The North Luangwa park lies on one side of the Luangwa River, sharing the same geology, wildlife diversity and birdlife as its southern partner.
It is partly a wilderness area, set aside for walkers. It has few access tracks and no game-drive loops. The few bush camps here are set along the perennial but shallow Mwaleshi River and getting to them is an adventure in itself.
In 1986, an American couple of zoologists arrived in the park to do animal research. Mark and Delia Owens fell in love with the beauty of North Luangwa and over the next couple of years, established a number of anti-poaching initiatives within local communities. Their efforts led to a virtual end to game poaching, to an improvement in the lives of local villagers and general better conditions for the wild animals as well as the people living in and around North Luangwa.
The ecosystems and the game in the two parks are virtually identical, though North Luangwa is slightly better for seeing eland and, especially, Cookson’s wildebeest. Endemic to the Valley, these particular animals are abundant in the North park yet rarely seen in South Luangwa.
Seasons: The dry season begins in April through to October. The best time to view wildlife is in the dry season Jun-Oct.
The wet season begins in November through March. Access in the wet season is virtually impossible and many lodges are closed.