South Luangwa National Park has the richest wildlife of anywhere in Zambia, and whatever the season, animals are present in large groups. The endemic population of Thornicroft’s giraffe is particularly significant and there are herds of elephant and buffalo several hundred strong. It is said there are 50 hippo per kilometre of riverbank, with an estimated total of at least 6,000.
South Luangwa has been called the “Valley of the leopard”, and you stand a good chance of seeing this most secretive of cats lounging in trees and wiling the day away in the shadows. The best time for leopard spotting is on a late afternoon game drive when they are no longer hiding from the heat of the sun, but waking up, stretching and thinking about starting to hunt.
Norman Carr pioneered the concept of a walking safari in South Luangwa, and the guides he trained here are still leading fascinating bush walks. Their knowledge of the park’s fauna, birdlife, insects and smaller reptiles is second to none, so you’re in for a crash course in natural science the moment you step out of camp.