Walking is the best way to see the bush around Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp. The South Luangwa is home of the walking safari and it remains the best way to experience the sights and sounds of the bush. Sanctuary’s experienced guides love showing guests the indicators of the wild, ‘rewinding’ the action of the last few hours from just a few small give away signs. See where an elephant stopped to browse, where a leopard scratched a tree or a pangolin rolled into a ball.
Accompanied by an armed game scout and taking careful note of the wind to mask any scent. There’s nothing like seeing lion tracks or the giant footprint of an elephant to make guests relish the comforts of camp. The area is home to 60 mammals and over 400 bird species, making it one of the top birding destinations in the world.
Lions and leopards are often seen in the area around the camp, as are buffalo and elephant. For big game like this, guests really need a vehicle to get up close and here in the South Luangwa, travellers have the privilege of going on game drives at night. Guests are always amazed how much can be seen when they go down to the river for sundowner cocktails before leisurely driving back to camp. Bush babies in the trees stand out with their enormous eyes, puku and impala scarcely notice as vehicles pass by. Guests often see hyena and leopard in the early evenings and are able to get very close in Sanctuary Retreats’ specially designed 4 x 4 vehicles. On the open plains below the camp there are always grazing herds of antelope and of course they attract the predators that every guest wants to see.
The South Luangwa is home to 60 types of mammals – including elephant, lion, zebra, giraffe, wild dog, buffalo, hippo and antelope and has a reputation of being one of the best places in Africa to spot leopard. The park is a haven for birders with just over 400 bird species, these include 39 birds of prey and 47 migrant species. There are also a variety of endemic species such as Thornicroft’s giraffe, Crayshay’s zebra, and Cookson’s wildebeest.