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:
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).