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Eastern Zambia (Southluangwa National Park) Travel Tips

5.0 stars

Insider advice for your Eastern Zambia (Southluangwa National Park) vacation

Flatdogs - Lodging Near South Luangwa National Park 5 stars
If you're going to South Luangwa National Park in Zambia, Flatdogs is the place to stay! It is located as close to the main gate as you can get right along the river. It is truly an amazing place.
Where the hippos grunt in the river during the day & roam through the camp at night, elephants wander freely & the monkeys swing from the trees. You feel like you’re on safari without even leaving the camp.

For the backpacking traveler looking for a great place to set up your tent & cook your own meals to those seeking the comforts of a chalet, meals in the restaurant and a beverage at the bar, and many options in between, Flatdogs offers budget accommodations for you to kick off your safari in Zambia’s greatest National Park. Try a tree house nestled among Ebony trees, often visited by giraffes & elephants. Or, for the greatest game viewing opportunity, set up your sleeping bag on one of their tree stands where you can safely observe the roaming wildlife at night. Just makes sure you hang your mosquito net up there with you or you will be visited by both crawly things & monkeys! No matter where you sleep, you will be amazed by the wildlife sounds at night and be delightfully woken each morning by a chorus of singing birds & excited monkeys. Speaking of monkeys, be sure to securely store your belongings though, because they can cleverly get in to many areas & steal your food… or whatever else they want.

I found the staff here both friendly & helpful. There is a small shop for things like postcards & stuff and a small computer room with internet. Keep in mind, you are in Africa & there are frequent power outages so be sure you type your emails fast.

Flatdogs can help you set up a guided day safari into the park in an open-air 4x4 jeep with opportunities to see elephants, zebras, antelope, crocodiles, hippos, warthogs, lions & so much more. Try a night safari with a chance to see the night predators, or even a guided walking safari in the dry seasons. After your safari, come back to the bar for a cold drink & lounge by the pool.

If South Luangwa National Park is where you’re heading on safari, Flatdogs is the place to be staying.


South Luangwa National Park - A Total African Experience 5 stars
South Luangwa National Park - A Total African Experience

If you’re going to be in Zambia, a safari in South Luangwa National Park is the place to see it all. Hippos, lions, elephants & more. Its your best choice for a game park in Zambia.

Base yourself somewhere near the river, closest to the Mfuwe Main Gate if possible (Like Flatdogs Camp). Even from outside the park, you will be able to hear the hippos grunting from the river, South Luangwa River. Cross the bridge over the river from the main gate & you’ll be able to look down & see dozens of hippos lazily lounging, sometimes fighting, down below. At night,(and rarely during the day) the hippos come onto land to forage for food. Take an evening game drive & you might see one of these large jelly-bean creatures out of the water.

Once you’re in the park, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled. As soon as we crossed the bridge we were treated to a female lion & her cub catching some shut eye in the shrubs. We stopped for photos & she got up & did a stretch for us before she returned to her lounging.

And it won’t be hard to spot elephants here. There is a huge herd that roams freely in this park. I was there in mid-November, at the start of the short rains. There were lots of fruit trees that the elephants loved. Sort of looked like a lemon. Where ever we saw one of those trees, we saw elephants. And lots of babies too.

Be prepared to see huge herds of buffalo but don’t get too close. These are one the most dangerous animals in Africa. In a herd, they move as a herd, but get one on its own & look into its eyes. You won’t want to be in his pathway.

There are countless other animals to see in this park, like antelope, wart hogs, zebras and crocodiles. Most tour guides will take you in on a top-less safari jeep so it’s great viewing for photography but be sure to wear a hat & sunscreen because the sun can get blistering hot when there is no roof to protect you. In this same open jeep, you also have the option of going on a night game drive. This can be fascinating, and a great chance to see the predators you may not have seen during the day, like hyenas or lions. Its also at this time when the game moves closer to the watering holes in large numbers. I highly recommend going out on a safari at night. Though, keep in mind, they use a spotlight and all bugs are attracted to the light. A night safari can quickly become a crawly experience.

In conclusion, South Luangwa National Park was one of my most favourite game parks in Zambia, if not all of Africa. A photographer’s dream, and a true African Experience.


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