South Luangwa National Park

species of bird
Animal Species

South Luangwa National Park


Experts have dubbed South Luangwa National Park to be one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, and not without reason. The concentration of animals around the Luangwa River, and its oxbow lagoons, is among the most intense in Africa.

The Luangwa River, Zambia is the most intact major river system in Africa and is the life-blood of this 9059 km² Park. The Park hosts a wide variety of wildlife, birds and vegetation. The now famous ‘walking safari’ originated in this Park and is still one of the finest ways to experience Africa’s pristine wilderness first-hand. The changing seasons add to the Park’s richness, ranging from; dry, bare bushveld in the winter, to a lush, green wonderland in the summer months. There are 60 different animal species and over 400 different bird species in South Luangwa National Park. The only notable exception is the rhino, sadly poached to extinction.

Notable animals include:

  • Lion
  • Leopard
  • Giraffe
  • Elephant
  • Buffalo
  • Hyena
  • Hippopotamus
  • Monkeys
  • Crocodile


Seasonal changes are very pronounced in South Luangwa. The dry season begins in April and intensifies through to October, the hottest month, when game concentrations are at their height. Warm sunny days and chilly nights typify the dry winter months of May to August.

The wet season begins in November as the leaves turn green, and the dry bleak terrain becomes a lush jungle. The rainy season lasts up until the end of March and the migrant birds arrive in droves. Each lodge stays open for as long as access is possible, depending on its location in the area.

Read our blog post; Luangwa: throughout the year to learn more about the weather in South Luangwa and how the safari experience differs from month to month.


A couple of things to know:

  • Zambia is a malarial zone and we strongly recommend taking anti-malarial medication as well as taking other precautions such as mosquito spray.
  • A Yellow Fever certificate is an entry requirement to Zambia.
  • Most nationalities, but not all, can obtain the required Zambian visa at the border for USD50. This must be paid in cash, USD.
  • Your visa must be in date, if is not you may be sent back to the Lilongwe border.

If you have any questions, we would be very happy to help.


Subscribe below and receive 10% off the Bradt Guide to Zambia

Newsletter Signup:

We respect your privacy