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South Luangwa

Located in the eastern part of Zambia, the South Luangwa Valley and its National Park boast a vast and diverse range of flora and fauna, magnificent bush and vistas along the riverine strip. This pristine part of the greater Luangwa Valley is home to around 100 species of mammal, excluding rhino, which sadly became extinct in the area in the 1980s, but there are more than 400 bird species and over 2 000 different plants.

Elephant, buffalo, hippo, crocs and a number of unique mammal sub species are abundant in the valley. These include the Thornicroft giraffe, which has beautiful markings different from other giraffe, the Crawshay’s Zebra whose stripe pattern is quite distinctive, Cookson’s Wildebeest  and the Yellow Baboon. Along with many different antelope, they all provide plentiful prey for the valley’s predators.

Lion, leopard, wild dog and spotted hyena are all hunters in the South Luangwa Valley and frequent sightings, including of the elusive nocturnal leopard, make game drives extra special.

Birdlife is prolific in the South Luangwa Valley making it a paradise for avid bird watchers, and you don’t have to go far from the camp to see many of the beautiful indigenous and migratory species.

Best time to visit

Camp Sabali is open year round, but arguably the best time to visit the valley is between June and October when the bush is less dense. Due to its location on a seasonal island, the camp is only accessible by boat during the rainy season, but this means we can add a boat cruise to our activities and as a means of getting in and out of the Park!

Getting there

The nearest airport with frequent flights from Lusaka is Mfuwe, where we will meet our guests and transport them back to the Camp.

What to pack

Light clothing as temperatures soar in the afternoons. Light long sleeves are useful for game walks and drives and protect you from the sun and mosquitoes. We also recommend neutral colour clothes for walks and drives.

  • Sturdy closed shoes are a must, as well as sandals for around camp.
  • Swimwear
  • A wide brimmed hat is recommended over a cap as it will protect your neck from the sun.
  • Sunblock, insect repellent as well as any medication you may need. 
  • Binoculars are a must and a good bird book or app are recommended.

bird life

South Luangwa National Park is a paradise for birdwatchers or those who simply love to observe birdlife. Home to over 400 species from the magnificent and majestic African Fish Eagle with its distinctive cry, to the colourful, tiny Lilian’s Lovebird, there is no shortage of activity for guests to discover in and around the camp and during safari walks and drives.

The topogaphy of the area means that it is host to raptors, waterbirds as well as forest species – in abundance. 

Regular sightings include the African Fish Eagle, Bateleur Eagle, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Carmine Bee-Eater, and Lilian’s Lovebird. The park is also a great place to spot migratory birds, such as the European Bee-Eater and the elusive and sought after African Pitta.

Camp Sabali’s expert field guides will help you tick off as many bird sightings as possible during your stay.

Sustainability + Conservancy

Camp Sabali is committed to the sustainability of the delicate eco system of the South Luangwa Valley and actively supports both vulture and raptor rehabilitation in the area as well as three local projects,  Chipimbele, Conservation South Luangwa and Project Luangwa. All the wood used in the construction of Camp Sabali is local Zambian Kiaat that comes with a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certificate validating its sustainability.

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