We reeled off the drive to Lusaka as quickly as possible and arrived in the capital without further incident. There we replenished our supplies at the Cosmopolitan Mall, spent the night at Lukasa with Harry and Keke and then set off in the direction of South Luangwa National Park. The distance of about 720 km is too long for a day trip by Zambian standards.
We therefore decided to leave the main road at the Luangwe Bridge, directly behind a veterinary check point, and to drive to Bridge Camp, about 2 km away. We let the first driving day end there. The camp is right on the road, but serves its purpose of being used as a useful stopover. The next morning we left early and reached the South Luangwa National Park in the early afternoon. Outside the National Park there are three potential places to camp: Croc Valley, Track & Trails and Wildlife Camp.
Wildlife Camp goes wild
We decided on the Wildlife Camp and ultimately stayed there for six nights. Campsite 7 was quite to our liking. It offered us a lot of space and allowed a wide view over the river and the happenings there. The Wildlife Camp is a bit further away from the park entrance than the other two camps, but is located in the middle of the Game Management Area, a kind of buffer zone between the National Park and the villages. Every day we could watch elephants crossing the river and on the fourth day we were lucky enough to spend time with a pack of wild dogs not far from the camp.
Game Drives in South Luangwa National Park
In the park itself we were only on two days. That was simply because it rained on the other days. In the rain, the chance of sightings is low and we had to calculate a little, because the park comes with 75 USD entrance fee for both of us and the donkey rather in the high-priced category. On our first game drive we missed a leopard in the tree by two minutes.
Another time we didn’t see a big pack of wild dogs because we skipped a view point. You never know what you get! The park is very beautiful and we will visit it again one day in the dry season. This time we rather enjoyed the river and cannot report spectacular sightings in the park. Contrary to our original intention, we decided to leave the country after just under a month and return to Zimbabwe. We will explain the reasons in the next post.