Enquire or Call

UK: 01473 890499
US: 1-800-608-4651
You are here: HomeZambiaPlaces to GoSouth Luangwa National Park Safari
Zambia holiday ideas experiences accommodation places to go when to visit Zambia map reviews

South Luangwa National Park

Why go on safari in South Luangwa National Park?

Zambia’s South Luangwa is one of the finest reserves in Africa. It’s not only beautiful, but the diverse wildlife is abundant.  Game drives are supplemented by boat safaris in the emerald season, and it is famed for its walking safaris. Some of the many reasons you should visit are:

  • Walking safaris were pioneered here, and it remains one of the best places in Africa to take a walking safari (especially June to October). 
  • There is a very high standard of guiding in the park. 
  • Perfect for hippo lovers as it has the biggest concentration of hippos in Africa. 
  • Excellent place to see leopards
  • Strong lion prides and increasing numbers of wild dogs
  • Thriving elephant population.  And at Mfuwe Lodge, see the famed elephants walking through reception to their favourite wild mango tree (late October to mid-December).
  • Enjoy boat safaris in the emerald season (January to March).
  • Great birding from December to March, and carmine bee-eaters especially good from about September/October.
  • There are some really superb small camps throughout the park, including bushcamps. 
  • Night safaris are allowed in the park. 
  • Try a microlighting safari from Tafika Camp. 

When to go on safari to South Luangwa National Park

The peak season for the park is July to October. This is the dry season so it’s great for wildlife viewing, and walking safaris are viable at this time as the grasses have died down.  As it gets closer to October it gets increasingly hot, and waterholes dry up causing dramatic scenes as wildlife vies for the scarce water.  

All the remote bushcamps are open in peak season, and a few open from December to March but then most are closed in April and many also in May.  There are always some lodges open throughout the year. 

Don’t underestimate the emerald (rainy) season from December to March.  It tends not to rain all the time, it’s beautiful and lush, babies and young plains game are about, it’s great for birding, there are fewer people and the prices are cheaper!  Also, since many roads are impassable, boat safaris are offered as a way to view wildlife, along with some (short) walks.

For bird lovers, the emerald season is the best time as the summer migrants are here. However the gorgeous carmine bee-eaters are in the valley from mid-August to roughly the end of the year, but especially September and October. 

A South Luangwa Safari: How to do it?

The closest airport is Mfuwe, which you can fly to from Lusaka in under 1½ hours.  From here it’s just about a 45 minute drive to the reserve, though might be much further to your chosen camp.

Most visitors tend to choose at least a couple of different types of lodge or camp (often one lodge and a bush camp) and stay around 6-10 nights. 

You will have daily game activities. This is usually morning and evening drives, walks or boat trips depending on the season and your interest. 

A South Luangwa safari can be easily combined with other reserves in Zambia, or perhaps a few days in Malawi by the lake to relax, or often a visit to Victoria Falls. 

Accommodation in South Luangwa National Park

The standard of accommodation in South Luangwa is generally very high. In essence there are two types of places to stay – a more permanent lodge such as Kapani, Mfuwe or Nkwali, or a bush camp such as Island Bush Camp, Tafika Camp or Mwamba Camp. Many are inside the park, but others are just on the outskirts, though none are far away. 

Read More

South Luangwa National Park accommodation

customer rating

5/5 from 45 reviews

our travel expert

TALK TO CHRISTINE
CHRISTINE
Start planning your tailor-made holiday to Zambia. Tell us what you want, and we will tailor make your perfect trip.
Call: 01473 890499
PLAN MY TRIP
Mini map of zambia

facts and information

Time: GMT +2 hours

Flight time:

Flights from Europe to Lusaka take about 10 hours. Lusaka International Airport is about 25km from the city centre (about 30 minutes transfer).

Language: Zambia's official language is English, but outside of the cities few people speak it.

Visas:

Visas are required for most nationalities, although a waiver can normally be organized in advance for British citizens.

Health:

This is a malarial country.

OUR SPECIALIST WEBSITES
Cruise the Galapagos
Costa Rica Specialists
Botswana Specialists
Go 2 Tanzania
Kili Climbs
Tribes Tailormade Travel

Tribes Travel, The Old Dairy, Wood Farm, Ipswich Road,
Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
Office hours: Monday - Friday: 9am to 5.30pm
Telephone: 01473 890499

Help me plan my trip

* required fields

Please enter your address

Trip details

Yes No
Yes No

Other information

Yes No

All information supplied is confidential and will never be shared with anyone else (see our privacy policy)

Brochure Request

Our “Book of Unmissable Travel Experiences - Book Two” includes some inspiring ideas which could be the holiday experience you’re looking for. You will find an online version of our brochure which you can flip through at your leisure.

* required fields

Please enter your address

Other information

Yes No

All information supplied is confidential and will never be shared with anyone else (see our privacy policy)

Keep up to date with all of our offers, receive our monthly newsletter, and be the first to hear of upcoming sales and events.

* required fields
All information supplied is confidential and will never be shared with anyone else (see our privacy policy)