Exploring South Luangwa National Park in Zambia

South Luangwa National Park - A Photo Essay {Big World Small Pockets}

Crazy as it sounds, but after 2 months safari-ing in Africa, South Luangwa National Park in Zambia is still my favourite place!

That’s beating Tanzania’s Serengeti and South Africa’s Kruger even!

Here’s all you need to know about visiting my favourite wildlife spot in this country – South Luangwa National Park.

Zambia, South Luangwa NP, Entrance


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Exploring South Luangwa National Park

Zambia, South Luangwa NP, Lionness

Yes, this little, off the beaten track and remote national park in the Southern Africa country of Zambia packs a seriously mean punch when it comes to the sheer concentration of animals and the proximity at which you can view them.

South Luangwa National Park is a good day’s drive from Lusaka – at least it was in our huge Absolute Africa overland truck – but was certainly worth the adventure and you could spend at least 3 days exploring all this amazing place had to offer.

And talking of Absolute Africa, I’m currently offering my readers an exclusive discount on all their tours, meaning you can now travel even more in this amazing continent for even less!

Simply send this top African overland tour company an email to [email protected], quoting the discount code BWSP, and start planning your incredible trip with them today!

It’s definitely the best Zambia National Park in my opinion.


South Luangwa Wildlife

Zambia, South Luangwa NP, Solo Zebra

We undertook 2 game drives in South Luangwa National Park, one in the morning and one in the evening and both were fantastic.

If push came to shove, I’d have to say I preferred the morning game drive when we saw (and this is not an exhaustive list!) zebra, giraffes, hippos, warthogs, monitor lizards, crocodiles, buffalos, impala, mongoose, snakes, baboons, vervet monkeys and elephants!

We also saw a good number of female lions and cubs, extremely close up. Some of them were even suckling!

But the jewel in the crown had to be the leopard we spotted only a metre or so away!

There she was in all her regal glory, calm collected and seemingly unaware (or not bothered) by the excited array of humans around her!

What memories!


South Luangwa National Park Accommodation

Absolute Africa, Zambia, Leopard

My tip insider tip if you do travel to South Luangwa National Park is to stay at the wonderful Croc Valley Camp.

Perched right above the river, we literally camped on the banks here and spent a lot of time with our binoculars just staring out at the wildlife around us.

As such, we got the most incredible view of hippos, monkeys and crocs right from outside our tent door and several elephants even wandered into our camp at dusk to say hello!

More scary however was the hippos in the middle of the night.

I swear they were less than a metre from us, munching, snorting and grunting away – eek!

Croc Valley Camp also had an awesome pool area – just what was required in the heat – and excellent wifi, which was well worth the nominal amount (sorry blogger life!)

Compounding the idea that this really is a wildlife camp was the fact we even saw a snake eating a frog right by the bar!

Nature on tap!


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Mini Travel Guide to Zambia

Zambia, South Luangwa NP, Lion Sisters


How Long to Spend There?
I’d suggest at least 5 days in Zambia.

Remember this country is big and travelling between destinations takes a lot of time, which you’ll need to factor in as well.


Top 5 Packing Items for Zambia

#1 Good Camera – Don’t even think about coming to Zambia without a good travel camera to capture the best of this country. The Sony A6000 mirrorless ticks my box every time!

#2 Walking Shoes / Boots – These are highly recommended for safaris, especially in the early morning or evening game drives, when the temperatures can really drop. Keen Targhee’s II always get my vote!

#3 Birkenstocks – And talking of footwear, a good pair of sandals are king in Zambia. I love my Arizona Birkenstocks which were perfect for keeping my feet cool and supported at the same time. Literally wore them every day in this country!

#4 Waterproof Windproof Jacket – I visited Zambia in the dry season, but was amazed how cold it got at night, especially when camping. Having my North Face lightweight, windproof jacket saved me!

#5 World Power Adapters – Mmake sure you come prepared with a suitable Skross adapter.


Travel Insurance for Zambia

World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.

Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.


Travel Money in Zambia

When it comes to paying for things in Zambia, it’s great to know that accommodation and tours can generally be paid for by card.

ATMs are also available in most major towns.

Whether you use ATMs or pay by card however, you’ll want to ensure you’re not being charged overseas transaction fees or getting poor exchange rates, which is why I always take my Wise card away with me wherever I travel.

The easy way to spend abroad with real exchange rates, no markups and no sneaky transaction fees, you can use your Wise card just like a debit card here, and it links easily with Google and Apple pay. Get yours here.


Top Zambia Tours

If you’re interested in an unforgettable, well-priced tour in Botswana with guides you can trust, then email me at [email protected] and I’ll send you my top recommendations – simple!

Alternatively, I’m currently offering my readers an exclusive discount on all Absolute Africa tours (who I visited Chobe with), meaning you can now travel even more in this amazing continent for even less!

Simply send this top African overland tour company an email to [email protected], quoting the discount code BWSP, and start planning your incredible trip with them today!

Otherwise, why not check out these other well-rated options.




Honestly, South Luangwa National Park really is one of the best Zambia National Parks, if not the whole of Africa!

Have you visited this amazing place?

Tell me all in the comments box below…


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