"South Luangwa NP - Night and Day, This is the One!" South Luangwa National Park by Zanzibargirl

Between Day and Night Luangwa shines!

South Luangwa National Park is one of the only game parks remaining in the whole of Africa which has Night game drives. Most of the other parks who had night drives have stopped doing so for reasons of disturbances to animals and insurance.

But they say the best game is to be seen at night. And here in Luangwe we watched the Lion prowl under spotlight and stunning sunset vista's. If you are lucky, this too is the best place to spot a Leopard. We went to try and see the illusive leopards, I was unlucky, but some of our group did see them.

Nearby also at Flatdogs campsite there is great Chalets, camping in the tree's and more of those glorious sunsets. If you can handle a long dirt road to get there, it is well worth the visit!

South Luangwa National Park is one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world. So remote and isolated it has a high density of wildlife and offers and experience that so many of the other African game and national parks seem to offer. It is less visited and known, and therefore so awesome to explore, it doesn't have the throngs of tourists that the Masai Mara and Ngorongoro deal with on a regular basis. The concentration of game around the Luangwa river is among the most intense in Africa and the Luangwa River system keeps these animals and the park flourising.

The East bank of the river was declared Luangwa Game park in 1904. It was not so well maintained. It wasn't until May 1938 three parks were defined in the valley: the North Luangwa Game Reserve; the Lukusuzi Game Reserve; and the South Luangwa Game Reserve.

Part of this area in 1949 became a private game reserve on the eastern bank. In 1972 legistlation turned all game reserves into National Park.

Located at the tail end of the Rift Valley, in the Luangwa Valley, the South Luangwa National Park covers 9050 sq km. it is home to a large variety of game and birds, as well as the bigger predators. There are 60 different animal species and 400 different bird species. Their are no Rhino left in the park, within this area they have been poached to extinction.

Luangwa River is home to large numbers of crocodiles and hippo's. As you cross over the bridge into the park there are usually between 30 to 70 hippos lounging around in the river below. There are estimated to be at least 50 hippos per kilometre of the Luangwa River.

There are also some awesome examples of the very African Baobab tree in the area amongst many other African trees.

There are very definate seasons in this area. The dry season is from April to October. October is the hottest month, and game concentrations are at their height. May to August are dry winter months.The wet season begins in November and lasts until the end of March and migrant birds arrive in droves. Lodges in South Luangwa stay open for as long as access is possible, depending on their location. The path to South Luangwa in some areas, like leading to Flat Dogs for example, is dirt road, so it all depends on the rain how accessible the area is.

I really enjoyed my time in South Luangwa. It was so out of the way, and the campsite and the game drives there are well worth the trip out.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Night Game and great accomodation
  • Cons:Long rocy dirt road that takes ages to get there
  • In a nutshell:Night and Day, this is the place
  • Last visit to South Luangwa National Park: Mar 2004
  • Intro Updated Jan 15, 2005
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Reviews (5)

Comments (4)

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Oct 13, 2006 at 4:33 PM

    Great info and photos on your experiences in South Luangwa NP!! What an adventure it must have been to experience Africa in the raw like that!

  • K.Knight's Profile Photo
    Aug 14, 2004 at 2:05 AM

    Very impressive photography. You must have had a great time, there are some nice shots of you smiling!!! G'day from Queensland

  • johanl's Profile Photo
    Aug 10, 2004 at 5:07 AM

    It seems that the Africa bug, got under your skin too. Fantastic pages on the African countries you visited.

  • BerniShand's Profile Photo
    Jul 29, 2004 at 5:10 AM

    a great page, i really enjoyed reading it, fantastic pics in the travelogues


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