Wildlife & Animals – Liuwa Plain NP

Alan Murphy
Expert
By Alan Murphy

Alan is a renowned Africa expert and has authored many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Zambia.

Alan is a renowned Africa expert and has authored many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Zambia.

Alan is a renowned Africa expert and authored the Lonely Planet guidebook to Zambia.

Alan has authored the Lonely Planet guide to Zambia.

While wildlife viewing at Liuwa Plain is great for a short time of the year, it may not be for the first-time visitor. There isn’t a great variety of flagship species, but the sheer numbers of grazers on the plain in the Wet season is phenomenal. The main species to be seen are herds of blue wildebeest and zebra. Other grazers joining in smaller numbers are tsessebe, buffalo and red lechwe.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
HippoCommon
BuffaloOccasional
ZebraAbundant
WildebeestAbundant
LionOccasional
CheetahOccasional
HyenaCommon

Wildlife Highlights

With the herbivores come the predators. Spotted hyena is particularly common. This is also prime cheetah country, and wild dog are sometimes spotted as well. Lions were close to extinct in the park, but after several re-introductions, it looks as if they are back in the area to stay. Several lions have now also moved in on their own account, and it should only be a matter of time before a new generation become established here.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Road-access to the park is restricted to the Dry season. Wildlife viewing is very seasonal, and the big herds arrive after the first rain. November is the best month to visit, as the access roads become impassable later. Organized, fly-in safaris are usually in November–December (the beginning of the rains) and May–June (the end of the rains).

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