Images from the South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

By Ashworth Africa, June 19, 2010

Experts have dubbed South Luangwa as one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, and not without reason. The concentration of game around the Luangwa river and its ox bow lagoons is among the most intense in Africa.

The Luangwa River is the most intact major river system in Africa and is the life blood of the park’s 9050km2. The Park hosts a wide variety of wildlife birds and vegetation. The now famous ‘walking safari’ originated in this park and is still one of the finest ways to experience this pristine wilderness first hand. The changing seasons add to the Park’s richness ranging from dry, bare bushveld in the winter to a lush green wonderland in the summer months. There are 60 different animal species and over 400 different bird species. The only notable exception is the rhino, sadly poached to extinction.

When to Go

Seasonal changes are very pronounced in Luangwa. The dry seasonbegins in April and intensifies through to October, the hottest month when game concentrations are at their height. Warm sunny days and chilly nights typify the dry winter months of May to August.

The wet season begins in November as the leaves turn green, and the dry bleak terrain becomes a lush jungle. The rainy season lasts up until the end of March and the migrant birds arrive in droves. Each lodge stays open for as long as access is possible, depending on its location in the area. There are a handful of lodges that remain open all year in the central area of the park.

(Courtesy of Shenton Safaris)

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