South Luangwa National Park

South Luangwa National Park
Photo by: imolcho , Creative Commons

South Luangwa National Park has been dubbed by experts as one of the world’s greatest wildlife sanctuaries, and not without reason. The ox bow lagoons of the Park and the intensity of game around the Luangwa River are among the strongest in Africa. Aside from being Africa’s most integral major river system, the Luangwa River is also the lifeblood of the Park’s 9,050 square kilometer area.

The Park is home to a wide diversity of vegetation and wildlife. The very famous “walking safari” actually stemmed from this national park and is still one of today’s best ways of experiencing this immaculate wild from the horse’s mouth. The splendor of the Park is enhanced even more by the changing seasons varying from dry, bare mountains in the winter to lush green grasslands during the summer. There are more than 400 species of birds and 60 different animal species. Sadly, the rhinoceroses that used to roam this wonderland have been poached to extinction.

For sure, you would not miss the hippopotamus. As you make your way across the bridge into the Park, you would normally find 30-70 hippopotamuses lolling in the river below and most of the Park’s lagoons will also reveal several. In fact, it has been assessed that for every kilometer of the Luangwa River, there are at least 50 hippos lounging.

Among the primates, the Park is teeming with vervet monkeys and baboons. The Maloney’s monkey is scarcer. The nocturnal bushbaby and the night ape are present but you are unlikely to spot them except during night drives.

Relatively common throughout the Luangwa Valley are hyenas. On most nights, their eerie and melancholic cries can be heard.

If you are staying in one of the Park’s inns, the available guides will make sure that you have every chance of seeing all that the Park has to offer. If you are touring in a car, be certain to first get a copy of the map of the Park from the Crocodile Farm near the entrance of the Park.

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