Wedged between North and South Luangwa National Park on the banks of the Luangwa River in Zambia, is the remote Luambe National Park. This biodiverse region in the Luangwa River Valley offers eager safari-goers the opportunity to escape the crowds and experience a safari in an exclusive area with little disturbance.
The 300 square kilometre park is seasonal and governed by the ebb and flow of its life-force, the Luangwa River. Because of the constant shift in landscape scenes due to the water levels, there’s plenty of habitat diversity. Typical Zambian landscape scenes of Miombo woodland savanna merge into riverine vegetation, cathedral mopane forests and open grasslands accentuated by sausage trees.
The various lagoons and pans attract heavy concentrations of wildlife in the dry season, and the park’s claim to fame is the abundant bloats of hippo and migratory nesting carmine bee-eaters.
Luambe National Park is in an outlying area, but it’s easily accessible. The main international airport is in Lusaka, which offers daily flights to the bustling town of Mfuwe, situated an easy 4-hour drive away.
Because of its network of waterways, seasonal flooding and easy availability of water in lagoons and pans, Luambe is the perfect place for water-loving wildlife. Often referred to as the 'hippo kingdom,' Luambe is the ideal place to spot these lumbering giants.
Elephant, buffalo, hyena, lion, leopard, Crawshay's zebra and Thornicroft’s giraffe are just a few of the mammals to spot in Luambe. In conjunction with these species, there are plenty of other herbivores and smaller creatures dwelling on the floodplains.
Birding is yet another huge attraction in Luambe National Park. There are over 200 species of bird, which include nesting carmine bee-eaters, racket-tailed rollers, African fish eagles, Pel’s fishing-owl, martial eagles and lovebirds.
Luambe National Park is a seasonal safari destination operating from May to October. During the rainy season, the roads are impassable and the landscape floods. August to October is the dry season and is considered peak season in this region. It’s during this time when visitors will find animals hovering around available water sources.
Birding is huge in Luambe. The steep river banks provide the perfect place for carmine bee-eaters to build their nest. Thousands upon thousands of colourful carmines birds stab holes into the sandbanks for nesting purposes, creating a fluttering of colour. Observing the carmines is a highlight of any Luambe birding experience!
Zambia is the home of the walking safari, and Luambe is no different. This small park is a magnet for wildlife and is best explored on foot. Visitors can head out at first light to catch the early-risers of the safari kingdom.
En route, walkers will stop at the many lagoons to watch wildlife filter down in their droves. Walking safaris can last anywhere from a day to a few days. Game drives in the park provide the perfect way to cover plenty of ground, which can't be done on foot. Drives are conducted at peak predator time, which is early in the morning and at night. Night game drives offer a thrilling experience in the untamed wild.
There are only two accommodation options within the park, which means a completely isolated safari experience without the disturbance of others. Luxury safari tents adorn the banks of a river, offering tented accommodation with patios. Grass built chalets blend into the environment, offering yet another accommodation style in the park. All accommodation options within the park offer all activities and include breakfast, lunch and dinner.