
  • This was a pivotal moment that led to the incredible work done by the North Luangwa Conservation Programme (NLCP).

Today, the NLCP works tirelessly to ensure the park meets the ecological, economic, social, and cultural needs of everyone involved.

It's a place where Zambia Safari Tours offer more than just a glimpse into the wild and invites you to be part of a larger story of conservation.

Opting for North Luangwa Safari Tours means you're directly contributing to the preservation and sustainable future of this magnificent park.

North Luangwa Map and Geography

Situated in the lush landscapes of Zambia, North Luangwa National Park is renowned for its rugged terrain. The park's geography features a remarkable range in altitude from 569 meters to 1,296 meters above sea level.

The North Luangwa National Park Map is a vital tool for navigating this vast wilderness and highlights key locations such as secluded lodges, tented camps, and essential waterways that meander through the terrain.

Key Geographic Features:

  • Limited Access Roads

The park's deliberately minimal road network emphasizes its untouched and pristine condition, making it a prime location for Zambia Tours.

  • Diverse Altitudes

The varying elevations contribute to the park's diverse ecosystems, hosting a rich array of wildlife including the exclusive black rhino.

  • Strategic Accommodations

Lodges and camps are strategically placed to blend with the environment, offering immersive Zambia Safari experiences.

  • Rivers and Water Bodies

The Luangwa River and its tributaries are lifelines of the park and support both the wildlife and the natural beauty that attracts visitors.

This geographic and map overview not only serves as a guide to exploring North Luangwa's unspoiled landscapes but also underscores the park's status as a top Zambia Destination for safari enthusiasts.

North Luangwa National Park Weather and Climate

North Luangwa National Park experiences two main seasons each year: a dry season and a wet season. Understanding these can help you decide when to plan your visit, especially if you're looking forward to North Luangwa Safari Tours.

Dry Season (May to October)

There’s hardly any rain in the dry season, making it a great time to see wildlife gathered around the few remaining water spots. Days are warm but nights can get pretty cool, so bringing something warm to wear is a good idea.

Important points:

  • May still has some wet spots, not the best time for visits.
  • June and July are cooler, perfect for comfortable safari days and cool nights.
  • August and September heat up, with no rain in sight.
  • October is when it starts to get hot, and you might see the first raindrops of the season.

Wet Season (November to April)

Expect afternoon showers and the occasional thunderstorm, making everything lush and green in the wet season in North Luangwa. Many camps close due to the rain making travel tricky, and animals are harder to spot as they have plenty of water everywhere.

What to expect:

  • November can be very hot, with the rainy season starting to kick in.
  • From December to March, it rains quite a bit, but usually not all day, keeping things interesting.
  • April is beautifully green and the rains are less frequent, showing off the park in full bloom.
  • However, the heavy rains make North Luangwa Safari Tours and travel difficult. This leads to closed camps. That's why visiting during this time isn’t recommended.

So, when is The Best Time to Visit North Luangwa? Definitely during the dry season if you’re looking to enjoy North Luangwa Tours & Safaris. Not only is wildlife viewing at its best, but the weather is more visitor-friendly too. Planning your trip in these months ensures you get the most out of this incredible experience.Top of Form

How to Get to North Luangwa National Park

Getting to North Luangwa National Park is an adventure, given its secluded location. This hidden gem offers a genuine wilderness experience, but reaching it does take some planning. Here's a simpler guide to make your trip smooth:

Starting Point

Your journey likely begins at Lusaka's Kenneth Kaunda International Airport. From there, a domestic flight to Mfuwe International Airport is your gateway to Zambia's natural wonders.

Charter Flights

For a direct route into North Luangwa, consider booking a charter flight to Mwaleshi airstrip. It's the fastest way to surround yourself with the park's untouched beauty.

Self-Drive Adventure

If you love a road trip and have a 4x4, you're in for a treat. You can drive from:

  • Mpika: Look for the sign of the Great North Road to Mukungule village, then head to Mano Gate.
  • Luambe National Park: Drive along the Luangwa River's east side for beautiful scenery and a peek into rural Zambia.

Because getting there can be tricky, the easiest way to explore North Luangwa is to book Zambia Safari Packages with us.  We take care of all the logistics, from transport to expert-guided tours, so you can fully immerse yourself in the park's wild beauty without any hassle.

Given the remote access, opting for a safari package, ensures you get the most out of your visit to North Luangwa. Our expertise and organization mean you can enjoy the journey and the destination, both memorable and effortless.

