North Luangwa National Park is a national park in Eastern Zambia, a short flight away from South Luangwa National Park. It was until 2005 the domain of a limited number of safari operators who held a government concession. Since 2005, day visitors have been allowed.
Like the South Park, its eastern boundary is the Luangwa River, while it rises to cover a stretch of the Muchinga Escarpment to the west. The Mwaleshi River flows east–west through the centre of the park, the area to its south being a strict wilderness zone.
For many years its wildlife suffered greatly from poaching, but recent years have seen poaching almost entirely stopped. However, the park has generally suffered from a lack of investment and interest compared to the much more popular South Luangwa National Park, although its flora and fauna are very similar to its southern counterpart. In 2003, black rhinoceroses were re-introduced to the park.
Flora and fauna
Wildlife is widely found, including Cookson's wildebeest, Crawshay's zebra and many antelopes and birds. Elephant numbers have recovered from poaching in the 1970s and 80s. The struggle against poaching in the park was described by Delia and Mark Owensin their book The Eye of the Elephant.
Charter flights operate from Mfuwe (at the entrance to South Luangwa) to the Mwaleshi airstrip. The flight takes about 45 minutes.
- From the south. A 4X4 track links North Luangwa to South Luangwa National Park. It is slow going and takes approximately 8 hours to traverse the 200-km stretch.
- From the east. Another 4X4 track winds down the escarpment from the main Lusaka to Dar es Salaam trunk road. There are very few roads and you are unlikely to see anyone else for the duration of your trip.
Fees and permits
The bush camps and one lodge are self-suffient, operating their own airstrips, safaris, accommodation and meals.
Known for its bush walking, photographic safaris, you will see on foot:
- Massive herds of buffalo.
- Lion in large prides.
There are no shops or restaurants. The local people trade in handcrafts.
The lodges provide visitors with all meals. Other visitors will have to be self-sufficient.
- Mwaleshi Camp.
- Buffalo Camp
- West. Natwange A community operated camping area is just after the western entrance. Private camping enclosures with shared ablution block. The camp ground is unfenced and elephant come right into the camp site at night.
- East. Chifunda Another community camp ground is across the Luangwa River which borders the park on the East. This is an enclosed campground and safe.