Thornicroft Lodge is open from March until mid-January. South Luangwa is green and lusciously beautiful after the rains which usually end in mid-March, the landscape shines with every hue of green and emerald. This is a wonderful time to visit, with elephants gliding like ships through the grass and big cats preferring to use the roads rather than dampen their paws.
In June, July and August you will notice that the greenery dies back to reveal the full structure of the landscape, complete with gnarled tree trunks and twisted shrubs. This is many peoples favorite time of year to visit South Luangwa with excellent wildlife viewing opportunities and cooler temperatures before the dry season really kicks in – this is the African winter.
For exceptional wildlife viewing, September, October and early November superlative as large herds of buffalo come to the Mfuwe area in the driest and hottest time of the year, followed by non-resident predators. Large groups of elephant congregate near the river, with the youngsters lying about in the shade away from the midday sun. Rain showers can be expected towards the end of October.
October is the hottest and driest time of year. Fantastic for wildlife.
In October you might have one or two showers. The raining season may start in November, but serious rain can be expected during December - March.
When to come
You can pack light, as we have an efficient laundry service. Of key importance is your camera and binoculars. For daytime wear light-weight long-sleeved shirts, trousers/shorts/skirts, rain coat (Nov – March), no bright colors. Not forgetting sun hat and high SPF sun cream! For the evenings you might like to change and cover up. Please dress as you feel most comfortable.
Zambia experiences power cuts every now and then. Bring a good torch with you. We recommend the use of LED torches as the batteries last much longer.
What to bring and wear
Zambia is a tropical country and you must think about any health precautions before you fly. While malaria is not particularly bad around the Lodge we would recommend all guests to use insect repellent and consult with your doctor about taking malaria prophylaxis. You must also check which vaccinations you will need. At the border you may be asked for proof of yellow fever vaccination. Please "google" for the latest information.
The Zambia Kwacha is the national currency but in lodges and hotels the US dollar is also accepted. Credit card is used more and more but in some places only VISA card will work. Outside travel offices, lodges and hotels all local payments have to be done in Zambian Kwacha. You can change your money at all borders and at airports. In our village we have a Visa ATM where you can withdraw Zambian Kwacha.
At the lodge we do accept US$, Zambian Kwacha and VISA Cards for payment. Please note that we do charge a 5% surcharge on credit card payments. Park Entrance Fees have to be paid directly to the entrance gate in cash (US$ or ZMK).
Please note: Only US Dollar Notes dated after 2006 will be accepted within Zambia