North Luangwa National Park is synonymous with walking safaris and is my favourite National Park in Zambia.

Going on safari in North Luangwa is to glimpse the bush as it once was; wild and untouched.

North Luangwa 2 zambia

Untouched wilderness in North Luangwa National

The best safaris in North Luangwa National Park

Game drives are not permitted in the majority of the park and access is primarily by walking safari. You’ll leave the vehicle in camp, setting out on foot each day with your guide and an armed scout, to walk among elephants, antelope, zebra and even the occasional predator, always maintaining a safe distance!

North Luangwa is a specialist safari destination, recommended for seasoned safari-goers who are used to roughing it in the bush. Expect long, hot and dusty walks on unmarked trails, crossing rivers on foot and hacking through thick undergrowth. On a walking safari here once I encountered a guest who was irate that the route wasn’t paved or at least signposted… if that’s what you are looking for then North Luangwa is definitely not for you!

North Luangwa is one of three national parks in the Luangwa Valley, the others being South Luangwa and Luambe. Between the North and the South parks, on the eastern bank of the Luangwa River, is Luambe National Park. It’s small, covering only 250 km², and is usually only visited when travelling the rugged route between north and south parks by road. Luambe Camp is the only accommodation in the park.

Best safari camps & lodges in North Luangwa National Park

Remote Africa Safaris operate two camps that specialise in guided walking safaris. For the more adventurous Samala and Ituba Community Camps offer self-catering, and for the intrepid, there’s the Amatololo Experience, a self-drive camping route.

North Luangwa National Park wildlife

In addition to healthy populations of buffalo and elephants, North Luangwa is a predator stronghold and home to Zambia’s largest, most stable and only increasing elephant population, as well as the country’s only black rhino population, making this the only Big Five park in Zambia.

About the author

Safari In North Luangwa National Park

Sarah Kingdom

Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, before moving to Africa at the age of 21, Sarah Kingdom is a mountain climber and guide, traveller, yoga teacher, trail runner, and mother of two. When she is not climbing or traveling she lives on a cattle ranch in central Zambia. She guides climbing and trekking trips worldwide, including taking climbers up Mount Kilimanjaro numerous times a year.

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