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Get Off the Beaten Path in Zambia’s North Luangwa National Park

November 14, 2022  By: Gretchen

North Luangwa National Park in Zambia is remote, wild and seldom visited. Here, walking is the name of the game so it’s the perfect place for active adventurers who want to get away from it all.

aerial view of the river

North Luangwa lies on one of Africa’s rift valleys and encompasses a diverse array of habitats, supporting a dizzying variety of flora and fauna. With over 450 bird species (some seasonal) and over 60 different species of mammals, the wildlife viewing opportunities are rich and rewarding. Large herds of Cape buffalo are often seen as are predators such as lion, leopard and wild dog. Guests may also spot special species such as sable, Crawshay’s zebra, puku, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest and the endemic Cookson’s wildebeest.

walking safari group

This park could have been a sad footnote in history due to poaching and poor management if not for pioneering safari operators and conservation efforts in the 1980’s that drew attention to the park’s potential. The Frankfurt Zoological Society has provided significant financial support for the park for many decades now, allowing it to thrive. Black rhino were reintroduced early this century and their population has grown steadily.

guests in chairs in river

North Luangwa National Park opens only seasonally, from June to October. We recommend our guests visit in the driest months from July to October for the best game viewing. The park’s Mwaleshi River is a permanent water source for resident wildlife, which gathers along its shores in the dry months.

Mwaleshi Camp

Set on a scenic bend of the Mwaleshi River, Mwaleshi Camp is an intimate, off-the-beaten-path spot in this remote and beautiful park and is Africa Adventure Consultants’ top pick in the area. It is a truly special place – unlike any other in Zambia. With just four thatched chalets built entirely of natural materials with en suite bathrooms open to the stars and uninterrupted views of the river, Mwaleshi offers visitors a genuine feeling of solitude, seclusion and exclusivity.

walking safari with elephant

The majority of activities at Mwaleshi Camp are done on foot, following existing animal trails. Walking safaris are a special and totally different way to experience the bush and see the area’s wildlife. It allows visitors to learn more about the ecology, as well as to learn about tracking animals, and also holds the chance of seeing exciting game such as elephant, wild dog, rhino, lion, Cape buffalo and more!

lion spotting

In addition to walking safaris to see myriad game including the chance to spot the Big 5, outstanding bird watching, swimming and wallowing in the Mwaleshi River and sleep outs under the stars are options for guests.

Would you like to explore one of the least visited parks in Zambia?

Photos courtesy Mwaleshi Camp