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Spanning a wild expanse of 4,636 squared kilometres, North Luangwa National Park is half the size of its more popular southern sister, but equally extraordinary.
Uncrowded and untouched, North Luangwa is one of the last remaining true wilderness areas in Zambia. In this remote corner of Africa there are few roads, few people and remarkably high concentrations of wildlife.
This extremely private park preserves its unspoiled landscapes by limiting access to the public. Originally only open to conservationists and researchers, there are now a small handful of safari operators who are permitted to run walking safaris in the area.
The expert guides are some of the best in the country, with extensive knowledge and an inspiring passion for this wondrous land. North Luangwa is the ultimate walking safari destination, with incredibly authentic and immersive bush experiences.
You’ll take in the most intimate sights, sounds and smells of the bush as you track big game and spot birdlife on foot. It’s a spellbinding experience, allowing you to get to the heart of Zambia’s wilderness.
The wildlife is equally as rich in North Luangwa. A walk along the Mwaleshi River provides the opportunity to spot large numbers of lion, buffalo, spotted hyena, zebra and endemic populations of Cookson’s wildebeest.
Make your way to the Luangwe/Mwaleshi confluence to see hundreds of hippos bellowing in the waters and keep your eyes peeled for the spectacular birdlife. There’s an abundance of fascinating species including the chestnut-mantled sparrow weaver and the yellow-throated longclaw.
The park is particularly special as it offers the chance to see the endangered black rhino. These majestic creatures were wiped out of the Luangwa region by 1987 due to poachers, however they were successfully reintroduced to North Luangwa National Park in 2003. Although they are still incredibly rare, their numbers are slowly increasing.
North Luangwa runs a number of fantastic wildlife initiatives alongside the black rhino reintroduction program, and the park is a prominent leader in Zambia’s conservation efforts.
To preserve the pristine wilderness, North Luangwa does not allow any permanent camps. Visitors may only access the park from June to October, staying in seasonal camps which are dismantled in the off season to reduce their environmental impact.
The park’s exclusive and isolated atmosphere makes a trip to North Luangwa all the more special, as visitors receive a truly unique experience in one of the world’s last untamed corners.
North Luangwa National Park is an extremely private and exclusive destination, with access only available from June to October. These are the driest months and the best time for wildlife viewing, as animals gravitate towards the rivers and vegetation. The weather is best from April to August when there is little rain and temperatures are far cooler. Visitors can gain access to the park with a few permitted safari operators and you’ll stay in seasonal camps that are dismantled outside the high season. The park experiences a wet season from November to May, bringing lush green scenery and abundant birdlife, but impassable roads and no access to the public.
North Luangwa National Park is featured on our Zambia Off the Beaten Track holiday. This off-the-grid location provides an immersive experience in the remote wilderness of Zambia. As one of the country’s last untouched corners, you’ll experience authentic walking safaris through the bush, intimate wildlife encounters, natural safari camps, and the chance to spot the highly endangered black rhino. We can customise any of our suggested Zambia itineraries to include more time in this unique destination.
A trip to North Luangwa National Park takes you to the incredible Mwaleshi Camp. This seasonal camp is only open from mid-June to October and is disassembled outside these months to preserve the environment. It’s a highly exclusive camp with only four thatched chalets and the design is refreshingly simple, using solely natural materials. The camp focuses on immersive walking safari experiences and you’ll be guided through the bush with the top experts in Zambia.