The Hidden Gems of the Eastern Region

If Zambia is known as the ‘home of safari’ then Eastern Zambia is the heart of this home! The Luangwa Valley and Lower Zambezi National Park are both standout, internationally acclaimed WILDLIFE MECCAS offering safari encounters for a wide range of people and budgets. North and South Luangwa and Luambe National Parks are dominated by the presence of the Luangwa River and her many moods and seasons. From striking emeralds and INCREDIBLE BIRDLIFE at the beginning of the season (April / May) to the flaming sunsets and sandy floodplains that become hallmarks of the valley by the end of October, this is AFRICA AT ITS MOST AUTHENTIC.

Like the Luangwa, the Zambezi River in the Lower Zambezi National Park is the distinguishing landmark of the park. However, unlike the smaller Luangwa, the Zambezi allows visitors to experience the park from boat and canoe as well as the game drives and bush walks. Either way – this is INCREDIBLE WILDLIFE COUNTRY and visitors can access both the Lower Zambezi and Luangwa valleys through scheduled flights operated by Pro-flight or through private charter. Both parks are best enjoyed from April to November, even though South Luangwa has got some great safari options between January and March as well.

Where to visit within the region

The gems of this region are listed below. Click the thumbnail for more info

Travel Diary

View the SEASONAL CALENDAR to see when’s the best time to visit this region

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Routes through the Eastern Region

The route through the Eastern Region would typically begin / end in Lusaka or Mpika. It is a strictly seasonal route as it is dependent on you descending the escarpment road and driving through the Luangwa Valley for extended periods of time and therefore shouldn’t be considered before mid July or after the end of October.

The road from Luasaka to South Luangwa is an all tar road hence accessible all year round. Leaving Lusaka, most people head directly for Chipata where there are various campsites and hotels for overnight stops. From Chipata, the next major stop would be the town of Mfuwe where you can enter South Luangwa.

Once you leave Mfuwe the gravel roads begin, although this road (which goes through the Nsefu sector of South Luangwa) is normally very driveable once safari season begins. Once you enter Luambe National Park, you are once again in wildlife country. You have an excellent chance of spotting game on this drive and as you near the end of the Luambe portion, the turn off to Luambe Camp will be visible… so if you have a booking at Luambe Camp, just follow the sign to camp. For those wishing to explore a wilderness region of the Luangwa, but still return via Mfuwe, this is a good point to head to.

If you are following the route right up to North Luangwa and out of the valley, then you will need to continue towards Kanyunsha that marks the beginning of North Luangwa National Park. With pre-booked permission from the operators within the park stating you are staying there, you will then be given directions to proceed to Mano Gate going up and over the steep escarpment. Once you hit the Mano Gate, you would have left the Luangwa valley and you will drive about 40km to connect with the Great North road which, if you join and follow in a southerly direction, will take you to Mpika.

The Lower Zambezi can be accessed through scheduled and private charter flights into either Jeki or Royal Airports.