South Luangwa National Park

South Luangwa National Park

About South Luangwa National Park

In the heart of the picturesque Luangwa valley lies the most renowned Zambia Destination, the South Luangwa National Park. Often referred to as Africa’s last great wilderness, the national park area remains largely unaffected by humans.

South Luangwa is perhaps the most unspoiled and intact safari destination in Africa. It is popularly addressed as just “the south park” by the locals, as it is located in the southern part of Luangwa valley. Its top-notch quality of guiding, remarkable wildlife sightings, and wild natural conditions make it a favorite for safari experts and wildlife enthusiasts.

Undoubtedly, this southern part of Luangwa Valley is one of the best Places To Visit In Zambia. Still, necessary planning and insights about South Luangwa National Park Safaris are required to make your visit an unforgettable experience. So, here is everything you need to learn about the place before embarking on your next Zambia Safari to one of its wildest paradises.

Best time to visit

The Best Time to Visit South Luangwa National Park is from May to September, during the early dry season. This period offers the most comfortable climate for exploring, with less heat and optimal conditions for Zambia Wildlife sightings. While October and November also promise good animal viewing, the temperatures rise significantly. Visits are less ideal from December to March due to heavy rains that make the black-cotton soil terrain impassable. This can limit access to the park's stunning landscapes and diverse habitats.


South Luangwa Wildlife offers a unique safari experience with sightings of four of the Big Five, minus the rhino. The park is famous for its large elephant herds and numerous buffalo. Unique to this area are the Thornicroft's giraffe and Cookson's wildebeest. Night safaris bring encounters with nocturnal animals like hyenas and bush babies, making South Luangwa a prime spot for wildlife enthusiasts seeking an unforgettable adventure in nature.

What To Experience

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South Luangwa National Park

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Useful Facts About South Luangwa That Make It An Unmissable Safari Destination

  • Established in 1972, South Luangwa covers an area of 9050 km2. The park extends over three of Zambia’s provinces, Northern, Eastern, and Central Zambia. Apart from its incredible wildlife and being a pioneer in walking safaris, this Zambia National Park has earned accolades for its anti-poaching approach and innovative conservation success in 2019.
  • The South Luangwa National Park is home to three endemic animals, which won’t be found anywhere else. They are Thornicroft’s giraffes, Crawshay’s zebras, and Cookson’e wildebeest. This serves as a major attraction for travelers visiting South Luangwa for Zambia Wildlife Safari.
  • The national park premises hosts the most significant number of African wild dogs in Zambia, around 350 of them. This has been made possible because of the collaborative efforts of the Zambian Carnivore Programme and the Conservation South Luangwa program.
  • The national park is a dream destination for avid bird watchers. This is because of the southern carmine bee-eaters who follow a unique migration pattern and arrive banks of the Luangwa River in mid-August. Visit the park between September and October to witness the colorful assortment of birds and take back with you an unforgettable birding experience.
  • The tourism of Zambia supports responsible tourism and takes initiatives toward conservation efforts. Visit Mulberry Mongoose in Mfuwe to witness local craftswomen use recovered wire from poaching traps to create beautiful jewelry designs.
  • Buying any of these will not provide economic support to the women and their families but also contribute funds towards local conservation efforts towards protecting breathtaking Zambia Wildlife.
  • The South Luangwa National Park has an incredible number of accommodation options for its guests. The staying-in options are spectacular, from small and intimate camps to slightly larger lodges. In addition, there is an option for everyone who seeks an authentic safari experience during their Zambia Safari Tours.

Map And Geography

The following South Luangwa National Park Map shows all the geographical details of the place. Also, the location of all its lodges is shown for our reader’s convenience.

south luangawa national park

Geographical Details Of South Luangwa National Park

South Luangwa National Park extends over an area of 9050 km2. The western side of the park is bounded by the Muchinga escarpment, which gradually steeps down to the eastern side, bordered by the meandering Luangwa River.

The National Park area is generally flat near the Luangwa River and is dominated by mature woodlands. A mixture of small bushes and grasslands are interspersed by the presence of large beautiful trees which are 10-20 m apart.

Occasionally there are wide open grasslands which are not the usual Serengeti-type plains with short grasses. Instead, they are covered by tall species of grasses with bushes. The lack of trees makes it an open plains area.

