WHAT TO DO IN SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK
South Luangwa National Park has one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in South Africa. The 9050 square kilometre park has been called by some “one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world”. . There is a large concentration of wildlife and few tourists relative to its size. The “walking safari” was made famous in this Park and it is still a captivating way to explore the landscape. The Park is a lush, green woodland in the summer months affording good birding but harder to spot the animals, and bone-dry in the winter bringing the wildlife to the river’s edge and the low grasses make for better game viewing.
Here are some of the activities on offer
- Mobile Walking Safaris – you will be accompanied by a guide as you walk from one overnight camp to another deep in the heart of the park, along the river banks, exploring areas where there are no roads so you are unlikely to see anything but wildlife. . This park is one of the best known for these types of safaris.
- Birding Safaris – there is a vast array of birds in the park. A birding safari is usually accompanied by an ornithologist or an expert birding guide. Bird lovers appreciate the time to listen to bird song, twitters, and calls, while still enjoying the opportunity of seeing large game.
- Boat Safaris – the South Luangwa River offers a spectacle of wildlife to view safely from the comfort of your boat. The Luangwa River is best navigated in the rainy season when it is fuller. The scenery is lush and verdant and hippos and crocodiles are everywhere, elephants will be common too but most of the other animals will not need to come to the river in the wet season so th focus will be on the experience itself more than game viewing but most operators combine boating and walks.
- Bush-Spa – In the heart of the South Luangwa National Park is a bush–spa, sure to bring tranquillity and rejuvenation. The therapists use treatments based on traditional therapeutic ingredients as well as traditions like using coffee to exfoliate before a deep cleanse with Marula and then moisturizing with Sausage Tree or Baobab Masks. Relax in the Jacuzzi or enjoy a reflexology massage all set in the picturesque African bush.
- Kawaza Village – just outside of the Park is Kawaza village, home to the Kunda tribe. Here you will be able to experience the culture of the local people as well as the opportunity to stay in a simple African thatched hut. The village was the winner of the prestigious British Guild of Travel Writers’ Silver Otter Award for the “Best Overseas Tourism Project.”
- Tribal Textiles boasts a large, colourful retail outlet and workshop, located on the road between Mfuwe Airport and the National Park. It’s the perfect place to pick up a special souvenir of time spent in the South Luangwa or shop for gifts for all the family.
LODGES & CAMPS
Your accommodation choices in South Luangwa National Park are plentiful with options ranging from tented camps to luxury safari lodges. Here are some the activities that lodges and camps offer:
- Game Drives – many of the lodges offer morning and afternoon game drives. Morning drives usually start before sunrise, allowing you to take in the best of the morning game-viewing. The afternoon drives often continue after dark to try and spot some of the Park’s night-time inhabitants.
- Night Drives – this is an opportunity to enjoy the nocturnal creatures of the Park long after the sun has set.
- Walking Trips – you will have the opportunity to enjoy the African bush on foot, usually for a few hours at a time. A guide will accompany you and make sure of your safety during your excursion.
- Local Village Visits – if you are interested in the culture and heritage of the land, a visit to one of the local villages will definitely give you more insight.
- Photographic Safaris – there is no better way to get your best wildlife shots than out on a photographic safari.