Get Close to the Cats

The Valley of the Leopard

Experts have dubbed South Luangwa one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world. The concentration of game around the Luangwa River and its oxbow lagoons is among the most intense in Africa.

The park and its surrounding areas are called “The Valley of the Leopard” – the dense thickets and vast numbers of the plains game creating a perfect habitat for this beautiful and elusive cat. Naturally, that means that Shenton Safaris is in a great area for spotting leopards – in fact, in the 2016, 2017 + 2018 seasons, we had a 100% success rate.

Just ask our Safari Guides – they’re skilled at finding our ten resident leopards on game drives – and even on walks.

The Birth Place of Walking Safaris

The now famous ‘walking safari‘ originated in this park and is an amazing way to experience this pristine wilderness first hand. The changing seasons add to the South Luangwa’s richness ranging from dry season (May to November) to the lush green jungle of the rainy summer months to dry plains, grasslands and woodlands – drawing the game towards the rivers and waterholes. Close to the meandering Luangwa river, dambos support vast numbers of grazers and browsers like buffalo, zebra, antelope (especially puku, impala, kudu and waterbuck) as well as baboons and giraffe (Thornicrofts).

Intense Game Viewing

Throughout the year, there are 400 bird species and 60 different mammals to be found in the area along with three prides of lions. Seasonal highlights include the spectacular carmine bee-eater colony, celebrated fishing parties and amazing quelea displays – but keep an eye out for our endemic species, the Thornicroft Giraffe, and the Cookson’s Wildebeest. Try our camp checklist – it’s not uncommon to find over 100 types of birds and several animals in a few days.