ProjectsAfricaZambiaNorth Luangwa Conservation Project
North Luangwa Conservation Project

The wilderness of North Luangwa National Park, and the function of the natural ecosystems in surrounding areas, maintained for its intrinsic value and the benefit of people.


Status: National Park, IUCN Category II, established 1971. Game Management Areas: Settlements and hunting permitted.
Geographical Location: North-east Zambia, 11°25’ S to 12° 20’S and 31°45’E to 32°40’E
Size: ±15,000 km² operational project area, North Luangwa NP 4,640 km²


FZS has supported conservation activities in North Luangwa since 1986. Although Zambia is relatively stable politically, the country is impoverished with few government funds available for the wildlife sector for many decades. NLCP has been supporting the Zambian Wildlife Authority, focusing initially on anti-poaching, park operations, animal population census work and infrastructure development, but in recent years it has expanded the focus to include ranger training, management planning, implementing a geographical information system for management use and, significantly, conservation education. Black rhinos were extirpated by poaching in the 1980s both in Luangwa and Zambia but the programme has led and coordinated the initiative to reintroduce the species. The first successful re-introduction of black rhinos in Zambia, in the North Luangwa National Park, became a national symbol for conservation in Zambia. The first 15 rhinos were successfully re-introduced in 2003 and 2006, in 2008 another 5 did follow.

The North Luangwa valley is similar in origin but older than the east African rift systems. Moist miombo, Combretum-Terminalia, mopane and wooded grassland dominate with two major rivers bordering the east and northern park boundaries. The Muchinga escarpment in the west rises to 1,372 masl, some 700m above the wide valley floor of 6-700m.


FZS NLCP is a very broad-based project that is involved in all aspects of the management of North Luangwa National Park. Activities are executed in close cooperation with the Zambian Wildlife Authority. All law enforcement personnel are employees of ZAWA.

  • Designing and introducing adaptive management system for North Luangwa National Park
  • Support of tourism development and management
  • Improving infrastructure of National Park and providing equipment for rangers
  • Re-establishment of a viable, breeding, free-ranging population of black rhino in the North Luangwa National Park
  • Support of site-specific management planning
  • Support of conservation education
  • Developing policies and procedures for community based natural resource management
  • Supporting conservation compatible development activities
  • Development of strategic ecosystem health monitoring plan
  • Giving technical support to partners for fundraising
  • Development and implementation of conservation and management plans for key species in North Luangwa

Ed Sayer, Claire Lewis


Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA)
Game Management Area (GMA) Community Resource Boards
US Fish and Wildlife Services (USFW)
Prince Bernhard Fund (PBF)
Beit Trust
Save the Rhino Trust (Zambia)
Save the Rhino International
European Association for Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA)
David Back
Conservation Foundation