When To Visit South Luangwa National Park

South Luangwa is a seasonal Zambia Safari Destination. Most of its lodges are only operated in the dry season, particularly from the end of March to the end of October. The early part of the dry season, starting from May and running through September, is the best time for wildlife viewing.

Wild animals from the bush areas of South Luangwa Valley conglomerate around the meandering Luangwa River in search of fresh drinking water. Also, the dry vegetation with thinner bushes makes it easy to spot wildlife during safari drives.

An insight: The temperature and low-humid conditions in Luangwa valley are optimal for Zambia Safari Tours during the dry months of May to October. However, the temperature starts soaring in October. Day-time temperatures can rise to 40 degree Celsius and drop to around 26 degrees at night.

Despite good wildlife sightings opportunities, the high temperatures and humid conditions are not suitable for South Luangwa National Safaris during October. But, if you don’t have any problem dealing with heat and humidity, go ahead with the safari to South Luangwa in the later part of the dry season.

As we know that the Luangwa Valley majorly experiences two safari seasons- The Dry Season and The Wet Season. Let’s look at the highlights of each season and what it has in store for you.

The Dry Season- May To October

Advantages of visiting South Luangwa from May to October

  • Cool and Dry weather conditions with clear skies and lots of sunshine.
  • After the rains, the luscious green grass turns golden which gives excellent photographic opportunities.
  • Animals gather around the Luangwa River and other watercourses.
  • The cooler conditions prevailing in the early morning and late evenings witnessed heightened predator activity.
  • With fewer bugs and mosquitoes around, there are lesser chances of spreading malaria.

Disadvantages of the Dry Season

  • Sometimes rivers can be too crowded as the number of visitors peaks around this time.
  • The dusty atmosphere and arid climate might make you uncomfortable during game drives.

The Wet Season- November To April

Advantages of visiting South Luangwa during the Wet Season

  • The wet season is often regarded as the “emerald season” in Zambia. The rains turn the dry vegetation into a lush, green scenery.
  • Fewer tourists arrive at the place; hence the rates are lower.
  • As the birthing season begins, you can spot newborns around the place.
  • The presence of migrant birds makes it the best time for bird-watching safaris.

Disadvantages of the Wet Season

  • Prevailing hot and humid conditions are not suitable for South Luangwa National Park Safari.
  • Most lodges are shut down from December to March as rains make it difficult to commute within the national park premises.
  • As there is water everywhere, Malaria is a big concern.
  • Some roads are inaccessible and impassable due to the rains.

Good to Know: Some lodges in South Luangwa National Park, especially in the central part of the park remain open during the wet season as long as they can be accessed by travelers. Recently, some bush camps have also opened access during the wet season.

Regardless of the time of the year you choose to visit, it should be kept in mind that wildlife behavior can be unpredictable, and sightings can never be guaranteed (except for the peak of the dry season). So, it’s advisable to contact us about the best time to visit the park and what you can expect during your Safaris To Zambia.

Getting To South Luangwa National Park

Though located in a remote location, South Luangwa is still easily accessible. The national park is situated near the village of Mfuwe and is at a distance of 700 km from the capital city, Lusaka.

The most preferred route to reach South Luangwa is to fly to the park from the capital city of Lusaka via the Mfuwe airport. Take down the flights to Mfuwe airport from Lusaka. Mfuwe airport is the primary access point to reach South Luangwa National Park.

Let’s look at all the ways by which South Luangwa National Park can be accessed by travelers.

By Air

International Air Travel

During the main safari season, from May to October, most visitors to the national park start from Lusaka and fly into Mfuwe airport. The starting point is Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka. The airport has multiple daily connections with other important locations in the world. These locations include Nairobi, Johannesburg and Dubai, and Ethiopia.

Domestic Air Travel

Visitors to South Luangwa can also choose to travel domestically. Start from Livingstone to Lusaka or vice versa, which is generally opted by travelers who visit Victoria Falls and Chobe National Park areas.

From Lusaka to South Luangwa

After your international flight lands at Lusaka, your Zambia Safari is about to start. You just now need to take a 70 minutes short flight to Mfuwe airport. All further connections to the Zambia Safari Park are assisted by Proflight Zambia.  There are about three flights scheduled per day.

