Luangwa Valley Zambia

North Luangwa National Park

"Wilderness" is the best single word to describe this National Park. The drama of its natural, unspoilt beauty is what strikes most visitors first. Walking safaris were first conducted here in the mid 1980s but since then only three safari operators have been adventurous enough to stake their territories here. All operate small, remote bush camps and there are no permanent lodges in the area. Even today you are not allowed into the Park unless escorted professionally and there is only one road in.

As with the South Luangwa, the National Park is sandwiched between the Muchinga Escarpment and the Luangwa River. The habitats vary from wide grassy plains, through Mopani woodland to rich riverine forests hosting Acacias, Mahoganies and Sausage Trees. The Mwaleshi River is a tributary of the Luangwa that winds its way down the escarpment in a series of waterfalls and then across the valley floor, the river recedes during the dryer months of the year but remains attractive to many species of antelope and the herds of buffalo that are common in this Park. It is along this watercourse that walking safaris are conducted and accommodation is in small, remote camps. The game is not quite so plentiful in the North Park and no game drives are available. There is a successful black rhino introduction programme in the North Park but it’s unlikely that guests will be able to see them at this stage.