Region: Mfuwe, Zambia
Physical Address: Mfuwe South Luangwa National Park P.O. Box 25 Mfuwe
Travelers to Africa have dubbed South Luangwa as one of the greatest unspoilt wildlife sanctuaries in the world, and not without reason. Game viewing on the rich alluvial floodplains and oxbow lagoons of the Luangwa River, rivals with the best found anywhere in Africa. A Luangwa safari has to be on top of any Africa traveler’s list, it is truly a destination where one can re-connect with the wild, a place of peace and tranquility.
The Luangwa River is the most intact major river system in Africa and is the life blood of the park’s 3,535 square miles. The Park hosts a wide variety of wildlife, birds and vegetation. The changing seasons add to the Park’s richness ranging from dry, bare bush veld in the winter to a lush green wonderland in the summer months.
There are 60 different animal species including huge herds of buffalo, elephant, giraffe, zebra and most of the other common antelope species found on the continent. For the “birders”, Luangwa boasts over 400 different bird species.
From Lusaka, take the Great East Road to Chipata. You can get fuel in Petauke and Chipata on the way. Best to fill up before you head here, as fuel here in Mfuwe is much more expensive due to the monopoly BP has here. Turn left to Mfuwe just before the independence arch across the road. If you go into the town of Chipata, then you’ll need to head back along the Great East Road heading west (back towards Lusaka), then turn right 50m after the independence arch.
Continue on the tarmac for +/- 8 km until road turns to dirt.
Follow the dirt for further +/- 60 km. There is one stretch of tar road over the escarpment, but I’m afraid it doesn’t last long! Turn left at the sharp corner where there are signs for Mfuwe. It looks as though the road continues straight on, but this is just because it has been graded better in the past; in fact the straight on road takes you to Luambe. There are a couple of blind sharp corners on this road, so take it easy where you can’t see what’s ahead of you as some of the NGO vehicles and cotton trucks take the road at about 100 km/hr with no sense of self preservation!
Carry on through Jumbe, where you will see the council offices (and a flag) on your right, past Kamoto Hospital on your left, over a small bridge which was slightly washed away at the edges, then over a second stretch of tarmac on Mphata Hill.
Carry on for a further 4 km and you will see a large green sign on the left for the Zambian Wildlife Authority. You can either turn left here down a much smaller dirt road which takes you to the airport (bank and post office and brings you onto the (relatively) good tar road earlier. Or, you can also continue straight on on the main dirt road as this will just bring you out on the same tar road around 5 km closer to Mfuwe. Turn right onto the tar road whether you are at the airport or at the T-junction opposite the Zesco (electricity) sub-station. Please drive slowly past schools and bicycles. If you see some green branches lying in the road, this either means that there is a vehicle with a breakdown or that there is a funeral in progress. If it is the latter, please go dead slow in first gear (you will notice that even cyclists dismount) until you come to more branches. Proceed on tarmac for +/- 25 km and you will pass a fuel station on your left and a sign for the South Luangwa Conservation Society on your right. Continue straight on, you will pass a sign for Mushroom Lodge & Presidential House, then after a further kilometre or so, you will reach the main National Park Gate. Please inform the scouts at the gate that you are going to Mushroom Lodge & Presidential House and that your national park fees will be paid there.
Please be advised that the speed limit in the park is 40km/hr. Continue through the gate and proceed over the bridge until you reach a stone monument on the right and there is a sign for Mushroom Lodge, please turn right there and continue. You will reach a fork in the road please stay to the right and proceed straight until you find a structure with a Mushroom Lodge & Presidential House sign on it. Continue through that entrance and you are there!!!!