-Lusaka > Mfuwe

-Livingstone (via Lusaka) >Mfuwe

-Lower Zambezi (via Lusaka)> Mfuwe

Note: The one-way trip between Lusaka and Mfuwe will cost around US $ 282 per person. With return tickets, the cost is going to double.

By Road

Travelers can reach South Luangwa National Park from Lusaka (Lusaka- Chipata-Mfuwe) by either using a public bus or by hiring a private/rental vehicle. This drive can take you at least 10 hours long. You can also take a direct bus from Lusaka to Mfuwe to reach South Luangwa. But, the time duration for this route will be a little more.

The second option is to combine South Luangwa National Park Safari with a visit to Malawi. From Lilongwe (Malawi’s capital), a trip to Mfuwe takes much lesser time than from Lusaka.

Summary of Prices to Reach South Luangwa National Park

Mode of Transport


Time Taken To Complete the journey

Public bus (Lusaka-Chipata- Mfuwe)

130.000 ZMW + 60.000 ZMW

8-9 hours

Public bus (direct bus)

220.000 ZMW

12 hours

Private car


6-7 hours

Flight from Lusaka (ProFlight Zambia)

US $ 150-200

45 mins

Note: Mfuwe is 20-30 minutes from the main gate of South Luangwa National Park. So, transfers to the national park from Mfuwe can be easily arranged. Also, the lodges or guest houses can arrange pickups (sometimes free of cost).

Zambia Visa Information

By far as we know, travelers tend to enter through Lusaka, Livingstone, or Mfuwe on arriving in Zambia. Foreign travelers will require to obtain visas. The list of countries that need to obtain a visa and those who are exempt can be obtained by contacting the nearest Zambian Embassy or Consulate.

The present Zambia Visa rates for single-entry and double-entry visas are US $ 50 and US $ 80, respectively. In addition, a departure tax is also required to be paid in cash during the time of departure from all the main airports. The domestic departure tax is US $ 8, and the international departure tax is US $ 25.

Park Entrance Fees At South Luangwa

The South Luangwa National Park entrance fees for different categories of travelers are given below:

Travelers Category

 Park Fees (per person per day)

International Visitors

US $ 25

Residents and SADC Members

US $ 20

Zambian Citizens

K 41.70

Self-drive (Residents and Non-residents)

US $ 30

South Luangwa Wildlife

Due to its rich vegetation, South Luangwa National Park shelters a diverse range of wildlife, including many species which are exclusive to the region. Some of the notable animals present in the national park are:

  • Antelopes and Other Herbivores:

Luangwa Valley is popular among safari enthusiasts for several ‘specialties’ including the rare Thornicroft’s giraffe which has a strikingly different coloration.

Other rare species found in the valley are Cookson’s wildebeest, a subspecies of the blue wildebeest, and Crawshay’s zebra, a subspecies of plains zebra.

Many species of antelopes are on the park premises, including impalas, puku, kudus, and bushbucks. Apart from that, the valley also supports high densities of game such as huge herds of buffalos and groups of elephants.

The hundreds of hippos and crocodiles that are abundantly present in and around the Luangwa River deserve a special mention here. The best time to observe the dense population of hippos is towards the end of the dry season when the river water is at its lowest.

  • Predators

The predominant predators of Luangwa Valley are lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, and wild dogs. A large pride of lions can be easily spotted at the end of the dry season when the vegetation is scarce all around.

Also, South Luangwa has earned a name among its competitors for providing incredible sightings of Leopards, especially during night game drives. Recently, high incidences of Wild dog sightings have been reported near the Nkwali pontoon in the south of Mfuwe around February to May.

On the contrary, there have been no reports of Cheetah sightings in the park for some decades. This is why cheetahs are believed to be extinct inside South Luangwa.

Wildlife Of South Luangwa National Park

There are different categories of animals spotted inside the South Luangwa. While some are common and can be easily sighted inside the park premises during a Zambia Wildlife, some others might be uncommon or completely rare to sight. Take a look at the list of these animals.


 Names of the animals


Leopard, lion, buffalo, elephant, zebra, giraffe, warthog, impala, waterbuck, bushbuck, and impala.


Wildebeest, eland, greater kudu, spotted hyena, civet, and porcupine.


