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The dominant features of the Lukusuzi National Park are its plateaus and miombo vegetation which make the landscape different from other wildlife parks. Being one of the most remote regions in the Luangwa Valley, there are many surviving wildlife species found here.

  • Clients can see rare wildlife because of the location of the park
  • Clients need to be self sufficient here
  • Tour guides available

Species found here include elephant, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, baboon, vervet monkeys and more. Many birds flock to the area during the wet season. Like many national parks there is ample scope for bird watching.

The park and its history

This National Park is situated in Lundazi District in Eastern Province. It has huge potential for transboundary conservation with its strong links with Luambe and South Luangwa National Parks. Like Luambe National Park, this is one of the less visited parks in the Luangwa Valley and in Zambia.

Ecology

Much of Lukusuzi National Park is plateau dissected by rocky ridges and rugged valleys. The main areas of the park are Southern Miombo woodlands interspersed with grassland dambo areas which form an integral part of the parkland. Many grazing wildlife species congregate on these grassy dambos. Lower elevations in Lukusuzi National Park consist of Mopane trees. The area has numerous granite outcrops, some very large, which provide a habitat for klipspringer (pictured right).

Wildlife

Sable antelope, eland, zebra, warthog, buffalo, common duiker. Interestingly, rather than the lion, it is thought that the dominant predator is the spotted hyena.

Lukusuzi National Park has lots of potential for wildlife and ecotourism as it has very good habitat for wildlife and could serve as a corridor for animals free to roam between the game parks in the area and the Kasungu National Park in Malawi.

Getting there

There is a track that turns east from the South Luangwa National Park. It is the Luambe track which then continues through to Lukusuzi National Park finally reaching the Great East Road. The Lukusuzi track, east of the Lukusuzi National Park starts on the south bank of the Lukusuzi River but, don’t expect the turning to be very clear or well-marked. This track is bound to be impassable during the rainy season. For the curious 4×4 adventurer, the easiest approach to Lukusuzi would be to take the Great East Road to Chipata, then turn north towards Lundazi. About 110 kilometres beyond Chipata there is a track on the left to Lukusuzi. There is a game scouts camp at the Lukusuzi National Park entrance, so stop and ask them for advice about the park before you go any further.

Facilities and where to stay

A gravel road runs east-west through the park but there are no visitor facilities apart from the game scout camp near the gate and an exceedingly poor track leading through the park. Visiting the park requires a major expedition as no established camps exist so the enthusiast needs to be totally self-sufficient and should be escorted by an armed game scout.

The conservation of the park

To date Lukusuzi National Park has had no development or even management and the status of game is uncertain. Like all parks in Zambia with management and game protection in place, nature will do the rest and the wildlife will increase. There is potential to establish a better equilibrium between communities living around the park, the private sector, public institutions and better management of resources for the greater economic benefit of all. Investment needs to focus on the development of all-weather roads to increase the tourism season. An airstrip would be essential because of the remote setting of the park. It is necessary to mobilise sufficient funding to ensure the cost of management, resource protection, monitoring and maintenance is secured until commercial revenue can fully cover operations.

Ecology

  • Southern Miombo woodlands
  • Grassland and dambos
  • Plateaus
  • Rocky ridges and valleys
  • Mopane trees
  • Miombo trees

Wildlife

  • The endangered African wild dog
  • Baboon
  • Blue wildebeest
  • Buffalo
  • Common duiker
  • Eland
  • Elephant
  • Hyena
  • Klipspringer
  • Lichtenstein’s hartebeest
  • Lion
  • Roan antelope
  • Sable antelope
  • Velvet monkey
  • Warthog
  • Zebra
  • Bird life
  • Migratory birds flock during the wet season