Liuwa Plain Safari
Visit the home of Lady Liuwa on this 4 or 5 night set departure Liuwa Plain safari adventure. This is a sample itinerary and will be tailored in camp in consultation with your guide. Available April/May/June & October/November/December.
per person sharing
6 days / 5 nights
Tented safari Camp
Guided by veteran Norman Carr Safaris’ guides, Matamanene is the only permanent camp operating in Liuwa Plain National Park. As of early 2017 we will be operating out of a new luxury camp, Mambeti, named in honour of Lady Liuwa and the Lozi grandmother she was named after.
Liuwa Plain has a long and rich history and is homeland of the Lozi people. The traditional Monarch of the area is the Paramount Chief or King, called the Litunga, meaning ‘keeper or guardian of the earth’. One of the earliest protected areas in Africa, Liuwa Plain was proclaimed a game reserve by the king in the early 1880’s; protected by the Lozi people and used as a royal hunting ground.
This is a true wilderness, managed by African Parks Zambia since 2003. By spending time and interacting with both organisations, guests will be able to see first hand how African Parks and the Zambian Carnivore Programme are securing the future of this recovering ecosystem. Often described as the photographers dream, guests will see thousands of wildebeest, discover various species of rare birds (330 species; some in flocks of hundreds), follow cheetah hunt in the plains or watch clans of up to 50 hyena interacting at their den. There is something for everyone.
Liuwa Plain Safari Itinerary
Day 1: Matamanene Camp L, D
Meet our representative in Lusaka Airport where you will be escorted to your connecting flight to Kalabo, our gateway to Liuwa Plain National Park. Enjoy spectacular views from the air as you fly over the Zambezi floodplains. This flight takes approx two hours.
On arrival at Kalabo Airstrip you will be transported to Matamanene Camp (approx transfer time of 2.5 hours which is a game drive through the Park). The 4 simple, yet comfortable tents are set in a small island of trees in the heart of the park. They are raised slightly off the ground, offer twin or double beds and have ensuite bathrooms with hot and cold running water. The chitenje – large central area – includes a small library and comfortable seating area, bar and dining area. The campfire is the perfect place to swap stories under the African night sky.
After you settle into camp, depending on your time of arrival, you will have lunch or afternoon tea and then set out on your first Liuwa Plain safari.
Day 2, 3: Matamanene B, L, D
Leave camp early after a continental breakfast and in an open 4X4 head deep into the Park to get up close and personal with the game of the Plain; find blue wildebeest, zebra, red lechwe, eland and tsessebe. With your guide and scout, you have the opportunity to get out of the vehicle and explore the Plain on foot depending on what you find. On some days there will be the opportunity to have lunch in the “back country” overlooking one of the many waterspots then head back towards Matamanene in time for a sundowner by a pan and dinner in camp. The birdlife in Liuwa is extraordinary, at certain times of the year the pans will be occupied by hundreds of pelicans, wattled or crowned cranes, geese and smaller waterbirds, you could spend hours with a camera or your binoculars watching the multitude of species come to drink.
Day 4: Matamanene B, L, D
Leave camp early today with members of the Zambian Carnivore Program (ZCP), a non-profit research team dedicated to conserving large carnivore species and the eco-systems in which they reside www.zambiancarnivores.org . The team have a permanent base in Liuwa Plain and we have teamed up with them to offer guests the chance to track some of the large carnivore species which reside in Liuwa Plain; wild dog, lion, cheetah and hyena. Spend the morning with the team, learning about the behavior of individual animals within the prides and packs of the Plain.
Arrive back at camp in time for lunch. After lunch you have the opportunity to listen to a presentation by the ZCP team about the trends and patterns of behavior of many of the animal species within Liuwa Plain and understand more about the precious recovering eco-system of the Park. Afterwards rest and soak up the magical atmosphere of one of the most remarkable vistas in Zambia before afternoon tea and your evening game drive. Have sundowners by one of the many hyena dens in the Park and you will wonder who is watching who! The hyenas are incredibly inquisitive and interested in people; some leaving the safety of the pack and den to wander closer to humans to observe our mysterious behavior!
Day 5: Matamanene B, L, D
Depending on the length of your safari, today you will either be flying home (on a 4 night itinerary) or if you’re staying longer, you can have the chance to visit one of the local villages within the boundaries of the Park. Liuwa Plain offers is a fascinating mix of protected land occupied by wildlife and the homeland of thousands of humans. Speak to local village elders and learn about Liuwa’s incredible history and the traditions carried on today, such as the collection by chosen individuals of the long breeding tail feathers of a male long-tailed widowbird to be used in the Kuomboka ceremony, or how the trees and pans of the Plain are named after families and it’s their duty to protect the resources.
Day 6: Departure
This morning you will enjoy one final hearty breakfast in Camp, and then make your way to Kalabo Airstrip for your domestic flight back to Lusaka. This will be a combination game drive/transfer taking around 2.5 hours depending on what you see along the way.
A Typical Day on Safari
|5.30 am||Wake up call|
|5.45 am||Continental breakfast (tea/coffee/toast/cereals/fruit/hot option-around the camp fire)|
|6.15 am||Morning drive or walk |
Including morning tea/coffee/cake which is very welcome half way through the morning
|10.00-10.30am||Return to camp |
Timings really do depend on the temperature and what you see – there is no set time
|11.00 am||Lunch – usually buffet style, with lots of salads!|
|After brunch||Relax, read, siesta, watch the animal activity at the local water hole|
|3.30 pm||Afternoon tea and cake (yes – more to eat!) |
Then leave for the afternoon game viewing activity
|After sunset||We have a tradition of stopping for sundowners (a drink while watching the sunset) |
Evening drives continue with a spotlight to explore the nocturnal life
|7.30 pm||Return to camp for a drink, or shower before dinner|
|8.00-8.30 pm||Dinner is served |
Days are often concluded with a nightcap around the fire before your well earned sleep