This remote park in the far west is pristine wilderness, which, to the ardent bush-lover, is its biggest attraction, and the rewards are great indeed.The game is spread out across the plains and takes some driving around to find, but to come upon a vast herd of blue wildebeest, a prowling wild dog, or a pride of dozing lions in this forgotten piece of Africa is especially fitting because of its completely natural and uncommercialised state.
The birdlife is abundant and the very dramatic storms and lightning rising up on the horizon, contrasting with the green and gold grasslands, create spectacular views and fantastic photographic opportunities.
Liuwa Plain National Park in Zambia has one of the oldest conservation histories in Africa, dating back to the 19th century where the King of Barotseland, Lubosi Lewanika, appointed his people to be the custodians of the park and its wildlife. They maintain that sentiment today. With an estimated 10,000 people legally living within the park, Liuwa is a prime example of how people and wildlife can co-exist and benefit in a shared landscape. Each year, Liuwa hosts the second largest wildebeest migration on the continent, numbering around 30,000 individuals – this is one of the most glorious spectacles on the planet. But this was not always the case. Before African Parks assumed management of Liuwa in 2003, in partnership with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) and the Barotse Royal Establishment, wildebeest and zebra were in steep decline, grasslands were threatened by rice fields, and all but one lonely lioness remained, “Lady Liuwa”.
In 2008, African Parks began a series of lion reintroductions to reunite this last lioness with her own kind, and thus new life began as she slowly joined a pride that grew to 10 lions. Over a similar period, eland and buffalo were also reintroduced to the park and the plains game began to increase, providing a healthy prey base for the lions, as well as for the cheetahs and hyaenas. As a result of effective law enforcement, poaching levels subsided and community land-use plans were implemented along with sustainable fish harvesting and other community projects, providing alternative livelihoods for local people. Sadly, 2017 saw the natural passing of Lady Liuwa who lived to the ripe old age of 18, but she left behind a legacy of a small but growing pride of lions, living their lives together on Liuwa’s flourishing plains.
This camp is named after King Lewanika of the Lozi people, who proclaimed Liuwa Plain a protected area in the early 1880s, making it one of the earliest national parks in Africa.
The only permanent camp in Liuwa Plain National Park, its six open-front luxury safari tents (including a two-bedroom, two-bathroom luxury family tent) are the essence of pure and simple luxury. Built using local techniques and sustainable materials, they run on solar power and are furnished using vintage leather, cotton and canvas—a nod to old-world safari days. Designed to completely immerse you in the vast landscape, each has an indoor and outdoor shower, a comfortable lounge and a verandah, all with stunning views over the plains. Read More
There are five community campsites in Liuwa and all have camp attendants and offer firewood and are open as long as the park is accessible. Katoyana, Kwale, Lyangu and Kayala provide water, cold showers and a flush toilet, but all drinking water needs to be brought with guests. Sikale campsite provides a long-drop toilet but doesn’t have water available at the campsite, therefore one has to bring in all the water that will be needed during a stay at Sikale. Read More
This tented camp sleeps 8 people (min 4 pax per booking per night) and has a hot water shower, flush toilet, 4 safari twin tents with all linen and bedding included as well as all kitchen equipment needed and solar lights for the evening. The Park is situated in a fascinating landscape, which is home to an abundant variety of animals, birds and plants. Annual flooding adds to Liuwa’s rich biodiversity and creates dramatic landscape changes. Liuwa’s spectacular wildebeest migration, the 2nd largest in Africa, is its chief attraction. Read More
We travel to Liuwa plains from mid-November to mid-December, as the first rains arrive, timed to coincide with the Liuwa wildebeest migration. Accommodation is provided in spacious 2.5 safari bow tents, and the camps are set up ahead of us by our support vehicle. All meals are prepared by our camp cook. Transfers to the park and within conducted in open 4×4 game viewing vehicles. Read More