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South Luangwa National Park

About Destination

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The South Luangwa National Park in eastern Zambia is the southernmost of three national parks in the valley of the Luangwa River. It is a world-renowned wildlife haven which is simply known to locals as "the South Park."

Founded as a game reserve in 1938, it became a national park in 1972 and now covers 9,050 km2. The Park is unfenced and bordered to the west by a steep escarpment and the east by the Luangwa River. The Luangwa Valley lies at the tail end of the Great African Rift Valley system, which extends 4,000 km from the Red Sea down to the Pungwe River mouth in Mozambique.

Here dramatic seasonal variations, a dynamic river system, fertile soils, and lush vegetation ensure a prolific supply of wildlife. Home to the majority of big game – including lion, leopard, elephant, and buffalo – the Luangwa Valley also boasts two endemic sub-species: Thornicroft’s Giraffe and Cookson’s Wildebeest. An impressive concentration of both hippos and crocodiles makes the Luangwa River one of the most wildlife-dense in Africa.

South Luangwa National Park offers many amazing activities:

  • Walking safaris (short half-day walks or full-day walks between camps)
  • Staying in authentic, off-the-grid bush camps made of thatched grass
  • Go mountain biking in the bush at Tafika
  • Meeting ‘Harry the hippo’ at Bilimungwe
  • Game drives to see species like puku, Thornicraft’s giraffe, Crewshay’s zebra, and Coke’s hartebeest
  • Some of the best birding in the world – look for Lillian’s lovebirds and paradise wydahs