South Luangwa

South Luangwa, photo by Geoff Gallice
South Luangwa (photo by Geoff Gallice)
 

South Luangwa National Park is located in eastern Zambia.

South Luangwa is home to one of Africa’s largest concentrations of wildlife, including extensive populations of giraffes, elephants, and buffaloes. The Luangwa River is habitat for abundant crocodiles and hippopotamuses.

The park is primarily dry woodland, with the meandering Luangwa River and many oxbow lakes, providing other habitats.

Owing to difficult access, South Luangwa still receives relatively few visitors, despite the density of its wildlife and the ability to do things like night safaris.

The primary travel hub is outside the park’s eastern boundary at Mfuwe, with an international airport.

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Overall Atmosphere: Natural
A Natural Atmosphere includes a diverse range of destinations with outdoor-oriented features, including both water-based (beaches, rivers, lakes, etc) and land-based (mountains, forests, deserts, etc). It also includes specific outdoor activities, ranging from water adventuring (eg, kayaking, sailing) to land adventuring (eg, hiking, biking).

Natural Interests tend to be:
(a) outdoors-oriented, and therefore more dependent on weather conditions
(b) less easily accessible and more physically demanding than other destination categories.

In some cases (eg, rafting and climbing), this includes a significantly increased degree of adventure (or danger, depending on one's viewpoint).
Featuring mainly outdoors-oriented natural attractions.
Recommending Sources:
   Lonely Planet
   Rough Guide
   1000 Places to See Before You Die

 

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Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp

Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp lies nestled in a remote area of the South Luangwa National Park. Blending in with its natural environment, the lodge overlooks the floodplains and offers game viewing opportunities. Average score from 9 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$450

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Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge

Built originally as a presidential retreat in the 1970s, the historic Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge offers accommodation in South Luangwa National Park. Average score from 9 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$390

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Kiboko Safaris

Set in Kakumbi, Kiboko Safaris offers an outdoor pool and fitness centre. Jonda Bus Tours (Chipata-Lusaka-Mfuwe) is 1.3 km away. Free private parking is available on site. Bed linen is provided. Average score from 15 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$180

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Rombado Executive Lodge

Offering free WiFi and a restaurant, Rombado Executive Lodge is situated in Chipata, 2.4 km from Spar Great East Mall (Chipata). The pet-friendly accommodation is air conditioned and is equipped with a spa bath. Shoprite (Chipata) is 2. Average score from 14 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$81

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Protea Hotel by Marriott Chipata

Protea Hotel Chipata is located 5 minutes’ drive from central Chipata, it is 15 km from the Malawi border and a 2-hour drive from Lilongwe. It offers free Wi-Fi, an outdoor swimming pool and on-site dining. Average score from 15 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$120

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See all hotels in South Luangwa.
Hotel NameRooms FromGuest Rating
Croc Valley Camp

Croc Valley Camp

Croc Valley Camp offers accommodation in South Luangwa National Park. Some units are air conditioned and include a seating and/or dining area. Some units also have a kitchenette, equipped with an oven. Croc Valley Camp also includes an outdoor... Average score from 3 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$12

$12-
Rombado Executive Lodge

Rombado Executive Lodge

Offering free WiFi and a restaurant, Rombado Executive Lodge is situated in Chipata, 2.4 km from Spar Great East Mall (Chipata). The pet-friendly accommodation is air conditioned and is equipped with a spa bath. Shoprite (Chipata) is 2. Average score from 14 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$81

$81-
Protea Hotel by Marriott Chipata

Protea Hotel by Marriott Chipata

Protea Hotel Chipata is located 5 minutes’ drive from central Chipata, it is 15 km from the Malawi border and a 2-hour drive from Lilongwe. It offers free Wi-Fi, an outdoor swimming pool and on-site dining. Average score from 15 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$120

$120-
Kiboko Safaris

Kiboko Safaris

Set in Kakumbi, Kiboko Safaris offers an outdoor pool and fitness centre. Jonda Bus Tours (Chipata-Lusaka-Mfuwe) is 1.3 km away. Free private parking is available on site. Bed linen is provided. Average score from 15 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$180

$180-
Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge

Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge

Built originally as a presidential retreat in the 1970s, the historic Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge offers accommodation in South Luangwa National Park. Average score from 9 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$390

$390-
Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp

Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp

Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp lies nestled in a remote area of the South Luangwa National Park. Blending in with its natural environment, the lodge overlooks the floodplains and offers game viewing opportunities. Average score from 9 guest reviews: 0.0/10.

$450

$450-

Highlighted Interests:

Click highlighted activity to see details.
Natural
Unusual Local Feature

Safaris

Viewing wildlife is based around safaris. All lodges organize game drives, where a trained guide takes visitors around by a safari jeep. Safaris typically run at three times: at dawn (wake-up call before 6 AM); in the evening lafter 4 PM when temperatures have started to cool; and and at night after sunset when high-powered spotlights are used to locate nocturnal animals like leopards, hyenas and civets.

Independent travelers can arrange their own guided groups for the cost of about US$20-25 per person.

As an alternative to vehicle-based viewing, South Luanga is one of the best-known national parks in Africa for walking safaris.
Hiking and Trekking
South Luanga is one of the best-known national parks in Africa for walking safaris.
Wildlife and Plants
The includes both woodland savannahs and grassland. The grasslands allow visitors to view at the same time grazers such as zebra and leaf browsers such as giraffe, both of which are found in profusion. Patches of flooded grassland habitats (floodplains) are found close to the river, where hippopotamus and crocodiles graze.

Herds of buffalo roam the park, along with several prides of lions. The density of leopards is among the highest in the world, although spotting these nocturnal creatures can be tricky. All sorts of antelopes abound: impala are ubiquitous, the puku (rarely seen outside Zambia) is almost as common.

For birders, South Luangwa offers over 400 recorded species. Depending on the type of bird, the best times to visit may be November-December (when the rains start), April-May (when they end) or August-September (when the water levels are at their lowest).

By the Month

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Best Weather
Avg Min (° F)706968615448485362697070
Avg Max (° F)909189868480798592969389
Daily Chance of Precipitation26% 23% 23% 12% 1% 0% 0% 0% 2% 5% 19% 45%
CURRENT WEATHER