South Luangwa is a park adored by safari enthusiasts. There are very few parks in Africa with as high a density of animals and such pristine, truly wild wilderness areas – yet so few tourists. Experts love South Luangwa because of the Valley’s reputation for exceptionally high standards of guiding, the quality of walking safari on offer, and the park’s small yet very high quality camps. Some of the guiding here is set at a ridiculously high level.
‘Luangwa Valley’, including both the North and the South Luangwa, is widely recognised as the finest walking area in Africa. There are many camps here that put a real focus on walking – some do not offer anything but walking. The park’s diversity of safari activities is also a major attraction. You can game drive by day and by night, as well as walk here. The night safari opens up some of the finest leopard viewing in Africa. Value, as with the whole of Zambia, is also one of the Luangwa’s main attractions. We believe the country as a whole offers the best-value safari in Africa.
WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW
Don’t just view the Luangwa as an ‘experts only’ destination! Over the years, South Luangwa has diversified away from walking-only camps, with a number of luxury operations opening up. This trend will only increase. We certainly view Luangwa as a destination for first-timers as much for safari connoisseurs!
Game driving by day and by night, as well as walking safari. Camps outside the park also offer special activities, such as cycle safari. John Coppinger’s phenomenal Tafika Camp offers microlighting.
TIME OF YEAR TO TRAVEL
The Luangwa is a classic dry-season reserve, with the game getting progressively better, the later you travel. June through to October sees large herds concentrate around the rivers. It is throughout this season that the game viewing on offer will rival anywhere in Africa. As the game viewing improves, the heat increases, with October the hottest month. If you travel outside this period, you will find many of the camps closed due to the seasonal flooding of the Luangwa itself. Travelling in the early parts of the year, sees boating safari as the only way to get around the floodplains that guides were driving over six months before!
Look for the deals! There are some very good offers available from operators who have a number of camps. They encourage you to stay longer by slashing their rates for long stays. The value on offer in this park is really not to be underestimated.