Imagine a place, packed full of wildlife, leopards, elephants, stunning landscapes, magical sunsets, incredible bird life, wonderful people…
"The Luangwa Valley is also famous for its Elephants. You might be fortunate enough to witness a huge herd of elephants crossing the river at sunset! I could just sit and watch elephants for hours and hours. There is an air of intrigue and a connection that we, as humans, have with elephants, emotionally, and perhaps spiritually."
"I started developing a love for wildlife photography, using “the arts” as a way of expressing my love for wildlife. Being a musician and composer as well, I also began to write and record my own music for my photography slideshows and films."
"If you have an opportunity to include South Luangwa in your safari holiday of a lifetime. I would highly recommend that you do. Whatever the season or reason, the experiences you have there will take your breath away and you will leave with some truly incredible memories."
As a 22 year old wildlife photographer, music composer and filmmaker, I was lucky enough to recently spend much of my time in South Luangwa working with the wonderful team at Mfuwe Lodge and The Bushcamp Company. It was an experience that I will never forget. Growing up in England, I always remember watching the iconic BBC wildlife programmes presented by Sir David Attenborough, and I remember also being particularly fascinated by other African wildlife programmes such as Big Cat Diary. I was completely mesmerised, and was quickly developing a childhood obsession for Africa and its big cats, and dreamt of one day heading out to Africa to watch these beautiful creatures first hand. This however was just a hobby until I was 16, when I decided that wildlife and adventure was the career path I would choose to take. I also discovered that I was never really going to be a zoologist, (with maths and science not being my forte at school!) so I started developing a love for wildlife photography, using “the arts” as a way of expressing my love for wildlife. Being a musician and composer as well, I also began to write and record my own music for my photography slideshows and films.
After much patience and perseverance through some tough times, I finally had the chance to go to Africa and was able to start to live my childhood dream. Leopards have always held a particular interest for me. They are perhaps the most beautiful out of all the big cats. They are also certainly the most stealthy, being the cat that is least seen. However South Luangwa National Park is becoming increasingly famous for its numerous sightings of leopards, now getting the nickname “The Valley of the Leopards”. I was lucky enough to first see my first wild leopard in Kenya’s Masai Mara whilst doing a 3 month internship at one of the safari camps there. The Masai Mara boasts a high population of big cats: lion, leopard and cheetah. Leopards (being leopards!) are often hard to find in the Mara, and in many other areas of Africa, and you would be lucky to have a sighting of one if you came on safari. If you take a safari to South Luangwa however, (depending on the season) you have good chances of a magical sighting of a leopard on your safari. When your eyes first come across those captivating spots and the undergrowth parts, and a leopard walks silently out into the evening sun, and maybe even walks right past your vehicle, the experience is truly unforgettable.
South Luangwa can also be the place to see leopards displaying their incredible adaptability. It is this that makes leopards the most numerous and successful big cat, even though they are hard to find. Luangwa leopards are often observed hunting huge and sometimes bizarre varieties of prey, and finding new hunting strategies by exploiting the landscape. A leopard whom I was lucky enough to watch a few times during her final years, was a female named Alice, who was becoming known for her amazing hunting techniques. She was often seen hunting Impala and Puku in open areas, but using deep drainage gullies as her cover. There, she would creep up to her prey, sometimes to just within a few metres. She would then lie in wait until prey came to the edge of the gully to graze, before pouncing. Of course, its not just leopards that can be found here. Lions, Impala, Hippos, Zebra, Puku, Baboons, Fish Eagles, Lilac-breasted rollers.. the list is endless..!
The Valley is also famous for its Elephants. You might be fortunate enough to witness a huge herd of elephants crossing the river at sunset! I could just sit and watch elephants for hours and hours. There is an air of intrigue and a connection that we, as humans, have with elephants, emotionally, and perhaps spiritually. Many local towns lie on the boundary of the park, such as Mfuwe. This is the town you would most likely be driving through in order to gain access to the park. Here you will find a lively and busy atmosphere, with warm and friendly people everywhere you go. Many safari operators in the park such as The Bushcamp Company also run vital community projects with the people, raising funds and helping schools. Supplying communities with fresh water (borehole projects) and the Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP) take the local people (especially children) on safari. This is highly important for conservation as it helps the human-wildlife conflict problem. As the future for Zambia’s wildlife ultimately is down to the local people. These community projects are definitely worth a visit if you have the opportunity. There are also other areas in Zambia which are well worth a visit too, such as Liuwa Plain, North Luangwa National Park, Kafue National Park and the Bangweulu wetlands.
For more information on our African safaris in Zambia, please contact Justine on +61459308888 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Whatever your adventure, Reis Voyage can create a tailored experience that lets you see, hear, live and breathe the beauty of this magical land.
Grab your passport… and prepare to be the world’s best photographer!-