Liuwa Plains

T
his 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.


More Information

-When to visit

August to December. In November as the rainy season begins, dramatic cloud formations erupt as the storms build, creating spectacular skylines and with the onset of the rains, carpets of flowers explode around the pans. This is also the time when large herds of blue wildebeest migrate across the plains from neighbouring Angola.

-Getting there

Access to Kalabo (the nearest town to Liuwa Plain National Park) has been vastly improved due to a tar road being built over the floodplains which has recently been complete. This means there is access to Kalabo all year around. To get into the park there is one water crossing, this has a pont which 4x4 vehicles can go on and fromthis point on there is no longer any tar but sandy roads. 4x4 vehicles will be needed to access the park and tyre pressures should be put down to accommodate the sandy conditions. Mongu, the capital of the Western Province is only an hour away from Kalabo and has a number of petrol stations, an ATM and a very well stocked Shoprite supermarket. There are also a few guest house to stay in. It is suggested that you stop at Mongu for supplies as once in Kalabo there is very little, local markets selling a few items. The African Parks offices are just at the harbour before you cross on the pont and this is where you can check in and get any more additional information before entering Liuwa.

-Wildlife

In November, with the onset of the rains, the massive herds of blue wildebeest arrive from Angola, traversing the plains in their thousands, very often mingling with zebra along the way or gathering around water holes and pans.Other unusual antelope found include oribi, red lechwe, steinbuck, duiker, tsessebe and roan. The Jackal, serval, wildcat, wild dog as well as lion and hyena are the predators of the area. Many birds migrate here during the rains and massive flocks of birds can be seen as they migrate south. Some of the more notables are the white bellied bustards, secretary bird, red billed and hottentot teals, crowned and wattled cranes, long tailed whydah, sooty chat, yellow throated longclaw, large flocks of black winged pratincoles around the pans, fish eagle, tawny eagle, marshall eagle, woodland kingfisher, pink throated longclaw. The plains are dotted with woodlands which also make for excellent birding.

-Entry and camping fees

Useful Facts

  • Area: 3660 km²
  • Founded in: 1972
  • Province: Western Zambia
  • Coordinates: -14.471915,22.50412

Liuwa Plains Map


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