North Luangwa Wildlife

North Luangwa National Park is an exceptional destination for a Zambia Safari, known for its serene environment and abundant wildlife. Here's a closer look at the animals you can encounter during your visit:

  • Witness large herds of buffaloes, a common and impressive sight within the park.
  • Spot the majestic lions, often seen in search of their next meal.
  • Despite their shyness, elephants are frequently observed in their natural habitat.
  • Celebrate the success of conservation with the sighting of these rare black rhinos, growing in number thanks to reintroduction efforts.
  • Cookson’s Wildebeest are unique to the region, offering a special glimpse into Zambia's diverse wildlife.
  • Crawshay's Zebra are distinctive for their unique stripes, making them a must-see on your Zambia Safari Tours.
  • Hyenas, Zebras, and Warthogs are commonly found throughout the park, these animals add to the rich diversity of animal life in North Luangwa.
  • Although more elusive, leopards provide a thrilling viewing experience for the lucky few who spot them.

Visiting between July and October offers the best opportunity for wildlife viewing, as animals gather around water sources, making them easier to spot. North Luangwa National Park promises an authentic Zambia Safari experience, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the untouched beauty and remarkable wildlife diversity of Zambia.

North Luangwa Birdlife

Boasting over 410 species, North Luangwa National Park is a paradise for bird enthusiasts. This park is special because it’s mainly for walking safaris, making bird watching an intimate and rewarding experience. Here, you're stepping into the world of birds on North Luangwa Tours.

Birdwatching Highlights

  • The southern carmine bee-eater, with its vibrant colours, nests along the riverbanks, offering a stunning spectacle.
  • Unique species like the babbling starling and chestnut-backed sparrow-weaver can be found here, adding to the park's exclusive bird list.
  • Grey go-away birds, red-billed buffalo-weaver, and red-billed hornbill are often seen, making any walk a discovery journey.
  • The southern ground hornbill is another frequent sight, marking an impressive presence with its size and colour.
  • Specials include the African skimmer, Pel’s fishing owl, and the rare Narina trogon among others, making North Luangwa Tours & Safaris a must for bird lovers.

The best birdwatching can be enjoyed during the wet summer months (November to April) when migratory birds visit. However, it’s worth noting that access can be limited during this time due to park closures.

North Luangwa Attractions and Experiences

North Luangwa National Park offers a unique slice of African wilderness, making it a top pick for Things to Do in Zambia. This remote park is famed for its immersive safari experiences, where nature's quiet is only broken by the sounds of wildlife. Here's what makes North Luangwa a must-visit:

  • Walking Safaris: Follow the footsteps of explorers with guided walks, experiencing wildlife up close in a truly natural setting.
  • Night and Day Vehicle Safaris: Explore the park under the changing light, from the vibrant hues of day to the mysterious shadows of night.
  • Mountain Bike Safaris: For the more adventurous, pedal through the landscape for a different perspective on safari.
  • Unique Wildlife: Home to rare species like Cookson’s wildebeest and eland, which are less common in other parks.
  • Visit Mwaleshi Falls: Day Trips to these majestic falls are the best kind of experience that is offered on
  • North Luangwa Tours and Safaris.

The park's strict conservation efforts and limited access ensure a pristine safari environment. It makes access to North Luangwa exclusive which is managed through a select number of safari operators.

This exclusivity guarantees a serene and intimate wildlife experience. With no permanent lodges, visits here are truly special.

Entrance Fees and Rates for North Luangwa National Park

Here's what you need to know about the North Luangwa National Park Entrance Costs if you are heading to the park for a safari experience:

  • Adult Entry: It's $20 per day for international visitors, $15 if you're a resident or from a SADC country, and K33.60 for Zambian citizens.
  • For Your Car: If you're driving yourself, there's a $25 charge per vehicle each day.
  • Kids Go Half Price: Little ones under 5 years old get in for free. Children between 5 and 13 years old pay half price.

These fees help keep the park running and protect its incredible wildlife. When you book a North Luangwa Safari Tour, you're also supporting a place that takes care of Zambia's natural treasures.

Best Month to North Luangwa National Park

We Think You’ll Love




North Luangwa in January

January in North Luangwa National Park sees average temperatures of 30°C with significant rainfall (218mm), marking it firmly within the Wet season. The park experiences lush landscapes, but access is restricted, and North Luangwa Tours are not available due to the challenging conditions and closed camps, making wildlife sightings more difficult.

North Luangwa in February

February continues with the Wet season's pattern, featuring temperatures at 30°C and rainfall decreasing slightly to 193mm. The persistent rains keep the park's wilderness areas closed to visitors, maintaining January's limited access and activities within the park.

North Luangwa in March

March in North Luangwa brings a gradual transition towards drier days, with temperatures holding steady at 30°C and rainfall reducing to 156mm. While the park remains lush and green, the conditions start improving slightly, yet the wet conditions still limit Zambia Safari opportunities and park access.

North Luangwa in April

April sees a significant decrease in rainfall (49mm) and maintains warm temperatures at 30°C. The landscape is beautifully green, and as the rains become less frequent, the park starts to become more navigable, yet most safari camps remain closed until the drier months.

North Luangwa in May

May marks the beginning of the Dry season with minimal rainfall (5mm) and a slight drop in temperature to 29°C. Although water levels are still high and some roads may be waterlogged, the park begins to open up, offering the first North Luangwa Safari Tours of the season, with wildlife starting to become more visible.

