Liuwa Plain National Park

Liuwa Plain National Park is a conservation area of 3,390 sq kilometers (1,390 sq mi) in Western Province, Zambia, originally as a hunting ground for King Lubosi Lewanika (1842-1916) in 1878, then became a national park in 1972 by the Zambian government. In 2003, the park was managed by the African Parks Network in partnership with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife and the Barotse Royal Establishment.

Liuwa Plain National Park includes grasslands that support large mammals including tens of thousands of blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurine) as Africa's second largest annual migration. More than 300 species of birds have been recorded. Decline and local extinction during the 1990s to 2000s, but the animal population has stabilized under the management of African Parks as a nonprofit organization.

Xvlor Liuwa Plain National Park Liuwa Plain National Park

The Liuwa Plain lies on the Barotse flood plains and is bordered by the Luambimba River in the north and the Luanginga River to the south. The grassland has length of 72 kilometers (45 miles) and width of 32 kilometers (20 miles) including raffia palms and woodlands. Grass species include Echinochloa stagnina and Vossia cuspidata which are important for herbivores, also Baikiaea plurijuga, Guibourtia coleosperma, Peltophorum africanum, Terminalia sericea, and various types of Hyphaene.


Liuwa Plain is home to many mammals including common eland, (Taurotragus oryx), common tsessebe (Damaliscus lunatus lunatus), oribi (Ourebia ourebi), lechwe (Kobus leche), reedbuck (Redunca), roan antelope (Hippotragus equinus), sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii), zebra, Lichtenstein's hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus lichtensteinii) and blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus).

A survey in 1991 calculated a population of 30,000 blue wildebeest, 800 tsessebe, 1,000 zebra and 10,000 other large mammals including buffalo, eland, oribi, red lechwe, reedbuck, and sitatunga. Subsequent surveys showed major declines, especially buffalo, eland, Lichtenstein's hartebeest, and roan antelope. However, since 2003 has stabilized the population after increasing protection.

Predators include cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), lion (Panthera leo) and spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), banded mongoose (Mungos mungo) and side-striped jackal (Canis adustus). Hunting and trophy hunting had wiped out many preators to extinction in the park in the 1990s.

The single lion known as Lady Liuwa was first reported to be present in the park in 2002. African Parks has since led the project of introducing some extra lions to rebuild Liuwa where it has had 7 lions by September 2017.


At least 334 species of birds including various species of birds of prey, bustard (Otididae), grey crowned crane (Balearica regulorum), wattled crane (Grus carunculata), pelican (Pelecanus), pratincole (Glareolinae) dan stork (Ciconiidae). Raptor termasuk bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus), greater kestrel (Falco rupicoloides), martial eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus), palm-nut vulture (Gypohierax angolensis), Pel's fishing owl (Scotopelia peli) and African fish eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer).

Birds in the water include marabou stork (Leptoptilos crumenifer). saddle-billed stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis), Yellow-billed stork (Mycteria ibis), Blacksmith lapwing (Vanellus armatus), slaty egret (Egretta vinaceigula), grey heron (Ardea cinerea), pygmy geese (Nettapus), spur-winged goose (Plectropterus gambensis) and three-banded plover (Charadrius tricollaris).

Also black-winged pratincole (Glareola nordmanni), Denham's bustard, Stanley bustard (Neotis denhami), long-tailed widowbird (Euplectes progne), pink-billed lark (Spizocorys conirostris), rosy-throated longclaw (Macronyx ameliae), secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius), sharp-tailed starling (Lamprotornis acuticaudus), swamp boubou (Laniarius bicolor), white-bellied bustard (Eupodotis senegalensis) and eastern clapper lark (Mirafra fasciolata). Liuwa Plain National Park

Xvlor Liuwa Plain National Park

Location: Western Province, Zambia.

Routes and public transport: Flights to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka City or Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport at Livingstone City.

From Lusaka enter Lumumba Road in the industrial area and take Mumwa Road (M9) to Mongu City for 620 kilometers, then to Kalabo Town as the headquarters of Liuwa Plain National Park.

Contact: Liuwa Plain
African Parks Network
PO Box 930094, Kalabo, Zambia
Email: [email protected]

Advice: The official language in Zambia is English and is widely used throughout the country. Most countries can easily get a 30-day tourist visa for US $ 30 (April 2018) when they arrive at Lusaka, Livingstone and Ndola airports, but most Africans do not need visa requirements. The local currency is Kwacha Zambia. Payments are generally in cash.

Park entry fees (person/day):
  • Foreigners: US$30 (adults) and US$10 (children)
  • SADC citizens and SADC established residents: US$20 (adults) and US$7 (children)
  • Vehicle: US$15
Accommodation (person/night):
  • Community Campsites: US$15 (adults) and US$7 (children)
  • Norman Carr's King Lewanika Lodge: From $1200 (2018)
Support services provided by African Parks:
  • Liuwa Plain scout (in person vehicle/day): US$35
  • Vehicle recovery/towing: Max US$200

The short dry season (May - July) is dry and easily accessible, the temperature is 9 Celsius to 15 Celcius. The long dry season (August - October) is a temperature of 22 Celsius to 32 Celsius. Short rainy season (November - December) is the beginning of the rainy season. The long rainy season (January - April) is floodplain, temperature 15 Celcius to 22 Celcius.