What to see & do
Check with the National Parks and Wildlife Service for the latest news about the park (there is an office at Solwezi if you are approaching from the north), and also possibly with Mwinilunga Ventures, the company starting to offer canoeing here. It's still an exceptionally wild park – so you will require an independent streak to get here, and get around.
On dry land
If you want to just drop in on your own then it's probably best to leave your vehicle at Jivundu, under the watchful eyes of the scouts, and take a scout/guide from there to walk with you into the park for a few days. The pontoon across the river is working, and ZAWA have cleared about 20km of road through the park from the south. This is part of an effort to open the road from Jivundu through the park to Ntambu, in the north, which is then within reach of the Solwezi-Mwinilunga road.
For water-based exploration, contact Mwinilunga Ventures
who run canoeing trips – as the rivers here are in stunning condition. These were started by Charles Rae, who had grown up in the area, visiting the park since he was a child. He started running canoeing trips for his family (some of whom have been right down the West Lunga, Kabompo and Zambezi rivers to Victoria Falls by canoe – taking 52 days!), and now he now runs very occasional trips for paying visitors.
So if you can get yourself to the area, then Mwinilunga Ventures (Tel: 08 361076; fax: 08 361033; email: firstname.lastname@example.org) can organise a variety of trips from one-, two-, or three-day canoeing trips to two weeks. These are canoeing and camping trips for which canoeists need to bring their own bedding and drinks. It's important that you can swim and take care of yourself, as there are some class 3 rapids, and the guides here are not veteran white-water guides! It's almost certain that you'll find yourself out of the canoe at some point! Trips run from about may to end-October and cost around us$100 per person per day including food (us$75 if you self-cater), plus a fee for transporting you to the start.
One long trip on this river starts about 30km south of Mwinilunga, and takes six days of hard paddling to get to Jivundu. Note though that these are organised in a fairly ad hoc way; they're not regular fixtures, and won't have all the back-up and experience of, for example, the Zambezi's highly experienced canoe operators. Once you start canoeing down this almost 'virgin' river, it would be exceedingly difficult to get you out before the end, even in case of an emergency. There is virtually no road access, and you're miles from anyone who could help. So if you come to canoe, expect a mini-expedition: bring your own safety equipment and sense of adventure.