Overview – South Luangwa NP

South Luangwa National Park in eastern Zambia, is the southernmost of three public parks in the valley of the Luangwa River. It is an incredibly famous wildlife paradise. It is known to local people just as "the South Park and the most visited park in Zambia. This is because it offers an exceptional blend of open, grassy fields and developed, mesmerizing forests, delegated with the immaculate, noteworthy Luangwa River. This region's reputation for bountiful wildlife and pristine vegetation is very much procured, so regardless of whether driving around or walking through, the extreme excellence calls to you from each corner. Four of the Big five animals can be spotted here aside from Rhino.

  • Wildlife29 Animals

  • High SeasonJuly to October

  • Best Time to GoJuly to November

Pros & Cons

  • Amazing wildlife viewing with four of the Big 5 animals except for Rhino
  • Amazing wildlife viewing with four of the Big 5 animals except for Rhino
  • Game drives, night drives and walking safaris are available
  • Lots of choices for Luxury accommodations
  • The sky is hazy with a lot of dust in the air in Dry season
  • Rhino are not present
  • Budget accommodations are available outside the park

South Luangwa NP Map in Africa

South Luangwa NP Safari Reviews

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Wildlife & Animals – South Luangwa NP

South Luangwa National Park is an incredibly famous wildlife paradise. Four of the Big five animals can be spotted here aside from Rhino. Sadly, the rhino was poached to extinction here and is no longer seen. It supports large populations of Thornicroft's giraffe, and herds of elephants and Cape buffalo often several hundred strong. The river teems with hippos and crocodiles and provides a lifeline for one of the greatest diversities of habitat and wildlife. Also, when you're on a night drive, you might spot a leopard, spotted hyena, genet, bushbaby and perhaps porcupine.

Wildlife Highlights

South Luangwa National Park is the place to encounter numerous large animals here - elephant, Cape buffalo, hippo, lion, Nile crocodile, warthog, puku, impala, spotted hyena, greater kudu and eland are all common. South Luangwa has some animals that you cant encounter anywhere else such as Thornicroft's giraffe, Cookson's wildebeest and Crawshay's zebra. You can tell a Thornicroft giraffe from other giraffes by the unusual pattern on its coat. Same with the Crawshay's zebra with their distinctive stripes.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

South Luangwa has very seasonal wildlife viewing. The best time to visit the South Luangwa National park is in the Dry season from July to November when water is inadequate and animals gather to drink. At this time the vegetation is also thinner making sightings easier. During the Wet season, from December to April, animals tend to congregate around the pans in the interior.

Birds – South Luangwa NP

South Luangwa has excellent bird-watching opportunities with more than 400 species recorded so far which includes Resident and migratory species. The sun-scorched riverbanks play host to immense colonies of carmine bee-eaters, which along with various raptors, lovebirds, weavers and kingfishers loan in excess of a sprinkle of shading to this excellent place. Pelicans and yellow-billed storks accumulate in the last puddles of water in the Dry season to scoop out the fish, and sometimes grey-crowned cranes can be found in groups of up to 300. Owls and nightjars are regularly spotted on night drives.

Best Time for Bird Watching

South Luangwa National Park offers a great birding experience throughout the year. However, the best time to visit is during the wet season from November to April. It is also the time when migratory birds are available and a lot of birds can be seen in breeding plumage.

Best Time to Visit – South Luangwa NP

The best time to visit South Luangwa National Park is from July to November. This is the middle and end of the Dry season and water in the shrub has evaporated, so animals assemble around the streams and watercourses. However, Weather in October and November is extremely Hot and certain individuals might find conditions hard to adapt to in these months.

  • Best Time

    June to November

  • High Season

    July to October

  • Low Season

    November to May

  • Best Weather

    April to August

  • Worst Weather

    October to March

May to October (Dry Season)

  • Animals are easier to spot as they congregate near freshwater sources
  • It is sunny, and there is little rain
  • Fewer mosquitoes and less chance of catching malaria
  • Warm clothes are recommended for the early morning & night chill weather
  • The sky is hazy with a lot of dust in the air
  • The weather is extremely hot in October
  • Due to heavy crowd from July to October, lodges might charge high season rates
  • The Mfuwe region where most of the lodges are situated can become busy

May to October (Wet Season)

  • Birding is best as migratory birds are present
  • Low season rates are applied due to less crowd
  • Plenty of baby animals that attract predators
  • The scenery is beautiful and at its most lush also known as 'Emerald Season'
  • Less wildlife viewing options
  • Extreme Hot and Humid climate
  • Roads become impassable and difficult to drive
  • Many lodges are closed from December to March
  • Afternoon Rains can create challenges in planned activities

Activities – South Luangwa NP

Safari Reviews – South Luangwa NP

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