Zambia Puku Ridge 5

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 varity of endemic species such as Thornicroft's giraffe, Crayshay's zebra, and Cookson's wildebeest.


sightings - october 2014

This is a great time of year to spot all species of animals as the Luangwa River is the only source of water for the animals.

The bush is still very dry - making it easier to spot wildlife. Prey are very vulnerable at this time as they are weak from the heat and lack of food. Elephant and buffalo sightings were excellent this month; as well as lion and leopard sightings. The normally rarely seen wild dog was seen a few times during the month too. 

Carmine Bee Eaters South Luangwa


Leopard kills have been seen every week in the game drive areas. Buffaloes and elephants were sighted every day this moth.

Predators including lions, leopards and hyenas were frequently spotted and even wild dogs were seen a few times. 

The migrant bird species are beginning to return to the Luangwa Valley for breeding season - these include the beautiful carmine bee-eaters that are seen flying in big flocks around the Luangwa River as they create their breeding tunnels on the sides of the river bank.

Leopard South Luangwa


Buffalo, elephant, leopard and hyena sightings were plentiful in July. There were also a number of kills made by leopards in front of the camp.

There have been a lot of wild dog sightings in the driving areas and puppies were also spotted. There were also a good number of lion sightings during the month.

Overall, an excellent month of sightings in the South Luangwa!

Wild Dogs South Luangwa


Elephants were seen every day during June. Buffalo and leopard sightings were abundant and were excellent - a real treat for guests of the camp. 

Hyenas, lions and wild dogs were seen quite a bit during the month. Wild dog sightings are becoming a lot more common in our game drive areas; and our guide, Elias, discovered a den with wild dog pups! Wild dogs also seen running through the camp chasing puku and impala. They stayed the whole a day, resting under the shade in the flood plain in front of the camp.

Baines - Nov 2013


Guests were very fortunate to have many sightings of elephants, buffaloes, hyenas and leopards during the month of May. 

Predators including lions and wild dogs were spotted less frequently but guests were still able to see them a few times. 

Guests got to see: Three  different  lions on kills, five different leopard kills and also two different wild dog kills.

Buffalo South Luangwa

sightings - APRIL 2014

Buffalo and elephant herds were spotted very often during April. Buffaloes live for about 20 years. Females calve about once every two years and have a gestation period of 11-12 months. If buffaloes are attacked, the adults in the herd form a circle around the young/ disabled in the herd and face outward. They lower their heads and present a solid barrier of sharp horns, making it difficult for predators to seize a calf/ herd member.

Predators including leopards, lions and wild dogs were seen frequently with the wild dogs seen killing an impala. Cheeky hyenas were seen a few times throughout April.

Leopard South Luangwa NP

sightings - DECEMBER 2013

Elephants and leopards were the most commonly-spotted animals at Puku Ridge Camp in December. Buffalo herds, lions and hyenas were also seen a few times during the month.

Wild dogs were very scarce and seen just once in December. Wild dogs have just four toes on each foot and are also known as hunting dogs. They live between 10 and 12 years and have a gestation period of two and a half months - litters average about 10 pups!

Puku Zebra

sightings - NOVEMBER 2013

November bought with it the beautiful sight of many baby impalas. The zebras returned to the area after being absent for about one and a half months - a pleasant sight to see!

Hyenas were spotted making a kill on Puku Plain in front of the camp. Herds of elephants and buffalo were seen frequently in November. Leopard were spotted on 18 out of 30 days this month which is incredible. Carnivores such as hyenas were sighted often and lions were present a few times during the month.

Puku Lioness

sightings - october 2013

Our expert guides managed to spot four of the big five on 22 days out of the 31 in October - including lion, leopard, buffalo and elephant. Guests were able to see leopard on 28 days of the month which is phenomenal and an increase from the past two months of sightings. Did you know leopards are mainly nocturnal and their diet include small to medium sized hoofed animals and the young of larger animals. They are solitary animals unless when they are mating or when a mother is still with her young cubs. A female leopard can have about two to three cubs a year after a gestation period of three and a half months.


Puku March

sightings - september 2013

The migrant bird species are starting to return to the valley for breeding season - these include the very colourful carmine bee-eaters that can be seen flying around in large flocks around the Luangwa River as they create their breeding tunnels on the sides of the river bank. Leopard sightings remain good as guests spotted these on 25 days of the month and elephants were seen every day! The camp's namesake Puku - is also never too far from camp.


Puku Elephant And Calf

sightings - august 2013

The local wild dog population in the park has grown from strength to strength and recent sightings prove it. A few lucky guests enjoyed a very special sighting of the pack of wild dogs with five young pups of about five months old - the smallest ever seen in the valley. Elephant sightings remain high with these gentle giants seen every day during the month of August. The South Luangwa has a reputation when it comes to leopard sightings and as usual, they didn't disappoint - guests saw leopard on 25 out of the 31 days in August and many of these were a few different leopards all in one day!