South Luangwa, without breaking the bank

Zambia’s South Luangwa Valley is one of Africa’s most outstanding wildlife viewing areas.
With a mixture of woodland and riverine forest, it is home to an amazing variety of animal and bird life.

Best of all, you can enjoy South Luangwa without breaking the bank.

A bed’s a bed. Spend your money on the important things

Sure the lodges situated inside the park are expensive, US$500 per person per day, or more, but there are some terrific camps & lodges located about 10 minutes drive from the park gate that will cost you around half that price.

The accommodation is not as fancy, but the guides are equally good, sometimes better. You’ll see just as many animals and are just as likely to have elephants walking through your camp; the animals don’t pay much attention to the park boundaries.

The money you save means that you can either stay longer or put some of that saving towards a private vehicle and guide which will ensure that your game drives are focussed on the things you want to do.

There are several lodges & camps that charge around US$270 per person per night for a full board package that includes all meals and 2 game activities per day.

In Green (low) season those rates fall to as low as US$170 per person sharing and those who live in the area will tell you that this is the best time to visit anyway. It’s cooler, it’s greener, the skies are clearer and the bird life is more abundant.

Park entry fees and drinks from the bar are an extra cost.

Here are a few places worth checking out

Thornicroft Lodge

Thornicroft Lodge is located on the banks of the Luangwa river and has just 9 guest chalets.

Wildlife Camp

Wildlife Camp, also located by the river, has both chalets and safari tents as well as a campsite.

If you’d like to vary your game viewing experience and do some walking, Wildlife Camp has a simple bush camp set up in a lovely river side location especially for walking safaris.

Thornicroft and Wildlife Camp are just 10 minutes from the main entrance gate. Both have excellent guides.


One of the reasons South Luangwa is so famous is because it is a park where leopard sightings are frequent. They can often be seen during the day but are more often spotted after dark. 
Afternoon game drives usually start in the late afternoon and get back into camp in time for dinner. 

Getting to South Luangwa

South Luangwa is easily accessible from Lusaka using local airline Pro Flight. The one way air fare is about US$325.

Alternatively, if you have a bit more time to spare, South Luangwa can also easily be reached from Malawi – about 6 hours by road from Lilongwe. The combination of game viewing in South Luangwa and time spent relaxing on the shores of Lake Malawi is very popular.

Zambia visa costs US$50
Malawi visa costs US$75

If South Luangwa sounds like the sort of place you’d like to go on safari just get in touch and we’ll be delighted to help you plan it.

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