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South Luangwa National Park

Why Visit South Luangwa?

The South Luangwa National Park, which is Zambia's premier wildlife destination, lies in large part between the Luangwa River to the east and the Mchinga escarpment in the west. It is 9,050 (3,500 sq miles) in size and home to over 60 species of mammal and almost 450 species of bird. The Luangwa River takes a slow meandering course down the valley and the seasonal rise and fall in water levels form many ox-bow lagoons. It is the fertile soils associated with these lagoon systems that attract a large variety of species and amazing wildlife sightings close to the main river.

This is also leopard territory and is known as the Valley of the Leopard. To experience the diversity of ecosystems and animals, which include the Thornicroft Giraffe and Cookson Wildebeest, consider staying at 2-3 different lodges. Timing your visit between August-October allows you to see the spectacle of Carmine beeeaters as they nest along the banks and raise their young.

The South Luangwa is regarded as the birthplace of the walking safari.  The high quality of guiding found at the park’s luxury safari camps offer outstanding insights whether guided on foot, boat or in a jeep.  Night drives are also exceptional here – where the lack of people makes for truly brilliant stargazing opportunities. The Valley provides an excellent habitat for leopards leading to higher than usual concentrations, and they are usually most active at night.


Our Favorite Camps

Mfuwe Lodge

Zambia Luxury Safari Lodge
View of Mfuwe Lodge Pool Area

Ease yourself into Luangwa life with a stay at the award winning Mfuwe Lodge. Set inside the park, just five minutes’ drive from the main gate, the lodge’s allure is  obvious.

Beneath a canopy of ebony and mahogany trees, its thatched buildings are arranged around the banks of two lagoons where an endless stream of wildlife will keep you enthralled as you lounge on the open deck or take a dip in the swimming pool. The airy interior of the lodge is an exquisite complement to its natural surroundings.

This region of the park is renowned for its prolific game – giraffe, buffalo, antelope, crocodile are constant visitors to Mfuwe Lodge’s lagoon, whilst in November the local elephants regularly wander right through the lobby, lured by a nearby wild mango tree. Whether you stay overnight, or just have lunch en route to a bushcamp, Mfuwe Lodge’s relaxed charm and enviable surroundings make it the perfect stopover. In between game drives, relax around the pool, in the library or pamper yourself at the Bush Spa.


Chikunto Safari Lodge

Zambia Luxury Safari Lodge
Flanked by rolling plains and plateaus, Chikunto enjoys sweeping views of the Luangwa River

With five spacious luxury Tented Suites (including one Honeymoon Suite one Two Bedroomed Family Suite) it never feels crowded at Chikunto. Having said that, the extra-large firepit provides an ideal space around which you can gather for a pre-dinner drink or two and discuss some of the day's sightings.

The spacious main area is set under a large thatch roof, and incorporates reception, dining area, a well-stocked bar and a relaxing lounge area with an eclectic mix of African and European-style furniture. The stunning black & white animal photography from the well-respected photographer, Patrick Bentley brings the bush into the lodge to enjoy. 

The Lodge is built on raised decking with stunning views directly out to the Luangwa River. It is quite possible that the backdrop to your alfresco dining could a family of elephants making their way down to river to drink, whilst you listen to the sounds of the bush.

The salt-water swimming pool (no chlorine) has a counter-current system for those who wants to exercise and provides for some amazing photo opportunities for those that are so inclined. 


Call 1-800-421-8907 or fill out our questionnaire and submit it to a specialist to plan a trip.


Safari Questionnaire

CST #2071444-20