Liuwa Plains

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Mid-Oct to Mid-July

Overview

To the west of Zambia lies its greatest secret; a showcase of transformation and regeneration - Liuwa Plain National Park, more colloqually called Liuwa Plains. This park is about as remote as a safari can get. And yet in its prime season, which differs from the rest of Zambia, it

First protected in the 1880s by King Lewanika of the Lozi people, the Liuwa Plains was one of the earliest game reserves in Africa. The plains are unspoilt and exclusive with rare game and a rich natural history.

African Parks

African Parks is a conservation non-profit that manages Liuwa Plains. In 2008, African Parks began a series of lion reintroductions to reunite the last lioness, Lady Liuwa,  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 reintroduced to the park and the plains game began to increase, providing a healthy prey base for the lions, as well as for cheetahs and hyaena.

Liuwa Plain is an area rich with stories - one of our favourites is the legend of Mambeti and Lady Liuwa. Mambeti of the Lozi tribe, lived, died and was buried nearby to camp, legend has it she was reincarnated into Lady Liuwa, the lioness and matriarch of Liuwa's lion pride. Local people believe that this explains why the lioness is receptive to people and spends so much time in the same woodlands area frequented by the elderly lady in her twilight years.

Getting to the Liuwa Plain National Park

Liuwa Plain is a 1½ hour flight from Livingstone or 2½ hour flight from Lusaka to Kalabo just outside the park. Then it is 2½ hours drive to the lodge, or a 15 min helicopter flip.

The only lodge, King Lewanika, is open from 15 October to 15 July.

Features

Why you may love it

  • Home to the 2nd largest wildebeest migration of some 35,000 animals. As well as the lions who follow them.
  • Unexplored and truly off-the-beaten-track
  • Lots of predator action in season
  • Wonderful birding and wild flowers
  • Dramatic skies make for incredible photo opportunities

When to visit Liuwa Plains

Dec to March

Summer Rains

From January to May the annual floods turn plains into a watery wonderland, creating a haven for migratory birds. Large flocks fill the sky, including crowned cranes and Africa’s largest wattled crane population.With the vast plains, dramatic skies, incredible birdlife and annual wildflower blooms, Liuwa Plain is a dream come true for photographers in the summer months.
AVG MONTHY RAINFALL 220 mm
MAX TEMP 30 ℃ / 86 ℉
MIN TEMP 17 ℃ / 63 ℉

April to May

Rains taper off

Rains start tapering off in April and are virtually gone by May.The wildebeest are abundant near the camp so this is a great time to see lion, hyena , cheetah and even wild dogs on the hunt.Daytime temperatures remain warm but night time is getting chilly.
AVG MONTHY RAINFALL 120mm
MAX TEMP 29 ℃ / 84 ℉
MIN TEMP 12 ℃ / 54 ℉

Mid May to mid-July

Dry winter

In may the wildebeest begin moving north, making this a great time to view this iconic experience.
AVG MONTHY RAINFALL 2mm
MAX TEMP 27 ℃ / 81 ℉
MIN TEMP 8 ℃ / 46 ℉

Mid-Oct to Nov

Wild flowers bloom

The park opens again in mid October in a warm transitional time as the summer rains start. The annual wild flowers are at their best in Oct & Nov.The wildebeest migration is on the move to the south to start dropping their calves.Days can be very hot indeed with pleasant evening temperatures.
AVG MONTHY RAINFALL 65mm
MAX TEMP 34 ℃ / 93 ℉
MIN TEMP 16 ℃ / 61 ℉

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Did you know
  • MigrationHome to the 2nd largest wildebeest migration in Africa - but without the crowds