South luangwa national park Travel Guide

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South Luangwa National Park is in the enviable league of top big game reserves and is touted to be one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in the world. The South Luangwa National Park Travel Guide offers visitors information on the general features, activities and accommodation options in this thrilling natural reserve.

Introduction

South Luangwa National Park is located in eastern Zambia and is the southernmost national park out of the three game reserves nestled in the Luangwa River region. The sprawling wildlife haven is inhabited by myriad wildlife species and birds and spans across a whopping 9,050 kilometers. South Luangwa National Park was set-up as a game reserve in 1938 and was demarcated as a national park in 1972. The park land covers a rich and eclectic ecological landscape comprising of woodland savannas, Southern mionbo woodlands, high valley slopes, mopane trees, grassland habitats and a prosperous river floodplain. The diverse physical features, profuse greenery and almost perfect ecological balance of the region has led to the spawning of several wildlife species in the South Luangwa National Park. The Eastern  Province which lies in the eastern bank of the river provides the sole entry access to the park.

Activities

The best activity in South Luangwa is to obviously go on a game viewing safari. The ‘walking safari’ is extremely popular with tourists and has a number of them participating in the adventurous trails through the pristine wilderness of the park. There are also overnight bush camps that cost approximately $350 per person. Witness over 60 species of animals and over 400 species of birds apart from abundant vegetation through the hike that helps you discover the rugged charms of South Luangwa. The grasslands have the giraffes and zebras grazing over them, the floodplains on the banks of the river are favorite spots to catch grazing hippopotamus. There are several underwater creatures found in the river apart from ferocious crocodiles on its banks. Elephants are found near the savannas and there is an extremely amusing annual ritual that has to be witnessed. Every November a herd of elephants pass through the Mfuke Lodge to a particular mango grove. This has been an occurrence for many years and the lodge built on their route has not deterred the large mammals. Get a game drive safari organized through your lodge where expert guides will take you through the park in an open jeep. The ideal time to go on a safari is at the onset of dawn, in the late evening and at night when temperatures have mellowed. Night safaris are popular for spotting nocturnal creatures like hyenas, wolves, leopards and civets. Most lodges will cover the safari costs as part of a package however others may charge them separately at $ 25 per person if there are 3-4 visitors.  

Accommodation

There are several lodges that offer basic and unpretentious services in keeping with the natural ambiance of the destination. Some luxurious tented camps are also available for visitors seeking a more up market game viewing experience. Kaingo, Kapani, Flatdogs Camp, Kafunta, Tafika, Mushroom Lodge and Croc Valley Camp are some of the well-known and comfortable lodges that provide great game safaris and decent camping amenities amidst beautiful and safe locales.

South Luangwa National Park is a fabulous natural reserve that boasts of thrilling big game hunting and a high ecological heritage.

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