Travel Guide Zambia: Luambe National Park
Even though Luambe National Park is a comparatively small, guests will be able to enjoy an impressive diversity of wild animals. Learn more about this awe-inspiring wildlife area in east Zambia
With an area of 300 km², the Luambe National Park is a comparatively small national park but is in no way inferior to the big parks. Thanks to extensive nature conservation measures, its animal wealth was revived after strong poaching activities in the 1970s and 1980s. The area is a unique, almost untouched ecosystem with a spectacular flora and fauna that can be explored by safari guests on game drives and bush walks.
The Luambe National Park is located in the Luangwa Valley, which is fed by the Luangwa River. The countless lagoons, rivers and wetlands are home to a multitude of hippos and crocodiles and are visited by all other animals as water sources. Due to the absence of large tourist flows, a piece of the original Africa can be enjoyed here.
Luambe National Park
Between the South and North Luangwa National Park, on the east bank of the Luangwa River in the middle of the Luangwa Valley
approx. 300 km²
Elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos, hippos, crocodiles, zebras, giraffes, warthogs, numerous antelope species, a variety of birds, rarely even wild dogs.
Luambe Camp (only accommodation in the park)
Game drives, bush walks, birding tours – all can be combined with an active contribution to wildlife conservation
Best travel time
End of May to October
Exclusivity and seclusion – the park is considered a real insider tip • only a camp in the park contributes to the undisturbed safari experience • Luambe Camp offers its guest a real "Conservation Safari": wildlife watching combined with an active contribution to species conservation • a diverse fauna and flora • all in all: the park provides insight into the original Africa
Visiting Luambe National Park
The comparatively small Luambe National Park (300 km²) lies between Zambia's South and North Luangwa National Parks, on the eastern bank of the Luangwa River in the middle of the picturesque Luangwa Valley.
Landscape and animals
The Luangwa River with its countless small tributaries, which only carry water during the rainy season, is the lifeline of the park. The constantly changing course of the river creates new banks and lagoons which make up the unique flora and fauna of this region. During an excursion to the park, guests can witness open grasslands sprinkled with a few trees, wooded river banks, floodplains, mopane forest and isolated lagoons.
A lack of park structures led to strong poaching activities in the 1970s and 1980s and thus to a massive decline in the once rich animal population. Since the beginning of the 2000s, conservation initiatives have supported the recovery of the populations, so that a rich fauna is now again at home in the depths of the park – although not (yet) in the same density as in neighbouring South or North Luangwa National Park. The clear advantage: Luambe National Park is less known and not overcrowded. Guests can thus enjoy wonderful animal sightings completely undisturbed. With elephants, leopards, lions and buffalos four of the Big Five can be observed here, as well as giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, zebras, warthogs, various antelopes and an extensive bird world. If you are lucky you might even be able to spot the rare African wild dog.
Accommodation and activities
The only accommodation in the park is the picturesque Luambe Camp, located directly on the banks of the Luangwa River. This accommodation offers classic game drives in the morning and afternoon to experience the diversity of the park. Guided bush walks can also be enjoyed in order to get particularly close to the multi-faceted animal and plant world. In particular birding tours are a special experience in Luambe National Park, because an extensive, colourful bird world is resident in the vastness of the region.
What makes Luambe Camp so special: the affiliated Luambe Conservation Project enables guests to enjoy a classic safari trip while supporting the conservation team on site with different research activities on the daily game drives. Tracking, monitoring or tagging – Luambe Camp offers a real Conservation Safari.
The cooler dry season from the end of May to October proves to be the most suitable travel season for Luambe National Park. Especially in October there is an abundance of hippos and crocodiles in the Luangwa River. In September/October some wonderful carmine bee-eater colonies can be observed in the sandbanks of the Luangwa. Outside these months the park becomes almost impassable due to heavy rainfall.
Since Luambe National Park has been forgotten for a long time and is now slowly starting to shine again in new splendour, this destination in Zambia proves to be a real insider tip. Only a few visitors are to be found here despite the meanwhile well recovered animal world. The fact that Luambe Camp is the only accommodation in the entire park area also benefits the experience of an exclusive, private and secluded safari experience. If you wander through the depths of Luambe National Park, you will gain some insight into the original Africa and enjoy a very special, authentic safari trip.
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