Stephen Cunliffe
South Africa ZA

Stephen is a travel writer and avid conservationist whose work appears in prestigious magazines such as Africa Geographic and Travel Africa.

Category: Sustainable Lodge of the week

While African Parks proved its sustainability model with its rejuvenation of Majete Wildlife Reserve, it is their Liuwa Plain National Park project in western Zambia that takes the cake for being the most exciting wilderness recovery project underway today.

Liuwa Plain, home to Africa’s second largest wildebeest migration, is the wetland setting for some of the most sensational wildlife viewing and birding on the continent. This was certainly not always the case. Before African Parks took over the facility-less park, shunned by tourists, was being decimated by poachers.

Today, thanks to the investment of time, money and energy by African Parks, the reserve is flourishing with wildlife numbers exploding and a range of new camps and community campsites opening the park up to genuine eco-tourists who enjoy authentic safari experience far from the maddening crowd. Liuwa is a special place of big skies, colourful wild flowers and migrating antelope shadowed by lion, hyena, cheetah and wild dog. Thanks to the dedicated work of African Parks it’s back on the sustainable safaris map once more.

The African Parks strategy of combining business acumen and hands on management as a means to sustainably resurrect critical conservation areas has led to wildlife-rich Liuwa Plain being included in Africa’s Finest. This stunning coffee table book recognises Africa’s top 50 sustainable safari operations from amidst a sea of eco-pretenders. If you’d like to get hold of David Bristow and Colin Bell’s book, then you can order it here.

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