Cheetah, African wild dog, roan antelope, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest and sable antelope.

South Luangwa Birdlife

With about 400 recorded species of birds, South Luangwa is renowned for its rich tropical birdlife. Some bird species prefer a dry habitat of plains and forests, while others live close to water.

The best time for bird watching is during the summer rainy season. The birds have an abundant food supply during this time and the summer migrants are also thriving in the park.

Some of the notable birds of South Luangwa, which can be seen during a birding safari in the national park, are given below.

  • African Skimmer - This distinctive bird is easily recognizable by its long, thin bill, which it uses to skim the water's surface for fish.
  • Pel's Fishing Owl - This large owl is one of the most sought-after bird species in the park and is known for its distinctive, circular facial disks and yellow eyes.
  • Carmine Bee-eater - This brightly colored bird is a common sight in the park, and is often seen perching on branches or flying over the river.
  • African Grey Hornbill - This large bird is easily recognizable by its distinctive bill and grey plumage.
  • African Fish Eagle - This powerful bird of prey is one of the most iconic bird species in Africa, and its distinctive call is often heard echoing across the river.
  • Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill - This striking bird is easily recognizable by its large bill, which is yellow with a black tip.
  • Bohm's Bee-eater - This brightly colored bird is a common sight in the park and is often seen perching on branches or flying over the river.
  • Cuckoo Hawk - This bird of prey is easily recognizable by its long, narrow wings and distinctive call.

Check out the table below that displays a list of notable species of birds of South Luangwa and where they could be noted easily during a Safaris To Zambia.

Species of Birds of South Luangwa

Where/When  to Spot them

Flocks of crowned cranes

On the marshes of the Nsefu sector

Carmine bee-eaters

Nesting on sandy river banks in September and October

African Skimmers

Found along the river

The giant eagle owls

Spotted during night drives

Flocks of egrets, herons, and storks

Breeding in the shallow water of the Nsefu sector

Getting Around South Luangwa

By Car

Most visitors to South Luangwa use a car to tour the park premises. In addition, they use a car for safari drives which are organized by the lodges. Sometimes visitors can also rent a 4WD vehicle or tour around by using their vehicle.

In the latter case, traveling on your own can be a little risky as there are plenty of trails with no proper signposting, so picking up a map from the gate is advised to ensure a hassle-free safari experience.

By Boat

The water levels in the Luangwa River are deficient during the dry season which doesn’t allow using a boat to get around the national park. However, some operators/lodges can arrange canoe safaris in the green season. These canoe safaris are limited to occasional transfers only and are carried out under our expert guidance.

Word of Caution:

Using a boat as a means of communication to get around the national park is not advisable. This is because the Luangwa River can behave unpredictably during high water levels in the rainy season.

Also, a large number of hippos present in the river can capsize the canoes, and the crocodiles present may attack the capsized canoes in the river.

On Foot

Although travelers to the park are not permitted to independently travel on foot, you can still join the guided walking safaris on your Holidays In Zambia.

Where To Stay

South Luangwa National Park runs a spectrum of accommodation options catering to every type of traveler. From luxurious tented camps and lodges to budget-friendly bush camps, there are options to suit all budgets and preferences.

 These wide ranges of Zambia Accommodations are mainly situated along the Luangwa River’s edge to ensure uninterrupted wildlife viewing without leaving the comfort of your rooms.

However, one more thing that should be noted here is that these accommodation options located just outside the park can go as low as US $ 40 per night. In contrast, other accommodations inside the national park premises can cost US $ 300-350 per night per person. So, if you are traveling on a budget Zambia Safari, go for accommodation options outside the park premises.

Keeping the above things in mind, let’s look at all the types of accommodations offered at South Luangwa:

  • Luxurious Lodges:

If you are someone who is looking to stay at high-end accommodations when visiting South Luangwa, then Zambia Luxury Safari packages are the thing for you. These packages provide you with an all-inclusive experience.

Along with offering comfortable rooms equipped with luxurious facilities, they serve delicious cuisines and give opportunities to participate in various activities such as game drives, walking safaris, and boat trips.

  • Tented camps

For a raw and truly authentic safari experience, choose to stay at one of the tented camps in South Luangwa. This canvas-type of tented camp is remotely located and offers a truly immersive African safari experience.

