The destination of choice for the safari connoisseur, the South Luangwa National Park has been widely labelled as one of Africa’s top five wildlife destinations. It’s a pristine, unspoiled swathe of riverine woodland, lagoons and small open plains, teeming with healthy populations of lion, elephant, zebra, antelope and the endemic Thornicroft’s giraffe. Contented hippo pods relax in the Luangwa during the day, emerging after dark to graze amongst nocturnal animals like civet and genet. Perhaps most enticing of all is the large numbers of leopard, frequently seen on the superb night drives offered inside the park, making it one of Africa’s best areas for leopard sightings. And against all odds the park is still improving, with the past year bringing a massive increase in wild dog sightings, where five years ago their very presence was a distant dream.
South Luangwa is also the home of the walking safari, pioneered nearly half a century ago by local legend Norman Carr. Leisurely morning strolls in the bush entice all the senses: the scent of a potato bush and wild basil; the sound of birdsong and antelope alarm calls as your presence in sensed; the visceral thrill of getting close to one of Africa’s Big 5 on foot. Zambia’s multi-award winning guides are some of the best on the continent, ensuring safety and excitement in these thrilling encounters on foot, by boat or in game drive vehicles. Finally, South Luangwa boasts a selection of intimate, remote bushcamps where the service is impeccable and game viewing is enjoyed in your own patch of wilderness with no other cars for miles. With all this on offer, it is little wonder that first-time visitors to the South Luangwa are generally highly likely to return.