The Hidden Gems of South Luangwa National Park

“Possibly Africa’s finest walking safari destination” – Emma Gregg, Rough Guides editor

Probably the most famous of all Zambia’s WILDLIFE HAVENS and is deservedly considered amongst the ELITE OF AFRICAN WILDERNESS REGIONS. Fantastic leopard populations, hippo, lion and elephant are complimented by a healthy range of other species too. There is a variety of accommodation options catering from budget to the very highest end of safari travel.

South Luangwa is perfectly suited to:

Game DrivesBush WalksBirding

What you can find in this region

Unique attractions or experiences in this region include:

Big 5

Very good numbers of lion, leopard, buffalo and elephant can be found throughout South Luangwa with the cats being particularly abundant.

Carmine Bee Eaters

In season, there are a handful of superb colonies of carmine bee-eaters that provide birders and photographers with hours of entertainment.

Wild dog

Wildlife lovers know the value of any wild dog sighting. The space and abundant prey species mean that the Luangwa valley is probably the best place to see wild dog in Zambia.

Hippos

Hippos are a standout sighting in the Luangwa, so expect to see them numerous times in different shapes and forms. Their honking and bellowing will provide a backing track for a Luangwa visit.

Luangwa River

The broad and slow flowing Luangwa River provides vistas with some of the most incredbel vistas and photographic opportunities. Invariably, any 180 degree sweeping view along the Luangwa will yield a variety of wildlife species and numerous bird species. One of the most stunning rivers to explore in Africa!

Accommodation Ideas in this region

Where we suggest you stay in this region:

Flatdogs Camp

An owner run lodge offering guests a personal, unforgettable safari experience in South Luangwa

Mfuwe Lodge

Award-winning safari lodge set in the most prolific game area of the South Luangwa, just five minutes’ drive from the main gate.

Chinzombo Camp

Luxurious yet also elegantly natural, Chinzombo Camp takes Zambia’s South Luangwa experience to an entirely new level

Kafunta River Lodge

A classic safari lodge and a true wilderness bush camp where you can enjoy the best African safari experience

Tafika Camp

Ideal accommodation for those who enjoy exceptional game viewing combined with exciting activities.

Nsefu Camp

South Luangwa’s oldest camp, located on a wide bend of the Luangwa River in the remote and game-rich Nsefu sector

Tena Tena Camp

Lying in the remote Nsefu section of SLNP, Tena Tena Camp sits nestled under a magnificent and thick grove of mahogany trees and enjoys its own private view onto a long stretch of the Luangwa River.

Mapazi Camp

new walking only camp located in the far north of SLNP. All activities at Mapazi will be privately guided by Deb Tittle, a renowned safari guide with over 20 years guiding experience.

Norman Carr Safaris

Norman Carr Safaris is known to be Zambia’s oldest safari company, offering an incredible portfolio of camps and lodges all situated in the SLNP.

Bushcamps Company

The Bushcamp Company operates six intimate and exclusive bush camps in one of the last un-spoilt wilderness areas in Africa – Zambia’s iconic South Luangwa National Park. 

Nkonzi Camp

An eco-friendly safari bushcamp in the South Luangwa offering rustic, comfortable, affordable accommodation and walking safaris.

South Luangwa Travel Packages

Some package ideas as to how you can best experience this region

Luangwa Discovery

An 8 night / 9 day safari combining Flatdogs Camp in South Luangwa with Luambe Camp in Luambe National Park.

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Classic Luangwa

An 8 night safari across the bush camps of Norman Carr Safaris

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Zambian Exploration Safari

A 9 night, 10 days safari experience in the Lower Zambezi National Park and a guided walking safari in the Sough Luangwa NAtional Park

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South Luangwa Photo Gallery

Photographs from the featured region

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.