  • Budget-friendly camps

Travelers coming to South Luangwa on a budget can opt to stay at these affordable camps. These accommodations offer basic facilities, yet they are comfortable. Also, they may be located in remote areas of the park for a more immersive safari experience.

  • Self-catering accommodations

Visitors to South Luangwa who are picky about their meals and accommodations can consider staying at self-catering options. There are both budget camps and luxury lodges available under this category.

With so many accommodation options available, travelers coming for a South Luangwa National Park Safari on their visit to Zambia often have to choose one location depending on their style of travel and the budget involved. Also, the overall Zambia Safari Cost will considerably get influenced by the type of accommodation you choose.

Still, no matter which style of accommodation you are finally opting for, one thing for sure is that you will have the best adventure of your lifetime when visiting the magnificent Zambia Safari Park, South Luangwa.

Things To Do At South Luangwa

South Luangwa National Park is famous for being home to vast concentrations of wildlife. However, if we compare the concentration of wildlife to the number of visitors, the ratio suggests that there are very few tourists relative to the wildlife population and park size. This makes the park one of the best places for Zambia Wildlife Safari.

This national park is applauded for being the first of its kind to organize walking safaris. They are one of the most effective ways to explore the unspoiled and untamed wilderness of the park while following the footprints of animals all around.

During the winter season, the prevailing cool and dry atmosphere attracts wild animals to the meandering Luangwa River, and the scarce vegetation makes it easy for wildlife viewing.

On the other hand, the wet summers turn the dry landscape into a luscious green woodland which provides perfect weather conditions for birding. But, it is harder to spot large mammals around this time.

In short, South Luangwa offers a wide range of activities and experiences depending on the time of the visit for various travelers. Along with wildlife safaris, there are plenty of other Things to Do in Zambia’s premier national park that travelers can try to have a completely different perspective of the place.

Let’s look at a few of the most popular activities on offer in South Luangwa.

Safari Activities

  • Game Drives – Spot some rare species of antelope unique to the park

Off course, the first thing to do and see is to go on South Luangwa National Park Safari. All the lodges in the national park area arrange game drives. Here, a trained guide with extensive knowledge takes visitors around the park by a safari jeep.

Typically, safaris are organized at dawn (before 6:00 pm) and in the evening (after 4:00 pm). The temperatures start to come down during this time, making amicable conditions for safari drives.

  • Mobile Walking Safaris – Full-day or half-day walks between camps

South Luangwa is one of the best places in the world which offers walking safaris. These safaris provide travelers with the unique opportunity to access the remote areas of the park on the foot along with an armed ranger or guide.

Generally, guests are taken from one overnight camp to another, which is located further in deep locations in the park. While moving on foot, the guests at the park will get the opportunity to encounter nothing but wildlife while exploring remote regions along the river banks and areas where there is no road access.

  • Birding Safaris- A visual retreat to the eyes

With about 400 species, South Luangwa has a vibrant array of birds. Birding safaris are the best way for bird lovers to experience their diversity and locate them around the park.

These safaris are usually conducted in the presence of an ornithologist or an experienced guide.

So appreciate the beautiful collection of colorful birds while enjoying their songs and calls and get the best birding experience.

  • Boating Safaris – Witness the wildlife spectacle safely from the boat

Boating safaris in the Luangwa River are conducted during the rainy months when the water levels are full. The shores of the river are crowded by the presence of huge numbers of hippos and crocodiles. Herds of elephants gather near the Luangwa River too.

One thing to keep in mind is that this river can behave unpredictably at any time, so these safaris are always organized under expert guidance.

  • Photographic Safaris – Get some of the best wildlife shots

South Luangwa is nothing sort of a photographer’s dreamland. However, the stunning landscapes, rich wildlife, and extraordinary birdlife offer numerous opportunities for capturing some immensely beautiful shots that could be preserved as a memory for lifetimes.

Other Activities At South Luangwa

  • Bush Spas carried at the center of the national park area are the best way to relax and rejuvenate during your Safaris To Zambia. These spa treatments are done with traditional therapeutic ingredients and are the best to calm you while alleviating all the stress and pain.
  • Visit the local Kawaza Village, which is located outside of the park premises. This will enable you to meet the Kunda Tribe, where you will get to experience the local people and get to stay at the simple African thatched hut.
  • Take a tour of the local outlet, located on the road between Mfuwe airport and the national park. You can buy some souvenirs to keep some memories of your visit to South Luangwa.


