Zambia’s “Valley of the Leopard”

Nestled in the valley of the Luangwa River, an intricate ecosystem thrives with no concern for the modern world of mankind.

Here, only a few dirt roads intrude upon the otherwise untouched wild.

The Spirit of Africa hums through every blade of grass, beckoning every lover of animals and beauty, every seeker of natural peace, to come and embrace paradise found and preserved.

Begun as a game reserve in 1938, the South Luangwa National Park became an official national park in 1972 and now provides a 9,000km2 home for herds of elephants and buffalo, lions, good populations of Thornicroft Giraffe and Crawshay’s Zebra and the elusive majesty of the leopard.

On safari through the world-renowned “Valley of the Leopard,” the infamously reclusive big cats can be readily seen lounging in the trees, lurking in the bush, and dominating the clearings in pursuit of prey.

The leopards that call South Luangwa National Park their home are anything but shy. While all over the world, people are steadily invading more and more natural habitats and forcing the wildlife to adapt or die, in South Luangwa, the leopards rule; they walk past vehicles without a hint of hesitation or pause and even hunt in broad daylight.

One of the park’s leopards has even become a worldwide celebrity. Her name is Alice and her territory lies near the main gate. Estimated to be around 12 years old (leopards can naturally live up to 17 years), Alice is so comfortable with her star profile that she can often be seen leading her cubs along the roadside. Silently, she acknowledges humanity. The people gaze at her. The photographers take photos many only dream of. And the peaceful spirit blankets cat and man alike.

Seeing Alice and the other leopards so close— wild and free with no bars between beast and spectator— can only be described as magical. It opens your heart and stills your mind. It can change your perspective and everything you think you know about the world around you. It’s humbling… and it’s an experience and a memory that will stay with you beyond your adventure.

The Heart of Africa is calling. It beckons you to see untouched, uncaged life up close, the way it was meant to be. Don’t wait to get back to nature as soon as you can.

It’s an experience unlike any other and one you’ll never forget.

Yours truly,

Track and Trail River Camp, South Luangwa, Zambia