Liuwa Plain National Park is one of Africa’s most remote and untouched wildernesses. Nestled in the far Western Province of Zambia near the Angola border, Liuwa—meaning “plain”—occupies a 1,390 square-mile sea of golden grassland, spread across the ancient Barotse Floodplain and with nothing but an occasional woodland island to interrupt its horizon. With no road access and only one permanent camp within its borders, Liuwa Plains stands as one of the most pristine and least visited wildlife parks on the continent.
Although it received its national park status in 1972, Liuwa Plains boasts one of the oldest conservation histories in Africa. As early as the 19th-century, it was declared an official game reserve by the Litunga, the Lozi’s traditional king of Barotseland, and transformed into his royal hunting grounds. Since then, the Lozi villagers were charged with looking after the animals for him until 1972 when it was deemed a national park and ownership was transferred to a shared conservation partnership between African Parks, the Zambia Wildlife Authority, and the Barotse Royal Establishment, the government of the Lozi people.
Today, Liuwa Plain National Park is an untouched wilderness with a wildebeest migration to match the Serengeti. Every year, blue wildebeest herds, together with zebra and tsessebe, arrive from Angola and converge by the tens of thousands on the Liuwa Plains alongside the park’s resident buffalo, red lechwe, roan antelope, eland, and reedbuck. So too are there a host of grassland predators, including the occasional leopard and fair numbers of cheetahs, spotted hyenas, serval, and wild dog. Most recognizable of all of the cats, however, is Lady Liuwa, the famous subject of “The Last Lioness” documentary, who for more than nine years was the solitary, lonely lioness roaming the lands of Liuwa Plains. Thanks to the conservation team at Liuwa Plain National Park, she has since become the preeminent matriarch and auntie to a growing lion pride of six, thanks to the birth of three cubs in 2014.
Between its globally important 334-species-strong bird population and the vast concentrations of game spread out across its plains, Liuwa Plain National Park is without a doubt one of the most amazing and uncommercialized wildlife reserves in Africa. Contact Ker & Downey today for a chance to become on of the very few visitors who receive access to its wonders.