The South Luangwa National Park is 9050 square kilometres of pristine African bush, within this wilderness we have access to under 10% with the rest being left to nature. This is one of our favourite things about this place, we only know what goes on in the areas we can get to, we can only have an impact on a tiny percentage of the incredibly wild area that is out there.
The park has only natural boundaries, with the Luangwa River on the Eastern side and the Machinga Escarpment on the Western side. The main concentration of camps and lodges is around the bridge over the river into the park in Mfuwe (the local ‘town’). This area is the busiest with vehicles because of this but it is also the most convenient to get to and also has great wildlife year round. Because the park dries out as the time without rain draws on most wildlife must come to the river as the only permanent source of water in the whole area. BUT if you want a true African safari experience you have to seek out remoteness and for this you need to head out of the Mfuwe area to the north or south of the park where you can walk all day and not see anything other than wildlife tracks and sign, you will have almost every sighting to yourself for as long as you like and the sightings are often spectacular.
In the wet season the area we can access becomes even smaller, with the black cotton soil that exists throughout the rift valley becoming completely impassable the only way to travel in the more remote areas of the park is by using the river. This time of year has fantastic colour and light quality as well as being a brilliant time for birding with more than 400 species including many migratory birds as well as the endemic birds (many of which will be in their breeding plumages).