Liuwa Plain National Park

One of Zambia’s most remote national parks, Liuwa Plain lies west of the upper Zambezi River, close to the border with Angola. It’s made up of vast grasslands with a smattering of pans, dotted here and there with palms and clumps of Kalahari woodland. As with much of northern Zambia, large areas of the park are totally flooded during the rainy season (December to April), and even in the drier winter months it’s difficult to reach and explore. Those who can find a way there will often feel like they have the entire park to themselves. And with its abundant wildlife, panoramic views and genuinely low visitor numbers, Liuwa Plain exudes tranquillity and a sense of total, magical isolation. A cheetah amongst flowers in Liuwa Plain National Park, credit: Africa Geographic

Highlights

Liuwa Plain’s biggest single attraction is its annual blue wildebeest migration. Comprising an estimated 40000 animals or more, it’s the second-largest of its kind in the world. It takes place around November each year as rising water levels force the herds southeast in search of fresh grazing. Liuwa Plain’s birdlife is another major draw, with some of its pans holding water year-round. They attract a surprisingly large variety of species, including marabou and saddle-billed storks, spoonbills, and herons, plus a noteworthy bird rarely found in groups elsewhere – the Slaty egret. Another notable highlight is the hyena population. Estimated at around 600, they take the top spot as Liuwa’s apex predator.

A hyena pup is born ready to rumble and often the stronger pups will force weaker siblings to starve by pushing them away from the mother, credit: Africa Geographic

Practical advice

wild dog kill

The best time to visit Liuwa Plain National Park is in November when the wildebeest migration starts to gather steam. It’s also the last chance to catch the best game viewing before the ensuing rains render the network of dirt tracks impassable. The park is closed to self-drive travellers between December and May, with wet-season access by fly-in safari only. Accommodation is limited to one very luxurious lodge, which operates for most of the year, and a handful of basic seasonal campsites dotted along the wildebeest migration route. Permits (and a map of the park’s 4x4 network) are available from the town of Kalabo, south of the park.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)

day 1

Welcome to Zambia
  • Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)
  • Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)
  • Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)
  • Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)
  • Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)
  • Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)

day 2

Smoke that Thunders

day 3

Wild Kafue
  • Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)
  • Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)
  • Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)
  • Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)
  • Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)
  • Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)

day 4

Puku, lechwe and roan, to name a few

day 5

Tree-climbing lions

day 6

Living Luangwa
  • Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)
  • Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)
  • Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)
  • Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)
  • Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)
  • Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)

day 7

Elephants in reception...?

day 8

A walking safari is a must

day 9

Fly Home

View Full Itinerary

You might also like

Zambia in September

By September things are hotting up in Zambia, as temperatures rise and the increasingly water-stressed animals compete for resources. As more pools dry, fish are exposed – an easy meal for hungry eagles, storks and scavengers. Both predators and prey stay close to the rivers and lion sightings are more common as their range decreases and their movements become more predictable. By the…

Packing list for Zambia

The first thing to do when preparing for Zambia is to book an appointment with a local travel clinic and go and speak to a doctor. The internet is full of African health and safety horror stories, but for safari holidays the risks are generally very low and/or easily manageable. If you’re at all concerned, speak to a professional. They’re likely to advise you to get your immunisations…

Zambia in January

January is the height of Zambia’s summer rainy season and most guide books will tell you it’s the worst time to visit. By January, heavy downpours have turned Zambia’s dirt and gravel roads to an impassable mush, rivers break their banks, and many camps and lodges close completely, only reopening once the waters have subsided. Daytime temperatures average about 30°C, with nights…

Zambia vs Botswana

So, should you go to Zambia or Botswana? The choice depends entirely on the type of holiday you prefer. Both countries are extremely safe and have excellent wildlife and national parks, but each is suited to a slightly different type of traveller. Botswana is perhaps the best self-drive safari destination in Southern Africa, with good connecting roads, abundant wildlife, plenty of…

Why go to Zambia

Although not entirely unique to Zambia, the country stands apart from others in the region in that the majority of its lodges and bush camps are owner-run. This tends to create a more personal experience – a homely kind of service that draws people back again and again. There are a number of luxury lodges to choose from, but also a good selection of smaller, eco-conscious operators.…

Shopping and markets in Zambia

Arts and craft market in Zambia In Lusaka and Livingstone, you’ll find almost everything that’s available in western shopping centres, save perhaps for bespoke clothing brands. There are large supermarkets, pharmacies, fashion retailers and well-known fast food outlets, and a growing number of well-stocked strip malls are also popping up along the highways. Smaller Asian-owned…

Popular Zambia Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | Southern Africa safari adventure

Southern Africa safari adventure

Majestic wildlife and the riches of Africa. ...

Boat at sunset | Zambian Odyssey

Zambian Odyssey - Safari to Three National Parks

One week safari to three Zambian national parks, including the flagship South Luangwa, and end in style with a visit to the remarkable Victoria Falls...

 | Best of Zambia Safari

Best of Zambia Safari

With some of the wildest and most remote game areas on the continent, and a remarkably low population in a massive country, Zambia has an aura of mystery waiting to be uncovered....

Camp fire | Safari in Vic Falls, Chobe & Okavango Delta

Safari in Vic Falls, Chobe & Okavango Delta

This three-in-one journey will show you the majestic Victoria Falls, the massive elephant bulls of Chobe and the natural wonder that is the Okavango Delta...

 | Luxury Victoria Falls, Hwange & Mana Pools

Affordable Vic Falls, Hwange and Mana Pools

Fall under the spell of three prime attractions in Zimbabwe and Zambia – Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park and the Mana Pools ...

Romantic view | Cape Town, Kruger & Vic Falls Deluxe Honeymoon

Cape Town, Kruger and Vic Falls Deluxe Honeymoon

Combine three of Southern Africa's most loved destinations into one romantic getaway and you'll share the memories forever...

Boating on the Chobe River | Quick and affordable Victoria Falls & Chobe experience

Quick and affordable Victoria Falls & Chobe experience

Visit Livingstone, Zambia, to marvel at the Victoria Falls – or 'the smoke that thunders' – before going on safari and a river cruise in Botswana's Chobe National Park...

 | South Africa and Zambia honeymoon

South Africa and Zambia honeymoon

Explore the romantic Atlantic Ocean with it's multi-cultural heritage and a Big Five safari in the Sabi Sands, finally ending off at Victoria Falls from the Zambian side...

Victoria Falls | Best of Zambia Luxury Safari (SA 9 days)

Best of Zambia Luxury Safari

Combine water and wildlife in a journey that takes you from the Victoria Falls to Kafue and South Luangwa national parks – Zambia at its best...

 | 10-day wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe

10-day wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Experience the best of the migration and wildlife in Kenya, then travel to Zambia to witness Victoria Falls, ending your adventure at Hwange National Park....

Ready to start your adventure?

Your tailor-made African holiday starts here...

How can we get hold of you?

How many people will be travelling?

Details

Please tell us more about your travel plans?


Discover Africa Group needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at anytime. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy.

Submitting your inquiry

Oops something went wrong.

We couldn't save your enquiry, sorry for that.

Please sent us an email on: info@discoverafrica.com

Apologies for the inconvenience.

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Reference:

 +27 21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    8AM - 5PM GMT+2