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This article is about the town and district. See Luangwa River or Luangwa (disambiguation) for other uses.

Luangwa is a town in Zambia, at the confluence of the Luangwa and Zambezi Rivers, which was previously called Feira. It is headquarters of a district of the same name in Lusaka Province.

Feira was probably the first European settlement in Zambia, but the dates are not well documented. What is documented is that the Portuguese first settled on the opposite bank of the Luangwa at Zumbo in Mozambique around 1720, in order to trade with the Bwila people, and by 1820 some had settled in Feira.[1]

After Zambia achieved independence the name of the town was changed to Luangwa as part of a preference for indigenous rather than colonial names. It has only one road in or out which connects to the Great East Road about 100 km north. There are no bridges in the area over the Luangwa or Zambezi, nor regular ferry services, but local people will take visitors across in small boats.[2]

The town's location is strategically important. The Luangwa forms Zambia's border with Mozambique and the Zambezi forms its border with Zimbabwe. In the Zimbabwe-Rhodesia War, the Mozambican War of Independence and Mozambican Civil War it was the scene of guerilla activity. Zambia's practical support for nationalist guerillas led to some incursions into its territory by Rhodesian and Portuguese forces in pursuit of them.

Luangwa District is far from the famous Luangwa national parks, but includes specatacular scenery and wildlife of its own. The Lower Zambezi National Park west of the town is a rugged wilderness on the Zambezi Escarpment and the lower Luangwa valley includes unspoilt scenery and wildlife habitats.[3]

See also


  1. ^ The Northern Rhodesia Journal online, Volume V No. 1 (1962) p43. Accessed 21 March 2007.
  2. ^ Terracarta/International Travel Maps, Vancouver Canada: "Zambia, 2nd edition", 2000
  3. ^ Camerapix: "Spectrum Guide to Zambia." Camerapix International Publishing, Nairobi, 1996.
General references

Coordinates: 15°37′S 30°23′E / 15.617°S 30.383°E / -15.617; 30.383



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