Prices Of Various Activities In South Luangwa

There are plenty of Things to Do in Zambia when visiting its most important wildlife sanctuary, South Luangwa. Some of the activities and their corresponding charges are mentioned below to get you an overall picture of their costs.

Activities Offered Inside South Luangwa

Prices (per person)

Game Drive

Starting from US $ 25 (minimum 3-4 per vehicle)

Safari walk ( for 1-2 hours)

Starting from US $ 25 (minimum 3-4 per vehicle)

Safari walk (full-day)

Starting from US $ 150-200 per day

Night Safari

Starting from US $ 30 (minimum 3-4 per vehicle)


Starting from the US $ 5 fees from the national park


Starts from US $ 20


Starts from US $ 20

Tips And Other Safety Advice

  • Malaria and Safety

South Luangwa is a place that is affected by malaria. So, make sure to get yourself vaccinated before your next trip to Zambia. You can find out the specific vaccinations needed for you by making an appointment with your clinic/doctor before your visit.  Also, wearing long clothes and using mosquito repellants (containing DEET) is recommended to protect you against mosquito bites.

  • Precautions During Wildlife Viewing

Until you are listening to your guide’s instructions and following the rules and regulations of the park, wildlife viewing is considered safe during South Luangwa National Park Safaris.

As most accommodations inside the park premises are unfenced, a safety briefing for the guests is arranged to ensure your well-being and avoid any hazards.  

  • What to Pack during South Luangwa Safaris

Some essentials to pack during safaris to South Luangwa are long-sleeved comfortable clothing, sturdy and comfortable walking shoes, insect repellants, sun protection cream with high SPF, binoculars, a camera with extra memory cards, and batteries.

  • Insurance and Medical evacuation cover

As the risks of traveling to remote locations are involved, getting appropriate insurance and medical evacuation coverage is advisable.

  • Level of fitness

Most travelers to South Luangwa generally opt to participate in mobile walking safaris. But, this safari option requires a moderate level of fitness as participants have to walk around 10 km a day with frequent stops.


South Luangwa National Park Safaris are the best way to explore the raw, unspoiled, and remote areas Intrinsic to the park. The diverse ecosystems sheltering abundant wildlife make it one of the must-visit national parks during Zambia Safaris.

Whether you are a seasoned safari-goer or a first-timer, the unspoiled wilderness with a huge variety of games is going to blow your mind. From game drives and walking safaris to bird watching and cultural tours, this Zambia’s most celebrated national park has got something for everyone.

So, on your next trip to Zambia, do not forget to visit the incredible destination of South Luangwa to experience the truest sense of African wilderness.

best month to Visit South Luangwa National Park

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South Luangwa in January

South Luangwa National Park tours in January encounter the rainy season at its peak, with camps mostly closed due to heavy rainfall, which averages 509mm. The lush landscapes are vibrant, but accessibility is limited, making it a quiet time for visitors seeking solitude and greenery, though wildlife spotting becomes challenging.

South Luangwa in February

February in South Luangwa sees heavy rainfall, reaching up to 475mm, leading to very wet conditions and making some paths inaccessible. However, this also means the park's beauty is at its peak, presenting a distinctive adventure for visitors ready to embrace the lush, albeit muddy, landscapes.

South Luangwa in March

March brings a transition with rains still frequent, making South Luangwa Tours a choice for the adventurous. The climate begins to improve slightly, with temperatures averaging 28°C, but expect a few rainy days that continue to challenge access to some park areas.

South Luangwa in April

South Luangwa National Park Safari Tours in April see the climate becoming more favourable. With the rains easing off, the park begins to dry out, and temperatures in the early evening average a cooler 20°C, making it an excellent time for game viewing as animals start to emerge.

South Luangwa in May

May marks the start of the perfect climate for South Luangwa Safaris, with warm sunny days and cool nights. The dry season kicks off, offering excellent game viewing opportunities and the best conditions for walking safaris, as wildlife is easier to spot around water sources.

