Zambia - South Luangwa
June, September and November 2009
South Luangwa National Park is one of the best game parks in Africa. Whilst tricky to access from within Zambia it is a mere 3 hours or so from the Malawian border so this became our regular bolt hole when we needed a break from Nyika.
We stayed at the popular Flatdogs Camp. I have never heard a bad word said about this place and for good reason - a great bunch of people, wonderful location and the food is to die for. We treated ourselves to a luxurious ensuite tent on the banks of the South Luangwa and drove into the park most days. Highlights are almost too many to mention but here are a few:
- On our first night we were awoken by crashing vegetation and peeking through the tent flaps we watched an elephant pull branches from the tree above our tent. The tent sides moved as he squeezed past to get the best vantage point. After that we went to sleep with the flaps pulled back and just the fly screen between us and the wildlife so we could watch our nightime visitors from the comfort of our bed. Soon we realised that a hippo had his regular pitch right next to the tent - he was close enough to hear his breathing.
- We've always wanted to see wild dogs. We got lucky in June and spent and entire day with a pack of eight. These fascinating creatures played, fought, groomed and dozed - often coming right up to the car for a good look. Not another car came by all day.
- South Luangwa is famous for it's leopard sightings and we had a few - both during the day and on night drives but one of the most memorable was a female who walked alongside the car for a while on her way to the lagoon for a drink. Seemingly completely unconcerned by her audience.