Lavushi Manda National Park

The Lavushi Manda National Park conservation area of 1,500 sq kilometers has spectacular mountain views in Mpika District, Muchinga Province, Zambia, as part of the Zambezian Miombo forest ecoregion that was originally confirmed as a Game Reserve in 1941 and eventually became a National Park in 1972.

The park has been managed by Kasanka Trust in 2011 under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife and funding provided by the World Bank. Lavushi Manda lies on the dramatic Mpika plateau between the Muchinga cliff and the alluvial plains of Bangweulu Wetlands.

Xvlor Lavushi Manda National Park Lavushi Manda National Park

The 47-kilometer-long Lavushi Manda Mountains in the south produce great scenery. The 1811-meter peak has formed one of the highest points in Zambia where vertical cliffs characterize parts of the eastern slopes, while the western slopes are rocky but vegetate.

The park is dominated by bumpy terrain and is covered by a vast expanse of miombo forest punctuated by wet meadows and seasonal valleys that are the source of seasonal and perennial streams. Forest lines along riparian riverbanks throughout the year.

Lavushi Manda has a large number of dambo plains that make upstream of various seasonal and timeless streams. All the streams form the boundaries of the park to Bangweulu Wetlands, many rocky skillets and flat plains throughout the region that form seasonal lakes, including Lake Mikonko that keeps the water surface in the dry season.


A typical ecosystem for upland areas in central and northern Zambia with a mixture of Zambezian elements and Congo Basin elements. The pretty isolated Lavushi Manda Mountains, seasonally damp seasonal meadows, pristine forests, very diverse rivers and associated seasonal wetlands.

Miombo Woodland is the main type characterized by the dominance of Brachystegia trees, Isoberlinia, Julbernardia and Uapaca. The narrow riparian forest follows the eternal stream or as a deciduous and semi-deciduous leaf. Open forest fills 80%, while grasslands fill 17% of parks. Bog grasslands near the mountains where water seeps create wet soil throughout the year.


At least 50 species of large mammals in which 6 species listed as threatened by IUCN are straw-colored fruit bat (Eidolon helvum), leopard (Panthera pardus), lion (Panthera leo), African elephants (Loxodonta), common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) and puku (Kobus vardonii). The most common are common duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia), Reedbuck (Redunca), sable (Martes zibellina), warthogs (Phacochoerus) and Kinda baboon (Papio cynocephalus kindae).


Lavushi Manda is recognized as an Important Bird Area (IBA) where a large number of species are restricted to biomes and at least home to 349 species with 11 endangered species including bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus), crowned eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus), martial eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus), Verreaux's eagle (Aquila verreauxii), southern ground hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri) and shoebill (Balaeniceps rex).

Other specialties are locust finch (Paludipasser locustella), streaky-breasted flufftail (Sarothrura boehmi), blue quail (Excalfactoria adansonii), Anchieta's sunbird, Anchieta's barbet (Stactolaema anchietae), purple-throated cuckooshrike (Campephaga quiscalina), Böhm's bee-eater (Merops boehmi) and collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis).


At least 30 species of fish have been recorded and it is estimated that only about half of the total fish species exist. Bangweulu killifish is endemic to Zambia with limited reach and is listed as endangered, while greenhead tilapia (Oreochromis macrochir) is listed as vulnerable. Some species are sensitive to pressure, especially yellowfish (Labeobarbus trachypterus) and tigerfish (Hydrocynus vittatus). Lavushi Manda National Park

Xvlor Lavushi Manda National Park

Location: Mpika District, Muchinga Province, Zambia

Routes and public transport: Flights to Mfuwe Airport in Mfuwe City, then drive to Lavushi Manda National Park. Alternate flights Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka City, then drive to Lavushi Manda National Park.


Advice: The three campsites that offer accommodation are Mumbatuta Campsite, Kapandalupili Campsite and Peak Campsite. Kapandalupili and Mumbatuta have direct access to waterfalls along the river, while Peak has access to the Manda Lavushi Mountains. Others at Chibembe Campsite are no longer maintained, but are still possible for adventurous campers.

Mountains in the park offer excellent potential for the trail and a good possibility for rock climbing, though to date have not had a mapped route. Recreational fishing is possible in the park with permission.