Even with one of the longest histories of wildlife protection in Zambia Liuwa Plains has remained the one of the least developed wilderness areas in Africa. Originally designated as a game reserve by the king or Litunga of Barotseland in the 1880s the area was left in the care of the local Lozi people and was set aside as the king’s personal hunting ground.
Located in the far west of Zambia, close to the Angolan border, the park is one of the most unaccessible we know and in the rainy season it is completely impassable with the sandy soil being covered in shallow water.
Liuwa is home to Africa’s second largest wildebeest migration, has a good population of Cheetah and is one of the only places in Africa that it is possible to even try and keep up with wild dog on a hunt due to its open terrain, see the BBC’s Life series with David Attenburough for some amazing footage!
The Apex predator in Liuwa is the Hyena which live in clans of up to 5. Thanks to a lack of human involvement and also constant protection the wildlife here is not skittish leading to some fantastic interaction.
Until recently the only operators here were Robin Pope Safaris but there has been a shift from one well known operator to another and now Norman Carr will be the only operator in the park, in conjunction with African Parks (who run the National Park for the government). For 2015 they will be running set departures with some of their top guides (and friends of ours) leading the trips. Going forward Norman Carr Safaris are building a brand new top end camp here which promises to be pretty good, give us a call for the latest info on Liuwa Plains.
The Lozi, the local people, still have certain rights to harvest and fish on the land and as we are yet to visit the area we are very interested to see how this works from a conservation point of veiw, however, we understand from friends at Arican Parks that the human wildlife conflict is as minimal here as in any wildlife area.