North Luangwa in June

June brings in cooler, dry weather, with temperatures around 28°C and negligible rainfall (1mm). It's the start of the prime safari season in North Luangwa, as animals begin to congregate around diminishing water sources, and the park's beauty is accessible with warm days and mild nights.

North Luangwa in July

July is the centre of the Dry season, offering cool temperatures averaging 27°C and virtually no rainfall. This month is ideal for Zambia Safaris, as the wildlife viewing is at its peak, with animals easier to spot and the park's landscape becoming increasingly navigable.

North Luangwa in August

August in North Luangwa sees temperatures gently rise to 29°C with no rainfall, continuing excellent conditions for wildlife viewing. The park is fully accessible, and safari goers can enjoy clear days and warmer mornings, making it a perfect time for North Luangwa Tours & Safaris.

North Luangwa in September

September's temperatures increase to an average of 33°C. Still without the rainfall, the dry, parched landscape is highlighted. This month offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities as water sources are scarce, concentrating animals for easy spotting on Zambia Tours.

North Luangwa in October

October is the hottest month, with temperatures reaching 34°C and minimal rainfall (8mm). The heat intensifies, but it also signals the potential start of the rainy season by its end. Wildlife is still abundant, making it a rewarding time for visitors on North Luangwa National Park Safaris, though mornings can be notably warmer.

North Luangwa in November

November sees the onset of the Wet season with average temperatures at 34°C and an increase in rainfall (77mm). The early rains rejuvenate the park, and while it marks a decrease in traditional safari activities, the landscape starts its transformation back to lushness, affecting the availability of Zambia Tours.

North Luangwa in December

December closes the year with cooler temperatures at 31°C and significant rainfall (187mm), immersing North Luangwa in the Wet season's full swing. The park's wilderness areas are lush and vibrant, but accessibility is limited, and safari camps are closed, pausing most North Luangwa National Park Tours until the dry season returns.

Frequently Asked Questions

We Think You’ll Love

North Luangwa National Park is located in the Mpika District of Muchinga Province, Zambia. This location makes it a prime Zambia Destination for those looking to explore the untouched wilderness and diverse ecosystems that Zambia offers.

Luangwa National Park is home to a vast species of wildlife, including all of the Big Five except giraffes. Visitors can expect to see elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards, and the reintroduced black rhinos, making it an ideal place for a Zambia Wildlife Safari.

The elephant population in North Luangwa is part of the Luangwa ecosystem's nearly 14,000 elephants, making up almost two-thirds of Zambia's total elephant population. This thriving community highlights the park's success in conservation and makes it a key destination for North Luangwa Safari Tours.

North Luangwa faces challenges such as poaching, human-wildlife conflict, and habitat destruction, particularly threatening its elephant population. Despite these issues, the park's efforts in conservation have stabilized the elephant numbers, emphasizing the importance of sustainable North Luangwa Tours

North Luangwa is renowned for its pristine wilderness and pure natural beauty. One of the uniqueness of the region is that it's only accessible only by plane. Only limited tour companies are permitted to operate in the area. Hence, visitors are guaranteed an exclusive experience, making North Luangwa Tours & Safaris some of the most sought-after adventures in Zambia.

The Best Time to Visit Zambia for safaris is during the dry season, from May to October when wildlife viewing is at its peak. This period offers the ideal conditions for North Luangwa Safari Tours, with cooler temperatures and animals congregating around water sources.

The park is known for its remote location, primarily accessible by plane. This limited access ensures a tranquil and unspoiled safari experience, perfect for those looking for an off-the-beaten-path Zambia Safari.

Yes, there are a few exclusive bush camps and lodges within North Luangwa, offering an intimate and immersive nature experience. These accommodations are perfect for guests on North Luangwa Tours, looking to stay close to the wildlife and natural beauty.

We are thrilled to help you plan your perfect safari holiday

We'd be delighted to help you with any questions you have about properties & safaris. Please fill in the form below so that we can help you create your perfect safari holiday.


Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call or send us an e-mail:

Meet us on Social Media

Start Planning Your Tailored African Safari

Expert Safari Knowledge- Falcon Safaris

Expert Safari Knowledge

With decades of expertise, we're your trusted safari guides, ensuring every moment exceeds your expectations.

Tailor-made African Safaris- Falcon Safaris

Tailor-made African Safaris

Tailored to your preferences, our African Safaris guarantee an adventure perfectly suited to your desires.

Long-term Africa Relationships- Falcon Safaris

Long-term Relationships

Our enduring partnerships across Africa provide exclusive access and authentic experiences.

Carefree Travel- Falcon Safaris

Carefree Travel

Leave your worries behind and accept carefree travel with Falcon Safaris, where every detail is handled to perfection.

Our Travelers Say

Explore Our Africa With Customize Your Tour

We love Africa's diversity and create amazing trips for you. With 30+ years of experience, we customize every trip just for you.

Start a Trip