South Luangwa National Park

South Luangwa National Park

South Luangwa National Park
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SolihullRichard
Dorridge, UK1 341 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Family
An amazing National Park where you have a great chance of spotting wild dogs and leopards, in addition to some lion prides that spent a good proportion of their time on our visit by creating a road block! There are a number of lodges in and around that provide accommodation at different price ranges. Access to the park is from 6 a.m. daily, and you are able to take your own 4x4 as long as you have left the park by 6 p.m. After this time you need to be in a lodge safari truck. Manageable to get around the park in a day, although some animals are more active at dawn, dusk and at night. If thinking of going there, check wet season timing as this may restrict access and viewing opportunities
Written 26 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Liesel81
Munich, Germany639 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Solo
I had two game drives in the park. A day and night game drive. The rich bird population was very noticeable on both game drives. My highlight was being able to observe 3 of the big 5 on my night game drive. Park fees for International guest was at 25 dollars
Written 29 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sarah l
London, UK404 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
I’ve just returned from a wonderful trip to South Luangwa and thought it might be useful to write a trip report . Forgive me if its a bit rambling, but hopefully it might be useful to someone
August 11th, I travelled from London to Lusaka via Dubai on Emirates and then to Mfuwe on Proflight.
I stayed at Luangwa River Camp, Nsefu and Lion Camp, exploring South Luangwa.
They were all absolutely brilliant camps - really comfortable, fantastic food and we had incredible animal sightings, including lions and leopards every single day for 12 days, thanks to the absolutely brilliant guides we had - Daudi at Luangwa rIver Camp, Willie at Nsefu and Meyam at Lion Camp.
We also stayed one night at Hotel Latitude 15 in Lusaka - not essential but the Proflight schedule changes made it necessary when we first booked. The journey from Lusaka’s Kenneth Kaunda airport to the hotel took about 30 minutes on the new East Road. The domestic flight from Lusaka to Mfuwe was from Terminal 1 ( the old one) . Our checked in bags were weighed, but not our hand luggage . Bottles of water in our rucksack’s side pockets seemed OK and they didn’t ask us to take our liquids out of the of the rucksack either.
Mfuwe airport is fine with clean toilets - I recommend making use of them as it is nearly an hour’s drive to Luangwa River Camp. The road is tarmac so cars can go a little faster and it can be windy in an open sided vehicle so perhaps wear a hat or scarf .
Luangwa River Camp is accessed via a small boat and this is used for each game drive as the camp itself is outside the park. It’s a nice, short ride and you can see the hippos really well. I was told that Robin Pope camps guarantee a maximum of four guests per vehicle but we mostly had six ( two pax per row ). No idea why, but can’t say it bothered me .
Daudi was our lovely camp manager and main guide and Kim was our super friendly camp hostess , and they both helped us to have a wonderful time.
The camp routine is the same in all Robin Pope camps I believe. At LRC in August it was like this.
05:15 Wakeup call
05:30 Breakfast on the riverbank around a fire porridge, eggs anyway you like, toast, yoghurt, fruit etc
06:00 - 06:15 Leave for morning game drive - stop for coffee in the bush
10:30 - 11:15 Return
11:30 Lunch
15:30 Tea and cakes
16:00 Afternoon game drive
19:30 ish Return to camp
20:00 Dinner
Elephants sometimes pass through camp too which is lovely.
Although this part of the park is reputedly slightly busier due to it being closer to the main gate and therefore more accessible for local self-drivers , we often had game drives to ourselves and once saw four lionesses feeding on a kudu kill with not one other vehicle around.

Nsefu is in a very beautiful spot on a bend of the river and the manager and main guide was Willie, who is a very talented guide indeed. It seemed fairly near to Tena Tena camp to me, where there is a wild dog den which the BBC were filming ( programme due for release in 2025) so we saw them fairly often around the den with five pups, but also away from it too, including when they had just killed a puku and were eating it and another time they chased a leopard up a tree and spent a lot of time seeing if they could jump up there too. Our first afternoon game drive, we saw giraffe, two young male lions, two female lions ( separate to the males ) and a leopard hunting in the dark. In the daytime we saw Mtima - the daughter of a famous leopard - Olimba. She has a brown patch on her side which looks like a heart - hence her name - which means heart in Nyanja. We even saw a tree hyrax, which Willie said he had never seen in the park before , which was amazing .How he and/or his assistant saw it, I will never know, and many other incredible sightings of lions, leopards, hyenas, elephants , kudu, waterbuck, etc.
I woke one morning to the sound of elephants eating the dry leaves outside our room - amazing to watch them through the window ( no glass or mesh ) in the half light.

