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For those keen to explore Africa’s wilderness while on foot or on a night game drive, this 3494 mi² (9050 km²) national park is one of the continent’s best. Within the Luangwa River and along its banks lies the largest concentration of hippo and crocodile in the entire world. Furthermore, South Luangwa’s leopards are prolific, and are most frequently spotted while on a night game drive. Other animals include the indigenous Thornicroft’s giraffe and Cookson’s wildebeest, elephant, lion, hyena, buffalo, mongoose, jackal, civet, genet, waterbuck, Crawshay’s zebra, impala, kudu, puku, and bushbuck.
Additionally, over 450 species of bird inhabit the park. A keen birder, accompanied by a good guide, can spot around 100 of them within a day, like the African skimmer, Pel’s fishing owl, African pitta, carine bee-eater, crowned crane, and yellow-billed stork.
A major reason for the appeal of South Luangwa’s walking safaris is its history: Norman Carr, an early champion of African national parks, pioneered the concept of walking safaris here in the 1950’s. Today, guests are able to embark on half-day or multi-day walking safaris from the various lodges and smaller bush camps interspersed within the park. Guests can also view wildlife from optimally located hides or blinds, or from a more intrepidly aerial view in a microlight!
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