Call: UK: +44 (0) 1752 878858 USA: +1 (347) 708 1794 CAN: +1 (647) 694 1402 AUS: +61 (2) 8417 2176

Luangwa Valley

  • Luangwa elephants from the air (courtesy Andy Hogg and John Coppinger)
  • Luangwa wild dog

Fast Facts


  • Walking safaris
  • Amazing photo ops
  • Great birding
  • Deep in the bush

 

Luangwa Valley

Venture deep into the bush on an unforgettable walking safari and take in Luangwa’s unspoilt beauty and remoteness

The Luangwa Valley has four designated conservation areas, but is probably best known for the South Luangwa National Park, Zambia's most famous wildlife sanctuary with unforgettable scenery. North Luangwa, about half the size of its southern counterpart, is an undeveloped and entry-restricted gem in the African bush. The Luambe and Lukusuzi National Parks have no safari facilities.

One of the Luangwa's biggest draw cards is its unspoilt beauty and remote character, giving visitors a feeling of being 'deep in the bush'. The park is the birthplace of the modern walking safari, pioneered here over 50 years ago by Norman Carr, Zambia's greatest conservationist. From casual nature walks to full-blown portered trails: South Luangwa is unquestionably one of the best places in Africa to experience a walking safari.

The park offers amazing leopard sightings, especially around the lagoons and woodland on the river floodplain. Although it doesn't have a massive diversity of game, the concentration of game around the Luangwa river and its ox bow lagoons is among the most intense in Africa. There are a large number of predators as well as strong populations of buffalo and antelope. Scores of hippos and crocodiles can also be seen in the numerous lagoons and pools. The Thornicroft's Giraffe and Cookson's Wildebeest are animals that are unique to the valley.

Birdlife is excellent in the Luangwa with over 400 species having been recorded. Near the end of the dry season, hundreds of large waterbirds can be seen wading through the shallows, offering amazing photographic opportunities.

Get in touch with us

UK+44 (0) 1752 878858
+44 (0) 1752 878858
USA+1 (347) 708 1794
+1 (347) 708 1794
Canada+1 (647) 694 1402
Australia+61 (2) 8417 2176
Read more
  • Enquire
  • Enquiries and bookings

    Contact the Zambezi team

    Please let us have as much relevant info as possible...

  • All the facts
  • What and where

    The South Luangwa National Park covers a vast 9050 square kilometres and is dominated by a flood plain and savannah that extends from the Luangwa River to the Muchinga escarpment rising over 800 metres from the valley floor in the west.

    The Luangwa River, one of the Zambezi's biggest tributaries flows south through a deep valley of fertile grasslands, woodlands and riverine forests. The Luangwa Valley itself is the southern extension of the Great Rift Valley that stretches from North Africa down to the Zambezi River.

    What to see

    The park hasover 400 bird species, including 47 migrant birds from the northern hemisphere and birds of prey including Martial and Bateleur Eagles.

    There are 60 types of mammal including 14 antelope. Probably the most beautiful antelope is the Kudu, with its majestic spiral horns and delicate face.  

    South Luangwa has a good population of leopard but they are not that easy to spot and tend to retreat when they hear vehicles. Many of the Lodge's game trackers are skilled in finding leopards on night drives however, and often visitors are rewarded with a full view of a kill.

    Birdwatching is superb in the Valley. With about 400 of Zambia's 732 species of birds appearing in the Valley, including 39 birds of prey and 47 migrant species, there is plenty for the birdwatcher to spot, whatever the season.

    When to go

    Seasonal changes are very pronounced in Luangwa. The dry season begins in April and intensifies through to October, the hottest month when game concentrations are at their height. Warm sunny days and chilly nights typify the dry winter months of May to August.

    The green season (November to April) although practically off limits at that time is when large herds of elephant congregate.

    The Luangwa is essentially a dry-season safari destination. As all of the camps are small and relatively exclusive, advance bookings are essential. 

    Where to stay

    Most of Zambia's best safari operators are found in the Luangwa, all in the east of the park in close proximity to the river itself. Permanent safari lodges are the main bases for safari activities but there are a number of excellent seasonal bush camps in the remoter areas that should be considered by more serious and active safari-goers.

  • Map
Enquiries and bookings

Contact the Zambezi team

Please let us have as much relevant info as possible...

What and where

The South Luangwa National Park covers a vast 9050 square kilometres and is dominated by a flood plain and savannah that extends from the Luangwa River to the Muchinga escarpment rising over 800 metres from the valley floor in the west.

The Luangwa River, one of the Zambezi's biggest tributaries flows south through a deep valley of fertile grasslands, woodlands and riverine forests. The Luangwa Valley itself is the southern extension of the Great Rift Valley that stretches from North Africa down to the Zambezi River.

What to see

The park hasover 400 bird species, including 47 migrant birds from the northern hemisphere and birds of prey including Martial and Bateleur Eagles.

There are 60 types of mammal including 14 antelope. Probably the most beautiful antelope is the Kudu, with its majestic spiral horns and delicate face.  

South Luangwa has a good population of leopard but they are not that easy to spot and tend to retreat when they hear vehicles. Many of the Lodge's game trackers are skilled in finding leopards on night drives however, and often visitors are rewarded with a full view of a kill.

Birdwatching is superb in the Valley. With about 400 of Zambia's 732 species of birds appearing in the Valley, including 39 birds of prey and 47 migrant species, there is plenty for the birdwatcher to spot, whatever the season.

When to go

Seasonal changes are very pronounced in Luangwa. The dry season begins in April and intensifies through to October, the hottest month when game concentrations are at their height. Warm sunny days and chilly nights typify the dry winter months of May to August.

The green season (November to April) although practically off limits at that time is when large herds of elephant congregate.

The Luangwa is essentially a dry-season safari destination. As all of the camps are small and relatively exclusive, advance bookings are essential. 

Where to stay

Most of Zambia's best safari operators are found in the Luangwa, all in the east of the park in close proximity to the river itself. Permanent safari lodges are the main bases for safari activities but there are a number of excellent seasonal bush camps in the remoter areas that should be considered by more serious and active safari-goers.

...safaris in Zambia

The Zambezi River drops off a basalt edge into the first of the Batoka gorges

Zambezi Gorge

Save US$25 per person on a 2 night stay at Taita Falcon Lodge with fully inclusive accommodation and 3 in-house activities