Post flooding at SLNP

May 6th, 2007, 03:49 PM
  #1  
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Post flooding at SLNP

Seems with the damage to roads and wildlife, maybe NLNP is a better place to go to this year.
mukango is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 03:59 PM
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I expect no differences to previous seasons in SLNP. Nearly all of the roads must be graded anyway after the rainy season, each year.
nyama is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 04:48 PM
  #3  
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http://www.lowdown.co.zm/2007/2007-0...aapril2007.htm

Wheres the money coming from? Do you have insight into that also?
mukango is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 05:08 PM
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From us.

Operators like Shenton Safaris do all the road gradings in their concessions, each year. The only all-weather roads are around Mfuwe Lodge and Chichele (closed this season, but not because of the floods). Maybe these are a little more bumpier this season.
nyama is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 05:28 PM
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Btw, has anyone here changed his/her Zambia travel plans because of these floods?!

To quote Jake da Motta:

"DO NOT write off the Luangwa Valley as a holiday destination this year!
The operators will make the season happen. The wildlife is already re-colonising the rich new pastures and the transformation in the course of the river, the myriad new lagoons and the results of Mother Nature's clean sweep with a large wet mop will be well worth the visit."

I will be there later this year.
nyama is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 05:35 PM
  #6  
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Aren't these damaged roads and tracks where the majority of the beds are located in SLNP? And what does all the rest of the camps besides Shenton do? Grade the tracks only around their camps too? Do you have insight into this also or just guessing?
mukango is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 05:57 PM
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The whole thing is a nonissue till the next rainy season. By then we will find out if the all-season tracks will be rebuilt and repaired for the 'Emerald Season'.
luangwablondes is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 11:59 PM
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We are due to go to SNLP at the end of October into very early November. We are self driving from Lilongwe and then spending 7 nights in a lodge where we will not use our own vehicle and 5 nights in 2 camps where we will do our own game driving. The vehicle in question will be either a Mitsubishi Pajero or a Land Rover and we have good off road driving experience.

Does anyone have any comments on that proposed course of action and are we likely to encounter problems with roads either to/from Lilongwe/SLNP or within the park itself? Whilst we hope that it will still be the very end of the dry season, we must also accept that it could be the start of the wet season!

Any comments or advice would be gratefully received.

Thank you in advance!
tana1 is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 12:06 AM
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mukango, I don't live in the Valley and road grading isn't one of the main topics that I discuss with the operators during my visits, so I can't speak for each of them. If I read this article by Jake I think his main point is the corruption at ZAWA, and not any doubts that the next season is going worse.

Back to your original post. SLNP and NLNP are quite different in the activities that the operators offer, and in my experience also quite different in the wildlife sightings. It's mainly an area for walking safaris. There's only one operator who's offering regular game drives (Remote Wildlife), and the road network isn't much developed for such kind of activity (at least what I saw during last year's visit). I regard NLNP as a destination for the experienced safari goer, whereas SLNP offers something for both, newbies and old hands. This might change in the future if more infrastructure has been built up in NLNP and visitors also have a chance to see rhino, but I don't see this for 2007.
nyama is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 12:41 AM
  #10  
 
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tana1
Don't worry. You will be driving a 4x4 at the end of dry season(unless the rains start early). Tracks maybe a bit more on the bum, but all should be easily passable. There is supposedly work that has been done on the Chipata-Mfuwe RD. But I haven't heard anything since the rains. Can't be much worse then what it used to be, only better. In the park, I would suppose that road/track conditions maybe somewhat uncomfortable in someplaces, but when you are game viewing, you shouldn't be going fast anyway.
luangwablondes is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 02:47 AM
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Luangwablondes,

Thank you for the info. We'll just keep our fingers crossed for no early rain then! No problem with potholes and bumps - can't be worse than some of the East Africa 'roads'!!

If we are unlucky and there is a substantial amount of rain very early in the season, do we run the risk of being unable to drive back to Lilongwe, or does that route remain passable?

tana1 is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 03:46 AM
  #12  
 
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I will be in South Luangwa beginning May 14, and I'll be sure to report back.

Cheers,
Sharon
cooncat3 is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 04:59 AM
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tana1
You'll be fine. Its the black cotton soil in the valley that everyone is worried about. No need to be worried about not being able to return to Lilongwe. I think you might be more concerned about AC.
luangwablondes is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 05:24 AM
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Luangwablondes,

Ah, those wonderful words 'black cotton soil'. Yes, I'm very familiar with that!

I always say there's no such thing as too hot for me, but I think I may be eating my words by then - it will serve me right. Thanks again for the info.

Cooncat,

Will look forward to your report on your return. Have a great trip.

tana1 is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 09:41 AM
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Thanks tana 1. It will be interesting...
cooncat2 is offline  

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