Luambe National Park

... some information about Luambe National Park

Luambe National Park is located in the Munyamadzi corridor between the North and South Luangwa National Parks.  With an area of 254 square kilometres the park is one of  Zambia’s smallest and for many years has been heavily poached.  Since 2002 the owners of Luangwa Wilderness Lodge have been closely involved in the management and conservation of the park which is resulting in a noticeable recovery in game populations and reduction in poaching.

The Luangwa river forms the western boundary of the park and the habitat is dominated by woodland park including mopane, with areas of miombo and mature leadwood. 

Mammal and bird species are the same as that for South Luangwa National Park, although in lesser concentrations.  Giraffe do not however occur

Please refer to the lodge information regarding further details about the park.

Best Time of Year to Visit

June/July: The start of the peak season in the Luangwa Valley.  Roads are accessible now although some areas of mud may still remain. This is “mid winter” and can be very cold on early morning and evening game drives. During the day the temperatures are cool/warm. The bush is drying out. Most days are clear with fabulous colours. Walking safaris may be a little restricted as the grass is still a bit high.

August: Cool to hot with the bush now dry. Lagoons are shrinking and game viewing excellent.

September: Hot, dry and hazy. Trees flower and lose their leaves.  There may be fires in the area  attracting yellow billed kites (migrants) and other birds.  Game viewing is now good. Everything is waiting for the onset of the rains.

October: Very dry with excellent game viewing, animals concentrating around the last remaining water. The river is now very shallow. Storm clouds start building up and there may be occasional rain which cools the temperatures down and clears the air. Can be very hot (up to 40 degrees in the shade). New growth starts in the mopane woodland and elsewhere - newborn warthog finally emerge from their burrows and may also be seen.

November: Hot and slightly humid. Daily afternoon storms start to become the norm which mean that access to the park soon becomes extremely difficult with large areas of muddy black cotton clay soil.

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
TEMPERATURES (centigrade)
max 32 31 32 32 31 30 29 30 35 40 37 33
min 20 20 19 18 19 12 11 12 15 20 22 22
RAINFALL (mm)
normal 195 287 141 91 0 0 0 0 0 50 108 110

The normal daily program is approximately as follows:

  • 05:30 (summertime) / 06:00 (wintertime) Wake-up call and tea/coffee served
  • 06:00 (summertime) / 06:30 (wintertime) Morning safari.  After a few hours walk or game drive the guide will chose a scenic spot where guests can stop for a break and enjoy a light refreshment and snack.  The safari will then continue for another hour or so (depending on what game is seen) returning to the lodge for a cooked breakfast.
  • 12:00 Lunch is served.  The afternoon is spent at leisure
  • 15:30 (wintertime) / 16:00 (summertime) Evening safari similar to the morning.  The guide will choose a picturesque spot to watch the sunset whilst enjoying drinks and a snack.  If the guests are walking, they will return to camp before dark.  If on a game drive, the drive will then continue using a spotlight for about an hour whilst they look for the nocturnal animals.
  • 20:30 dinner is served. 

Safety

The lodge is open to the surrounding bush without fences.  The wildlife can, and does, roam freely through the area.  Guests should take the utmost care when walking about their lodge and stay within their lodge area at all times.  At night clients should not walk around the camp by themselves.  Should a guest come across game they should not approach the animal.  Elephants in particular can move very fast and can be very dangerous – they are scared of humans and can react suddenly without warning.  If an elephant happens to feel threatened and kill a human who has got too close, the scouts will then be directed to automatically shoot the elephant.  Please don’t give them reason to have to do this.

Park Entry Fee
At present the rates are:

  • USD5 per person per 24 hour period
  • A vehicle is USD5 per vehicle for a 24 hour period.

Payment

Cash: US dollars are easier to change than sterling. Smaller denominations of bills are recommended. USD notes should be recent with "large heads". Old notes with "smaller heads" (except One Dollar Bills) are not accepted ANYWHERE in Zambia.

Health and Insurance

Clients are advised to have comprehensive travel insurance (including Trip Cancellation/ Curtailment and Medical Evacuation & Hospitalisation.

Malaria – Zambia is a high risk malaria area and protection from malaria is imperative. Guests are strongly recommended to take malaria prophylactics and are advised to adhere strictly to the dosages, especially for the four to six weeks after their stay in Africa. Guests are further advised to use mosquito repellent and wear long clothing in the evenings an d sleep under a mosquito net at night. 

If you come down with flu-like symptoms either during, or within four to six weeks after your visit to a malaria area, seek a doctor’s advice immediately.

Tetanus and the hepatitis vaccinations are recommended.

Laundry

Guests should be aware that laundry is hand washed, dried in the sun and then ironed with charcoal irons.  Lodges cannot be held responsible for loss or damage to clothing.

What to Bring on Safari

Casual, comfortable, lightweight clothing in khaki, brown, green and beige colours. Pale or bright colours are not advisable for walking safaris as the animals can easily see these shades. (Shorts or trousers are best for walking safaris)

• Light cotton tops and cotton trousers
• Shirts with long sleeves (even in summer; to protect from the sun and mosquitoes)
• Shorts or a light skirt
• Jeans or safari trousers for evenings and cooler days
• Sweater or warm jacket (game drives in open vehicles can be very cold in winter)
• Comfortable walking shoes/boots
• Sun block, sunglasses and hat
• Strong Torch
• Insect repellent, anti-histamine cream, personal toiletries and medication
• Binoculars (Each person should have their own pair of binoculars)

Camera Equipment

  • a telephoto lens (200/300mm)
  • Flash and fast film (400 ASA) for night photography
  • Lots of film (64,100,200,400 ASA)
  • Camera cleaning equipment and a good dust proof bag
  • Videos - bring spare batteries

If you wear prescription glasses – bring a spare pair.  For contact lens wearers bring a spare pair of glasses as the dust and insects in the open vehicles can be a problem

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