Postcards: On Safari at South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

When travellers think of going on safari in Africa, they usually consider places like the Serengeti in Kenya and Tanzania or Kruger National Park, South Africa. Both great places for viewing some of Africa's great wildlife, I'm sure, but there's another place that travellers should consider: South Luangwa National Park in Zambia.

The 9000 square kilometre park in the valley of the Luangwa River was established in 1972. It is famous for its walking safaris, and it also has driving safaris in roofless vehicles. Like its more-famous counterparts, it has a high density of animals, which makes it an excellent choice for game-viewing. But it has a perk: relatively few visitors, which means fewer vehicles between you and the animals.

Travellers looking for the 'Big Five' (lions, leopards, rhino, buffalo, and elephants) will find four of them here. Sadly, rhinos were poached to extinction years ago.

Here are some postcards from my visit to this magical safari wonderland:

Elephants from the safari vehicles

Elephants from the safari vehicles

A bird in a tree

A bird in a tree

Beware the hippo in the water

Beware the hippo in the water

Buffalo

Buffalo

A giraffe on the run

A giraffe on the run

An impala on the move

An impala on the move

Monkeys, just chilling

Monkeys, just chilling

Warthog in the grass

Warthog in the grass

A zebra in black and white

A zebra in black and white

A crocodile

A crocodile

Yawning lions

Yawning lions

A gathering of puku

A gathering of puku

A sneaky hyena at night

A sneaky hyena at night

Spotted: a leopard in the tree, eating its dinner

Spotted: a leopard in the tree, eating its dinner


More:
Zambia Tourism's website has some good planning info. South Luangwa National Park can be quite cheap; my friend and I negotiated our weekend, including two days of driving safaris and camping accommodation, for about $400 (in 2010).