Liuwa Plain National Park is situated in the remote and far west of Zambia on the Angolan Border. Liuwa Plain offers visitors an area of pristine wilderness. It is very difficult to access and self-drives are not recommended. It is one of the smaller parks in Zambia; isolated and rarely visited offering visitors a private and exclusive safari experience.
Liuwa Plain is home to approximately 30 000 blue wildebeest, herds of zebra, red lechwe, oribi, and more. The main predator is the hyena then the wild dog and, occasionally seen, is cheetah.
The birding in the Liuwa Plain National Park is fantastic and the variety of water species inhabit the many water-filled pans. November, December, and early May are the best times of the year to visit the park.
Liuwa Plain National Park is one of the most remote parks in Zambia and should not be attempted without a guide; this is Africa at its best, wild and untouched.
Located in the remote south west of Zambia, there is not much civilisation for quite a distance around Liuwa. There is an airstrip nearby and a base camp intended for field rangers and conservationists, but guest accommodation is largely left up to their own camping equipment.
Local safari operators have booked Liuwa Plain packages in the past, so it is best to contact Sun Safaris and find out what the details are at your intended time of travel.
Sun Safaris will incorporate Liuwa Plain into tailor-made safari packages that include other destinations in other parts of Zambia, or Botswana, Zimbabwe, or Namibia, so that guests experience the earthiness of Liuwa alongside the more luxurious lodge accommodation.
The Liuwa Plains Safari is wild and adventurous and takes place in the far west of Zambia in a remote part of the Liuwa Plains National Park. The area is known for its enormous herds of blue wildebeest moving between the western boundary and the centre of the plains.
The game in Liuwa Plain National Park is spread out across the plains. Guests can expect to see thousands of blue wildebeest during the second largest migration of this kind in Africa. The birdlife is prolific and the park provides fantastic photographic opportunities, magnificent sunsets and contrasting landscapes with the green and gold grasslands offering spectacular scenes.
Liuwa is probably best known for its astounding pink and orange evenings that turn into deep purple night skies. The flat landscapes allow guests to see the curve of the earth on the horizon, making for unbeatable photo opportunities.
The start of the rainy season in November brings the massive herds of blue wildebeest migrating across the plains in their thousands, along with zebra congregating around water holes and pans. Other wildlife species include a variety of antelope, while jackal, serval, wildcat, wild dog, as well as lion and hyena predate in the area.
Due to the remoteness of Liuwa Plain, it is only accessed during the dry season. The wet season in Zambia can bring a lot of rain, which results in the inaccessibility of the roads and the dry pans become lagoons.
From January to April the flat park is mostly covered in water during what is known as the Emerald Season. The rains his hard during this time, making up for a long dry winter and revives that thirsty earth. It is quite beautiful, but most of Liuwa is underwater.
The time to visit Liuwa is between May and October. The rain will have abated, but the park remains green and lush, and the temperatures are cooler and more pleasant.
November and December bring almost unbearable heat, as it is peak summer and the rains are yet to fall.
Liuwa Plain National Park does not have permanent accommodation facilities, and is generally looked at as an adventure holiday, whereby groups travelling together bring their own camping equipment and set off with a guide.
We encourage guests put aside 4 or 5 nights to explore this tract of Africa that is situated far away from civilisation and requires a little more effort than a regular safari. The reward can be life-changing.
There is a base camp in the centre of Liuwa Plain that is set up to house rangers and conservationists from African Parks, who spend time out exploring and researching the area.
Matamanene Camp is a very simple Meru-tent setup with primitive features, but it has been used as a base camp for guest safaris in the past. It is located about 2-3 hours' drive from the local airstrip.
Sun Safaris will arrange for their guests to fly into Zambia at Lusaka or Livingstone International Airports.
Upon arrival at the airport, guests will connect with their pre-arranged light air transfers to Liuwa Plain. Guests will arrive at the local airstrip and be met by their new hosts or guides who will drive them the remaining 2 hours to the lodge.
Self-driving in Zambia, and particularly to the remote Liuwa Plain, is not recommended, as the roads are not well developed, and during the wet season many roads are inaccessible.