North Luangwa NP

- Overview North Luangwa Safaris

About North Luangwa National Park

North Luangwa is the wild, sister park of the more popular and accessible South Luangwa National Park. It’s mostly a walking destination centered on the southern wilderness area of the park and is little visited. The habitat and wildlife is similar to South Luangwa, but animals are less habituated – its main appeal is its pristine bush and lack of other tourists. All the Big Five can be found, with black rhino protected in an enclosure.

Size: help
4,636km² / 1,790mi²
Altitude: help
566-1,372m / 1,857-4,501ft
Pros and Cons
  • Excellent wildlife viewing with all the Big Five present
  • The only black rhino in the country can be seen here in a pen
  • Remote wilderness area set aside for walking
  • Excellent add-on to a conventional safari in South Luangwa
  • Self-drive visitors are allowed in the northern part of the park but need to be self-sufficient
  • Very limited, expensive, fly-in accommodation options in the southern wilderness area


The wildlife is similar to what you can see in South Luangwa. All the Big Five are present and can be encountered, although black rhino is held in a pen for the time being. The rare, endemic Cookson's wildebeest is more common here than in its sister park, and giraffe is absent. Lion and buffalo are regularly seen, as are big herds of eland and Lichtenstein's hartebeest.
More about the wildlife


North Luangwa is part of the southern extension of Africa's Great Rift and is dominated by the Luangwa River. Mopane and miombo woodland, acacia shrub, grassland savannah and riverine forest are some of the habitats that make up this lush valley. The Muchinga escarpment is a prominent landmark in the park.

Weather & Climate

North Luangwa has a tropical climate which keeps average temperatures fairly consistent throughout the year. The wildcard is changes in altitude. If you head up the escarpment, you’ll find that temperatures drop by about 6.5°C (3.5°F) every 1,000m (1,000ft). The park is subject to a Dry season (May to October) characterized by hot days, cold nights and no rain. Its Wet season (November to April) gets even hotter.
More about the weather and climate

Best Time to Visit

You can only go on organized safaris in North Luangwa in the Dry season (May to October). The wildlife viewing is particularly good from July, when animals stay close to the remaining pockets of water and are easy to track. Lodges and tours shut down when the rains come and the heat soars.
More about the best time to visit

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Safari Reviews

- North Luangwa
Expert Rating
Scenic beauty
Bush vibe help
User Rating
Scenic beauty
Bush vibe help
Latest User Review

Very poor destination for a self travler. Needed a guide in the park. Felt like a military excursion with a armed guard in my vehicle. Not pleasant at all. If you visit Zambia, give North LUangwa a definite skip.

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