The Best Safaris In Zambia

Safari In Liuwa Plains National Park

Safari In Liuwa Plains National Park
By Mazuba Kapambwe

Liuwa Plains National Park is located in the Western Province of Zambia in the upper plains of the Zambezi river.

It is one of the oldest conservation areas in the country and was designated protected land by the ruler of the Lozi kingdom around 1880. It is also located in one of the most remote areas of Zambia, making it one of the least visited parks in the country.

However, it should be on every safari lover’s list due to its excellent populations of lion, cheetah and the annual wildebeest migration.

Safari in Liuwa Plains National Park

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Tiger fishing in Zambia

Best safaris in Liuwa Plains

Morning and evening game drives are offered, walking safaris, and seasonal canoe safaris. A sleepout can also be arranged. Guests can expect to see lions, hyenas, wildebeest, cheetah, zebra and abundant birdlife.

A trip in March or April to Liuwa can be combined with a one day trip to Mongu to witness the annual Kuomboka ceremony of the Lozi people of Western Zambia. The traditional festival involves the King, his Queen and his subjects migrating from the lowlands of the Zambezi to the highlands in a large black and white striped boat.

When to visit Liuwa National Park

Although Liuwa National Park is open from April to December, visiting before June can only be done via plane due to heavy rains and flooding. From June to December, a 4x4 vehicle is required. Guests who want to experience the wildebeest migration should plan their trip between November and December.

Liuwa National Park best safari camps and lodges

King Lewanika Lodge is the only permanent, luxury accommodation in the park, with open plan views over the plains.

Other accommodation includes campsites owned and run by the local community, who are assisted by the African Parks organisation. Four campsites – Kwale, Lyangu, Katoyana and Sikale – are located in the park. All four offer chances to spot different types of wildlife.

Katoyana also offers the chance to see wildebeest as well as lions and hyenas, while at Kwale, buffalo sightings are common. Lyangu guests can see hyena, lechwe and wildebeest. The Sikale is the most basic type of camp with no running water or flush toilets.

How to get to Liuwa Plains National Park

Proflight offers seasonal flights from Lusaka, Lower Zambezi’s Royal air strip and South Luangwa’s Mfuwe airstrip to Kalabo, the closest town to the Liuwa National Park. These flights run from 2.5hours at the shortest (Lusaka to Kalabo) to 3.5 hours (Mfuwe to Kalabo). If staying at the King Lewanika Lodge, guests are transported to the lodge via a fifteen-minute helicopter ride.

Safari In Liuwa Plains National Park

Mazuba Kapambwe

Mazuba is a freelance writer from Zambia whose travel writing has appeared on CNN Travel, Unearth Women, Culture Trip and several in-flight magazines. Her travel podcast Mwende Bwino (Go Well) was recently featured on Conde Nast Traveler’s website and listed as one of the top five Zambian podcasts. Mazuba co-wrote the Lusaka Arts and Culture guide produced by the National Arts Council of Zambia.

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