The Luangwa Valley is one of Africa’s prime wildlife sanctuaries, with concentrations and varieties of game and birdlife that have made it world famous. This is the landscape of the ‘Real Africa’, with herds of antelope sheltering under thorn trees, or roaming the plains, predators skulking in the shadows and primal drama in every vale. Experts claim South Luangwa is 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. One does not have to be an expert to recognize that!
If you’re in your own vehicle, be sure to get a map of the park from the helpful scouts at the park entrance and follow the loop roads in the park, past dams bursting with hippos, crowned cranes, grazing antelope and scurrying baboons. In case you wish conduct your own safari’s in an open game viewing car or are travelling in a big group and would like to conduct your own drives, make sure to have a look at our rental Safari Vehicles. Our cars seat up to nine persons enabling you to enjoy the drives with your complete party, ensuring nobody misses out on good sightings. A bonus for self drives is that there are no time restrictions and you can enter the park for the entire day.
Park entry regulations and rules are obtained at the entrance of the park or at your lodge. As pricing and regulations seem to change regularly, please e-mail us for the latest information. Do note, entrance fees can only be paid cash in Zambian Kwacha or US dollars. No credit cards or traveller cheques are accepted.
If you’re staying at one of the Valley’s lodges, their guides will ensure you have every opportunity to see all that the valley has to offer of its wildlife, birds and varying vegetation and habitats in both morning and afternoon drives. Lodge game drive activities are at set hours, leaving around 6.00 and returning 10.00 for the morning and leaving around 16.00 to return between 19.30-20.00 hours for their afternoon drives. Prices for game drives range per lodge and are paid per person per drive or are inclusive in their accommodation rates.
There are many varied places to stay in the Valley ranging from luxurious safari camps to the lower budget chalets and camping. Most of the lodges are spread along the east bank of the Luangwa River, in the adjoining Game Management Area, conducting game drives and walking safaris along the west bank and in the Park itself. Some of the Lodges have bush camps deep in the Park for remote walking safaris.
As currently there are many operators in this area, there is plenty of choice. Most budgets or requirements can be catered for, however we must warn you: “South Luangwa does not come on the cheap” and real backpacker accommodation is not available. The best choice for the budget tourist would be to opt for camping and arrange self drive safari’s with a rental vehicle of The Personal Touch.
It is difficult to name just one good place to stay, as there are so many! You can drop us an e-mail with your inquiries on any style of accommodation and we are happy to send you our references, but can also assist you with bookings and other reservations.
Amongst our favourites are;
It is difficult to name all of the possibilities within the area. Best bet
might be to try them all and hire a budget vehicle from us to get you around and
be self-sufficient on where and when to go!
More information on accommodation is most certainly available and we are happy to give you our independent opinion on any of the establishments.
When to Go
Seasonal changes are very pronounced in Luangwa. The dry season begins in April and intensifies through to October, the hottest and locally called suicide 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 mostly in November/December 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. Contact us for details.
We would suggest to use the extensive information found on the web. There is so much to see, to discover and to experience in South Luangwa! We look forward welcoming you to this amazing part of the world.