The North Luangwa is a naturally beautiful and wild park to the north of the South Luangwa National Park in eastern Zambia. No permanent lodges or camps allowed here. Fringed by the Muchinga Escarpment, the area borders the Luangwa River. Crystal clear tributaries trickle down from the hills.
For nearly 30 years, there was no public access at all. Little existed in the park in terms of roads and paths.
Then in 1984 an enterprising couple, Major John Harvey and his wife sought permission to conduct walking safaris here. Next scientists Mark and Delia Owens set up a research station in 1989. With their influence, a few safari operators were allowed to set up camps. There are only a few accommodation facilities to this day. The only way to access the area is to travel with the safari operators with permission to work here.
Lion, elephants, hyena, wild dog, leopard, buffalo and wildebeest are present in good numbers. A black rhino sanctuary protects these rare animals. The grass can grow to a great height, making it difficult to see the wildlife. For this reason, the guides are highly skilled in the ways of the bush. One thing you’re guaranteed to see here is a genuine slice of remote Africa.
Until recently the only activity available was walking safaris. However in July 2019, Takwela Camp opened offering drives and walks. The sister of Mwaleshi Camp, they are both environmentally friendly, with just two chalets in each. With the addition of game drives, it’s more appealing to photographers and non-walkers. As this park is very remote, we don’t recommend it for the first time Africa visitors.
Tips for the North Luangwa
Camps are open during the dry season from June to October. Although there is a road network, it is much quicker to fly in from Mfuwe Airport in the South Luangwa.
Three to four nights in the north is an excellent combination with the South Luangwa National Park.