Game drives are a great way to see the South Luangwa and some of the bigger game that calls the park home. On four wheels, longer distances can be covered and the car can be manoeuvred into the best position for game watching (but there’s no off-road driving in the South Luangwa).
At Nkonzi Camp, we have the bonus of being right in the heart of the action. There’s no waiting at the main gate to be allowed into the park or driving for hours to get to the best game viewing areas – you’re already in one! Here, you’ll step out of your tent and straight onto your vehicle, ready to discover all the South Luangwa has to offer…
Morning Game Drives
Morning game drives are very special. The animals of the South Luangwa are at their most active and it’s a fantastic time for sightings of wildlife big and small. Birding is best just after dawn as the birdsong carries beautifully in the still, early morning air and of course, the soft morning light is a delight for everyone, especially photographers.
Our morning game drives depart at around 06h00 and return to camp at around 10h00. Whilst the early morning might be a shock to the system on the first day, you’ll soon get used to the early wake-up call and seeing the park in all its dewy, dawn glory more than makes up for it. The tea stop for a morning cuppa and freshly-baked biscuits mid-way through the morning drive also helps!
Afternoon & Night Game Drives
Afternoon and night game drives in the South Luangwa have a different thrill. You’ll depart camp at around 16h00, just as the day is cooling off and the predators are getting ready for the night’s hunt. As the sun starts to set, we make time for a ‘sundowner’ cocktail in a scenic spot (sunsets are best viewed with something cold in hand, after all) before continuing the game drive with the aid of a high-powered spotlight.
There a few national parks left in Africa that offer night game drives and they are a truly unforgettable experience. You’ll have the chance to spot nocturnal animals such as civet and genet, as well as bird species that only make an appearance at night. Watching predators hunt is also a visceral and haunting experience, whether you’re listening for the roar of a lion across the inky blackness, or watching a hyena slink in and out of the shadows. Finally, the African night sky and the Milky Way is a real treat in itself.