A true wilderness engaging the explorer inside of you, a North Luangwa National Park safari offers a remote and wild safari experience. Although it is half the size of its sister park, the South Luangwa, the 4,636km² North Luangwa shares many of its attributes especially its lush vegetation and spectacular wildlife. However, the North offers something extra, with the inclusion of the Muchinga Escarpment.
These high slopes add a new dimension to the flora and fauna of the park, with species not found on the valley floor present on the escarpment - a fact particularly true for the birdlife. There's also the chance to see blue monkey and bushpig, while on the valley floor there's also a difference in plains game, with Cookson's wildebeest far more plentiful.
Until the mid-80's the park was a poaching hotspot, with poachers focusing most on the park's elephant and rhino populations. Thanks in part to the efforts of conservationists Mark and Delia Owens, today the park is much recovered from its dark days. Elephant in the park are still scarce and can be cautious of visitors - they are best sighted during the dry season as they move to higher ground. Rhino, meanwhile, have recently been reintroduced to the park, with a growing population of black rhino established in North Luangwa since 2003.
There are only three properties in the park, set along the Mwaleshi River, and all offering quite the secluded wilderness retreat. Embracing the rustic setting, the camps channel the character of the North Luangwa and lay focus on walking safaris as the main activity. It's an exciting experience to traverse the verdant scenery, taking in lion, buffalo and impala sightings.
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