The most visible mammal is the hippopotamus – which you will see basking in the river and lagoons along with countless crocodiles. Zebras are also plentiful, as are giraffes. Hyenas are everywhere and antelopes are easily seen on night drives through the park. In fact the only animals that are elusive are lions and leopards, though if they are around, the parks skilled guides will find them.
The birdlife at South Luangwa will have you breathless. Towards the end of the dry season, yellow-billed storks proliferate around the river and lagoons. One of the greatest joys is watching the expertise of pelicans as they trawl the river way for small fish, or seeing a heron pounce on its prey from a perfectly still position. In November the park is invaded with more familiar migrants from Northern Europe, such as cuckoos, eagles and buzzards.