Situated wholly on the west bank of the Luangwa river, the park lies upstream from South Luangwa National Park and is separated from it by a 30–40-km-wide corridor (Munyamadzi Game Management Area). Much of the area lies between 600–900 m and is dominated by mopane, although large areas of this woodland have been destroyed by elephants when poaching pressure has caused them to concentrate in safe areas. Away from the river, the park climbs towards the first ridges of the Muchinga Escarpment and, in places, reaches over 1,300 m. Here, the better-drained soils support miombo. There are smaller patches of munga and riparian forest, but little grassland. Compared to its sister park it is poorly known and access is restricted.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. The avifauna is very similar to that of South Luangwa (ZM019). The Zambezian biome endemics include Neocichla gutturalis and several species typical of escarpment woodland such as Nectarinia shelleyi and Plocepasser rufoscapulatus.
Non-bird biodiversity: A wide variety of mammals occur, including Loxodonta africana (EN) and good numbers of the endemic subspecies Connochaetes taurinus cooksoni.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The area suffered considerably from poaching in the past, but is now actively protected and game numbers are increasing. Although some illegal hunting still occurs, it seems likely that the birds are not affected. Most of the park is uninhabited and, although currently not a problem, human encroachment perhaps needs to be assessed and monitored.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: North Luangwa National Park. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 14/04/2021.