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Stay in one park or visit two?

1 post
Stay in one park or visit two?

Differences in costs aside, if you had 10 nights to spend, would you spend all 10 nights in South Luangwa NP at 3 different camps or 6 nights in South Luangwa and 4 nights in Lower Zambezi NP?

6 replies to this topic
London, United...
Destination Expert
for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
Level Contributor
8 958 posts
1. Re: Stay in one park or visit two?

Differences in costs aside, I'd probably split.

But cost rarely is just an aside. Lower Zambezi camps are substantially more expensive than South Luangwa, you are adding an extra flight to the mix, plus you can usually get long stay discounts for staying 7 nights with one operator which you'd lose out on doing only one. Unless you use an operator with camps in both parks, and there aren't that many of those.

Edinburgh, United...
Destination Expert
for Uganda, Kenya
Level Contributor
3 594 posts
9 reviews
6 helpful votes
2. Re: Stay in one park or visit two?

If I had the budget, I'd split it. It sounds like you've already clocked the cost difference. The Lower Zambezi is getting increasingly expensive, plus you have to factor in the cost of the additional flights down there (whereas transfers between camps within the South Luangwa are usually free). But it adds a totally different experience, the water safaris are absolutely lovely, the landscape is gorgeous, birding is great, and because it's so inaccessible it feels especially wild. It's really a very lovely park.

Alexandra- Extraordinary Africa

Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
3 985 posts
644 reviews
270 helpful votes
3. Re: Stay in one park or visit two?

I've already been to South Luangwa National Park four times. However, I'm going to Lower Zambezi National Park this year because it gets such fabulous reviews. I have been to Mana Pools National Park twice, but have been told that it is still worth it to visit Lower Zambezi.

Manchester, United...
Level Contributor
698 posts
6 reviews
4 helpful votes
4. Re: Stay in one park or visit two?

If you can afford it, then splitting it is lovely (but it really does ramp up the cost). My first visit was SLNP plus Victoria Falls; my second was SLNP plus Lower Zambezi NP. Not sure yet when my third visit will be - but love SLNP so will definitely be back there, really want to return to Lower Zambezi but also tempted by the other parks.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
Level Contributor
8 958 posts
5. Re: Stay in one park or visit two?

Just a further comment- if cost is no issue, for me the only way the answer to the question "stay in one park or visit two" would be "one park" would be when people suggest a split of only 3 or 4 nights in each park. I think South Luangwa is big enough and has enough diversity of areas that only one camp doesn't do it justice, I think at least 2 camps is best. In SLNP you also have interesting options of things like walking only camps, sleep out nights or mobile camps, etc.. Also, probably the least crowded and nicest game viewing areas are quite far from Mfuwe airport (2+ hours), so if you try and do only 3 or 4 nights in each park, you are adding in a lot of travel if you try and get to one of the more remote camps, and compromising the experience if you only stay close to Mfuwe.

So with 6 nights, that gives you time to do 2 camps in South Luangwa. I'd push it to 7 if you can just to get benefit of long stay discounts, and maybe even have a 3rd camp, depending what they are.

Lusaka, Zambia
Level Contributor
4 posts
3 reviews
6 helpful votes
6. Re: Stay in one park or visit two?

Ultimately, whether you choose to stay in one park or venture into two depends on your personal preferences, the nature of the parks themselves, and the practicalities of your budget and itinerary. By carefully weighing these factors, you can make an informed decision that maximizes your enjoyment and fulfillment during your park visit.

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