South Luangwa National Park

Zambia's premier safari destination

Back the 1950s, a young game ranger named Norman Carr encouraged the chief of the Luangwa Valley to set aside a portion of land as a game reserve.

Norman Carr quickly realised that photographic safaris and not big game hunting were the future for the area’s wildlife and built the first dedicated game-viewing camp.

The area was established as a National Park in 1972 and it quickly became one of the finest game-viewing destinations on the continent.

Today, the park is an unspoiled wilderness with the vast Luangwa River meandering through a landscape of lush forests and open plains, glittering lagoons and verdant water holes.

It’s this varied habitat that allows for such a huge concentration of African wildlife including elephant, hippo, giraffe, lion, leopard, buffalo and many more.

It’s also our home and one that we can’t wait to share with you at Nkonzi Camp.


The beautifully varied habitat of the South Luangwa supports a vast number of animals.

As you wind your way across the woodland savannah, you’ll find plenty of large mammal species including zebra, giraffe, impala, puku, kudu and waterbuck. Elephant and buffalo are common sightings too, often in large herds, and the soundtrack to your safari will be the hippo harrumphing merrily in the Luangwa River.

The main predators in the South Luangwa are lion, leopard, African wild dog and spotted hyena. Of the big cats, lion are probably the most common but there are great chances of finding elusive leopards too. African wild dog are rarer, although they den in the park and sightings have become more common in recent years.


They don’t call the South Luangwa the home of the walking safari for nothing! It’s here that the walking safari was pioneered in the 1950s and at Nkonzi Camp, we’re proud to continue the tradition. Exploring the park on foot allows you to focus on nature’s quirks and charms that you might miss from a vehicle and after each walk, you’ll be even more in awe of the landscape than you were before.

We also offer morning game drives and night drives as well as all-day expeditions on our safari packages. Driving is the best way to spot larger game and predators in action and you’ll cross open plains and explore pretty woodlands in search of wildlife sightings.

The South Luangwa is one of a few parks on the continent that offers night drives and we use a powerful spotlight to look for rare (and sometimes elusive!) nocturnal creatures in the inky African darkness.

Find out more about our safaris and activities at Nkonzi Camp.