Lukuzusi National Park

... some information about Lukuzusi National Park

Lukusuzi National Park is a moderately large park of 2,720 square kilometers situated in the Lundazi Disctrict of Zambia’s Eastern Province.  Its eastern boundary is within about 8km of the border with Malawi.

The eastern half of the park contains plateau country, whilst the western section spreads across the escarpment transition between the plateau and the Luangwa valley with elevation varying from 800 – 1240 metres above sea level.

Most of the park is dominated by miombo woodland. In the eastern region broad dambos occur through the woodland. Around the escarpment, the woodland becomes thin and stunted, although here the drainage lines are well-defined rocky streams along which patches of riparian forest and thicket occur. Granite outcrops can be found through much of the park, some of which are very large, and patches of mopane occur at lower altitudes.

The area holds a wealth of miombo birds, and is one of the few areas from which the Olive-headed weaver, Ploceus olivaceiceps is known, although this species would seem to be highly localized within the park (being dependent on significant quantities of the lichen Usnea).  Refer to the IBA list for bird species information.

Best Time of Year to Visit

Access to the park is most likely restricted to the dry months of the year.

June/July: This is “mid winter” and can be very cold in the early morning and evening.  During the day the temperatures are cool/warm. The bush is drying out. Access with a good 4 x 4 may be possible.

August: Cool to hot with the bush now dry.

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. 

October: Very dry.  Can be very hot (up to 40 degrees in the shade).

  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

Accommodation

There are no accommodation our tourist facilities.  Visitors who wish to see this park have to camp outside the boundary and must be self sufficient.  It is possible to make day visits from Lundazi or Chipata providing ample time is allowed. 

Normal Activities offered in Lukusuzi

There are no activities offered in this park as no tourist facilities currently exist

Park Entry Fee

ZAWA headquarters in Chilanga would need to be contacted regarding park entrance fees and permission to enter the park.

Health and Insurance

This park is remote, has no tourist facilities and is rarely visited.  Clients wishing to visit the park under their own steam would be strongly advised to have adequate emergency first aid provisions, satellite telephone and GPS.  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 and sleep under a mosquito net.

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.

What to Bring on Safari

A visit to this park would not be the standard safari, therefore in addition to full camping equipment guests may wish to take the following: Casual, comfortable, lightweight clothing in khaki, brown, green and beige colours. Animals in the park, if seen at all, will be extremely skittish. (Shorts or trousers are best for walking)

• 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
• 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)
  • Lots of film (64,100,200,400 ASA)
  • Camera cleaning equipment and a good dust proof bag

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

Getting there by Air - There are no airstrips nearby for air access to the park.

Getting there by Road - Road conditions and directions are not known. Guests should consult relevant maps.

Access to the park is from the Chipata - Lundazi road.  Turn left about 70km north of Chipata.  The park boundary is about 6km from the road junction. There is only one road through the park, a public access to Mwanya’s Village in the Luangwa valley.  This road would be passable in the dry season, however towards the western region the road is loose surfaced and winds steeply up through the escarpment.  Some vague tracks have been made by licensed aquamarine miners.

Summary

A wild and extremely remote microcosm of its more famous southern counterpart, the North Luangwa National Park is a place for safari purists and ideally suited to walking safaris.  The game is not in the same concentrations as that found in the south, however the park is renowned for spectacular and impressively vocal lion, huge herds of buffalo and endemic Cookson’s wildebeest.  Black Rhino have recently been reintroduced and in the next few years may be released from their enclosures, once again offering the classic Big 5. 

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