South Luangwa in June

In June, South Luangwa enters the high season with comfortable weather, despite the potential for extremely cold mornings. The dry landscape makes wildlife viewing highly rewarding, as animals concentrate around water, offering spectacular Zambia Safari experiences.

South Luangwa in July

South Luangwa Safari Tours in July hit the peak season, with sunny days and very cold early mornings. This is the prime time for safaris, as the dry conditions provide unparalleled wildlife sightings, especially around waterholes.

South Luangwa in August

August in South Luangwa National Park sees very hot and dry conditions, enhancing game viewing as animals gather intensely around water. Despite the heat, this late dry season period offers some of the best wildlife encounters, making it a popular time for visitors.

South Luangwa in September

September continues the trend of very hot, dry weather for South Luangwa Safaris. The intense concentration of animals around water sources offers exceptional game viewing opportunities, though the heat can be challenging for some visitors.

South Luangwa in October

October is peak safari month in South Luangwa National Park, with extremely hot temperatures but excellent wildlife viewing. Animals are at their most visible around water, though the heat and dry conditions demand preparation for intense sun.

South Luangwa in November

South Luangwa National Park Tours in November witness the start of the early rainy season, bringing a mix of hot weather and the first rains. This period is vibrant with new life, as many antelope give birth and the birdlife becomes magnificent, offering a unique safari experience for returning visitors and photographers.

South Luangwa National Park in December

December sees South Luangwa at its busiest despite the unfavourable climate, with high rainfall and lush landscapes. The park is vibrant and full of life, offering dynamic Zambia Wildlife viewing and spectacular birding opportunities, though some areas may be less accessible due to rain.

Frequently Asked Questions

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South Luangwa National Park is home to the elusive leopards and it is one of the best places in southern Africa to spot them. Also, the park is famous for its huge herds of elephants and buffalo. The hundreds of hippo populations that reside in the lagoons of South Luangwa provide extraordinary sightings for Zambia Safari goers.

The only river that flows through South Luangwa National Park is the Luangwa River. The park is named after this river which is the major source of water for the wildlife residing inside the park.

One can expect to encounter a variety of wildlife species inside the South Luangwa National Park. Some of the noted animals present are elephants, hippos, cape buffaloes, lions, crocodiles, warthogs, puku, impala, spotted hyenas, elands, and greater kudus. Other rare species which are unique to South Luangwa are Thornicroft’s giraffe, Cookson’s wildebeest, and Crawshay’s giraffe.

Travelers can commute to South Luangwa National either by air or by road. The nearest airport to the national park is Mfuwe airport which is approximately 45 minutes away from the park. After landing at the Mfuwe airport, you can either hire a shuttle or a private vehicle to the park.

The varieties of accommodations available inside South Luangwa are lodges, tented camps, and campsites. While some of these lodges offer luxurious accommodations with top-notch infrastructure, others give a more rustic feel and are not on the pricier side.

Some of the most popular activities that are offered to our visitors inside the park are wildlife viewing on game drives, guided walks, bird watching, boating excursions, and walking safaris.

The best time to visit South Luangwa National Park is between May and October. Wildlife viewing is at its best around this time as a large number of wild animals gather around the meandering Luangwa River, making the sightings easy. The weather conditions are also dry and pleasant which is conducive for going on a Zambia Safari to the national park.

No, South Luangwa National Park doesn’t have cheetahs. Also, the park has got no rhinos too. The large mammals which are present inside the park include buffalos and elephants only. The park also boasts huge numbers of crocodiles and hippos. It has also got a wide variety of antelopes including kudu, bushbuck, waterbuck, puku, and impala.

There are no photographic restrictions inside South Luangwa National Park. Still, travelers are advised to adhere to park rules and regulations and not disturb wildlife or damage any natural environment.

While hiring guides on a safari to South Luangwa is not mandatory, its’ generally advised hiring someone because of the sheer knowledge they carry about the place, and its’ flora and fauna. Also, guides ensure the safety of visitors and protect them against any untoward incident.

Travelers coming on a Zambia Safari to South Luangwa are generally advised to pack some light, breathable, and neutral-colored clothing. This is because brightly colored clothes attract the attention of wildlife. Also, travelers to the national park are recommended to wear comfortable and sturdy footwear for game drives and walking safaris.

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