Drier than usual conditions owing to less summer rain have one positive consequence: Liuwa Plain National Park has opened on 1 March 2024 rather than closer to autumn as is more usual.

Situated to the far west of the country (almost on the border with Angola) Liuwa Plain is a small but stunning conservation area with unusual features, like being home to the world’s second largest wildebeest migration (the first being, of course, in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem across Tanzanian and Kenya). The drier conditions mean roads are now accessible and both self-drivers and guided game-drive vehicles can venture further in, in search of lion, cheetah, tssesebe (the fastest antelope in the world) and jaw-dropping array of bird species. Read more on how carnivores are thriving thanks to concerted efforts to protect remaining predators.

Grey crowned cranes thrives in Liuwa.

Much of the park comprises wetlands and floodplains: the Kuomboka festival celebrates the ceremonial movement of the king of the Lozi people to higher ground when the floods arrive.

Liuwa Plain can be reached by road (M9 from Lusaka to Mongu, passing Kafue National Park on the way) or by private chartered flight to the airstrip (there are no commercial flights at present). A new camp opened in late 2023 and our full guide on visiting the park can be accessed here.

PHOTO CREDITS Kenny Babilon and Lorentz Fischer | African Parks