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Liuwa Plain

Liuwa Plain

Liuwa Plain National Park is situated in a remote section of Western Zambia. Few people have ventured into the Liuwa Plain due to its relative inaccessibility. However the prolific birdlife, vast open grasslands and wildebeest migration make it one of Africa’s last true wildernesses left to explore.

This vast open plain lies west of the Zambezi River, on the Angolan Border. This vast open plain is part of the Zambezi catchment and is flooded from late December to early May. The plain is flat – horizon to horizon and under the huge skies run 30,000 blue wildebeest along with zebra, red lechwe, oribi, eland, buffalo and others. These antelope are prey to many hyena, some wild dog, lion and a few cheetah.

Liuwa is unique in that it is home to the second largest wildebeest migration in Africa and it is known for its hyenae that hunt in large clans of up to 50.  Liuwa Plain may be remote, but it is well worth the journey.  Set departures are available from April to June and October to December.

 

 

 

at a glance

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Introduction

Liuwa Plain National Park is situated in a remote section of Western Zambia. 

The area incorporating Liuwa Plain has a long and rich history and is homeland of the Lozi people. The traditional Monarch of the area is the Paramount Chief or King, called the Litunga, meaning ‘keeper or guardian of the earth’. One of the earliest protected areas in Africa, Liuwa Plain was proclaimed a game reserve by the king in the early 1880’s; protected by the Lozi people and used as a royal hunting ground. Since 2003, the park has been managed by African Parks through a public-private partnership with the Zambian Government and the Barotse Royal Establishment.

Often described as a photographer’s dream, in addition to its famed lions, guests will see thousands of wildebeest in the second biggest wildebeest migration on earth, discover various species of rare and endangered birds (330 species; flocks of hundreds of wattled and crowned cranes and millions of pratincoles and more unusual species include pink throated longclaw and sooty chat), follow cheetah hunt in the plains or watch clans of up to 50 hyena interacting at their den.

The rolling grasslands and diversity give rise to many superb photographic opportunities.

Matamanene is the only permanent camp in the park consisting of 4 simple but comfortable tents.  Due to open in 2017 is Mambeti Camp and this will be located on the upper Munde stream, a site chosen for its sweeping vistas and complete wildlife immersion.  Mambeti will comprise six luxury Villas including a two bedroomed Family Villa, with the capacity to accommodate a total of 15 guests. It has been designed by acclaimed lodge architects, Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens.

When To Visit

Few people have ventured into the Liuwa Plain due to its relative inaccessibility and expense.  Although in 2017 this is due to change with twice weekly scheduled flights from Lusaka allowing cost effective stays of 3 or 4 nights.

This vast open plain is part of the Zambezi catchment and is flooded from late December to early May.

Safaris are operated on a Set Departure basis operating April to June and October to December.

Temperature & Rainfall

Liuwa Temp & Rainfall

Liuwa Temp & Rainfall

Liuwa Plain Highlights

The Kuomboka Festival

The Kuomboka Festival

The Kuomboka Festival

The Lozi King (Litunga) of the Barotse tribe and Barotse Royal Household & his Queen will be taken ...

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The Kuomboka Festival

The Kuomboka Festival

The Lozi King (Litunga) of the Barotse tribe and Barotse Royal Household & his Queen will be taken from their low palace (Lealui) to their high palace (Limulunga) to escape the Zambezi Flood. They are paddled in 2 huge canoes by 50 oarsmen!
This event took place on 8 April 2017 – the first time in 3 years and happens near Liuwa Plain.

Photo credit: Noeline Tredoux

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Wildebeest Migration

Wildebeest Migration

Wildebeest Migration

Witness the second biggest wildebeest migration on earth – Approx 40,000 strong – plan your ...

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Wildebeest Migration

Wildebeest Migration

Witness the second biggest wildebeest migration on earth – Approx 40,000 strong – plan your trip around May or November for the best spectacle.

Photo Credit: Peter Fernhead

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Birding Spectacles

Birding Spectacles

Birding Spectacles

Liuwa is great for birding enthusiasts – with some 334 bird species including vast flocks of ...

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Birding Spectacles

Birding Spectacles

Liuwa is great for birding enthusiasts – with some 334 bird species including vast flocks of stork, wattled cranes and black winged pratincoles that arrive in their tens of thousands.

Photo credit: Time+Tide/Norman Carr Safaris

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Wild Dog Packs

Wild Dog Packs

Wild Dog Packs

Made famous by the BBC documentary The Hunt who aerial filmed a dramatic African wild dog pack ...

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Wild Dog Packs

Wild Dog Packs

Made famous by the BBC documentary The Hunt who aerial filmed a dramatic African wild dog pack co-operative hunt. But they move quickly and can cover huge tracts of land, so no sighting in Liuwa is at all certain.

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Famous Lions

Famous Lions

Famous Lions

Lions made famous by Beverly and Derek Joubert’s documentary: The Last Lioness. Lady Liuwa still ...

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Famous Lions

Famous Lions

Lions made famous by Beverly and Derek Joubert’s documentary: The Last Lioness.
Lady Liuwa still survives (Jan 2017) and she’s with Sepo and the two young lioness at the moment near Matamanene Camp. She’s looking skinning but still alive!

Photo Credit: Will Burrard-Lucas

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Hyenae Clans

Hyenae Clans

Hyenae Clans

Hyenae displaying apex predator behavior – clans of up to 50 individuals have been observed. ...

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Hyenae Clans

Hyenae Clans

Hyenae displaying apex predator behavior – clans of up to 50 individuals have been observed. Other predators include wild dog, spotted hyena and cheetah.

Photo Credit: Will Burrard-Lucas

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camps & lodges

King Lewanika Camp

King Lewanika Camp

King Lewanika is a new luxury camp in Liuwa Plain which is scheduled to open in 2017 and is the only permanent camp in the park. Located on the ... Read More