Lion Camp was a 45 minute fast drive from the river crossing near Nsefu and having stayed there before ( pre refurb ) , it did not disappoint. We had a fantastic time there. The camp is managed by Oscar, Wayne and Vicky - so friendly we felt like we were staying with old friends . The whole place looked familiar but also a bit more upmarket than before. There’s a small shop, they still have the pool table and they have gone over to private dining rather than having meals at a communal table. I have to say, that was fine by me as you can chat to people over drinks at the bar or coffee on the sofas, before or after meals. And you’ve kind of been chatting all day long to people , so , sometimes its nice to have a little rest from conversation. The food was just great. They opt for a 6am breakfast of porridge, cereals, fruit, muffins before the morning game drive - retuning around 10:00. I did see some people come back later, so its obviously a flexible return time. They then serve a really great cooked breakfast until10:30 , which filled us up so we really couldn’t manage the lunch at 1-2pm . No afternoon tea as its so close to lunch , then afternoon game drive at 16:00-19:00/19:30h. Dinner is at 20:00 but you can request it to be earlier .
The room has lovely “evening breeze” air-con ( like at Nsefu too ) and the most amazingly comfortable beds. The shower is a little tricky as some others have mentioned, but I think we got the hang of it by the time we left. All I can say is read the instructions carefully !
The camp is in a good spot as it has a stream in front , so you see many animals coming to drink and cross the stream without going on a game drive. There are also two elephants that sometimes come by the front of the lodge to eat from the trees and you can be eye to eye with an elephant .
Meyam was our guide here, and again we were in the hands of an amazingly talented guide.
We saw lions ( of course !) - it’s Lion Camp after all , and leopards - a leopard and her cubs with a bushbuck kill, porcupine, flap necked chameleon, elephant shrew and lots more .
One day we saw a huge herd of water buffalo approaching a pride of eleven lions.
The lions eventually caught one buffalo and tried to bring it down but the old buffalo managed to drag himself and all the lions to the water - dunked one lion in it - and escaped ( a little damaged but hopefully he survived ). Saw wild dogs too, but my favourite sighting was of two leopard cubs on the sand by the river . They were exploring their new world while their mother was away catching food and they were having so much fun, chasing each other, trying to catch puku , investigating our vehicle. It was really special and a wonderful end to our stay .
Our journey from Lion Camp to Mfuwe airport ( in an air-conditioned, enclosed vehicle) took 2 hours ( and we even saw another lion kill en route ).
Check in was fine, didn’t weigh hand luggage and water bottles again seemed to be OK . You can walk around the corner to arrivals where the toilets are and also little gift shop. There are no loos after security, but there is a Tribal Textiles shop if you have any space in your bags for their lovely wares.
I’m afraid I didn’t keep my animal sightings diary completely up to date, so I’ve probably not mentioned all the animal sightings we had , but will go through my photos and see if I missed anything important.
Hope this info is of use to somebody, if any further details required , feel free to ask.
Written 10 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CelalCagriG
Ankara, Ankara, Turkey26 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Solo
Plan this park with at least two different sector, because main mfuwe zone is busy sometimes , other zones has lesser traveller , bring very effective bug repellent against tse tse flies , you are in trouble with them in lungwa more Than other places in africa, there are a lot of game especially leopard in mfuwe zone , other newly opened sectors has lesser because of shy animals ..
Written 13 December 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SundaraMoorthi79
Sivakasi, India129 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Friends
we were for africa before but first time saw wild dogs, that was truly excited. Did a walking safari and saw zebra, elephant, giraffe and lots of antilopes and birds.
Did full day game drive and some night drives
The best part is Nsefu sector, where we saw 3 leopards in a single night game drive.
we saw overall 7 leopards, 27 lions, lots of hyenas and uncountable elephants
Written 3 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lizzy@Thesen
Knysna, South Africa62 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2017 • Couples
We camped for 5 days at the beautiful spot of Wildlife Camp in South Luangwa alongside the river. Lovely facilities of a swimming pool, thatched gazebo with loungers and the ablutions and grounds were clean and well kept by the friendly staff. We did our game drives with vehicles from Wildlife into the National Park as there were no road maps of Park available from the NP office. Discounted entry into NP available if you do day and night drive on same day. Experienced game guides who know their animals and birds and go the extra mile !
Written 27 January 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SwissSmurf
Zurich33 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2017 • Solo
What a great park. Stunning landscapes, amazing wildlife! I stayed there for 9 days. Still not enough.
Written 28 December 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mindenhof
Reading, UK162 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Friends
We have visited game parks all over the world and without doubt this is one of the top 2 and is far better than most. Whilst you cannot see Rhino here at present due to poaching you get far closer to the animals than in other places and whilst we went in June which is a quiet time, we often had lions and leopards to ourselves unlike other parks where once an animal is spotted so many safari trucks appear it starts to affect the animals.

The one park that is remotely comparable is Etosha in Namibia however its very close.

Whilst it is hard to get too - the cost is cheaper than most when you are here
Written 19 June 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chris D
83 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 • Couples
Not quite as iconic as Chobe and the Serengetti, which we've also visited, but undoubtedly one of our favourite parks in this part of Africa. A beautiful park with a wide range of different landscapes including riverside, forest, grasslands and rocky hills. Plenty of animal sightings, including lions in the evening, and excellent for birds. The guides are very knowledgeable, and for self-drive it simply cannot be beaten - good roads, easy to navigate and simply beautiful. Go, go, go!!
Written 8 January 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dutchxxxx
Chiyoda, Japan32 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 • Friends
A very nice park with lots of wild life (including lions, leopards, elephants, giraffe, apes, zebra, cranes, birds) and a diverse landscape. The presence of the Luangwa river makes this park look "green" all year round, so also in winter time (July/August). To enterquickly in the morning at 06:00 am, you can already pay for and obtain your entry document the day before. Than you do not have to queue. For thediehards, one can start driving the "05 escarpment road" starting in the north of this park crossing several rivers and traversing the escarpment (very steep and rocky, so only doable with a 4x4 with low gear! in the dry months) allth way up to the Great North Road, south of Mpika.
Written 2 January 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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