Luangwa Valley Info

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The Luangwa Valley, an extension of the Great East African Rift Valley, is the honey-pot of Zambia. Here dramatic seasonal variations, a dynamic river system, fertile soils and lush vegetation ensure a prolific supply of wildlife.

Home to the majority of big game - including lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo - the Luangwa Valley also boasts two endemic sub-species: Thornicroft's Giraffe and Cookson's Wildebeest. An impressive concentration of both hippos and crocodiles makes the Luangwa River one of the most wildlife-dense in Africa.

Smaller mammals and over 400 recorded species of birds add to the game viewing experiences, reinforcing the Luangwa Valley's impressive reputation as the home of Zambia's wildlife.

Seasons

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Two distinct seasons are experienced
in the Luangwa Valley:


  • The Dry season, from May to November
  • The Emerald season, from December to April.


Temperatures during these seasons vary from lows of 10°C, in June and July, to highs of 40°C, in October.

Even during the coldest period the days remain warm, sunny and perfect for all safari related activities.

The late dry season is the warmest period and makes for the best game viewing, as all outlying water dries up and forces the game towards the riverine belt. While the emerald season, which can start as early as the end of October and typically draws to a close at the end of March, sees an impressive 700mm to 900mm of rain. Rare but always welcome showers may also be experienced in April and May.

The Emerald season also boast spectacular and dramatic thunderstorms, ones that could give the best firework displays a run for their money!

National Parks

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In the Luangwa Valley there are
four National Parks:


  • The South Luangwa Park
  • The North Luangwa Park
  • The Luambe Park
  • The Lukusuzi Park.

Fauna & Flora

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Amphibians of the Luangwa Valley

  1. Frogs
    Banded Rubber Frog
    Bubbling Kassina
    Foam Nest Frog (Gray Tree Frog)
    Painted Reed Frog
    Marbled Snout Burrower
    Rain Frogs
    Muller’s Platanna
    Common River Frog
    Puddle Frogs
  2. Toads
    Guttural Toad
    Red Toad
    Flat Backed Toad

Birds of the Luangwa Valley

Grasses of the Luangwa Valley

  1. Cymbopogon excavatus -
    Turpentine grass
  2. Cynodon dactylon -
    Couch grass
  3. Dactyloctenium aegyptium -
    Crow's foot
  4. Digitaria milanjiana -
    Finger grass
  5. Echinochloa colona -
    Rice grass
  6. Heteropogon contortus -
    Spear grass
  1. Hyparrhenia rufa -
    Giant thatch grass
  2. Melinis repens -
    Natal Redtop
  3. Oryza barthii -
    Wild rice
  4. Panicum maximum -
    Buffalo grass
  5. Setaria incrassata -
    Kasense grass
  6. Sporobulus pyramidalis -
    Catstail dropseed
  1. Themeda triandra -
    Red grass
  2. Urochloa mossambicensis -
    Gonya grass

Mammals of the Luangwa Valley

Reptiles of the Luangwa Valley

  1. Other
    Bibron's Gecko
    Blue Headed Tree Agama
    Land Monitor
    Leopard Tortoise
    Nile Crocodile
    Serrated Hinged Terrapin
    Striped Skink
    Tropical House Gecko
    Water Monitor
  2. Snake
    African Python
    Bark Snake
    Black Mamba
    Blacknecked Spitting Cobra
    Boomslang
    Brown House Snake
    Eastern Green Snake
    Herald Snake
    Mozambique Spitting Cobra
    Olive Grass Snake
    Olive Marsh Snake
    Puff Adder
    Pygmy Sand Snake
    Rhombic Night Adder
    Spotted Bush Snake
    Stilleto Snake
    Striped Bellied Sand Snake
    Striped Grass Snake
    Tiger Snake

Small Plants of the Luangwa Valley

  1. ABRUS PRECATORIUS
    - Lucky Bean
  2. ANSELLIA GIGANTICA
    - Leopard Orchid
  3. ARGEMONE MEXICANA
    - Mexican Poppy
  4. BIDENS PILOSA
    - Blackjack
  5. BIDENS SCHIMPERI
    - Yellow Cosmos
  6. CORCHORUS OLITORIUS
    - Wild Ochra
  1. DUOSPERMA
    QUADRANGULARE

    - Salt Bush
  2. GLORIOSA SIMPLEX
    - Flame Lily
  3. HYGROPHILA AURICULATA
    - Rhino Thistle
  4. INDIGOFERA TINCTORIA ARCUATA
    - Indigo Bush
  5. LEONOTIS NEPETIFOLIA
    - Lion's Tail
  1. MIMOSA PIGRA
    - Sensitive Plant
  2. MUCUNA PRURIENS
    - Buffalo Bean
  3. NYMPHAEA NOUCHALI
    - Water Lily
  4. OCIMUM CANUM
    - Vick Bush/Wild Basil
  5. PISTIA STRATIOTES
    - Nile Cabbage
  6. SENNA OBTUSIFOLIA (Cassia)
  1. SOLANUM PANDURIFORME
    - Poison Apple
  2. SPHAERANTHUS FLEXUOSUS
    - Purple Pan Weed
  3. VERNONIA GLABRA
    - Corn Flower Bush
  4. VERNONIA PETERSII

Trees & Shrubs of the Luangwa Valley