THE LUANGWA VALLEY
The Luangwa Valley is one of Africa’s prime wildlife sanctuaries and it lies at the tail end of the Great Rift Valley, which splits as it reaches Zambia. The eastern arm encompasses Lake Malawi and the western arm becomes the Luangwa Valley, which stretches some 700km at an average width of about one hundred kilometers.
Down the centre of the valley flows the Luangwa River, fed by dozens of sand rivers that fill during the rainy season. The Luangwa carves its course along the Valley floor and when in flood it erodes the outer bends, depositing silt within the loops. Eventually the river cuts a new course, leaving the old course to silt up and form ‘ox bow’ lagoons. These lagoons are very important to the ecology of the riverine zone and account for the dense populations of game in the area.
In the west, the Muchinga Mountain range forms the limit of both the Valley and the Parks. In the east is a similar, though less well defined escarpment. The Valley floor is about a thousand meters lower than the surrounding plateau.
Luangwa Valley National Parks
The countryside is spectacular in its rugged beauty, the vegetation thick and, near the Luangwa River and its many tributaries; a lush riverine forest occurs that is green all year round. There are 4 national parks fringing the river banks including Luambe, Lukusuzi, North Luangwa and south Luangwa National Park. Lukusuzi and Luambe are smaller Zambia national parks less visited by Zambia’s tourists
The North and South Luangwa National Parks separated by the 30km Munyamadzi corridor. South Luangwa National park is the most visited park on Zambia safari tours and practically the largest Zambia game park with well established infrastructure, roads and several Zambia safari and tour operators offering safari packages with visits to this park.
Intensive conservation efforts have been made in South Luangwa Park to restore its wildlife habitats for animals like lions, leopards, warthogs, elands, wild dogs, servals, Jackals, impala, elephants, zebras, wildebeests, Thornicroft giraffes, hippos, buffalos and crocodiles among other animals. Zambia walking safaris are the best way to experience Luangwa valley wilderness.
North Luangwa National park is often shadowed by its counterpart but it is another important habitat for game viewing, particularly good for game drives. The Park is home to 14 different species of antelope including eland, the largest, the beautiful kudu and the Puku – not to be confused with the Impala. If you have the chance to get out on a night game drive your chance of seeing nocturnal predators like leopards, genets and owls is good enough.
Birding Safaris in Luangwa Valley
Bird watching is superb along the river banks all through the year. Near the end of the dry season, when the river and oxbow lagoons begin to recede, hundreds of large water birds can be seen wading through the shallows. The red faced yellow billed storks move along with their beaks open underwater, disturbing the muddy liquid with their feet until the fish flop into their mouths. The pelicans tend to operate in lines abreast, driving the fish before them into shallows before scooping them up into their beak pouches. The striking saddle bill stork makes quick darting movements into the water. Then there’s the ugly marabou stork, great white egrets, black headed herons, open billed storks and the stately goliath heron that can stand in the same position for hours before pouncing. Of the most beautiful are the elegant crowned cranes, with their golden tufts congregating in large flocks at the salt pans.
Just before the rains that start in November, the migrants from Northern Europe and the Arctic Circle arrive to exploit the feeding opportunities that the warm rainy season brings – red chested cuckoo, white storks, European swallows. Migrant birds of prey also fly in such as the Steppe eagles and Steppe buzzards that come all the way from Russia.
Best time to visit
Game viewing is excellent around every park in case you visit Zambia from late April to October when the river slowly dries up to form water holes and ox bow lagoons that attract different animals. Breeding season arrives with the short rains of November and December with fresh green pastures and several calving or roaming the emerald green pastures with their young ones.
November to March is the rainy season with peak rains in January to March when Luangwa River floods and outgrows its banks. Thunderstorms and lightning are often part of the rains, then animals shift from the river bank to further deep into the acacia woodlands and bushes. The roads to the Luangwa valley National parks are quite slippery and only 4X4 vehicles can take you around. Birding during the rainy period of Zambia safaris is good.
Several Zambia hotels, safari lodges and camps are found around Luangwa valley. South Luangwa lodges include Kafuta River Lodge, Island bush camp among many others.
A perfect river operates with the lush rift area that is called Luangwa Nationwide Park, Zambia. The Luangwa river is among the major tributaries of the Zambezi River, as well as among the 4 biggest streams in Zambia. Remarkably, it’s mostly unaffected through guy – there is no industrial farming together it’s banking institutions, absolutely no sections of the river have been dammed and there is little/no air pollution issue. The result is an extremely natural and unmarked water, deep within the Africa countryside where natural seasonal variances of drinking water (surging via towards the eyesight of sharp river mattress in the dry season) could be witnessed as well as teaming animals throughout an Africa experience vacation.
A Guide To Luagwe Safaris
The water is really organic that oxbow lakes tend to be spread across the area through where the water course has transformed with the floods. Through the years river side camps as well as safari lodges have had to move. Right here the actual water is king!It is stated how the Luangwa Water in Zambia is the most unaltered and substantial river program within The african continent and it certainly is the key component that retains just about all 9050km2 from the park with sixty different pet species as well as over 400 various bird varieties in existence.
A large volume of online game can be found right here because Zambia continues to be mostly untouched by the visitor hurry. Drinking water results in wealthy plant life that rss feeds varying herbivore creatures and herds such as zoysia, elephant, puku, impala and also the much more uncommon subspecies of Thornicroft giraffe as well as Crawshay’s zebra which are discovered right here. Healthy as well as large communities associated with herbivores give food to predators like lion, hyenas as well as leopard. In fact a BBC documented suggests a typical density of 1 leopard per two.5km2 — two times the actual denseness documented in Kruger, South The african continent.
When To Visit
The best time to see game is incorporated in the dried out season through 04 to October. As the water dries up the creatures go to the lagoons and oxbow lakes in order to consume more often. Viewing them here in their environment is actually spectacular.As short rain bathrooms begin to drop in The fall of most creatures provide birth to their young and because the lawn is still short spectacular sightings associated with mothers as well as their young is visible. The scenery starts to vary from a gold dark brown, messy and dried out property to an emerald green – referred to as Zambia’s green period.
Zambia’s Luangwa River does mean that the valley may feature very rich communities of exotic bird existence, such as parrots living close to water and parrots which choose more dry habitats within the jungles as well as on the plains. The optimum time to determine these parrots is incorporated in the wet season (The fall of in order to 03) because the rainfall offers plentiful meals materials for them. Summer time migrants are also present in the Luangwa valley at the moment. Flocks of birds could be noted and a unique site is a reproduction nest associated with yellow-billed storks using their pink breeding plumage. The rain does not fall consistently as well as hardly ever endures for more than a few hours, so you can nevertheless enjoy game hard disks and birding towards the full.
Within April and could, the down pours may have stopped and the landscape starts to dry up. The actual Luangwa rivers drinking water level starts to decrease as well as sandbanks (the personal of the Luangwa Water) are subjected. Once drenched roads begin to dry up and also the primary safari period creatures once again. As the lush eco-friendly lawn starts to turn gold brown 1 truly knows the Luangwa River is really the life blood of the untouched landscape in the Luangwa National Recreation area, Zambia.