North Luangwa National Park is a more remote and wilder version of South Luangwa.
The park is closed during the rainy season, only accessible by visitors during the dry season – June to October. With only two small camps operating in the park, it is one of the most remote tourist destinations in Africa.
Shaped like a diamond it is over 4,600 sq km, roughly 55 km by 95 km. It is bordered on the west by the Muchinga Escarpment and on the east by the Luangwa River. The Mwaleshi River runs through the park and, fed by springs, it is constantly flowing and is a big attraction for wildlife. Being shallow, it is not inhabited by crocodiles, so walking across it, or sitting in it, is quite safe.
The park is not a self-drive park. It is used for walking safaris by the operators of the two small camps along the Mwaleshi River.
North Luangwa is primarily a wilderness zone for the protection of the rhinos. It is a privilege for operators to be in the park. For this reason, it is a very special experience for visitors.
The wildlife in the park is similar to that of South Luangwa with the added attraction of black rhino and Crawshay’s zebra but without giraffe. Buffalo are in large herds; lions abound.
North Luangwa National Park is an Important Bird Area (IBA).
There are over 400 bird species. Specialties include the carmine bee-eater, giant eagle owl, Pel’s fishing owl, Lillian’s lovebird, purple-crested lourie, crowned crane, and the yellow-throated longclaw.
For a list compiled by Pete Leonard for BirdWatch Zambia CLICK HERE
North Luangwa is a park for walking; drives are rarely encouraged, except to some remote areas.
Citizens K34 per person per day
Residents and SADC Nationals US$15 per person per day
International US$20 per person per day
Self-drive US$25 per person per day
Vehicle (Under 3 tonnes)
Local K25.50 per vehicle per day
International US$15 per vehicle per day
Buffalo Camp. Run by Shiwa Safaris (Shiwa Ngandu)
Mwaleshi Camp – run by Remote Africa of Tafika and Chikoko in South Luangwa
Katundala is closed.
These are non-permanent camps as they can only open in the dry season between June and October. At the end of each season, the camps are dismantled and rebuilt the following year.
Just outside the entrance to the park near the Mano Ranger Camp, the community have set up a campsite, Natwange.
I am told that there is another community campsite near the Luangwa pontoon to the east of the park.
Guests to Mwaleshi Camp fly into the park from Mfuwe, near South Luangwa.
Guests from Shiwa Ngandu either self drive or offered a road transfer.
If you are self-drive, you have to have a booking before you embark on either routes.
From the west:
From South Luangwa
Frankfurt Zoological Society
The Frankfurt Zoological Society is involved in conservation programmes all over the world. They take on threatened wilderness areas to protect their biodiversity. In 1986 they formed the North Luangwa Conservation Programme together with the ZamParks. Previously the park was a poachers‘ paradise but with support from the Frankfurt Zoological Society, the poaching was ended and the rangers well-trained, housed and well paid.
In 2003 five black rhinos were brought into the park to re-establish them there. During the protection of the park the rhino, elephant and other wildlife have grown in numbers along with a healthy predator population.
North Luangwa Conservation Programme is also involved in the Conservation Education in the surrounding communities especially in the schools.
Click on the link below to find out more:
The north of Zambia is a destination for lovers of the open road. It is home to Bangweulu Wetlands, Kasanka National Park, North Luangwa National Park, Nsumbu National Park, Lavushi Manda National Park, heaps of waterfalls, Mutinondo Wilderness and Shiwa Ngandu as well as rock art and the Moto Moto Museum.
Although accessible by scheduled flights to Kasama and charter flights between main destinations, most of our visitors love to take to the road and explore.
To see an overview of what is available in north-eastern Zambia, click on the link below: