Overview – Luambe NP

Alan Murphy
Expert
By Alan Murphy

Alan is a renowned Africa expert and has authored many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Zambia.

Alan is a renowned Africa expert and has authored many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Zambia.

Alan is a renowned Africa expert and authored the Lonely Planet guidebook to Zambia.

Alan has authored the Lonely Planet guide to Zambia.

This small, little-known park is located in the Luangwa Valley, between North and South Luangwa. There is one Dry season lodge, and if you visit this park, you’ll probably have it to yourself. Wildlife densities are increasing, but are still significantly lower than in neighboring parks. The lodge is located at the river, and elephant are regularly seen coming to drink.

Best Time to Go July to October (Animals are easy to find)
High Season July to October (The park is little visited)
Size 254km² / 98mi²
Altitude 553-670m / 1,814-2,198ft

Pros & Cons

  • Reasonable wildlife viewing with four of the Big Five present (rhino is absent)
  • Little visited, off-the-beaten-track destination
  • Reasonably priced lodge on the bank of the Luangwa River
  • Game drives, night drives and guided walks offered
  • Convenient stop-over for self-drive visitors between North and South Luangwa
  • Less wildlife than in North and South Luangwa
  • Small game-drive circuit
  • Roads are bad in the Dry season and impassable in the Wet season

Luambe NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

All of the wildlife encountered in well-known South Luangwa can be seen in Luambe. Numbers are lower though, and animals are less habituated. There are plenty of antelope around, including puku, impala, bushbuck, kudu and waterbuck. The river is full of hippo and elephant often come through the lodge to drink. Lion and leopard are around, but sightings are infrequent.

Scenery

The landscape of Luambe is comprised of open plains and miombo woodland. The Luangwa River is the park’s lifeline, and several lagoons hold permanent water. Riverine forest flanks the river.

Weather & Climate

Luambe has a tropical climate, which means there’s not much variation in temperature throughout the year. The main influences on the weather are the park’s two distinctive seasons. Days are warm and nights are cool in the Dry season (May to October). The Wet season (November to April) brings daily downpours.

Best Time to Visit

There’s no real choice when it comes to visiting Luambe. There’s only one lodge in the park and it doesn’t stay open outside the Dry season (May to October). This coincides with the prime period for wildlife viewing, when animals gather around the local lagoons and rivers. In the wetter months, it’s simply not realistic to try and explore this remote, waterlogged area.

Want to Visit Luambe NP?

Luambe NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Hidden wilderness on the famous Luangwa
4/5

This scrap of a park on the Luangwa River between South and North Luangwa National Parks is very little known, even compared to North Luangwa. There’s just one small and appealingly simple dry-season lodge and campsite. You and your...

Latest User Review
Bas van de Kamp Reviewed: Apr 4, 2013
Your own private paradise
4/5

No big five or Serengeti-style mega-herds but lots of other wildlife to enjoy. Never saw so many raptors in one place. You need to work a bit harder than in Luangwa because this park was recently established and animals here are not used...

Full Review