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North Luangwa National Park

North Luangwa National Park

The words untouched and unforgettable sum up the North Luangwa National Park.

Experience Africa as it was in this wild and remote part of Zambia!

Each year only a few lucky travellers explore this area, enchanted by the exclusivity and opportunity to witness its natural beauty and drama.

With so few roads, this safari experience is predominantly on foot accompanied by your expert guide and armed scout. This is much the best way to see the variations in flora and fauna and experience the bush with all your senses. Buffaloes roam in vast numbers with lions aplenty, game viewing is truly excellent. Cookson’s wildebeest endemic to the Luangwa valley are abundant and spotted hyenas specialize in hunting puku. This is just a taste of what this area has to offer.

Very few safari operators are granted permission to operate in this area and there are no permanent lodges. The fact that there are so few roads means that you are unlikely to see anyone else for the duration of your stay and it is the ultimate walking safari.  

 

at a glance

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Introduction

Celebrated for offering one of the finest wilderness experiences in Zambia, North Luangwa National Park is one of the few places left on the continent that can genuinely claim to be unspoilt. Situated miles from anywhere in an utterly remote and wild location, this is Africa in its purest form. The park has a deserved reputation for top class walking safaris where visitors can be unobtrusive witnesses to North Luangwa’s natural beauty and drama as they explore one of the last surviving wilderness areas on foot. This park is a true gem within Zambia as its pristine habitats and varied wildlife contribute to a superb wilderness experience.

Similar in many respects to South Luangwa, the North Luangwa National Park shares similar vegetation and wildlife, however the area is even more remote and secluded. Situated on the western bank of the Luangwa River and bordered by the picturesque 1,000 meter high Muchinga escarpment, the park does not fail to deliver awe-inspiring wonders. The Mwaleshi River meanders through the park and periodically cascades down in a small series of enchanting waterfalls. When the river recedes during the dry season, large herds of antelope gather around the pools that are created.

The diversity of habitats in the North Luangwa National park is bewildering. Ranging from mopane woodland to riverine forest, acacia thickets to sausage trees laden with long dangling fruit; the assortment flora lends itself to an amazing variety of birdlife, from the Pel’s fishing owl to the purple crested turaco. Relatively unique species include the bathwack and osprey, however crowned cranes and purple crested loeries are more commonly spotted.

Noted for its population of buffalo, North Luangwa is home to herds of up to 1,000 which deliver spectacular sights when seen on the run. Abundant in the north, yet rarely seen in the south, guests to the park get one of the best chances to spot eland and Cookson’s wildebeest which are endemic to the Luangwa Valley. Despite sparse elephant and leopard densities, guests may catch a glimpse of hartebeest, reedbuck and puku which all feature, along with a large number of resident lion. It is not uncommon to witness a lion kill in the North Luangwa National Park. Exhilarating spectacles of hyena chasing puku into the Mwaleshi River in order to catch them are hunting tactics unique only to North Luangwa. An exclusive aspect of the National Park is the population of black rhino. Since being re-introduced in 2003, populations had risen to 29 by July 2011, resulting in the only black rhino community in Zambia.

The quality of walking camps here is astonishing as the minimalistic lodges enable visitors to focus on the wilderness experience rather than the luxury found elsewhere. With a maximum capacity of 6 visitors, the Mwaleshi and Kutandala Camps are ideal for guests intending to get away from civilisation to spend quality time in the deep African bush. North Luangwa National Park has few access tracks or roads and no game-drive loops, therefore game viewing is conducted on foot or canoe/boat so is the perfect destination for an adventurous traveller who wants to experience Africa at its absolute wildest. This is a park for the patient who can appreciate the beauty and remoteness that surrounds them whilst not necessarily encountering huge volumes of game.

When To Visit

Game gravitates towards the river in the dry season (April to October), making this the peak time to see healthy numbers of wildlife. No/few camps are open during the rainy season of November to March as much of the park is inaccessible in heavy rain. Therefore, to get the best all round experience, the months of July to October are preferential. Usually visited in combination with South Luangwa, the two parks offer contrast ensuring a well-rounded trip.

North Luangwa Highlights

Walking Safaris

Walking Safaris

Walking Safaris

This is one of the most exclusive experiences on offer in the African bush. Walking with the best ...

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Walking Safaris

Walking Safaris

This is one of the most exclusive experiences on offer in the African bush. Walking with the best of guides, dipping deeper into the bush to savour the raw beauty of the Luangwa Valley.

Feeling inspired?

Enquire now
Authentic Camp

Authentic Camp

Authentic Camp

Mwaleshi is totally off the beaten track and the only camp in the North Luangwa. It’s one for ...

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Authentic Camp

Authentic Camp

Mwaleshi is totally off the beaten track and the only camp in the North Luangwa. It’s one for safari oficionados who like to explore the unknown on foot.

Feeling inspired?

Enquire now
Close up Encounters

Close up Encounters

Close up Encounters

On a walking safari in the park you are likely to encounter massive buffalo herds and prides of ...

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Close up Encounters

Close up Encounters

On a walking safari in the park you are likely to encounter massive buffalo herds and prides of lion. The primary reason for visiting North Luangwa is to experience nature undisturbed: close up and on foot.

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camps & lodges

Mwaleshi

Mwaleshi

Mwaleshi Camp, located in the remote North Luangwa National Park, is situated 10km from the Mwaleshi and Luangwa river confluence. Here guests may ... Read More