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Philip has traveled through Zambia several times and is the author of more than 20 guidebooks to various African destinations.
Philip is the Zambia expert for SafariBookings and author of more than 20 guidebooks to Africa.
Philip is our Zambia expert and author of more than 20 guidebooks to Africa.
Liuwa Plain National Park is one of a kind. Sandy tracks run through flat grassy floodplains, creating endless vistas in every direction. Small depressions fill up with the first rains of the season to set in motion Africa’s second-biggest wildebeest migration. Up to 35,000 wildebeest, accompanied by thousands of plains zebras, gather here – a spectacle to be witnessed by just a few lucky visitors.
Tens of thousands of blue wildebeest converge on Liuwa Plain with the first flush of green grass at the beginning of the Wet season. They are accompanied by big herds of plains zebra and smaller groups of red lechwe. Lions and cheetahs follow the migration. But the dominant carnivore here is the spotted hyena, which live in clans of up to 50 individuals, and is often seen socializing and – most excitingly – hunting.
Liuwa Plain has a very different environment to other Zambian parks. Golden grasses are replaced by carpets of wildflowers before the rains change the expansive landscape to a watery wonderland. Dramatic skies touch the horizon in the far distance. Small pockets of woodlands and the odd solitary palm tree form the only landmarks in an otherwise remarkably flat vista.
Weather & Climate
Liuwa Plain has a hot, tropical climate. There isn’t much change in daily temperatures, but the mercury notably rises in the buildup to the Wet season (November to April), making things uncomfortably hot on the ground. The Dry season is overall more pleasant, although nights can get cold from June to August.
Unlike most other parks, the Dry season (May to October) is not the best time to travel to Liuwa Plain. Wildlife viewing is very seasonal, and the big herds arrive after the first rain (usually November). This gives a small window for drive-in visitors as the roads might become impassable from December onwards. Fly-in visitors stay at Time + Tide King Lewanika, which is open from mid-October to mid-July.
Stephen is a travel writer and avid conservationist whose work appears in prestigious magazines such as Africa Geographic and Travel Africa.
Liuwa Plain in western Zambia is the answer for safari goers who’ve dreamt of seeing tens of thousands of wildebeest migrating across the wide-open plains without another vehicle or person in sight. If you’ve ever sat in the Masai Mara...
Liuwa Plain is fantastic, but not something for the first time safari tourist. The game is abundant, but not as diverse as in other parks. The scenery stunning but not diverse. The birdlife is just stunning!