The Luangwa Valley
Two of the more notable parks are, The North & South Luangwa National Parks (also known as The Valley of The Elephants) and are the pride of Zambias Game Reserves. They cover a total of 16,000 Sq Km and are situated only 75 minutes by air from Lusaka. They boast 15 high class Lodges and Camps of International standards.
The Luangwa Valley forms part of the Great Rift Valley that runs from Kenya into Zambia. On its Eastern boundary the Muchinga Escarpment rises majestically some 1,200 metres from the Valley floor. The main feature of this park is the magnificent Luangwa River that runs through the middle of the 100 km wide valley. This river, the life blood of the valley, affords large pods of hippos that wallow in its deep pools.
South Luangwa National Park
South Luangwa is the better known of the parks in Zambia with an extensive network of roads and lodges, while the North Luangwa, being less developed, offers a unique wilderness experience. The valley is teaming with a large variety of game. Large herds of buffalo (said be to the largest in Africa) and also elephants are one of the major attractions of the valley.
Thornicrofts giraffe and Cooksons wildebeest are some of the unique animals that are endemic to this part of Africa. The dominant antelope that abound in the valley are impala and puku, along with kudu, zebra, eland, reedbuck, wildebeest, hartebeest and bushbuck.
The main predators are lion, leopard and spotted hyena. Lions occur in large prides and are often seen both day and night. South Luangwa boasts of having one of the largest concentrations of leopards in the world and this makes for a thrilling encounter on your night drive!
The birdlife in the valley is also of rich and varied diversity with over 400 species recorded. The large flocks of cranes, brightly coloured Carmine bee-eaters and the numerous different raptors are but a few of the spectacles that you may see.
Lodges and Camps in the Valley
Various fine lodges are situated in South Luangwa and one in particular is pioneering micro-flights in the park itself, affording spectacular views and an eagles eye approach to game viewing.
These lodges and camps vary in both style and facilities. Most of the main lodges are permanent structures with ensuite bathrooms. Some of the lodges are on either mains or generated electricity while others opt for solar lighting systems. The majority of the lodges are situated along the banks of the Luangwa offering perfect spots for game viewing.
The bush camps are normally tents or are built from local materials such as reeds and grass but still offer a high standard of comfort.